A few hours after President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari took a swipe at former leaders, ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida fired back.
He asked Dr. Jonathan to learn to accept criticisms and threatened to expose the “holier-than thou-attitude” of Gen. Buhari.
Gen. Babangida, who spoke through Prince Kassim Afegbua, his media adviser, reminded Gen. Buhari that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
He also advised Dr. Jonathan to look elsewhere, not him, if he is blaming past leaders that are criticising him.
Kassim said: “On President Jonathan, there is nothing wrong in criticism if it is constructive and in the interest of the country. Gen. Babangida is one unique former President who does not criticise a sitting President as a matter of courtesy.
“If President Jonathan is blaming past leaders, he should look elsewhere, certainly not IBB.
“On Gen. Buhari, it is not in IBB’s tradition to take up issues with his colleague former President. But for the purpose of record, we are conversant with Gen. Buhari’s so-called holier-than-thou attitude.
“He is a one-time Minister of Petroleum and we have good records of his tenure as minister.
“Secondly, he also presided over the Petroleum Trust Fund ( PTF) which records we also have.
“We challenge him to come out with clean hands in those two portfolios he headed. Or, we will help him to expose his. “records of performance during those periods.”
Those who live in glass houses do not throw stones. Gen. Buhari should be properly guided.”
It would also be recalled that Buhari’s present protege, the controversial former minister of the FCT, Malam Nasir Elrufai, had in October of 2010 accused Buhari of a litany of improper acts. To quote Elrufai, he had said of Buhari that ” That same prejudice accounts for the baseless claims of corruption Buhari levels against El Rufai. The fact is that Mallam El-Rufai served Nigeria with integrity and has never been convicted of any corrupt act.
He is boldly contesting the false charges which the Yar’Adua government filed against him in court. It is strange that a Buhari who protests when unproven claims of N2.5 billion (about US $3billion in those days!) missing oil funds are levelled against him can gleefully elevate similar claims into facts when it concerns another.
How would Buhari feel if the corruption allegations made against him by Group Captain Usman Jibrin, then a board member of PTF, are today reported as if they were proven facts? So much for “corrupt background” and “shoddy performance”.
Mallam El-Rufai wishes to remind General Buhari that he has remained perpetually unelectable because his record as military head of state, and afterwards, is a warning that many Nigerians have wisely heeded. His insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known.
In 1984, Buhari allowed 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new. Against all canons of legal decency, he used retroactive laws to execute three young men for drug-peddling after they were convicted by a military tribunal and not regular courts of law.
Buhari was so high handed that he gave himself and his officials immunity even from truthful reporting. That obnoxious Decree 4, against which truth was no defence, was used to jail journalists and attempt to cow the media as a whole. That tyrannical legislation shows the essence of his intolerance. These are facts of recent history.