The alarm the last week appearance of Ambassador Babagana Kingibe’s 2019 presidential bid campaign posters elicited in the deepest recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa not died down despite the robust denial Kingibe issued at the weekend.
Ironically, on the same day (last week Thursday) Kingibe placed full-page colour advertorials in almost all the major newspapers in the country to deny that he has presidential ambitions, his personalized branded and customized Indomie Noodles bearing his name and picture have appeared on a large scale in markets across the country. They are on sale at the massively subsidized rate of N1, 500 instead of the market price ofN3, 150. But this has triggered another alarm at the presidency.
It is not known if the Babagana Kingibe-Nodomie Noodles will remain on sale for long or they will be withdrawn too now that he has issued advertorials in to state categorically that he habours no presidential ambition for 2019 or even ever after.
He issued the advertorials to place on record his denial that he was behind the campaign posters that flooded Nigeria’s major cities such as Maiduguri, Abuja, Lagos, Asaba, Kano, Uyo, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ilorin, Lokoja, etc. Remarkably, the same major cities are the ones where the Kingibe-Ndomie Noodles appeared for sale in the markets.
Sources close to Kingibe confirmed that had a lengthy chat with President Mohammadu Buhari early last week to pledge his loyalty and support to the President and to deny that he habours any presidential ambitions for 2019. He assured Buhari specifically that neither he nor his political associates were behind the appearance of those 2019 political campaign materials in circulation.
Mallam Abba Kyari, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, who was present during Buhari’s chat with Kingibe expressed serious worries and disappointment over Kingibe’s alleged presidential ambitions, as he is an uncommon member of the inner circle of advisers, whether formal or informal, to President Buhari. But Kingibe assuaged his fears and promised to place the advertorials which appeared on Thursday February 1, 2018 to prove his loyalty to Buhari.