Some days ago it was reported that the former military president, Rtd. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), was seriously ill. Although the real cause of the sickness could not be ascertained, the source of the information told ThisDay that besides the fact that it was age-related, the former Nigerian leader could be suffering from a relapse of the radiculopathy disease which has troubled him ever since he was head of state.
IBB however, broke silence about his health condition while speaking with some reporters on Sunday, April 24, in his home in Minna, the Niger state capital. He said:
“It is true I have minimised my appearance at public functions because of my ill health, but not to the level of incapacitation as being widely circulated in some media. For me, it doesn’t shock me neither bother me because I know I must go and meet God my Creator.
“There is nothing really to worry about, my religion has told me. Well, as a Muslim I strongly believe everybody will die. Everybody will die and everybody has to die. It could be now or in 100 years time or two days to come. But it doesn’t matter. Everybody must die.
“You can see me attending to people, after which we all go in for our lunch and have our prayers before I retire for my siesta. I am not incapacitated. Nobody is above sickness or death because nobody is above what God has destined. Everybody will fall sick or will die or either of their relations must die.”
Babangida further made it known that the injury he sustained in his right leg following a bullet which pierced him during the Civil War has been with him for quite sometime and its regular relapsing is an expected phenomenon. Hear him:
“When I was the president of the country, I had to travel to Germany where the sickness was diagnosed as Radiculopathy, which has troubled me since and as such relapses”.
IBB also revealed that Nigeria had a bright future and the dreams of Nigerians to declare their independence was worthwhile. “I still believe very strongly in this country, which is further demonstrated by the people of these great nation because they are very industrious people, hardworking. That gives me the hope for Nigeria”, he stated.
Recall that there was palpable fear in the family of Babangida in November 2011 over his failing health and in October 2014 when it was rumoured that he may not come back to Nigeria alive as he spent nearly two months receiving treatment in Germany.
Muhammed Babangida, his son, recently confirmed his father’s illness, adding that IBB underwent surgery and is recovering.