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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ibrahim Babangida: I Fully Stand By My Earlier Statement, Buhari Is Too Old For 2019 Presidency, We Need New Leaders

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Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida has spoken following the confusion that arose after he reportedly issued a statement yesterday in which he called for a new generation of leaders to assume the mantle of leadership in the country come 2019.Controversy arose after a counter-statement allegedly issued by Babaginda disowning the first statement left people wondering what could be the matter. However, in an exclusive interview with ThisDay, the retired military general has finally spoken saying his “original statement still stands”. In the interview with ThisDay, Babangida said the second statement was issued by friends and had nothing to do with him, but expressed concern that his initial statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, had been misrepresented by the media. According to him, what his statement titled, “Towards a National Rebirth,” emphasised was for a new breed of leadership to emerge through the electoral process, but was not intended to deny President Muhammadu Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for in the 2019 elections.He was emphatic that his statement did not counsel Buhari not to contest the 2019 elections as depicted by media houses in their headlines yesterday. Also, enquiries from sources close to Babangida revealed that the confusion arose due to the pressure mounted by the former military ruler’s son, Mohammed, on his father to retract the first statement and issue a toned down version. According to ThisDay, sources said that the second toned down version was not signed by the Babangida but his son who simply appended the retired general’s name to the revised statement. But when Babangida got wind of what had transpired, he instructed Afegbua to reach out to media houses reaffirming the validity of the first statement. In his original statement yesterday, Babangida said that he did not write a letter to Buhari but was just sharing his thoughts with “fellow compatriots on the need to enthrone younger blood into the mainstream of our political leadership starting from 2019”. Babangida said the search for the new breed leadership must start now as Nigeria prepares for 2019 election.Photo Credit: Getty

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