IBB denies involvement in Golden Jubilee bombings

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Mike Odiegwu

Former military dictator and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.) has distanced himself from the twin bomb blasts that killed 14 people in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the Nigerian 50th Independence Day celebration.

IBB who spoke to journalists in Minna, Niger State, on Wednesday, said it would be idiotic for anybody to link him to the blasts.

“It will be idiotic for anyone to link me to that bomb blast because I know what the unity of this country means and that was why we fought to keep it together so why should I get involved in such a mess?”, he said.

He frowned at the arrest of the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and blamed the blasts on security lapses.

He said the group that claimed responsibility for the dastardly act had forewarned the nation of the incident but that security operatives failed to take the matter seriously.

He made reference to a certain television report by Yvonne Ndege, who was conducted by the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta round its sophisticated armoury in an enclave and asked the government to explain sources of the weapons.

The former dictator said the government should be concerned with where the militants were regrouping and gathering such sophisticated weapon, since most of the weapons, according to him, were not handed over to the government during the amnesty programme.

When asked why he failed to attend the Independence Day celebration, he claimed that the frivolous spending for the celebration was against his principles.

He further claimed that the N62bn which was spent on the ceremony could have been used for developmental projects, adding that if the celebration had been done the way late President Umaru Yar’Adua proposed it, it would have cost below N1bn.

“There was a lapse somewhere, whether we like it or not and no one has disputed that government was given prior information of about four to five days about the impending disaster and yet nothing was done. In situations like this which has to do with human lives, you do not need more than 24 hours to remedy and impending situation,” he said.


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