Nigeria’s former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) clocks 74 years. He spoke with Journalists in his Hilltop residence in Minna on wide range of issues. Read his response on how he survived a coup 25 years ago.
Cast your mind back 25 years ago when your friend, Gideon Orkar planned to terminate your life. Today you are celebrating your 74th birthday, how do you feel that in the last 25 years, despite attempts to eliminate your life?
IBB- I will continue to remain grateful to God. The incident strengthens my belief that no matter what happens, if God doesn’t will it, nothing will happen to you. So it is a matter of believing that no matter what happens, either good or bad, nothing happens without the approval of Allah. I am grateful to God for sparing my life up to this time despite what we went through. Those of us who participated in combat we say thank God. I did not die during the civil war in 1969 which was some 21 years before the 1990 direct attempt on my life. God has kept me going, so I am very grateful, God has kept me and I remain grateful to Him and grateful to you all for your support.
Q – So how did you escape Okar’s bullet?
IBB – (Adjust seat with calm and ponder for awhile) I can remember fairly well, I had some loyal officers who are supposed to be my protectors and my body guards. Initially they told me to leave but I told them no, I am not leaving for anywhere but they remained stubborn and later I took my family outside Dodan barracks and joined my guards. So we went out of Dodan barracks and we went to a safe house where we got in contact with loyal troops. May God bless Sani Abacha. Sani Abacha was the Chief of Army Staff, he got in touch with me, I got in touch with him and we sat down and talk on what we were going to do. Abacha and I rallied round the loyal troops and then I left my state house and joined Abacha in his house. (Pause) That is what happened.