IBB TO OBJ: I'M USED TO BEING BETRAYED
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has said the refusal of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to support his 2011 presidential aspiration has not bothered him, saying, 'I am used to being betrayed.'
Fielding questions from journalists at his Hilltop residence in Minna , Niger State, yesterday, Babangida said he had taken it just like any other betrayal he had suffered in the past even from brothers and friends.
'One thing with me is that I was tutored to always believe in you waking up in the morning and things work perfectly for you, it is a bonus.
A friend, a brother, can always betray you. The day I wake up and it doesn't happen, I rest. If it happens, it does not bother me because my mind has been made.' Babangida recalled that he had known Obasanjo since he (IBB) was a junior officer.
'We were very loyal to our superiors, attached by professional bond. I knew him closely. He was such a guiding light when we were growing up and serving under the late General Murtala Mohammed, up till the time he became Head of State and handed over to Shagari. 'When he was sent to prison and later released, some of us felt Nigeria needed a man like him, a man of strong character, experience, commitment, and belief in Nigeria.' Above all, his name was not new to Nigerians.
'That is why we started to mobilize for him because of our belief in him and we did that until he was elected president. 'Honestly I don't want to use the word betrayal because even now we still greet and talk about Nigeria , but it is true as a human being, I have the right to feel betrayed if he does not support me.' Still on betrayal, Babangida described the recent comments by the PDP Assistant National Auditor, Dr. Godwin Daboh as 'nothing new, it is vintage Daboh.'
'My only advice is that Jonathan himself should be careful with Daboh. I hope he will not turn against Jonathan even before the end of this year. 'Daboh is my friend, I can never get worried or angry with him, he is a man I know so well,' IBB said, going ahead to reveal to journalists certain antics of Daboh which he pleaded were not for publication. 'If you know Daboh and his antics the way I do, you will see why I can never feel betrayed by somebody like him. He can still come into this house anytime he wishes to come back.'
Meanwhile Babangida had informed his numerous associates friends and supporters nation-wide that he is irrevocably committed to 2011 presidential aspiration under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the press statement issued on behalf of Babangida by Prince Kassim Afegbua his media spokesman. It stated that at no time did General Babangida contemplate of withdrawing from the race nor change from the party PDP and that who are peddling rumours about his possible withdrawal from the race are at best mischief makers and sycophants who are profiting from the present political scenarios to create unnecessary distraction to the general and his overwhelming supporters.
Babangida said his determination was to pursue his aspiration to a logical conclusion that the country needs an experienced hand to pilot the affairs. He noted that his campaign would dwell more on those issues that could provoke the necessary imperatives and initiatives to confront the developmental challenges that the country face as a nation.
'I hold my supporters in high esteem and I have made a solemn resolve not to disappoint them this time around as the 2011 elections draw near. I have weighed all the options before I took the decision to contest and I will not renege on those assurances which my overwhelming supporters have given me,' he noted.
The presidential aspirant also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to focus attention on the compilation of a voters' register that would accommodate all would be voters in the coming election. Saying that the credibility of the electoral process would start from the voters' registration process. While Babangida also reassure all his supporter and followers that he would not disappoint them.