Followers of Nigeria’s politics were Sunday evening confused as former President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida spoke with both sides of his mouth on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the way forward.
The initial statement by Babangida’s spokesperson Kazim Afegbua was hard on the present government, and politely asked Buhari to put national interest before personal one in 2019.
He added Nigeria has reached a stage where it must dump “analogue” leaders for “digital” younger generation to make the country competitive in a fast-changing world.
Others issues he emphasised include the Fulani herder crisis and restructuring. .
“While offering this advice, I speak as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot who desires to see new paradigms in our shared commitment to get this country running,” said Babangida.
But immediately the statement went viral, another statement hit the media, denying Babngida said most of what Afegbua sent out in the first statement.
The spokesperson however insisted his boss made the statement.
According to his defence on Channels TV Sunday evening, some Babangidas whi have a soft spot for Buhari issued the second statement, although it Babangida himself signed it.
In the second statement, released by pro=government media relation consultant PRNigeria, shorter and more forgiving, touched on only herdsmen attacks and the prevailing political atmosphere.
“Let’s me categorically state that as a former President and Statesman, I have unfettered access and channel of communication with the highest authorities in the country without necessary going public with a sensational statement. Therefore, the views expressed in the alleged statement are not mine but that of the writer,”
Babangida was quoted as saying by PRNigeria.
On the way forward, the former president said a two-party political system is important.
“I still believe in a two-party system as the best option for Nigeria,” Babangida said.