No deal with IBB – Buhari

The presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said that he never entered into any political deal with former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda (IBB), contrary to a media report.

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Buhari, who spoke through his spokesman Mr. Yinka Odumakin, was reacting to a newspaper report that the duo had formed an alliance not only to capture the north’s votes but also make it difficult for President Goodluck Jonathan to get two-thirds of votes across the country, even if he gets the majority votes in the presidential election.

According to the report, Buhari had met with Babangida and got a commitment for the latter to work with him to get the block votes of the North. The plan, it was learnt, is for Buhari to get the majority votes in the north and thereby deny Jonathan victory at the first ballot.

The report further quoted Buhari as reckoning that Jonathan would not get outright victory in the polls if Babangida did not reconcile with him, thus necessitating a run-off that would favour him.

But speaking with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY last night, Buhari’s spokesman said his principal’s visit to IBB in Minna, during his campaign in the state, was a friendly one. According to Odumakin, “After our rally in Minna, we decided to pay a courtesy visit to General Babangida; it was purely a courtesy visit, nothing more.”

However, in a swift reaction, IBB’s spokesman Prince Kassim Afegbua said Mr. Odumakin should be happy to hear that there was a deal between IBB and Buhari. According to Afegbua, “As much as we would have loved to support General Buhari, characters like Odumakin and Pastor Tunde Bakare are bad products in that circle. They are wearing double cloak as pretentious politicians desperate for political power as well as masquerading as human rights activists, even though they have remained like political parasites and newspaper tigers; their political relevance is as insignificant as their humanity.”

He added that the only reason Buhari would not make any impact in the April polls is because of the “myopic and selfish interest” of people like Odumakin and Bakare. “IBB is a beautiful bride that cannot be ignored by any serious presidential candidate,” Afegbua stated.