Ibu and Nasheed: Best of friends since childhood

(From L-R) President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu), former President Mohamed Nasheed and former First Lady Laila Ali Abdulla.(Photo/Twitter)

They met when they were just a couple of 10-year-olds. This great childhood friendship remains true to this day, even after 40 years.

These two friends worked side-by-side in the political field. One of them was elected President of the Republic of Maldives in 2008. And the other has been elected to the same position, exactly 10 years later.

Parliament representative for the Hinnavaru constituency, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) says his best friend, former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had always been a good friend who provided the best of advice.

Ibu says their friendship is so strong, they intuitively know what the other is thinking.

President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) (R) and former President Mohamed Nasheed (L) pictured during their younger days. (Photo/Twitter/Ibrahim Mohamed Solih)

“We are closer friends than people who just supply each other with advice. We intuitively know each other’s next step. I know President Nasheed’s opinion on any given subject. And likewise, President Nasheed knows how exactly I think,” said President-elect Ibu, in an exclusive interview to ‘Sun’.

Nasheed was in neighboring Sri Lanka during the presidential campaign. And actively participated in the campaign activities held for Ibu.

When opposition political parties formed a coalition to defeat President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the presidential elections, each political party had a favorite they wished to champion as the coalition’s presidential candidate.

President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) (R) and former President Mohamed Nasheed (L) pictured during their younger days. (Photo/Twitter)

“And our party, MDP [Maldivian Democratic Party], had a leader we wished to elect to office. But he wasn’t legally eligible to run for office due to the circumstances prior to the election,” said Ibu, speaking about Nasheed, who has a 13-year prison sentence issued against him.

Ibu spoke about the huge role Nasheed played in the presidential campaign, despite having been living abroad since 2016.

“President Nasheed had to be abroad during the presidential election, unable to return to Maldives. He may not have been able to do campaigning he needed to be actively in Maldives for. But I believe he did everything he could from abroad. And that he did. And the result is evident,” said Ibu.

When asked about what Nasheed’s role will be during his administration, Ibu said Nasheed will remain someone who supplies him with sound advice and guidance.

“We always share our opinions with each other. I can always tell President [Nasheed] what I feel is wrong. And he can always do the same. He will continue doing so in the future. As someone who gives me sound advice and guidance,” said Ibu, regarding his close relationship with Nasheed.