Media Adviser to the former dictator, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has stood by the statement, insisting that he sat with the former dictator before he issued the statement.
He said as one who had been doing the job for over 14 years, he could not issue such a statement without the permission of his principal.
The spokesman said it was some overzealous people around Babangida that issued the rebuttal.
Afegbua, however, said the former dictator had not withdrawn his statement.
He said this during an interview on a Channels Television programme tagged ‘Politics Today,’ on Sunday evening.
Afegbua added, “I have been doing this job for 14 years now and I have never issued a statement on behalf of former President Babangida and get a rebuttal. I extracted commitment from him and authorisation before I issued the statement and it was in process but of course you know, IBB is for everyone and so people want to love him more than he loves himself.
“When the statement was sent and some of his friends saw the twist of the reportage on the social media and how they sensationalised it and all of that, taking away the kernel of the content of the statement, they felt that we were just trying to put the former President on a collision course with the present President and so to that extent, they went to write a statement to deny that but I have since spoken to him.
“He has called me to say that statement stands and the kernel of that statement should inform public discourse and not people necessarily personalising it as if it were against the sitting President.”
Afegbua said Babangida was calling for the emergence of a young President in 2019.
When asked if the former ruler would be supporting a third force, Afegbua said Babangida would support any credible young candidate.
He added, “From the statement you could easily deduce that General Babangida wants a new set of leaders from the younger generation of Nigerians who in his view have the resourcefulness and the capacity to manage governmental affairs.
“For him, he says at his age, which is 76 plus, he has already paid his due and that whether we like it or not, we should even blame his generation for being part of the problems of the country but having realised that, they should be able to create a platform to engage a younger generation that can translate all our potential to opportunities for the greater good for the generality of Nigerians. He is not personalising his statement against the current President.”
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Author: The Gazelle News