Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has given one of his most incisive and in-depth interviews in recent times, during which he fielded questions on everything from Biafra to Buhari.
He opened up in a two-hour interview he granted ‘The Interview’ at his hilltop mansion in Minna, the Niger State capital, in the December issue of the magazine out next week.
On Biafra, he said, “We do not need this distraction now…” but added that, “I will vote for an Igbo president in 2019, if I find one”.
On his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, who had accused him of staging the 1985 coup to save General Aliyu Gusau and himself, Babangida told a story of their 2006 encounter arranged by former Abia governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, as proof that all is well between him and the president, adding, “One thing you guys in the media want is for us to be exchanging words with each other each time we see”.
He also spoke on June 12 and how he received the news of the death of the presumed winner of the election, Chief MKO Abiola, saying, he “was shocked”, but had nothing to regret.
“Do you believe he (Abiola) died of natural causes?”
“I should know? I didn’t serve the tea…!”
Also in the interview, Babangida spoke on the two “most traumatic” coups during his eight-year regime – the Mamman Vatsa and Gideon Orkar coups – revealing, for the first time, a meeting he had with Vatsa before his trial began.
The interview also covered Dele Giwa and the C130 Hercules plane crash in Ejigbo, which left 150 military officers dead.