After 40 years of marriage, former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida lost his wife and mother of his four children, Maryam Babaginda to ovarian cancer on 27th December 2009 at the age of 61.
It has been five years and IBB, as he is fondly called now 73, hasn't made an attempt to re-marry.
In an interview aired last Wednesday on Channels TV, the former military head of state explains why he has not re-married.
Read the excerpts below:
On what life has been like without her: He said "She was a real companion who got to understand and accept me for what I am and tried to make the best of me and that is what I am missing. She was the one who would look at me and say ‘you’re wrong’ and I had to accept and bury my pride and I will say ‘sorry, you’re right’. That is the sort of counseling I am missing now".
On how he spends time with the children and grand children to try and fill the vacuum that she’s left: "The children are doing very well and they have become a sort of friends to me. We sit down and talk and sometimes we disagree. My greatest source of pleasure now is seeing my grand children coming to me to say good night or when they return from school and they come to greet me. It reminded me of my time when I was growing up".
On why he hasn't remarried: "I will tell you an interesting story. There was a woman I was joking with and I said, ‘Okay, why don’t you marry me?’ and she said, ‘No I won’t’. And I asked her why? She said, ‘I am not sure I can spoil you the way your wife used to spoil you; so don’t put any idea into my head’.
However Babangida in the same interview on Channels TV, spoke about his preferred candidate in the forth-coming presidential elections.