By ‘Dotun Akintomide
Former military ruler, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has affirmed that his earlier statement asking Nigerians to vote President Muhammadu Buhari out of office next year stands, saying he hasn’t issued any disclaimer to counter the report.
The statement has become a subject of controversy since Sunday, following another statement purportedly issued by the former leader which denied the said statement.
However, the spokesman of General Ibrahim Babangida, Kassim Afegbua, in an interview with DailyTrust, insisted that the former military president approved the statement he issued, calling on Nigerians to vote out president Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Afegbua stated that IBB has not denied the statement and that it was a propaganda by “overzealous people” to dispel IBB’s stance on Buhari’s re-election.
“The statement is in order. IBB did not hold any press conference in Minna. It was overzealous people that issued that statement of his denial. I wouldn’t issue any statement without his approval. Go ahead with the statement. I have spoken with him and he said he has not recanted the statement,”
IBB in a lengthy statement he made public on Sunday highlighted several reasons why President Buhari should not seek re-election in 2019.
He said, “In the past few months also, I have taken time to reflect on a number of issues plaguing the country. I get frightened by their dimensions. I get worried by their colourations.
“I get perplexed by their gory themes. From Southern Kaduna to Taraba state, from Benue state to Rivers, from Edo state to Zamfara, it has been a theatre of blood with cake of crimson.
“In Dansadau in Zamfara state recently, North-West of Nigeria, over 200 souls were wasted for no justifiable reason. The pogrom in Benue state has left me wondering if truly this is the same country some of us fought to keep together.
“I am alarmed by the amount of blood-letting across the land. Nigeria is now being described as a land where blood flows like river, where tears have refused to dry up. Almost on a daily basis, we are both mourning and grieving, and often times left helpless by the sophistication of crimes.
“The Boko Haram challenge has remained unabated even though there has been commendable effort by government to maximally downgrade them.