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Confusion trails Babangida’s statement on Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO

Former Nigerian head of state Ibrahim Babangida has allegedly disowned a press statement authored on his behalf by his spokesman Kassim Afegbua.

Afegbua in the statement said that Babangida advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek reelection. A source close to Afegbua insisted that Babangida did not issue any rebuttal.

But in two separate statements seen by The Guardian, the former head of state was alleged to have said that he has unfettered access to Buhari would prefer to speak to him personally if he has any advice to offer him.

In one of the statements published by a national daily, Babangida allegedly said: “Let me categorically state that as former President and Statesman, I have unfettered channel of communication with the highest authorities without sensational public correspondence, therefore those views expressed over there are personal views of the writer.”

In another statement sent to The Guardian by a source close to the ruling All Progressives Congress, Babangida was quoted to have said that the initial statement by signed by his media aide “is in its entirety, an inaccurate representation of my view of the state of our dear Nation.”

Curiously, in the latter statement, however, the former head of state was given the national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) usually reserved for occupants of the office of the vice president instead of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics on Sunday night, Afegbua insisted that Babangida, a known member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was in support of a generational change and has not instructed him to withdraw the statement.

He noted that the statement was not an open letter to Buhari but an indication of the former head of state’s impression of the state of the nation.

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