Babangida ‘backs’ Atiku’s presidential bid

File photo of Former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar

A former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, on Friday declared his support for Atiku Abubakar, as the former vice president intensifies consultations for a presidential run in 2019.

Mr. Babangida, Nigeria’s leader from 1985-1993, said media reports that he advised Mr. Abubakar not to run for election during a closed-door meeting Thursday was ‘laughable’ because it was ‘sponsored’.

“Anybody who has sponsored such report was just being unfair” to Messrs. Babangida and Abubakar, Kassim Afegbua, a spokesperson for the former military leader, told PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening.

Mr. Afegbua said no one knew the outcome of the meeting because it was held behind closed-doors amongst the two leaders.

The comments came a day after the two leaders met at the hilltop residence of Mr. Babangida in Minna, the Niger State capital, around noon Thursday.

Media accounts of the meeting said Mr. Abubakar angrily left his host because he was advised not to run against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The reports further speculated that the unfriendly face Mr. Abubakar allegedly wore indicated that he was rejected by Mr. Babangida.

“The report is very, very untrue,” Mr. Afegbua said. “When I read the report, I was laughing. Because it is far from what they both discussed.”

“Number one, IBB will not discourage anyone from seeking office. IBB will encourage anyone to seek election,” the spokesperson added.

Mr. Afegbua said the relationship between his principal and his host remains cordial, warning reporters to stop playing politics with people’s relationship.

“They had a very useful political discussion. IBB also has a good relationship with Atiku. It’s not good to play politics with the relationship of people.”

Similarly, Paul Ibe, a spokesperson for Mr. Abubakar said since the meeting was held by only the two leaders, it would be difficult for anyone to know the details.

“Except those who were carrying these fake speculations were flying on the wall, there’s no way anyone would have known what happened,” Mr. Ibe said. “The report is a figment of the imagination of people.”

Mr. Ibe said the two leaders have been friends for a long time, and the outcome of their meeting was positive.

“Both leaders have enjoyed a mutual relationship for many years and what I gathered was that the meeting was very, very fruitful,” he added.

On Sunday, Mr. Abubakar returned to the PDP for the third time since 2007 when he left the party after serving eight years on its platform as a vice-president.

The move came a little over a week after he resigned from the All Progressives Congress.

He is expected to slug it out with President Buhari in 2019, if the incumbent’s recent signals of a possible re-election bid take hold.


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  • chinedu

    The story does not support the heading. Nothing shows that Babangida is in support of Atiku’s ambition. I guess we all have to wait for what will play out in the days ahead.

    • babajide Balogun

      Tell those 50k gang in BMC to do another fake news.

  • Darlington

    I knew that story originated from Buhari Media Center (BMC). There’s was no way IBB will discourage Atiku from running.

  • Monday Oshoikpor

    Whoever have the fear of God,the love for Nigeria and Nigerians will surely queue behind HE Atiku. Babangida just prove his intelligence once again.Weldome

    • Tunsj

      So your mentor, Rogue Atiku, has the fear of God? I can guess from your comment that you are just misinformed.

  • Monday Oshoikpor

    Something’s doesn’t come as a surprise.We want those with love for Nigeria to join this movement of bringing HE Atiku to power and we will all smile.The future and generation of our people will be secure.

    • kunle Abbas

      Some times I wonder what the contents of some people’s head contain,but from their ultrances ,one is certain it contains nothing but sewage from Mushin gutter.Otherwise and if one is not a born armed robber he would not wish the duo of atiku and BABANGIDA have say in the affairs of this country.What were their collective achievement when in power except deepthroat corruption that has bought us here.Its very sickening.

    • tundemash

      KId, go home and ask your elders what the satan IBB did to Nigeria in his 8 years of misrule.

      • Tunsj

        He smells like a troll.

  • Monday Oshoikpor

    ..and for those of you in the media still asking what was discussed at the closed door meetings,there you have it.It was a gathering of people with love for Nigeria,outcome as expected.Well done Atiku

    • Powerlessconscious

      who are those people that love nigeria?
      I pity for your brain. Black conscience.

  • NwaIgbo

    Whether IBB ‘supports’ Atiku or not, it doesn’t matter, well meaning Nigerians know that Maradonna’s reign was not the best of times in Nigeria. We still have questions about the parcel bomb that pulverized Dele Giwa in his living room.As for Atiku’s politicking and gallivanting across Nigeria,he(Atiku) is entitled to his movements, just let him not forget to touch base with Ibori, Evans and the rest of persona non gratas of Nigeria.

    • Steve

      Dele Giwa is still fresh on our mind.

  • Babangida Hbo Abdullahi Dasong

    Na wa oooo…
    So they have started to even employ the tactics if fake news ….just because they are scared of H.E Waziri Adamawa. ..toor
    You know who? Well Nigerians will not be left to cheap propaganda. ..we can see that Atiku means we’ll and will not be stopped insha Allah come 2019

    • Sam

      You and who are the “we” ? , stop that crap , unless you mean ipob members, with hatred filled heart!

    • tundemash

      Dunce, was Dumbo Jo not also at Minna to pay homage to the Hill top satan and what came out of it? Did Dumbo not lose the election ?

      • Otile

        Abubakar tundemash,
        Bigot. Who recalled corrupt Maina and gave him double promo, Imam Buhari or Jonathan? Have you said anything about the corrupt deeds of your Fulani masters? Why not? Odale

  • thusspokez

    I didn’t know that Babangida is still alive. Nigerian politicians are amateur, their idea of fighting election is to pay homage to people who pretend to be influential albeit like every Nigerian, they only have one vote.

    The daft GEJ spent his time visiting these same people instead of doing real campaigning. Tut tut tut! A legislator at state level in the USA work harder and do more campaigning than even Nigerian presidential aspirants.

  • August January

    But someone would still have to explain why he snubbed his “supporters” before boarding the airplane after leaving IBB, given that he acknowledged them warmly when he arrived for the meeting. More importantly, IBB’s spokesman didn’t have the courage to say it emphatically that his principal assured the “jumping jumping, I’m jumping’ man of his support. He only said, “Number one, IBB will not discourage anyone from seeking office. IBB will encourage anyone to seek election”. This is no language of support, I would argue. Finally, mark my words, even though he’s carrying himself as if he’s already PDP’s presidential flagbearer, the party won’t give him their ticket, because they know that’s the ONLY REASON he has come back to join them, a decision he wouldn’t have taken if he was sure of getting APC ticket for 2019. They only welcome him because, first, they see his exit from APC as a huge minus for the party, and, second, they believe catching on on that will give them some electoral gains.

  • jayeola kunle

    People deceiving people true or false Atiku reaction after the meeting show some point

  • Du Covenant

    Enemies of progress, the so called IBB was in charge for 8 yrs, apart from the corruption enterprise what did Nigeria show the world during this time?. It is obvious he will support those who will continue to cripple Nigeria in the same manner. Not surprise at all, let this man to just keep mute and wait for his last breath!!. IBB is just irrelevant in today’s Nigeria.


    This is just what we need, even IBB is tired of the tears of the people of this great nation Nigeria and he eventually endorsed the right man to liberate this country. I & IBB endorse your movement Sir. #100%Atikulated

  • Ignaze

    Atiku’s reaction after the meeting tells it all. He wore a sad face. He avoided journalists. An indication that the meeting did not favour him. What else do you want to tell us. End of the road for Atiku!

  • Steve

    And the vultures are beginning to gather again. Comatose babangida is whom Atiku is going to for political endorsement. Joke of the century.The only reason this fraudster jumped ship from APC is because he knows he’ll never be able to purchase the presidential ticket like he’s about to in PDP. PDP share the money!!!

  • Steve

    Dele Giwa is still fresh on our minds.

  • Daniel Dolesout Bucks

    All these old wasted corrupt good for nothing thieving liars who are merely weeks from being brought down by prostate cancer still seeking to rule Nigeria?! We need well meaning youth’s for crissakes…

    • Otile

      Don’t count on bad prostate cancer bring them down, they will always use public money to find the best hospital in the world. See how Buhari got himself the best organ transplant surgeon who took care of him. Today, Imam is sound as brass, thanks to our public money. By the way the cabal wouldn’t tell you how much they stole in the name of healing Buhari.

  • Kenny

    Sincerely Atiku is a lesser evil than PMB. Having these duo for election in 2019 is synonymous to being between the devil and the deep blue sea. We ll rather stick with “the devil” Atiku. His IQ and competency level by far outweighs that of PMB.

    • Musbau Hamzat

      Why PMB is evil, just bcos you and your cronies are not allowed to steal.

      • Otile

        But Buhari and his relatives are allowed to steal, baa?

    • Julius

      lol@IQ.. Chei, Nigerians !! I wonder when you conducted his IQ test . Can you share that info please ?

  • Yego V

    But for a sick and hopeless country, the two should be irrelevant. I pray God to spare us from the plagues called Atiku and Buhari


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  • Sir Louis

    Good for the country that there is this understanding. The reports that earlier indicated a misunderstanding between these two eminent Nigerians was mischievous. The press at a time like this should endeavour to guide against reports that are misleading.

  • Mr. Abdin

    Fake news is not good for the polity please repent.

  • sorbitol

    Whoever supports PMB for any post in this country, even as a village head never meant well for Nigerians and should as such be considered as enemy of Nigeria.

    • Otile

      The man is useless.

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  • TOBBY777

    Afegbua is talking to vanguard. WITHOUT LOVE, LIFE IS A MISTAKE.

  • Jo Elue

    Who cares. Who is Ibrahim Babangida: a thief , dictator, backstabber, murderer. Edumare punish am.

  • Ezomon Ehichioya

    Declaring support for, and not discouraging somebody from running are two different things. Save for the into of the story, nowhere was it mentioned or even hinted that Babangida has thrown his weight behind Atiku’s aspiration. Trust Babangida, any other aspirant would be encouraged to run. Until he openly declared so, it’s taken that he only encouraged or “blessed” (in Nigeria’s parlance) Atiku for his ambition. There must be a full-throated endorsement for the public to take IBB’s word serious. Thanks of and Gid bless.