Speaking with The Interview, a magazine focused on leading professionals and politicians, Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, says he is ready to vote for an Igbo president in 2019. IBB, as he is fondly called, described the 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.”
He 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 recieved the news of his death with shock but without regret. Responding to the question whether he believed that Abiola died of natural causes, Babangida said:
“I should know? I didn’t serve the tea…!”
According to Azu Ishiekwene, managing director of The Interview, the retired general also spoke on his relationship With President MuhammaduBuhari, Vasta Mamman, IBB’s childhood friend who was executed on his orders, and Sani Abacha, former military ruler.
Ishiekwene said in the magazine, which will be out next week, Babangida revealed how Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state, arranged a meeting between him and Buhari in 2006.
“One thing you guys in the media want is for us to be exchanging words with each other each time we see,” he reportedly said.
Ishiekwene added that “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.”