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Gov Aliyu is biting the finger that fed him – IBB’s campaigner

And if Babangida wants to make his son the governor, it is as simple as ABCD.  After all, it was the same Babangidda who made…

And if Babangida wants to make his son the governor, it is as simple as ABCD.  After all, it was the same Babangidda who made Babangida Aliyu the governor of Niger State; he didn’t contest primary elections of the PDP. He did not resign his position as federal permanent secretary as required by law, yet Babangida and Obasanjo overlooked all these and made Babangida Aliyu Governor of Niger State. It beats my imagination that the governor will descend so low  to be using his political thugs to attack an elder statesman like Babangida for no reason. We know his agenda and we know his mission and his agenda is to contest the presidency of Nigeria in 2011. And he believes that if he does not tarnish the image of Babangida, he will not succeed. This is the same person who went to ABU Zaria and abused our traditional rulers, he called them all sorts of names. This is the same governor who has been using state resources to go to universities giving lectures, instead of him to concentrate on providing the most needed dividends of democracy to Nigerlites. He should channel his energy and resources towards developing Niger State and not to use the state’s resources to campaign for the presidency.

WT: But the Niger State government has dissociated itself from the person who made that statement.

Jallo: We are in a political era. There is no way that either Governor Babangida Aliyu or Niger State government will come out openly to admit that they sponsored that special adviser to make that statement. But I know, without fear of contradiction, that that same governor’s aide will not make that statement without the support and endorsement of Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu. The governor is all out to fight everybody in Niger but he is very unpopular.  He doesn’t have large followers because he was imposed on the people. Just about a few days ago, retired General Wushishi, an elder statesman from Niger State, was abused and booed when he appeared before the judicial commission of enquiry by thugs. So, Babagida Aliyu’s attacks are not only on Ibrahim Babangida but on all the elder statesmen in Niger state. Don’t forget, it was the same Ibrahim Babangida that accelerated his rise in the civil service and he became a permanent secretary in record time. Yet he is biting the fingers that fed him.

WT: One of the disagreements that the governor had with Babangida is that he allegedly stopped paying the salaries of the ex-president’s personal aides, and picking the salary bills of Al-Amin International school.

Jallo: We all know how government is being run. This allegation is a big lie! No governor in his right senses will use state resources to pay for the private engagement of somebody else. If they had the evidence of this allegation, they should have taken it to the judicial commission of enquiry. General Babangida and his family will not descend so low as to allow anybody to come and pay the salaries of their teachers. Maryam Babangida is an international philanthropist, she has been helping schools, Islamic organizations, the needy and the less privileged. That allegation is being made to win cheap publicity and to tarnish the image of IBB’s family.

WT: Earlier, you said that Babangida made it possible for Babangida Aliyu to be governor of Niger State. But it was widely reported that Alhassan Guna was the one Babangida backed and not the present governor.

Jallo: No, you see in politics, the more you see, the less you understand. During the primaries, there were a lot of problems, so it was during the stalement that Babagida Aliyu was brought in. And it was former Governor Kure who went to his house in Abuja in the night and told him the decision of Ibrahim Babangida to make him the governor of Niger State. From there, Kure took him to Obasanjo and that night he was endorsed two weeks to the primaries, so he did not even contest the primaries; he did not even resign as permanent secretary properly. So, it was Ibrahim Babangida who made him what he is in life! Even in the civil service, it was during Babangida’s regime that he was given rapid promotion, rising to the position of a permanent secretary; if not he could have just been a director now. And it is the same Babangida now that he is abusing because he wants to contest the presidency in 2011. He has been going round holding meetings, giving lectures everywhere using the state’s resources to campaign for his presidency.

WT: That is what is being alleged that Kure did. He is accused of using state resources to campaign for Babangida’s previous presidential campaigns.

Jallo: (Cuts in) You see, Kure  didn’t do that; if he had done it, they would have brought evidence. I happened to be a prime mover of IBB-for-president campaign and we started right from year 2000 up to 2007. Nobody gave us a dime! Everybody that you saw campaigning for Babangida used his or her own resources. It was people of like minds who love Babanida that rallied round and spent their money to campaign for Babangida. Neither Babangida as a person, nor any local government, state government has never sponsored the Babangida political organization. We spent our own resources to campaign for IBB and if he is still interested in running for the presidency of Nigeria, we will still use our resources to campaign for him.

WT: Just as you accused Governor Babangida Aliyu of using his  special adviser on youth affairs to embarrass former President Ibrahim Babangida, will I be correct to say that IBB is also using you to get back to the governor?

Jallo: I swear to my Holy Qur’an I have not spoken to Babangida on this issue. Throughout my days when I was driving his campaign to be president, I never inform Babangida before holding any press interview. I know the right thing to do. I’m a die-hard supporter of IBB and I will not wait for him to tell me to reply any of his critics. It is my responsibility to defend IBB anytime any day. And I swear to God IBB has never given me a kobo, nor has he told me to attack anybody.

WT: Are we to believe that you are one of those so-called IBB boys?

Jallo: I have never served in IBB’s regime. The IBB boys that you are referring to, I believe, are those ministers, governors who served under him. I never did. I just love IBB and what he did for Nigeria as a president. When he was in government, my twin brother Hussaini and I published a book on him in Hausa. We called it Mulkin Babangida. We were about to launch the book then he stepped aside. But I didn’t get to meet Babangida until when he left office, sometime in December of that year, that was when I first met Babangida.

WT: Did you benefit from his regime as a businessman by way of contracts and other patronage?

Jallo: I didn’t benefit one naira during his regime. Most of the period of his regime, I was a student and when I finished, I worked as a civil servant with New Nigerian Newspapers limited for two years, then I moved to RIMS Merchant Bank where I spent about seven years, then I resigned to my private practice and business. I have never benefited from his regime directly but I benefited from his dividends of development in Nigeria because IBB brought about the newbreed era of politics. Without this newbreed era, people like would not have been in politics. And IBB brought about a lot of developments in Nigeria.