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Adebanjo to IBB: Stop Dribbling, Tell Buhari To Convene National Dialogue

Ayo Adebanjo, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, and President Muhammadu Buhari

“I know Babangida to be neither here nor there. He doesn’t believe in Nigeria. We call him Maradona. Let him come out straight,” leader of the Yoruba group Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, tells Peoples Gazette while reacting to ex-military dictator Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s claim that he believes in Nigeria, but other Nigerians are unpatriotic.

The Yoruba leader urged Mr Babangida, who is treated as a pariah by many Nigerians and the international community, to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to convoke a national dialogue if he truly believes in Nigeria. 

Asserting that the notorious former dictator could not outfox him, Mr Adebanjo noted, “I can’t be dribbled. He is a dribbler.”

In ARISE TV interview broadcasted on Friday, Mr Babangida accused Nigerians of being determined to ruin the country.

“I do believe in the future of Nigeria,” Mr Babangida asserted. “But Nigerians don’t believe in the future of their country. They created, and they destroyed.” 

His sweeping statement suggests that other leaders following his disgraceful exit from power, including ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, political leaders, and millions of other Nigerians, are not interested in Nigeria’s future.

“We call him Maradona. Let him come out straight. I can’t be dribbled. He is a dribbler. I know Babangida. What does he mean by that?” Mr Adebanjo said of the infamous ex-dictator. “That can be interpreted in many ways. Come out straight. I believe in one Nigeria. All Nigerians must be equal partners. That must be clear.” 

The Yoruba leader pointed out that the only way to show concern for Nigeria’s future was for Mr Buhari to organise a national dialogue to address issues that threaten the country’s unity.

“In what respect does he believe in Nigeria? A Nigeria in which one ethnic group dominates the others or what? We want to keep Nigeria together,” said Mr Adebanjo. “Let us sit down and have a dialogue on the constitution and the Electoral Act slanted against the South. Let Babangida convince Buhari to let us have a dialogue. I’m not interested in vague statements.”

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