President Muhammadu Buhari has said he was removed from office 31 years ago because he was planning to purge the military hierarchy of corruption.
Buhari, who has not spared the military even in his ongoing anti-corruption war, said senior military leaders, led by former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Aliyu Gusau, removed him in August 1985, to save themselves from his wrath.
In an exclusive interview published in the current edition of The Interview magazine, Buhari challenged Babangida and Gusau to tell the truth on why they carried out the coup against him.
“I learnt,” he said, “that Aliyu Gusau, who was in charge of intelligence, took import licence from the ministry of commerce which was in charge of supplies and gave it to Alhaji Mai Deribe.
“It was worth N100,000, a lot of money at that time. I confronted them and took the case to the Army council in a memo…I wanted Gusau punished.”
A statement by the Managing Director/Editor-in-chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, said: “This is one edition that won’t let sleeping dogs lie.”
Babangida had told The Interview in its December edition that there was nothing in the memo which Buhari said he submitted to the army council.
“Don’t forget that I was one of Buhari’s closest aides. I was the chief of army staff. So, I had an important position, an important role to play within that administration. I don’t think it had to do with a memo,” Babangida said.
But in a tone which revealed that the past may neither have been forgotten nor forgiven, Buhari challenged Babangida and Gusau to come clean on why they removed him, asking The Interview to choose whose story to believe.
He also fielded questions about his health, the 2016 budget, the pace of his government, former President Goodluck Jonathan and why Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola was handed three ministerial portfolios.
The edition also features interviews with Liberian presidential hopeful, Mr. Winston Tubman, and retired Justice Dahiru Saleh, the controversial judge whose court nailed June 12.
And in an interview which indicates that the battle for 2019 could be well and truly underway, pharmacist and rotarian, Dr. Mike Omotosho, aims at the Kwara State government house.
His road map would give rivals sleepless nights.