Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that he was removed from office 31 years ago because he was planning to purge the military hierarchy of corruption.
Buhari 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 license 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.”
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.
Buhari came into power on December 31, 1983, after he and his loyalists overthrew the government of Shehu Shagari.
Two years later, on August 27, 1985, Buhari’s rule was ended by Babangida in a coup.