- Prominent Nigerian billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, has congratulated former military president Ibrahim Babangida as he clocks 80
- In celebration of IBB's 80th birthday, Otedola revealed the crucial background role he played during the political crisis trailing Yar'Adua's health in 2010
- The business mogul said it was IBB who advised Jonathan to sit on Yar'Adua's chair instead of his own at the FEC meeting to let Nigerians know he was in charge
Lagos, Nigeria - Femi Otedola, a billionaire business mogul, has felicitated with the former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, who is marking his 80th birthday on Tuesday, August 17.
Channel TV reported that Otedola in a message on Sunday, August 15, wished Babangida more rewarding years.
Legit.ng gathers that he also thanked IBB for the role he played during the political crisis caused by the prolonged sickness of the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.
Sit on Yar’Adua's empty chair
In 2010, Yar'Adua was flown abroad for medical treatment. He, however, failed to formally transfer power to his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, thereby causing a vacuum at the presidency.
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Worried by the political tension caused by the development, Otedola who had visited Babangida to commiserate with him over his wife's death asked the elder statesman for the way out of the political logjam.
Otedola said he asked Babangida how the country could get out of the crisis, emphasising that the political heat at the time was “too much”.
He said IBB told him:
"Femi, advise your friend that when he gets to the Council Chambers next week for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, he should go and sit on the President’s chair."
The billionaire business mogul said he went on to deliver Babangida’s message to Jonathan who eventually heeded the advice.
This, according to Channels TV, is contained in Otedola's forthcoming book on business lessons which is scheduled for release in November.
Yar’Adua eventually died on May 5, 2010, and Jonathan was sworn in as his replacement.
IBB rules out Atiku, Tinubu from 2023 presidential race
Meanwhile, the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and a former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar's ambitions to become president in 2023, might have hit the wall.
Both Atiku and Tinubu would be in their 70s in 2023.
2023: I'm the one IBB has in mind, Jonathan's former aide declares
Meanwhile, Dr Doyin Okupe, a former aide to ex-President Jonathan, has said he is the one Babangida had in mind during his recent interview where he talked about the 2023 presidency.
Okupe said IBB must definitely have him in mind, saying he is the most qualified person to be the next president, followed by the current vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
He also ruled out a northerner as the next president, saying the north would have served eight years by the time President Buhari completes his tenure in 2023.