I never requested to visit IBB –Jonathan


President Goodluck Jonathan has denied that he ever made a request to break the Ramadan fast with former military President Ibrahim Babangida in his Minna home, not to talk of his request being turned down by the retired Army General.
“As much as he respects and holds former President Babangida in high regard, President Jonathan has never indicated any interest in visiting him at Minna during the current Ramadan.
“Therefore, there could not have been any ‘turning down’ of a visit by President Jonathan by the former president,” Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He was reacting to a newspaper report which claimed that Babangida turned down the request by Jonathan to visit him (Babangida) to show him “the spirit of comradeship” during Ramadan.
Abati reiterated that it was the tradition of the Jonathan administration to regularly invite Muslims from all strata of society to break their fast with him at the Presidential Villa during the month of Ramadan, and not the other way round.
He condemned the decision of the editors of the newspaper to publish “such arrant falsehood” in spite of vigorous rebuttal, saying it was part of the effort to sow the seeds of discord in the polity.
“Although the newspaper cites a phantom ‘reliable Presidency source’ and ‘a source close to the former President’ to buttress its fictitious report, the editors of Peoples Daily know full well that they can never prove the veracity of the false claim that President Jonathan either offered to break fast with General Babangida in Minna or was turned down by the former president.
“We therefore demand a full retraction of the totally false report which demeans the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an apology by the newspaper,” Abati added.


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