I didn’t turn down Jonathan’s dinner request –Babangida

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Wednesday cleared the air on the allegation that he turned down President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to break fast with him, saying the President never made such request, let alone having it turned down.
A national daily on Tuesday published a story that Babangida turned down a request from President Jonathan to break fast with him, a story which was denied by the President, with a request made on the newspaper to retract the story.
However, the newspaper in its story of Wednesday, insisted that the story was true, daring the Presidency to do its worst.
The man at the centre of the debacle, Babangida, however, clarified the issue on Wednesday, saying the story was false in its entirety.
He disclosed that the President did not make any such request on him, but that if such was made, he would be willing to oblige as it would be a honour to host a sitting president.
Babangida, in a statement by his media office, said he holds the president in high esteem and will not embarrass the President in anyway.
The statement reads; “The attention of General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been drawn to a newspaper publication stating that the former President turned down a breakfast invitation from His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To state the obvious, the said report is UTTERLY FALSE.
“Former President Ibrahim Babangida in his usual humility respects the person and office of the President of the country, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.
“There was no time that the President requested for a breakfast meeting with General IBB, let alone turned down by the former President.
“In fact, former President IBB had visited President Goodluck Jonathan more than twice since his assumption of office, meetings which afforded the two leaders the opportunity to brainstorm on the challenges confronting the country.
“It is, therefore, very unfair to the persons of former President General Ibrahim Babangida and President Goodluck Jonathan to be portrayed as if there was bad blood between them.
“Having served this country before and knowing the enormity of the challenges of governance, General Ibrahim Babangida will be more than willing to have unconditional breakfast meeting or any other meeting for that matter with the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Daily independent
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