By Jibrin Miachi
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has been severely tackled by a diehard a Kaduna based supporter of former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, Muhammed Hassan Jalo, for allegedly disparaging the administration of the former MilitaryMilitary leader.
Osinbajo had at a town hall meeting with Nigerians in Minnesota, United States told his audience that former leaders including General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida did not provide infrastructural facilities despite the huge money accrued to Nigeria from oil revenue. In reaction to what he described as a political attempt to smear IBB, Jallo came hard on Osinbajo in an interview with selected Journalists. Our correspondent JIBRIN MIACHI was there/ EXCERPTS:
In what areas do you feel the Vice President distorted facts over the role of your principal, IBB, when he spoke at the Town Hall meeting in the United States of America?
Sometimes last week, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had at a public function said former leaders, particularly IBB, Abacha and Obasanjo regimes, mismanaged the huge oil revenue they earned because they refused to provide infrastructure. To me, that is a bloody lie. He tried to mislead members of the public for political reasons, maybe to satisfy his pay masters and his political leaders. The question I therefore want to ask Osinbajo is who built the Aso Rock that they are occupying today? It was Ibrahim Badamashi Babangida that made Abuja what it is today as the Federal Capital of Nigeria. It became a reality and that is the pride of every Nigerian and even African. So, for him to say former leaders did not perform and made mention of General Babangida that his administration did not provide infrastructure, to me as I said earlier, is a bloody lie and I owe it a duty to my boss to say the facts about his performance in office are there.
What are some of those achievements in clear terms that IBB government has made, to correct the perceived wrong impression by Vice President Osinbajo?
If there is any Nigerian leader, dead or alive that has really provided infrastructure for public interest, it is General Ibrahim Babngida. Starting from Lagos, if not for Babangida, Lagos would not have been what it is today. The administration provided the 3rd Mainland Bridge, Ekpe power plant in Lagos was built by Babangida, apart from the Federal Housing estate and the dualization of roads in Lagos. When you come to Abuja, the regime singlehandedly built Abuja – the Aso Rock Villa, Police barracks, NNPC headquarters, CBN headquarters, NDIC, name it. They are all there for people to see, like roads and bridges. Even the Abuja/Kaduna/Kano dual carriage road was built by Babangida administration. Shiroro Dam, Kenji Dam, Gembu Dam and the Kaduna Refinery Petrochemical Company were all built by Babangida. Likewise, the liquefied Nigeria Gas Energy was a project conceived and financed by Babangida. Even before he left government, the government was able to get our gas into the market outside this country with Nigeria earning millions of dollars as dividends every year. Ibrahim Babangida administration created eleven States and they were given take-off grants. The government established universities of technology and agriculture in every zone of the country. In view of all these, for somebody to come and say that Nigerian leaders, especially Babangida and Abacha did not provide infrastructure, it means Vice President Osinbajo is telling lies to Nigerians. Let him go back to the archive and study history.
Ahead of 2019, many presidential aspirants have visited IBB and more are likely to pay visit to him. As an ardent supporter and admirer, how will you advise him?
IBB is a father to all and that is why you see all the politicians seeking election at either Presidential, Governorship or National and State Assembly levels from all the political parties visiting him for consultations. It is therefore unwise for anybody to advise him to support one particular candidate for now. He is a card carrying.