Former military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) has confirmed he played a role in Olusegun Obasanjo’s emergence as Nigeria’s President in 1999. He made the confirmation in response to claims made by former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd) in his book titled: ‘Vindication of a General’ that Babangida was among those who ensured that Obasanjo succeeded in his presidential bid in 1999
Addressing the media through his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, the ex-military dictator said the role he played was not a new song.He, however, maintained that his efforts ended at the primary election stage in the Peoples’ Democratic party (PDP) as it was Nigerians who decided the rest. Afegbua said: “It is true that IBB was part of those who helped former President Obasanjo to stage a comeback.
“That’s not a new song. We had said it before; it is nothing new. But IBB and others did not impose him. They ensured that he scaled through the primaries of the PDP in Jos and was made to face Nigerian electorate at the election. “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is aware of this. “What is General Bamaiyi trying to achieve? We have repeatedly said this.
“The reason for the support was altruistic because they felt Chief Obasanjo was in a better position to heal the wounds in the land at that time.”