A former presidential aide, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has said the former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida had him in mind when he spoke of an ideal Nigerian president during a recent interview with Arise TV ahead of his 80th birthday.
Okupe, a medical doctor, was Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan. before that, he was National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, in 1990-92.
Featuring on Arise TV on Friday, Okupe said he possesses the same credentials the former military president mentioned in his celebrated interview which was also circulated by many media outfits.
IBB said: “I have started visualising a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person, who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with.
“That is a person, who is very versed in economics and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already.”
Okupe said the former leader was referring to him and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as probable candidates for the presidency in 2023.
He said: “The person (the next president) should be somebody who can pick up his phone and call at least one person in every local government of the federation.
“That means it is somebody who already moved around, who has socially interacted with people from all sections of Nigeria. He understands Nigeria.
“I also agree with that, in his 60s. For instance, if I join the race, I am in my 60s.
“And I think that by what IBB has actually said, I have not spoken to him, I have a feeling that he had me in mind.
“Believe me sincerely. I must be one of them. I am serious. Because there is no local government in this country I have not visited five times in my lifetime, there is none and I am the most really well prepared person to be president.”