A media stir over an alleged open letter from former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida to President Goodluck Jonathan was calming late Wednesday January 28th 2014, after raising concerns among close associates of the two men.
The letter which was a regurgitation of a statement issued by Babangida on the state of the nation in July 2011 was rehearsed to fit in with present realities. The statement received a life of its own after it was posted on the Facebook page of All Progressives Congress, APC Deputy National Secretary, Mallam Nasir El-rufai.
The letter was, however, dismissed as a concoction by Mr. Kassim Afegbua, erstwhile media aide to Gen. Babangida who was quoted to have released the letter in a statement.
Afegbua who is now spokesman to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State described the statement as an act of blackmail saying he did not issue the statement and that it did not come from Babangida.
“I did not issue the said statement that is flying around the social media on behalf of IBB,” Afegbua said in a statement made available to Vanguard Wednesday.
“Let me also declare with all the emphasis at my disposal that General IBB did not authorize anyone to issue any statement on his behalf let alone crediting same odious statement to me; Prince Kassim Afegbua.”
The letter posted on several social media sites quoted the former military president as telling Jonathan:
“I will like to advise President Goodluck Jonathan to tread cautiously so that those sycophants in, and out of government will not derail his focus, resilience and perseverance. He needs all the comportment, resilience, perseverance, introspection and determination to be able to take the right decisions for the good of the country. The arrest and release of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is a deliberate distraction which the President must run away from.”
But denying the letter Afegbua said:
“General IBB is a leader of leaders that I admire so much and one whose understanding of the delicate politics of the country is, in my honest view, unequalled. I have been a very good student of his political school of thought since I met him till date and I will remain so till the end of time. It is not in his character to join issues with leaders in such pedestrian manner as reflected in the so-called statement credited to me. This rebuttal becomes instructive to put the records straight and disabuse the minds of our numerous followers, friends and associates who may come across this statement in one way or the other.”
“I therefore wish to formally disown the said statement in part, whole and its entirety. It was neither authorized by me nor General IBB and should be so discountenanced. I wish to thank my reputable colleagues in the media who quickly saw through this statement as a piece of abhorrence and alerted me almost immediately. May God continue to replenish your wisdom and deep sense of judgment.”