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Politics Ibrahim Babangida Reacts To Reports He Asked Atiku Not To Run In 2019



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A former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida has reacted to reports he told former VP Atiku Abubakar to forget his 2019 presidential election ambition'

Mr. Babangida, Nigeria’s leader from 1985-1993, said media reports that he advised Mr. Abubakar not to run for election during a closed-door meeting Thursday was ‘laughable’ because it was ‘sponsored’.

“Anybody who has sponsored such report was just being unfair” to Messrs. Babangida and Abubakar, Kassim Afegbua, a spokesperson for the former military leader, told reporters Friday evening.

Mr. Afegbua said no one knew the outcome of the meeting because it was held behind closed-doors amongst the two leaders.

The comments came a day after the two leaders met at the hilltop residence of Mr. Babangida in Minna, the Niger State capital, around noon Thursday.

Media accounts of the meeting said Mr. Abubakar angrily left his host because he was advised not to run against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The reports further speculated that the unfriendly face Mr. Abubakar allegedly wore indicated that he was rejected by Mr. Babangida.

“The report is very, very untrue,” Mr. Afegbua said. “When I read the report, I was laughing. Because it is far from what they both discussed.”

“Number one, IBB will not discourage anyone from seeking office. IBB will encourage anyone to seek election,” the spokesperson added.


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