I will support Igbo president in 2019: IBB

Former President IBRAHIM Babangida, for­mer military president, has broken on the siide of Igbo presidency in  2019.

Babangida,  who ruled Nigeria as head of a military regime between 1985 and 1993, said he is ready to vote for an Igbo president in 2019.

The reverred general spoke  with The Interview, a magazine focused on lead­ing professionals and politi­cians.

The issue of the political position of the Igbos of the Southeast Nigeria has taken the front burners in recent months with the recrudescence of agitations for the separatist state of Biafra.

Ndigbo, which is one of the three major ethnic nationalities, have long-held of a conspiracy among th other two major nationalires to exclude from the mainstream.

Speaking against the background of agitations for the re-birth of Bifra,  IBB, as he is fondly called, described agitation for Biafra republic as a distrac­tion.

“We do not need this dis­traction now,” he was quoted as saying, adding that “I will vote for an Igbo president in 2019, if I find one.”

According to a report by the Sun, Babangida  also revisited one of the most controversial issues involv­ing him – the death of MKO Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election. He said he received the news of his death with shock but without regret.

Responding to the question on whether he believed that Abiola died of natural causes, he replied: “I should know? I didn't serve the tea…!”

The former military ruler also spoke on his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, who had accused him of staging the 1985 coup to save General Aliyu Gusau and himself. Babangida told a story of their 2006 encounter arranged by former Abia gov­ernor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, as proof that all is well be­tween him and the president, adding, “one thing you guys in the media want is for us to be exchanging words with each other each time we see.”

He spoke on June 12 and how he received the news of the death of the winner of the election, Chief MKO Abiola, saying, he “was shocked,” but without regret.

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.

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