The former secretary to the government of the federation, Babagana Kingibe, says he knows “nothing” about the 2019 presidential campaign posters being circulated with his image.
“I am experienced enough in politics to know that you do not start a political campaign with posters without talking to anyone about your ambition,” he said in a paid advert in national newspapers.
The posters started appearing in Abuja and Lagos recently, fuelling speculation that Kingibe, who was running mate to MKO Abiola in the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, was preparing to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari for the APC ticket.
He also linked the posters to allegations that he took money from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), pointing out that the events cannot be “coincidental”.
Kingibe wrote: “My attention has been drawn to the posters being circulated in some cities across the country purporting that I am campaigning to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2019 elections. I want to state clearly that I know nothing about the posters. They were neither produced nor authorised by me. I do not know how the posters came about and I know nothing about how they were circulated in those cities. I am experienced enough in politics to know that you do not start a political campaign with posters without talking to anyone about your ambition.
“In any case, I want to state very clearly that I DO NOT have the intention or the desire to contest for any elective post in 2019 or thereafter. I am fully in support of President Muhammadu Buhari and his policies, which I believe will rescue Nigeria from accumulated decay, loss of moral compass and leadership failure. I fervently believe that Nigeria is safe in President Buhari’s hands and he needs to complete and build upon the solid foundations that he is laying.”
He also addressed the NIA allegations.
“I am also very much aware of fictitious petitions and statements made to the EFCC and House of Representatives Committee on Security and National Intelligence linking me to some claims of impropriety. The phantom allegations and the pasting of posters are too striking to be co-incidental. This is a miscalculated attempt to malign and defame me,” he said.
“I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to please ignore all these fabrications and falsehoods.”
Kingibe was the chairman of the panel set up by Buhari to review the operations of NIA following the discovery of the agency’s funds in a flat in Ikoyi, Lagos.