Former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has opened up on why he has not taken another wife since the death of his wife, Hajiya Maryam Babangida.
IBB, 80, also spoke on the kind of president he wants for Nigeria in 2023.
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The former military president made the revelations in an exclusive interview with Trust TV.
Maryam Babangida died on December 27, 2009, at the age of 61.
Maryam, who was Nigeria’s First Lady between 1985 and 1993, died at the University of California’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre (JCCC) in Los Angeles, United States after battling ovarian cancer for years.
Since her death over 12 years ago, many Nigerians had thought that IBB would take another wife to keep him company but that has not happened to date.
At some point, there was a rumour that IBB was going to take a new wife but he didn’t.
But when asked during the latest interview why he has not taken another wife many years after the death of Hajiya Maryam, IBB said: “No, I didn’t do it, you would have known.
“The media still snoop around me, they should have known. I haven’t. It is a matter of choice; I decided to honour her by being not a bachelor but being unmarried.”
My choice for 2023 presidency
It could be recalled that IBB had in interviews last year outlined some attributes of his ideal president in 2023.
The former Nigerian leader, when asked by Trust TV to mention the particular person that fits his ideal president in 2023, said: “It is not who do I have in mind but who fits in; any person who fits in within these criteria, then he is the right person as long as he is a Nigerian; he is a politician, he is not old like I am; he is very conversant with the country, he communicates, he is a very good communicator.
“He should be able to communicate because a president should be able to walk into a group of people and talk to them on issues concerning Nigeria; not all the time but most of the time.
“He must have somebody he knows in every part of the country. It is not a tall order.
“You could limit it to states, you could limit it to local governments even to the wards if you can but somebody such that once you hear the name, it is somebody you will say, yes, I have heard that name before either in the country or in his profession; if he is a doctor, a journalist or whatever, all areas, we have heard the name before; okay then I will make an effort to know more about him.”
When asked if he sees such a person among the current political office holders such as governors, ministers and others, he said: “Well I believe the process will take care of that.
“Within the process, of those people you mentioned now, there are people who could fit into this category and I believe the process can take care of that.”
Daily Trust reports that some people from the ruling APC and leading opposition PDP have indicated interest in the Presidency.
APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, and former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu have indicated interest.
Many groups are also campaigning for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ex- Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
The full interview will be aired on “Reminiscences” a programme on Trust TV today by 7pm and published in tomorrow’s edition of Daily Trust on Sunday. Keep a date!