Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, has denied media report that he, like former President General Olusegun Obasanjo, has written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on the state of the nation.
Babangida, in a statement yesterday by Mr. Kassim Afegbua, denied the report, which he described as “outright blackmail journalism and a sad commentary on the journalism practice.”
In the statement given to THISDAY in Minna, Niger State, Babangida denied issuing any statement titled: “Your aides are misleading you; IBB warns Jonathan,” published in an online publication.
“To state the least, this is outright blackmail journalism and a sad commentary on journalism practice; a profession that I hold dear to my heart.
“Let me also state without mincing words that I did not issue the said statement that is flying around the social media on behalf of IBB,” the statement added.
Afegbua also stated that Babangida did not authorise anyone to write the statement, adding that since he left to be the Special Assistant to the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Babangida had not officially appointed a spokesman.
He said: “I declare with all the emphasis at my disposal that General IBB did not authorise anyone to issue any statement on his behalf let alone crediting same odious statement to me; Prince Kassim Afegbua. Even though General IBB has not officially appointed a media spokesman since I left, my acceptance of the offer of special adviser by my governor automatically removes me from being General IBB’s spokesman, a position I so cherished and a personality I so admire.
“It is, therefore, bad journalism for one obscure, good-for-nothing, unprofessional platform such as the Global Villa Extra, to fabricate a statement and credit same to me, not only to mislead the public but cause disaffection amongst the personalities involved.”
He explained that it was not in Babangida’s character to take up issues with leaders in such a pedestrian manner as reflected in the so-called statement credited to him.
“This rebuttal becomes instructive to put the records straight and disabuse the minds of our numerous followers, friends and associates who may come across this statement in one way or the other,” he added.
According to him, ‘When I called the local mobile telephone number of the online publication: 08165076156, no one answered my several calls. In fact, the receiver from the other end was cutting my calls. When I called the international number, 00912407041545, a receiver from the other end who refused to disclose his name, expressed shock at my declaration. He did promise to instruct his co-conspirators to remove the tissue of concocted lies from their site. As at the time of writing this rebuttal, he has not done so.”