2011: Security reports scare Babangida from Ibadan rally

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2011: Security reports scare Babangida from Ibadan rally

Post  nex on Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:27 am

UNFAVOURABLE security reports in the early hours of yesterday may have been responsible for the staying away of the former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), from the Ibadan rally, organised to flag off his much-touted 2011 presidential ambition.
The Nigerian Compass authoritatively learnt that the alleged security reports from the top brass of the security agencies in the state late Wednesday, forced the former military dictator to have a rethink on the rally with the assurance that Ibadan, being the political nerve-centre of the South-West, would definitely host him when next he deems fit to storm the city for his presidential campaign ahead of 2011 election.

Apart from this, a group of youths who allegedly “masqueraded” as student leaders from some higher institutions in the state had late Wednesday toured major media houses in Ibadan to express their anger over the planned rally for Babangida, a development they described as unmerited by someone who had used derogatory words on the youth, describing them as incapable of leading the country for now.
They were reported as threatening to foment trouble and disrupt the rally should the security agencies ignore them and allow the rally to hold.
The threat notwithstanding, the organisers had in the early hours of yesterday trooped to the Ibadan toll gate to welcome the former president amid pomp and colours, but were stunned when they received the reports that Babangida who ruled between 1985 and 1993 was no more coming to the Pace Setter State.
The organisers, led by the former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi, were shocked when they later heard that a former governor of Niger State and staunch supporter of Babangida, Alhaji Abdul-Kadir Kure, would represent Babangida at the event.
The Ibadan monarch; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, in company of some members of the Olubadan-In-Council, who had waited patiently to receive Babangida hurriedly left the palace when news frittered in around 12.15pm that the former Head of State was no more coming.
Hundreds of supporters of Babangida, including the members of the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo communities were soon disappointed on hearing of the ugly development, having earlier converged on the Polo Club, Eleyele, Ibadan, venue of the rally as early as 8am.
Until Kure arrived at 3.25pm, none of the supporters, who were being treated to the lewd music of popular Fuji musician, Abass Akande Obesere, could say precisely if the representative would arrive, as he was said to have been hooked up in a traffic jam along Lagos/Ibadan expressway.
On arrival at the Toll Gate, Kure, who was received by Gbolarumi, the group’s Secretary, Asiwaju Yemi Aderibigbe and other state coordinators in the six states of the South-West headed to the home of the late octogenarian politician, Chief Lamidi Adedibu at Molete area of the city, where he offered prayers for the repose of the soul of Adedibu.
Shortly after, he commissioned Babangida’s campaign office at Yemetu area before he eventually retired to the Polo Club, where a reception organised for Babangida was held in his honour.
Prior to the reception at the Polo Club, Kure made a brief stop at the Press Centre of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Iyaganku, where Babangida, as the July guest of the union’s monthly forum, was expected to deliver a lecture titled: “The Nigerian Press in a challenging democracy.”
Kure while apologising on Babangida’s behalf, attributed his absence to “some unavoidable circumstances.”
He, however, commended Nigeria’s journalists for their roles in the sustenance of democracy, especially for their stand against the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
While commenting to a media report quoting Obasanjo as warning governors in the South West to distant themselves from Babangida, the former governor said he spoke with Obasanjo in the morning and he denied saying so.
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nex

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