‘How IBB Displaced Obasanjo In Aso Rock’
SECURITY expert and former Anambra State chairman of the All Peoples Party (APP), Mr. Bonaventure Maduafokwa, says the current political realignments in the country have paved the way for former military President General Ibrahim Babangida to supplant former President Olusegun Obasanjo as influential statesman.
In an interaction with The Guardian, Maduafokwa, disclosed that “when it became obvious that President Goodluck Jonathan was not going to work within the confines of the blueprint put together by Obasanjo and started derailing badly, it also became obvious that something needed to be done”.
“Down the road it became clear to Obasanjo that checkmating President Jonathan was not a battle he could fight alone; he was no longer in government, all the trappings of power reside with President Jonathan. And so Obasanjo needed a kind of coalition of supposedly interested parties to ganging up and stop Jonathan.”
Maduafokwa said Obasanjo miscalculated when he felt the person he needed to talk to was IBB thinking that by aligning with Babangida they could face President Jonathan and quicken the President’s fall in a question of just a few months.
He noted that the desire of Obasanjo to “cause President Jonathan’s downfall was uppermost in Obasanjo’s mind when he went and sat down with IBB,’’ stressing that the former President gave his visit on IBB much publicity to let every Nigerian know that they have reached a pact.
The All Progressives Congress, (APC) chieftain noted that though the presidential villa was rattled by the seeming alliance between Obasanjo and IBB, two strong forces with military background, it was obvious that IBB will never work with Chief Obasanjo.
“If IBB had any plot at all, it was how to elbow Obasanjo out of the hold on the government and relevance in the villa and create a footing for himself, his cronies in the military and the polity. So, Obasanjo went with his heart open, not knowing that the man is the Maradona of all times, and he (IBB) dribbled him,” Maduafokwa surmised.
He said that it was in the false belief that he has an ally in IBB that “Obasanjo issued a statement recently trying to engineer crisis against the presidency, saying that he was no longer electable; that it is time for him to pack and go, as well as talking about an interim government.
“That was when IBB himself engineered the President’s visit through his contacts. Visiting IBB was not a product of the Presidency; rather, it was engineered through the same network for the President to visit IBB because if you are talking to IBB you are equally talking with General Abdusalami Abubakar and military apparatchik.
“So, immediately after that statement from Obasanjo against the presidency, it became obvious that a counter statement should come from somebody of note, somebody who has the same or even more clout than the former President,” he stated, adding it was the reason, shortly after the meeting with President Jonathan in Minna, IBB called on Nigerians to support Jonathan.
Maduafokwa, who is also called IBB, declared that by applying his superior understanding of Nigeria politics and intricacies of Abuja power play, Babangida has removed Obasanjo farther away from relevance in the presidency.