"Former military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida, has again come under intense pressure to quit the 2011 presidential race,
following indications that his camp is being linked with the Abuja bomb blasts of October 1.
Sources in Abuja’s political circles confirmed that besides the arrest and interrogation of the Director General of the Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Organisation, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, in connection with the bomb blasts, there have been other sources linking the former leader’s camp with the incidents.
The former military ruler said on Thursday that it would be idiotic to link him with the bomb blasts.
Before the bomb blast incident, some former loyalists of the former General popularly called IBB Boys were said to have asked the former head of state to back out of the presidential race so as not to avoid being rubbished by a non-General.
It was also gathered that some northern politicians have calculated that the negative effects the bomb blast saga could have on Babangida may add to the political burden he already has to carry.
“Those seeking the consensus option among northern presidential aspirants appeared to be getting worried about what they called political liabilities of the former military ruler. They are coming to the realisation that somehow, the General has to be made to face the reality of dropping out of the contest,” a source close to the political settings in Abuja said.
Sources also said that the General is under pressure to quit the race as a result of his alleged misdeeds in office.
It was gathered that the man is coming under pressure even from unusual quarters, following what is called unabating hostility to his presidential bid.
“Several persons are pointing attention to the fact that everywhere Babangida turns, he seems to be facing hostility. If you talk of his economic sense, people will easily point to the $12.4 billion Gulf Oil windfall. When you talk of political experience, people will easily remind you of the June 12 election annulment and when you talk of his experience in security, people quickly remind you of the bombing of Dele Giwa and the killing of a crop of soldiers in the Hercules C130 plane crash in Lagos. It is an all round crisis for us at the Babangida front,” a source said.
Another source said that the bomb attacks on Abuja on October 1 had not only reawakened the concerns about security in Nigeria, but also appeared to point some fingers at Babangida.
“People are saying that why should he be the one to lament insecurity in the land when bombing was introduced to Nigeria during his regime when Dele Giwa was bombed,” another source said, adding that the arrest of Chief Dokpesi was another dent on the IBB 2011 campaign.
Only recently, the security agencies were said to have discovered of $20 million traced to the account of one politician who is involved in the presidential campaign of an aspirant."