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#2015Elections Babangida pledges support for Jonathan

Babangida had earlier endorsed the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, during a visit to his home in Minna, Niger State.

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan visits former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida in Minna, Niger State. play

Former President Goodluck Jonathan visits former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida in Minna, Niger State.

(Sahara Reporters)
APC Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari visits former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida play

APC Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari visits former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida

(Lola Shoneyin)

Former military ruler, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has pledged his support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.

Babangida had earlier endorsed the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, during a visit to his home in Minna, Niger State.

However, IBB stated in an interview on Channels TV’s "Straight Talk With Kadaria" on Wednesday, January 28, that he supports Jonathan because the President believes in Nigeria’s unity.

Excerpts below:

Do you support President Jonathan’s attempt at re-election?

Firstly, I appreciate the fact that he came to visit me and, during our discussion, I found him to be a man who believes in the unity of this country and I did allude to that and I said I found him to be someone who has a very strong belief about the unity of this country.

Those of us who fought the civil war – I still carry a bullet so I have a permanent reminder in me – anything that relates to Nigeria’s unity, we get impassioned about it.

So what I said is that the President believes in the unity of this country and any other person who believes in the unity of this country should support the President to keep this country one.

What exactly did you mean when you said that if what you read in the papers these days is anything to go by, then your administration was saintly?

I am an avid reader of Nigerian newspapers, so when I read a statement like $16billion spent trying to provide power for this country or somebody kept under his bed N300m, if what I’m reading is true, then we were angels.

Considering that you ruled Nigeria for some eight years, do you take any responsibility for the state of Nigeria today?

Well, you take responsibility for anything either good or bad – that is what leadership is all about and I think so far, as far as I am concerned, I take full responsibility for what we did.

Would the June 12 issue be something that when you look back you regret?

History will one day come and apportion blames to various actors in the whole saga. There are a lot of people today in this country who supported what we did at that time.

We are in a situation in the country today where we have insurgents with a warped version of Islam which they claim they want to foist on the nation in some states.  Do you think these sorts of decisions are the sort of things that plant seeds on the minds of some people claiming to want to promote one religion above another?

I’m glad you used the word ‘warped’.  What is happening now is something that Nigerians should rise and fight against; Muslims should rise and fight against it because some people are spoiling the name of Islam, and this is not what Islam stands for.

What should we do about Boko Haram?

The first thing is that people must believe that this affects Nigeria generally and not just a part or just a religion.   Like the civil war, the whole country was mobilized against secession and there was unity against he secession and I think we must accept that this problem is a Nigerian problem and everybody should come together to fight this phenomenon.

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