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. ‘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 her husband 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,” she said.