‘Kin­gibe never aban­doned Abi­ola’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Lat­i­fat Opoola

Ha­jiya Ireti Kin­gibe, for­mer wife of one-time Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion, Baba­gana Kin­gibe, has de­nied that her hus­band aban­doned MKO Abi­ola at the height of the strug­gle to val­i­date the re­sult of the June 12 elec­tion.

She stated this in the cur­rent edi­tion of the In­ter­view mag­a­zine while re­spond­ing to crit­i­cisms that her for­mer hus­band did not de­serve the na­tional hon­our of Grand Com­man­der of the Or­der of the Niger (GCON) granted to him ear­lier in the year be­cause he be­trayed Abi­ola, Ireti Kin­gibe said such crit­i­cisms were “un­fair.”

She noted that it was in fact Abi­ola who left her for­mer hus­band in the cold.

“In truth, Baba Kin­gibe only went to see Abi­ola and found out that Abi­ola had left the coun­try. And when Abi­ola called from abroad, it was me he got” she said.

“Those days we had land­lines. Baba (Kin­gibe) was not at home. I picked up the phone and he (Abi­ola) said to me in Yoruba that I should tell my hus­band that a bird does not tell an­other bird that a stone is com­ing. So, when Baba came back, I said Abi­ola called and this is the mes­sage he left for you.

“Baba said to me, ‘did he call to apol­o­gize?’ I said no, he did not call to apol­o­gize. He just gave an ex­pla­na­tion or a ra­tio­nal­iza­tion for his ac­tion and this is what he said. He ‘no, no! You didn’t un­der­stand his Yoruba well. I said you can go and find out from any­body,” she added.

She also said Abi­ola ig­nored her hus­band’s ad­vice to land in Kano be­cause of the per­cep­tion that was fast gain­ing ground that he was “a Yoruba pres­i­dent”.

Ireti Kin­gibe, who is run­ning for the sole sen­a­to­rial seat on the plat­form of the APC in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT), said Kin­gibe was “a hostage” of the gov­ern­ment of the for­mer mil­i­tary head of state, Gen­eral Sani Abacha, say­ing he was mis­er­able through­out and only gained his free­dom after Abacha’s death.

“It was either Kin­gibe would stay in Abacha’s gov­ern­ment or Abacha was go­ing to bury him alive.”

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