- Category: Opinions/Interviews
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2011 10:02
- Written by Admin
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Former military president and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, General Ibrahim Babangida, has declared that he stands by his earlier comments that former president and Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, mismanaged the national revenue while in office.
However, reacting in a statement issued yesterday, the media aide to General Babangida, Prince Kassim Afegbua, disclosed that his boss never recanted his allegation of squandermania that characterised the Obasanjo’s government, particularly the $16 billion allegedly wasted on power project.
The statement reads: “We have read several news reports suggesting that former president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, GCFR, recanted his comments on former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR . He wishes to state very clearly and without fear of contradiction, that there is nothing like “recant” on his part.
“What General IBB stated on the 30th August, 2011 was that the media misquoted him on his earlier interview granted prior to his birthday on 17th August, 2011. The contents of the newspapers’ reports were different from the screaming headlines that were carried. That perhaps informed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s misplaced outburst to the effect of calling General IBB a fool at 70.
“General IBB still stands by the contents of that interview where he made allusion to the squander-mania that characterized Chief Obasanjo’s government with particular reference to the $16billion reportedly wasted on a fruitless power project, as revealed by the National Assembly power probe panel. There was nothing extra-ordinary in what General IBB said to warrant Chief Obasanjo’s outburst and scathing remarks on the person of General Babangida.
“In the light of the above, he wishes to state unequivocally that the idea or notion or impression of a recant does not arise at all. His response to Chief Obasanjo’s outburst remains in force and valid, hence, it will be wrong for anyone to report that “IBB recanted” on his earlier position. He will not allow history to record it for him that he kept mum when someone reportedly called him a fool. All the issues raised in his earlier response have not been contradicted by Chief Obasanjo, save that he resorted to name-calling and abuse. He still holds the position very strongly that former President Obasanjo’s government recorded the highest revenue in the history of Nigeria from independence in 1960 till 1999 when his government came into force.
“Over N16 trillion was shared among the three tiers of government during Obasanjo’s government, out of which about N7.4trillion was spent by the Federal Government. This is aside from other non-oil income that accrued to his government within the same period. Needless to state that the government went on a spending spree, which culminated in several sharp practices and abuses particularly in the privatization exercise. The records are gradually becoming glaring for all to see, no, thanks to the National Assembly probe panel.
“He will be prepared to offer further clarifications should the need arise but let it be recorded that there was nothing like recantation as previously reported,” the statement noted. (Daily Sun)