Mr. Kassim Afegbua, the spokesman of former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, said that his statement on behalf of the former Nigerian leader was accurate and fully represents IBB’s thoughts.
Mr. Afegbua stated this during a programme on Channels TV on Sunday evening after releasing the first statement titled “TOWARDS A NATIONAL REBIRTH”.
He noted that IBB’s position on having a new generation of young leaders to lead Nigeria has been his stance for so many years.
“I extracted a commitment from him, got authorisation before I issued the statement. But, you know that IBB is for everyone, so people want to appreciate him more than he appreciates himself; people want to play the role of IBB.
“When this statement came on board and when some of his friends saw the twist of the reportage of the statement by the social media and how they sensationalised it, taking away the kernel of the contents of the statement, they felt that we were trying to put the former president on collision course with the current president.
“To that extent, they did a statement to deny his statement. I have since spoken with him (IBB) and he has said that the statement stands and that the kernel of that statement should be what informs public discourse and not people personalising it as if it were to be against the sitting president.
“I don’t have an idea of who wrote the other statement but once I saw the description of IBB as GCON, I knew that couldn’t have emanated from him because IBB is GCFR. Secondly, I arrived at Benin City at about 5.00 p.m., I was in Abuja when I issued that statement and after that, I had to catch my flight to Benin to engage in some other activities.
“The statement stands and I have so communicated to all media houses that they should respect that statement as coming from IBB. Those are his thoughts, it didn’t emanate from my head. We sat down, articulated them, we put them in perspective so that Nigeria can begin to interrogate the issues he raised in that statement,” Afegbua said.
“Perhaps you may want to know that IBB began new breed politics in 1990 and so if he is saying that we should go back to new breed politics of the early 1990s, it is corresponding with his line of thoughts. I don’t know why anybody will think that I will issue a statement without obtaining that authority from him.
“You could easily deduce the fact that General Babangida wants a new set of leadership from the younger generation of Nigerians, who, in his own perspective, have the resourcefulness, energy, capacity to manage government affairs.
“For him, at his age of over 76, he has paid his dues and having realised that people of his generation are part and parcel of the problems of the country, they should be able to create a platform to engage a much younger leadership generation that will realise our potentials to opportunities for the greater good of the greater majority of Nigerians.
“So, for him, he is not personalising his statement to the incumbent president but he is saying that as a country and as a stakeholder and a concerned Nigerian, the preponderance of opinions on the political landscape is such that people want younger generation of leaders and the older ones can offer advice to guide them.”