Nigeria’s former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has joined other notable Nigerians in condemning the agitation for the creation of the State of Biafra, saying Nigeria does not need such distraction at the moment.
The ex-military ruler who reaffirmed his commitment to a united Nigeria said he would vote for an Igbo president if he finds any coming from the country’s South East.
“We do not need this Biafra distraction now; but I will vote for an Igbo president in 2019 if I find one”, said IBB, who spoke in an interview with ‘The Interview’, a monthly magazine published by the former group managing director of LEADERSHIP, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene.
In the interview captioned ‘My Relationship with Buhari, Abiola, Vatsa and Abacha – IBB Answers 99 Questions’, IBB also bared his mind concerning how he relates with incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, a man from whom he snatched the Presidency via a coup d’etat 30 years ago.
The Niger State-born retired General said though President Buhari had accused him of staging the 1985 coup to save General Aliyu Gusau and himself, he still enjoys a friendly relationship with the number one citizen.
He said it is only the Nigerian media that remain unconvinced that all is well between him and President Buhari.
“One thing you guys in the media want is for us to be exchanging words with each other each time we see”, he said.
In the interview, IBB narrated how he received the news of the death of the winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Chief MKO Abiola, saying he “was shocked,” but without regret.
He was not explicit in his response to the interviewer’s question: “Do you believe he (Abiola) died of natural causes?”
His response was rather a dribble: “I should know? I didn’t serve the tea!”
Also in the interview, Babangida spoke on the two “most traumatic” coups during his eight-year regime, the Mamman Vatsa and Gideon Orkar coups, revealing for the first time, a meeting he had with Vatsa before his trial began. The interview also covered Dele Giwa and the C130 Hercules plane crash in Ejigbo, which left 150 military officers dead.
In the same edition, frontline lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, spoke on why he was dropped from the ministerial list, while the new president of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, gave African leaders some homework to do.
The edition also features interviews with leading South African editor-in-chief of City Press, Ferial Haffajee; prodigy and Bill Gates scholar at Oxford, Ify Aniebo; and the D-G of NIMASA, Haruna Baba Jauro, with an extended version of Interview Confidential, the inside news in whispers.