“I Remain Grateful To God For Surviving Orkar’s Coup 25 Years Ago”, IBB Says At 74

IBB1Former military President, retired General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s 74th birthday is today. In celebration of his birthday, the gap-toothed general played host to journalists at his Hilltop mansion in Minna, the Niger State capital, where he bared his mind on a wide range of issues.
Recalling how he survived the Gideon Orkar coup 25 years ago, Gen. Babangida expressed gratitude to God for sparing his life then and even during the civil war.
“I will continue to remain grateful to God. The incident strengthens my belief that no matter what happens, if God doesn’t will it, nothing will happen to you. So it is a matter of believing that no matter what happens, either good or bad, nothing happens without the approval of Allah. I am grateful to God for sparing my life up to this time despite what we went through. Those of us who participated in combat we say thank God. I did not die during the civil war in 1969 which was some 21 years before the 1990 direct attempt on my life. God has kept me going, so I am very grateful, God has kept me and I remain grateful to Him and grateful to you all for your support”, he said.
The elder statesman also shed light on how he escaped the direct attempt on his life by the coup plotters and the role played by the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Sani Abacha, who later went on to become Head of State some few years later.
“I can remember fairly well, I had some loyal officers who are supposed to be my protectors and my body guards”, he started. “Initially they told me to leave but I told them no, I am not leaving for anywhere but they remained stubborn and later I took my family outside Dodan barracks and joined my guards. So we went out of Dodan barracks and we went to a safe house where we got in contact with loyal troops”.
On the role played by Abacha in helping him escape Orkar’s bullet, IBB, as he is called by admirers, said “May God bless Sani Abacha. Sani Abacha was the Chief of Army Staff, he got in touch with me, I got in touch with him and we sat down and talk on what we were going to do. Abacha and I rallied round the loyal troops and then I left my state house and joined Abacha in his house. That is what happened”.