Thirty-one years after former Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, sacked him from power, President Muhammadu Buhari has opened up, claiming that Babangida staged the pre-emptive coup to save his own neck.
Buhari said that as the Head of State, he was already planning a major anti-corruption purge in the military hierarchy which would have affected Babangida and his collaborators, hence they engineered the pre-emptive military coup that overthrew his government.
In an exclusive interview published in the current edition of The Interview magazine, Buhari challenged Babangida and Gen. Aliyu Gusau to tell the truth on why they carried out the coup against him.
Buhari’s position is seen as a counter to that put out by Babangida last December in an interview with the same magazine, The current unsparing anti-corruption purge of the nation’s military may be indicative of Buhari’s mindset over three decades ago.
According to Buhari, senior military leaders then led by Babangida and Gen. Gusau, removed him in August 1985 to save themselves from his wrath.
Buhari said: “I learnt that Aliyu Gusau, who was in charge of intelligence, took import licence from the Federal Ministry of Commerce which was in charge of supplies and gave it to Alhaji Mai Deribe.
“It was worth N100,000, a lot of money at that time. I confronted them and took the case to the Army Council in a memo…I wanted Gusau punished.”
In a statement on www: theinterview.com.ng, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Interview, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, said: “This is one edition that won’t let sleeping dogs lie.”
Babangida had in the December 2015 edition of The Interview said that there was nothing in the memo which Buhari said he submitted to the Army Council.
He had said: “Don’t forget that I was one of Buhari’s closest aides. I was the Chief of Army Staff. So, I had an important position, an important role to play within that administration. I don’t think it had to do with a memo.”
But in a tone which revealed that the past may neither have been forgotten nor forgiven, Buhari challenged Babangida and Gusau to come clean on why they removed him, asking The Interview to choose whose story to believe.
He also spoke about his health, the 2016 Budget, the pace of his government, former President Goodluck Jonathan and why Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola was handed three ministerial portfolios.
Originally posted 2016-07-25 09:23:43.