"" Buhari will arrest anybody, including his relations, if found on the wrong side of the law" - Ibrahim Babankowa | Talk With Da Silva

Buhari will arrest anybody, including his relations, if found on the wrong side of the law" - Ibrahim Babankowa

Ibrahim Babankowa
A retired Police commissioner Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Babankowa  in a recent interview with Vanguard revealed details about President Buhari's diet.

Babankowa's name might not be familiar, but his action can never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria . It was him, shortly after the 1966 coup, who discovered the bodies of the Prime Minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa and his Finance Minister, Chief Okotie Eboh, who had been taken by the coupists to the outskirts of Lagos, Sango-Ota, and shot dead. 
A retiree and elder statesman, Babankowa is a close associate of the President Muhammadu Buhari, for the past 43 years. In this interview at his residence in Hadejia Road, Kano, he revealed inept details about our new presidents, adding that the Buhari administration would not disappoint Nigerians.
Read excerpts after the cut:
Q:Before he emerged as his party candidate, not many believed he would make it to the presidency, having failed three times before?

I was 100% sure he was going to win when he said he was going to contest the presidency for the fourth time. I knew if he could get the party’s nod, he would win. The reasons are simple. The mood in the country favoured change. So whoever that was brought by the opposition, once he was popular like Buhari, I knew people will vote for such a person. By providence, he happened to be the popular choice, and so, it was no surprise that he won.
As a Muslim, let me be a bit religious. Islam teaches me not to give up on a thing especially if I strongly believe in that thing or issue. Just keep on praying, work hard towards the set goal, then you will surely succeed. As a Muslim, we don’t lose hope, provided you work hard and pray hard too. That is exactly what happened to Buhari. This is history that was just made. I have not seen anybody in this country who contested the presidency four times like Buhari . He is the only one who contested and won. In all the three generations that I have witnessed, there is none that has made this kind of history Buhari has made.
I have seen three generations now. I met the Sardauna (Sir Ahmadu Bello), Awolowo (Chief Obafemi), Azikiwe (Dr. Nnamdi), Tafawa Balewa, that is the first republic. We met them, worked with them before that time ended. Then, coming to our generation, a different type of generation, synonymous with coups and counter coups. The 1966 took place during our generation. I was in service at that time. We took part in the activities which followed after the coup. That was the time I came in contact with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Q: What rank was he when your path crossed with his?
I met him when he was a major.

Q: How did you meet him?
I met him through a friend, the late Alhaji Salianu, a retired commissioner of police. They came from the same village, Daura. And Salianu happened to be my squad mate. It was through him that I met Buhari. Thereafter we became very close. I will say we are not friends per se, we are more than that. We are actually more of confidants than friends. I understand him very well, I believe he too understands me, otherwise, we would not have been together all this while, for more than 40 years, without any rancour between us. There is nothing that is hidden between the two of us.
The only thing hidden, I guess, are those things that are yet to happen. There is absolutely nothing about Buhari that I don’t know, just as there is nothing about me, he cannot tell you off handedly.

Q: Any memorable events between you and him in the more than 40 years of being together?
There are so many things that happened between us in the last 40 years. However, I know that Buhari is generally misunderstood by many people. Unless you come close to him, you really cannot say exactly who he is. He is a man who is extremely hardworking, committed to his job. During the civil war, I was attached to the Army at Number One Sector, that is Enugu, not as a soldier. In those days, when you are attached to the Army, our duties, among other things, was to evacuate the wounded, particularly the old, young and women, at the war front. The army had no time to look after the wounded at that time, so the responsibility fell on us, the police. 
The police would look after the wounded, feed them, care for them. So, I was there with Buhari at the Number One Sector. From the time he came to the war front, till the war ended, he never for one day returned home to see his family, neither did he made any call to them. That is how committed Buhari can be. That is the type of person he was then, now and tomorrow. That is one of the reasons I respect the man. The man does not smoke, drink, neither does he womanise. Even as a young man, he was not sociable, so, it was difficult for him to start having affairs. You cannot have a string of girlfriends if you are not sociable. He is a quiet individual. That is why I said he is not sociable. I was at his wedding. As a matter of fact, I took some of my friends from here (Hadejia Road, Kano) to Daura for the wedding. He is not the type of person looking for wealth or the affluence of life. He has always lived spartan life. 
Another thing most people do not know about him is the fact that, if he trusts you, no matter any contrary opinion, he sticks to you, until you prove him wrong. I think that is why most of his friends are still with him till date. Buhari will never condone wrong doing. Initially, I must say that Buhari was never interested in politics, but because of the deteriorating situation of the country, he was forced to get into it. I must say that I was one of those who dragged him into politics, and that was how he joined All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) at that time. He did not like what was going on, yet he didn’t want to be dragged into politics. The first day he took the defunct ANPP card in Daura, I was with him. That is why I said a lot do not know who this man is. He does not want and can’t harm anybody.
"Buhari will arrest anybody, including his relations, if found on the wrong side of the law"

Q: But it was said he may Islamize Nigeria if he becomes President?

How? That is pure nonsensical. Buhari Islamize Nigeria? How? Which way is he going to achieve that? Is he a sheikh or a mallam? He has no such intention. If there is any allegation like that to be levelled against anybody, it should be directed at former President Ibrahim Babangida, not Buhari. It was Babangida that took Nigeria to Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). He is not a fanatic. He is a Muslim but not a fanatic.

Q: When last did you speak with him?
We still spoke last week. For example, I will be going to see him next week, that is why I said if you on insist of having this interview, you could meet me in Abuja before you came here today. We are always together. When he became the presidential candidate of the ANPP, throughout the campaign period, we were always together.

Q: What is his best food?
Buhari is somebody who will not miss his three square meals, however small the meals may be, just to put something in the stomach, he must eat something. He does not joke with that. Even if we are traveling, provision is always made for that in the car. Do you know Alikama? That is wheat. There is something we called Tuwo Alikama. He likes it very much, with different types of soup. It could be okro, or any other soup.

Q: How about drinks?
He does not drink anything outside Fanta, Coca Cola and water. His love for Nigeria is something else. He is always looking for what he can give rather than what he can get and that is why he has nothing, compared to our so-called leaders. He has only three houses, two in Kaduna and one in Daura. The one in Daura is just a two-bedroom bungalow. One of the two houses in Kaduna is for his visitors while he occupies one.

Q: How about the one he is occupying in Abuja?
He does not have any house in Abuja.

Q: How about the one in Asokoro?
That was a hired house. He rented it. It was a friend who rented it for him because he could not pay the rent. I must say this, so that it will not surprise Nigerians when it does happen. Buhari will arrest anybody, including his relations, if found on the wrong side of the law. Be it his brother, sister, Buhari will have him or her arrested and dealt with, according to the law. His family, of course know the kind of person he is. Indeed, I have seen him do something similar to a member of his family. It is something I witnessed.

Q: Would you share that with us?
No, that wont be part of this interview. I won’’t tell you.

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