Former Military President, retired Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has publicly acknowledged that he is ill, but not incapacitated as widely reported in a section of the media last week.
The former president was reportedly incapacitated and said to be unable to walk by himself, leading to speculations that IBB, as he is fondly called by admirers, is bedridden.
But the gap-toothed general, in a parley with select journalists on Sunday afternoon at his Minna, hilltop Mansion, the Niger State capital, said he is not bothered by rumors of his ill-health or reported death.
He said: “It is true I have minimised my appearance at public functions because of my ill health, but not to the level of incapacitation as being widely circulated in some media”.
Mr. Babangida continued: “The rumour does not shock me; neither does it bother me because I know I must go and meet God, my creator. There is nothing really to worry about, my religion has told me.
“As a Muslim, I strongly believe everybody will die, everybody will die and everybody has to die. It could be now or in hundred years’ time or two days to come but it doesn’t matter. Everybody must die
“You can see me attending to people, after which we all go in for our lunch and have our prayers before I retire for my siesta.
“I am not incapacitated.
“Nobody is above sickness or death because nobody is above what God has destined.
“Everybody will fall sick or will die or either of their relations must die”.
The 74-year-old self-styled evil genius, who ruled the country between 1985 and 1993, added that the future of the country is bright and the dreams of Nigerians to actualize their independence was worthwhile.
“I still believe very strongly in this country, which is further demonstrated by the people of this great nation because they are a very industrious people, hardworking. That gives me the hope for Nigeria”, Gen. Babangida said.
He also revealed that the wound sustained in his right leg as a result of the piercing of a bullet during the Civil War, has been with him for quite some time.
“When I was the President of the country, I had to travel to Germany where the sickness was diagnosed as Radiculopathy, which has troubled me since and as such relapses”, Babangida added.