7th August, 2021
Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural group, said former Nigerian president Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has lost the opportunity to be the father of a new Nigeria.
Afenifere stated this on Saturday while reacting to the excuse given by IBB for annulling the June 12 election won by M.K.O Abiola.
Babangida, in an interview on Friday, had said he annulled the election to prevent a violent coup d’etat.
However, Afenifere described his comments as an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.
Afenifere, in a statement issued by Sola Ebiseni secretary-general of Afenifere, described Babangida’s comment as “a sour taste in the mouth.”
The statement said:
“Babangida has not said a new thing worthy of any reaction in respect of his treasonable acts of the annulment of the adjudged freest and fairest election in the country’s political history.
“Nigerians are not interested in any excuse being given by IBB. It is even most preposterous that IBB will only now be insulting the intelligence of Nigerians that he annulled their mandate to forestall a violent coup, which, by reasonable inference, he was aware of.
“He lost the opportunity of being the hero of democracy and father of a new Nigeria, an eternal regret that no whitewashing on television can redeem.
“However, it is no gainsaying the fact that the present administration has made saints of all previous administrations in every aspect of governance.”
Babangida, also confirmed yesterday that he had started scouting for the person he will endorse for the 2023 presidency.
According to him, the person will be in his sixties.
He said: “I have started visualizing a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person, who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with.
“That is a person, who is very versed in economics and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already in his sixties.”
When asked if the person could emerge victorious in the 2023 presidential election, IBB said, “I believe so if we can get him.”