25 May 2012

Nigeria: 2015 - IBB Defends Buhari, Says He Was Misquoted

Photo: Présidence du Faso
Former Nigerian Leader Ibrahim Babangida.

Former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida yesterday defended General Muhammadu Buhari over his comment on the 2015 election.

At a book presentation by a former national president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Mallam Abubakar Gimba, in Minna, Babangida, who was guest of honour, said he would speak in English instead of Hausa language to avoid misrepresentation, in apparent reference to Buhari's statement which generated controversy. Buhari reportedly spoke in Hausa in Kaduna when he received the Niger State delegation of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

IBB said, "I wanted to speak in Hausa but now that I see journalists like Mohammed Haruna here I will speak in English because I don't want to be misinterpreted." Journalists, he said, should go for translation training, suggesting that Buhari was misinterpreted because he spoke in Hausa.

Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar were among dignitaries who witnessed the presentation of the book Gimba wrote in honour of Rev. Father Jeremiah Derry O'Connell, a citizen of Ireland who has been principal in Niger State for 45 years .

O'Connell, popularly called 'Father', has spent 45 years in Niger State as a principal of the popular Government Secondary School (GSS), Minna, a former missionary school. Gimba wrote and presented three books in honour of the Reverend Father. Close to N10 million was realised.

The Niger State government donated N2.5 million for the books and another N2 million for Father O'Connell to write an account about his 45-year stay in the state to help the educational development of the country.

Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu said education would continue to remain the hallmark of his administration, noting that school enrolment has increased by 100 per cent in the state.

IBB commended the effort of Gimba who he considered as a true "Mallam" for his efforts towards scholarly works.

Abdusalami, who is the chairman of the occasion, urged people to contribute to the cause of the Father and the work of Gimba.

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