THEY SWARMED AND ANTIFA FLED

THEY SWARMED AND ANTIFA FLED
ICHEOKU says thanks to American Bikers, the much anticipated protest in Phoenix rally-styled speech did not materialize. May be we should have more of these Bikers in every rally. Kudos to the real bad ass men with steely balls.

NO MORE NATION BUILDING, JUST KILLING THE BAD GUYS.

NO MORE NATION BUILDING, JUST KILLING THE BAD GUYS.
ICHEOKU says the United States of America mandate to its military engaged overseas particularly Afghanistan is stop cuddling the bad guys, just whack them. ICHEOKU says certainly a c-change in the rules of engagement and it will certainly make it easier for our warriors who will risk less of their lives and limbs in battle fields. President Donald John Trump is definitely leading as said and providing the leadership our military needs as their Commander in Chief. Way to go.

NORTH KOREA PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER
"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MCGREGOR

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS McGREGOR

ICHEOKU says August 26 is the day history will be made as two of the world's most interesting athletes square off in the ring. Boxing champion Floyd MayWeather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, will fight on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ICHEOKU says not in a position yet to place bet on who will win the fight. Salute


BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to of their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide in their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.




"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BABANGIDA'S JUNE 12TH MEA CULPA?

Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida aka IBB, in a recent interview, tried to rationalize his annulment of the freest election ever held in Nigeria - June 12th, 1993!
According to IBB's voodoo-logic, the election was annuled in order to save the impending democracy?
IBB's tragic reasoning is that the military would have staged a coup against the new administration, had he allowed it to come into being; hence his decision to pre-emptively annul the election? What a very "wise and foresighted man indeed, IBB then, was? By a generic generalisation therefore, it is safe to allegorize that IBB aborted a pregnancy simply because the child might be killed later in life? It is IBB's peculiar brand of logic-from-Hades, that the nine month old fetus was aborted in order to spare her the tragedy of possibly being killed as a human-being, later in life? Made sense? Only in the warped mind of the evil-genius and in a place like Nigeria, the land of every possibilities!
The Nigerian-Maradona is once again trying to do what he does best - dribble Nigerians through another jigsaw-jungle of his fuzzy-mathematical nonsense? IBB is introspectively rigmaroling through a maze of his confused regrets of a missed opportunity with history! Icheoku says, were his reasoning the case, why did he not retire all those rabble-rousers in the miltary who would have truncated the democractic presidency of (pictured left) the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola? Icheoku says, if what IBB is saying today is the real truth behind the June 12th annulment, why did he not retire his then defence minister Sani Abacha who he left behind for the sole purpose of bringing about the eventual outcome of being so left behind? Why was this particular "democracy-truncator" left untouched from the massive retirements which heralded IBB's infamous stepping-aside?
IBB said he was "afraid" that democracy may be brought to an abrupt end but he was brave enough to execute his close-friend Mamman Vasta for a phantom coup, but yet left Sani Abacha behind? IBB retired Joshua Dongonyaro for no apparent reason, yet he was afraid for democracy but yet could not remove the single most anti-democracy symbol in the military, Sani Abacha? IBB was so "afraid" yet he retired his one time chief of army staff unceremoniously and through an NTA announcement, while the General was on a short weekend-visit to his country-home in Jos, but Abacha was untouchable? And we are talking about the taciturn Domkat Bali! That a host of young and upcoming army officers were wasted in a staged plane-crash at Ejigbo near Lagos in 1985 was also a pointer to IBB's "cowardice" or lack thereof? Yet he was "afraid" for democracy but could not retire Sani Abacha from office? If IBB is speaking the truth that he was really and truely afraid of the military rat-packs and yet failed or refused to do something about it; what explanation is he now fashioning out to throw at Nigerians as the reason why he killed Dele Giwa with a parcel bomb?
IBB please spare Nigeria further headaches with this your explanation as it is yet to recover from your infamous hostage-taking of her government; when you so corrupted the system that it is still quaking today from the shock you injected into it. As now the 18th richest man in Africa - a continent of over 700million people, when will you account for your stewardship and the over $1.8billion dollars fortune you amassed while in office?
Icheoku says, this latest attempt by IBB to try to wriggle out and explain away an improbability, is yet another one of his public-relations' effort at positioning himself for 2011! But a big surprise surely awaits IBB, - there will be a formidable resistance against his candidacy by the Nigerian people. Those Nigerians whose relatives fell victim to the June 12th generated crisis which almost denegenerated into a shooting civil-war in Nigeria; the Abiola family and friends whose partiach was robbed of the highest office in the land which he truely and convincingly won and was later killed in his belated attempt at reclaiming the mandate; and the Nigerian people who were stripped naked of their votes cannot live to see the ghost of IBB back at Aso Rock, talkless of another term of office? Whatever it shall take, IBB must be stopped, as his remergence will only act to glorify evil! What does this toothy-son of Minna think Nigerians are? - The gullible and foolish retards who he can ride, through blatant lies, back into power? If IBB thinks so or is being delusional about his electoral-chances in a democratic Nigeria, then he has another thing coming!
According to IBB, he was compelled to nullify the election because of security threats to the enthronement of a democratic government at that time? What a balooney! Icheoku says, this is as laughable as it is very provocative and Babangida could have done better for himself by simply shutting-up! IBB said he and the Armed Forces Ruling Council knew that the new democratic government to be installed would sooner than later be toppled through another military coup deta’t, which he said his government wanted to avoid? Icheoku says, a credible and honorable person in a position of authority would have been more proactive in dealing with the situation, by putting out measures to checkmate such expected happen-stance of a coup. Why did IBB not retire those known hot-heads would-be coupists, whom he left behind in the military; afterall they are all very well known to him, being a coup-plotter in chief himself? Where did the acronym IBB-BOYS come from if not a glorified subterfuge for all the coupists in the Nigerian Armed Forces who were slavishly loyal to their master strategist in chief, IBB? If according to IBB, his regime had decided that it would be the last that would ever come to power in Nigeria through the banditry of a military coup, what steps did his regime take to coral the renegade-coupists successfully back to the baracks and/or retire them if they cannot be retrained professionally? Why did IBB not retire the likes of Sani Abacha, Jeremiah Useni, Oladipo Diya, Buba Marwa, and the sundry of them who are known as crazed-out military-adventurers from service if he was serious about cementing democracy in Nigeria? IBB also admitted that the June 12 presidential election was free and fair and was the best election ever conducted in Nigeria! Icheoku retorts, if IBB knew all these facts to be true and correct, why then did he not respect the wish of the Nigerian people or was he such a jerk that he would thwart what over sixty million Nigerians agreed on - that MKO Abiola should be their president?
Continuing IBB said the situation was not ripe to hand over to a duly elected civilian government then? Icheoku asks, why conduct an election when you knew from the onset that you were not sincere about handing-over? Why lead millions of Nigerians into a wild-goose chase of an exercise in futility just for your selfish, devilish, grotesque, ego-mania; just to gloat later about how you knew before the first whistle sounded, that there will be no conclusive election? This admission alone is enough to put this guy away for good, were Nigeria a descent society where actions have consequences! If IBB knew then as he now claims, that there would be a coup immediately after the hand-over, Icheoku asks, what steps did he take to prevent or avert it? Afterall as a master-coupist himself, IBB knows what it takes to plan, execute and foil a coup? This IBB's singular admission of his failure to safeguard the June 12th mandate and thereby secure MKO Abiola's prospective presidency, makes him guilty by omission to act.
Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida admitted that he had plans to conduct fresh election within six months thereafter in November 1993? Icheoku implores IBB to please further explain to Nigerians what difference his six months interval, would have made to alleviate his coup phobia? What was IBB planning to do differently on or before the November 1993 date, just 6 months after the June 12th successful election was annuled by his depravity? Or was he trying to, within that window of six months, retire all his "boys" from the armed forces? - a feat which he couldn't get himself to accomplish throughout his nine years in office, when duty initially called for such a sweeping retirements?
Icheoku totally aligns with Madam Teju Abiola's position on the subject that "IBB came up with the lamest reason for the annulment! According to this lady, IBB should rather be asking for forgiveness of sin from the Nigerian people! IBB is also not believeable and cannot be trusted with his assertion that he has no plans whatsoever to run for the office of the Nigerian president in 2011! Such grandstanding "assurance" by IBB should simply be taken with a grain of salt; afterall he is a very conceited man who embarked on an election knowing fully well that he had no plans or intention to conclude it? IBB said he annuled the free and fair election in order to prevent a prospective, futuristic, imaginary, could-be coup d'etat from taking place? Icheoku says, what an argument in buffonery and a logic on its head? If anyone seriously needs a psychiatric evaluation, IBB is that person for ever conjuring such idiotic dumbness?
The same IBB who was so afraid of a possible coup d`etat against a democratically elected civilian government went ahead and handed over to a civilian head of an Interim National Government? Is there any irony here or am I loosing it? And IBB did this in a way which directly solicited coup d`etat by appointing the civilian as merely head of government but not also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces? What a juxtaposition? And this is the same man who is now trying to weasle through the debacle of June 12th, with his lacklustre explanation? Who in Nigeria is buying this imbecility - a stupendous and sanctimonious rancour of a demented general who annuled the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria? How soon after the IBB contrapted ING, did Sani Abacha drive Ernest Shonekan out of Aso-Rock; and you now understand who is pooling a wool over the eyes of Nigerians with his morbid explanation of June 12th?
The answer to this mind-boggling June 12th annulment and the gobbledegook of an explanation or attempted explanation thereto, should be left for students of history to worry about later! It was the same evil-genius IBB who left Sani Abacha in office, whilst retiring other top military brass from service? Icheoku says, the proper question for IBB to answer is, why did he not retire Sani Abacha from office? The answer to this question will override the need for all these feeble attempt at mea culpa and then and only then will Nigeria start to heal ernestly; and as expected, with a deserving and humble apology from Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida for his sins of June 12th, 1993. Until then IBB can stuff his explanation up to his you know where - HIS FAT MINNA - A R S E !

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Apologise to Nigerians, Iroche Tells IBBBy Charles Ajunwa, 02.09.2009

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Coordinator, Movement for Change in Nigeria (MCN), Chief Sonny Iroche, yesterday asked former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida(rtd), to apologise to Nigerians for the role he played in the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.Iroche, who contested chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in March 2008, faulted Babangida's claim that the election, won by late Chief MKO Abiola, was cancelled because of security reports that the military would have toppled it, adding that if IBB was sincere, he could have retired the soldiers the way former president Olusegun Obasanjo did in 1999.He also called on Babangida, former vice president Atiku Abubakar and Chief Anthony Anenih, to honourably take their exit from the political space of Nigeria, or Nigerians would forcefully retire them. "Unfortunately I didn't watch the IBB (Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida) interview, but I read reports in the print media and Dele Momodu's write up in THISDAY. I agree entirely with Dele that IBB should just apologise for the June 12 disaster. If indeed he had a vision that a coup would have toppled it, why didn't he retire the likely officers like Baba Iyabo (former President Olusegun Obasanjo) did with those he thought would be future coup plotters when he became civilian president in 1999?"He knew most of them because they worked under his tutelage of coup planning ever since the July 29, 1966 counter coup, which took the lives of the first military leader, General Aguiyi Ironsi, then governor of Western state, Colonel Kunle Fajuyi and a number of top Igbo army officers."People like IBB, Atiku, Anenih and others have occupied valuable political space for too long and I advise them to consider putting their children forward if they brought them up properly to be competitive in today's world. If they don't retire voluntarily, we the people of Nigeria will retire them and history will not be kind to them," Iroche said

Anonymous said...

How Babangida Murdered Mamman Vatsa
By Ademola Adegbamigbe, TheNEWS/Saharareporters 17/7/06
Jul 18, 2006, 07:20

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Sava Farm, a nondescript piece of property situated at Malali area of Kaduna city, does not reveal the importance of its occupant. It is owned by Hajia Sufiya, widow of General Mamman Vatsa, executed over a controversial coup by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in 1986. With its brown gate, half brick, half metal perimeter fence that looks as if it would collapse any time with the heavy rains, and the rusty signboard defaced by four posters of Isiah Balat who is campaigning to be governor of Kaduna State, the farm stands as a relic, in sharp contrast to the more prosperous-looking Federal Government College and the Kaduna State Water Board nearby.

The bushy farm looks like an abandoned American ranch after a typical Red Indian invasion. An aide who doubles as the gate keeper opened the entrance. As the reporters’ feet shuffled on the cobblestones that had seen better days, a quick survey of the premises showed a once-buoyant animal husbandry business. Another gate, on the left, led to where Sufiya lives. With a quick detour, the visitors were ushered into the front of the main bungalow. The circular forecourt is habitat to flowers crying for pruning. Peeping out of the circle was a white Mercedez Benz 190 that stood as if, driven by some invisible hands from outer space, it was ready to engage the reverse gear, receding further into the dense flowers, away from the intruders...A ricketty peugeot pick -up van and an abandoned white farm truck complete the picture of neglect. Sufiya’s balcony is a testament to a woman who, when she was happy, was in love with nature. Her suspended empty bird cages, creeping flowers, pots of cacti and aloe vera stand as proof. A long white hose meandered on the floor, a mark of half-hearted gardening.

Like her property, Hajia Sufiya Vatsa is a lone historical figure, abandoned in her woes and penury by successive governments after IBB executed her husband over a questionable coup. During a visit to her Sava Farm by three journalists from TheNEWS, the woman cut the picture of Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, who, after being disappointed by her suitor, refuses to see the sun, fails to change her wedding gown and leaves her watch permanently “at twenty minutes to nine.” Unlike Miss Havisham, however, Sufiya’s separation from her husband came from the machination of a third party – IBB. Since then, life has been horrible for her family.

Daily, Sufiya sits by two high-definition photographs of her husband: one in mufti and the other in military gear. When this magazine visited her, she wore a brown wrapper, deep brown headgear with an ankara top embossed with brown irregular designs. She sat behind a small centre table set with assorted drinks, beverages and local herbal solutions. In front of her was a shelf with a rectangular mirror, on which an old television set was placed.

Another symbol of her state of mind and the neglect she suffers was an abandoned grey aquarium, tilting against the wall under the portrait of a medieval soldier riding a chariot, shooting an arrow. Under another congested table in front of her was a green book, Makers of Modern Africa. A reading lamp, about four chandeliers and a dining table required dusting just as her life requires rehabilitation. An extension of her melancholy was that, contrary to expectation, she declined an interview since it would bring back a deluge of old, painful memories.

Sufiya’s journey into the abyss of poverty began on 23 December 1985. The family had just concluded plans to travel to Calabar because, usually, they spent the yuletide in the Cross River State capital (Sufiya is Efik), the Id-el-Fitri in Minna, Niger State and the Id-el Kabir in Kaduna. After the necessary packing for the trip, the family waited for the return of General Vatsa from the Armed Forces Ruling Council, (AFRC), meeting he had attended. He returned home late, so the trip was postponed till the following day. At about 12 midnight, while Sufiya was watching a movie in her bedroom, her husband, who was working in his study, rushed in to tell her that IBB had sent for him. The wife protested that it was too late in the night and that Vatsa should phone his boss to shift the meeting to the following morning.

As this debate was going on, Lt. Col. U.K. Bello led a team of soldiers to Vatsa’s home at Rumens Street, Ikoyi, Lagos. The soldiers, who came with armored vehicles and military vans, surrounded the house. Vatsa told his wife who was upstairs to peep through the window. Unable to contain her fear, she rushed downstairs and insisted that if the soldiers would take away her husband, then she had to follow them. Sufiya insisted on driving Vatsa in her own Pengeot 404. At this point, Vatsa directed that the children be woken up, and he kissed them one after the other. Haruna, the first son, who was in Military Training School, Zaria, followed them downstairs, weeping. While UK Bello drove in the fore of the convoy, Sufiya and Vatsa were chauffeur-driven in their own car in what later turned out to be a merry-go-round about Lagos till about 2 a.m when they stopped at 7 Cameron Road, Ikoyi. Vatsa was ordered out of the car. As he made to enter the building, Sufiya ran after him but she was rudely pulled back by the soldiers. The General turned and gave his wife a bear hug, an embrace that was their last. He urged his wife to take care of their children. Sufiya returned home dejected. To her shock, the military authorities had withdrawn the official domestic staff. At 5a.m, she prepared breakfast of fried yam and pawpaw, drove to her husband’s detention centre but was told she could not bring in any food.

Another surprise awaited Vatsa’s wife. A soldier came in and said: “Madam, Oga’s wife, Mrs Mariam Babangida, said I should carry General Vatsa’s telephone handset to her.” Fatima, Vatsa’s daughter, clung to the gadget. A struggle ensued between the 15-year-old girl and the soldier, whose muscles bulged like the biceps of Michaelangelo’s statues. Sufia asked her daughter to let go of the probably bugged set.

Worse still, some gruff, fierce-looking soldiers, led by Vatsa’s former Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Captain Maku, an intelligence officer of Idoma extraction, had led other soldiers in laying siege to the family’s house. “Madam, no visitors, no phone calls, no going out,” Maku snapped as he reclined on a settee in the living room, an improvised toothpick, peeping out of a corner of his mouth. When Sufiya protested that the family needed to buy foodstuff, Maku, whose friendly disposition when he was Vatsa’s batman had changed, commanded that the woman and her children “must manage.”

After three days of captivity, Sufiya could not endure it any longer. She told Maku: “Look, I am going to the market. If you refuse me, it means between you and I, somebody will die. I will show you I am a soldier’s wife.” She took her car, and without bothering about the soldiers, who cocked their guns menacingly at her, rammed it into the gate, which gave way as the soldiers scattered capriciously in different directions. She got to Falomo, bought bread and eggs, and decided to see one of her husband’s friends, General Gado Nasko. Before the visit to Nasko, however, Sufiya had driven home and, since her daughter was, coincidentally, at the gate, had dropped the food and driven to the Naskos.

Sufiya’s mission was to ask Nasko to fix a meeting between her and IBB to find a way to settle the matter. Although soldiers at Nasko’s house gave her the cold shoulder, her persistence worked.

Nasko, who said he was aware of the problem and would try to arrange the meeting, asked Sufiya to see him in the evening. Her hope soared. The reason was the special relationship between her family and IBB’s. “When we got married,” Sufiya was reported as saying, “I thought IBB and my husband were of the same family. The two wore the same size of dress and pair of shoes. IBB would drop his dirty wears in our house and put on my husband’s. When IBB traveled out, for a further military training my husband took care of Mariam and her children. General Vatsa, apart from mounting the horse when IBB married Mariam, bought their first set of furniture from Leventis on hire purchase.

IBB was also my husband’s best man during our wedding. Whenever Maryam’s Mercedez car broke down, she used to drive my Peugeot 404. We were close.” All these, to Babangida, did not count in the field of realpolitik. Nasko told Sufiya later in the day that the military President was not ready to see her.

Another disappointment awaited Sufiya when she returned to her Rumen’s Street residence, Ikoyi. A soldier from Bonny Camp was waiting for her with an order that the family should vacate the house. Another military officer said the car should be taken to Army Headquarters for security check after which they broke into the car’s glove compartment and confiscated Vatsa’s manuscripts. In frustration, Sufiya hired a trailer and moved the family’s belongings to Kaduna. She and Fatima, however, returned and stayed in Nwakana Okoro, her brother-in-law’s house at Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi. When the military authorities bugged Okoro’s telephone, the lawyer, a Senior Advocate, of Nigeria, became jittery.

All attempts by Sufiya to see her husband were frustrated by the military authorities. It was only Fatima’s trick that worked a bit. Posing as a lawyer, she would follow other counsels into Vatsa’s detention centre and trial venue. Vatsa, however, sent Sufiya a note from Kirikiri, saying: “Do not beg Babangida. He is after my life. Take care of the children. I know it is not easy but God will help you.” When he was to be executed, Vatsa requested that his wrist watch and wedding ring be given to Sufiya. “But by the time they brought the watch and the wedding ring, the ring wasn’t my wedding ring, so I rejected it. “Till today, they have not returned the ring to me,” Sufiya was quoted by a family source.

Sufiya was, therefore, left in the cold, without any wealth to fall back on. Vatsa had only one plot of land in Abuja, but it was taken over by the late despot, General Sani Abacha. At a point, Sufiya approached General Jeremiah Useni, one-time Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, in a bid to reclaim the land. Useni called for the file and told Vatsa’s wife to pay for the land rent. She, however, complained to Useni: “When my husband was a minister in FCT, he refused to allocate land to me, his wife. He said it would be immoral for him to give me land. He said his successor would give me.” Useni looked the other way while Sufiya and her family were deprived of the land.

Not all of Vatsa’s friends abandoned the family, however. “One of his friends came to our aid.” Sufiya once said. “Every other person that was dining and wining with my husband immediately switched over to IBB. Even my children today are not identified with.”

To keep body, soul and the family together, Sufiya, of Efik descent, would travel to Calabar, in Cross River State, and bring food from her people to take care of her children in Kaduna where she has vowed to remain. Apart from buying and selling, Sufiya used to engage in poultry and cattle rearing. In fact, she injected life into her Sava Farm, which she set up in 1971 after the civil war. But robbers ruined the business, a situation that led to the lack of care for the premises, part of which, by the time TheNEWS visited, was overgrown with weeds.

Sufiya, therefore, has brought up her children on a shoe-string budget. Haruna, whom Vatsa asked to be withdrawn from the Nigerian Military Training School, Zaria, because of the way the Army treated him, is now married with two children. Fatima, who is studying medicine, is in London with her husband, while Jubril, who studied law, is in Minna, Niger State. Aisha is a US-based pilot.

Sufiya believes that IBB himself planned the coup. “He wrote the script, got an officer to execute.” The officer in question was close to Mamma Madaki, a former military administrator of Plateau State. Apart from Major General Charles Ndiomu who once made a statement that he regretted killing Vatsa, this magazine gathered that the interview which General Domkat Bali granted TheNEWS (22 May 2006 edition) raised Sufiya’s hope that justice would finally be done.

She once lamented to her husband’s family:” It is painful that my husband was executed as a coup plotter even when he was not. And till this moment, we don’t know where he was buried. That Gen. Domkat Bali interview published in TheNews magazine is one of the good things God has done to us in the Vatsa family. Before, some people did not believe that Vatsa was not a coup plotter; but Bali’s confession explained it all. They should release the corpse of my husband to me so that he can be given a befitting burial. That is my prayer.”

It was for this reason that Sufiya wrote a letter, dated 15 June 2006, to President Olusegun Obasanjo, where she stated: “Although there was no iota of evidence linking my husband with the phantom coup, he was convicted and sentenced to death by the Special Military Tribunal which purportedly tried him and other coup suspects. My husband’s appeal to the Armed Forces Ruling Council against his illegal conviction was yet to be considered when the Head of State, General Babangida had him secretly executed along with the other coup convicts.”

She claimed in the letter that Bali confirmed her husband’s innocence in TheNEWS’ interview when he said: ‘“My regret is that up till now, I am not sure whether Vatsa ought to have been killed because whatever evidence they amassed against him was weak. My only regret is that I could not say, don’t do it. I am not so sure whether we were right to have killed Vatsa.” Sufiya, therefore, requested the Obasanjo administration to prosecute General Babangida for “the murder of my husband, General Vatsa.”

Born on 3 December 1940, Major General Mamman Vatsa attended the Government Secondary School, Bida, Niger State. He enlisted in the Nigerian Army on 10 December 1962 and was trained at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna and the India Military Academy. Vatsa was in charge of the 21 Battalion during the Nigerian Civil War, after which he became an instructor at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. Apart from his position as Principal Staff Officer at Army Headquarters, he commanded the 30 infantry Brigade (Ogoja) until July 1975. As the Commander of the Brigade of Guards, a post he held until 1979, Vatsa oversaw the movement of its headquarters from Dodan Barracks to Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

One proof of his loyalty to his Commander-in-Chief was when, as Commander, Brigade of Guards, Calabar, he was the first to go on air to kick against the 13 February 1976 coup, led by Lt. Col Buka Dimka. During the trial of suspects involved in that coup, he was the Tribunal Secretary. Thereafter, he was appointed the Commander, Brigade of Guards under General Olusegun Obasanjo. Mrs. Vatsa once revealed: “My husband drove General Obasanjo to his Ota farm after he handed over power to the civilians in 1979.”

As Nowa Omoigui wrote, Vatsa was Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) from 1979. “He, along with Lt. Col Bitiyong, developed the Special Warfare Wing and established the doctrinal basis for the establishment of the 82nd Composite Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu. In fact, it was Vatsa who suggested that the Division be called the “82nd Division” – after the 82nd West African Division, Burma.”

As an accomplished poet and writer, Vatsa was able to publish eight poetry collections for adults and 11 for younger ones. Some of his book titles are Back Again At Watergate (1982), Reach For The Skies (1984), and Verses for Nigerian State Capitals (1973). His pidgin poetry collection is Tori for Geti Bow Leg (1981). His pictorial books are Bikin Suna and Stinger the Scorpion.

His literary interests transcended merely reeling out volumes of verse. He organized writing workshops for soldiers and their families, assisted the Children’s Literature Association with funds, as well as allocating a piece of land in Abuja for a writers village for the Association of Nigerian Authors. Vatsa was so pre-occupied with creativity that he always carried jotters to the toilet, dining table and the bedroom. There were books strewn around in the family’s apartment so much that, as TheNEWS gathered, Sufiya once threatened to “throw these books out.”

Vatsa’s journey to the great beyond started on 17 December 1985 when the military authorities arrested over 100 officers from the Army, Navy and the Air Force. Vatsa was picked up seven days later. They were, for two weeks, investigated by the Brigadier-General Sani Sami-led Preliminary Special Investigation Panel. After this, 17 of them were dragged before a Special Military Tribunal, set up by Bali, at the Defence Minister, at the Brigade of Guards Headquarters, Lagos. The accused officers were Lt.-Cols. Musa Bitiyong, Christian A. Oche, Micheal A Iyorshe, M. Effiong; Majors D.I Bamidele, D.E. West, J.O Onyeke and Tobias G Akwashiki. Others were Captain G.I L Sese, Lt. K.G. Dakpa, Commodore A.A. Ogwiji, Wing Commanders B.E. Ekele, Adamu Sakaba; Squadron Leaders Martin Luther, C. Ode and A Ahura.

The tribunal, chaired by Major General Ndiomu, tried the officers under the Treason and Other Offences (Special Military Tribunal) Decree 1 of 1986. Other members of the tribunal were Brigadier Yerima Yohanna Kure, Commodore Murtala Nyako, Col. Rufus Kupolati, Col E. Opaleye, and Lt. Col. D. Muhammed. Alhaji Mamman Nassarawa, a commissioner of police and Major A Kejawa, the Judge Advocate, were also members. The IBB regime accused Vatsa of trying to overthrow it by hiding behind a farming loan to Lt-Col Bitiyong, a charge which the general denied. As Nowa Omogui, a military analyst explains in his essay, The Vatsa Conspiracy, Bitiyong was allegedly tortured to implicate Vatsa “by making reference to certain private political conversations they had, which Vatsa denied.”

There were further allegations that Luther, Oche, Ogwiji and Bitiyong held a meeting at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel and Towers in November 1985. Iyorchie, Bitiyong, Oche, Ekele, Sakaba and Bamidele also allegedly met in Makurdi. Allegations such as the diversion of the presidential jet to a pre-arranged location by pilots in the executive fleet (Luther and Ahura), as Omogui put it, were floated. Oche allegedly held a meeting with Major Akwashiki, Commander of the 6th Battalion, Bonny Camp, and Onyeke, after a game of squash in Lagos and spoke about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Akwashiki was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life imprisonment. He was however released 10 years later by the Abacha regime.

Oche, it was also alleged, mentioned the plot to his nephew, Peter Odoba, a young lieutenant of the Brigade of Guards who, as Omogui wrote, informed then Lt. Hamza al-Mustapha, an intelligence officer to the Chief of Army Staff. Obada was charged with “concealment, recommended for dismissal and a long jail term.” On 6 March 1986, however, Vatsa, Iyorshe, Bamidele, Ogwiji, Ekele, Sakaba, Luther, Akura were executed.Vatsa had taken his trial and sentence with cheerful equanimity like the writer that he was. His vintage smiles revealed more than his words. “I leave you with smiles as smiles surprise people. But I will tell members of the Nigerian Army that the day you start insulting yourselves, others begin to join you,” he said.

To buttress his position that there was rivalry between IBB and Vatsa, Omogui referred to an interview that Eniola Bello of THISDAY had with IBB in 2001 when he turned 60. ‘“Babangida said it was after Vatsa’s coup was foiled that he realized his childhood friend and classmate planned the coup in line with a deep-seated personal rivalry, going back to their days as young officers. He said that unconsciously, he and Vatsa had been great competitors; that as a young officer, whatever he did Vatsa equally did and whatever Vatsa achieved, he also went after. He said it was Lt. Gen. T.Y. Danjuma who pointed this out to him from their military records.” Babangida gave this rationalization to justify his refusal to pardon Vatsa. He said when he first heard his childhood friend was planning a coup, he decided to do nothing but monitor him. He added, however, that Vatsa came to him to complain thus: You heard I was planning a coup and couldn’t even ask me. What kind of friend are you? To this, Babangida said he replied: I didn’t believe it, or are you planning a coup? He said Vatsa replied in the negative and the matter was forgotten until there was evidence of the plot. Babangida said he instructed that Vatsa be arrested and detained to prevent him from impeding investigation into the matter.

Babangida argued: “However, Vatsa tried to escape through the air conditioner hole. I couldn’t understand why he was trying to escape if he was not involved in a coup plot. But while watching the video of his execution, I turned my eyes away when I saw him remove his watch and ask a soldier to give his wife. I couldn’t continue watching.” Babangida added that he couldn’t retire or imprison Vatsa because he believed the guy could still have planned a coup either in retirement or in prison. “Rawlings did it in Ghana and you know Vatsa was very stubborn,” IBB said.

Omogui, however, lamented the tragedy that befell Vatsa: “Vatsa maintained to the very end that the money was for farming. Others alleged, however, that after being tortured for two days, Bitiyong implicated Vatsa by making reference to certain private political conversations they had, which Vatsa denied. But Vatsa was accused of harbouring “bad blood” against his friend and classmate Babangida, dating back to the Buhari regime and possibly earlier. He was also obliquely accused of reporting Babangida’s coup plot to Buhari before he left the country for pilgrimage along with Major General Tunde Idiagbon in August, 1985. Actions he later took as a Minister to accelerate many military applications for certificates of occupancy for land in Abuja, came to be viewed as efforts to buy the support of one or two of the plotters. Rumors that a civilian had introduced him at a party as Nigeria’s next President were even aired. All of this was, of course, circumstantial. But they took him to the stake, which was quite an anti-climax to the career of a brilliant man who never took part in any coup in Nigeria. Indeed, Mamman Vatsa was the first to go on air in Calabar to denounce the Dimka coup, and was later the Secretary of the Obada panel that tried Dimka and others in 1976. This little detail may have earned him some latent enmity in certain circles of the Army which later contributed to his death.”

There is also a very strong belief that Vatsa may have been a victim of political intrigues because of his intellectual sagacity, being a writer and soldier-poet, and his significant indifference to the military politics at that time. In fact, his ordeal had attracted three leading Nigerian literary icons, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and John Pepper Clark Bekederemo, who had gone to plead with Babangida for clemency, only to be shocked by news of his execution few minutes after departing Dodan Barracks, venue of the meeting.

But in a swift reaction tainted with arrogance and insensitivity, Alhaji Shuibu Badeggi, Special Assistant on Public Communication to Governor Abdulkhadir Kure of Niger State and an aide of Babangida, stoutly defended the execution, claiming that a process found Vatsa and nine others culpable in the coup saga. According to him, Mrs. Vatsa’s petition is baseless. “She should shut up. Shut up! If you commit a coup and you know the punishment is death, then you should face it. That’s all. Those who plot a coup, when the coup fails, they die. Simple. Talking about those saying all sorts of negative things about IBB, they are only out to score cheap political goals. Envy, grudge, that’s all. It is envy and madness. Otherwise, if you thought 20 years ago that your husband had been wrongly accused of a coup plot and executed, why wait till now to demand that Babangida be punished? If anybody or group is using her to smear Babangida’s image, then they have a problem because it is not Babangida who desperately wants to be president of Nigeria. It’s we his supporters. There is nothing anyone of them can do in this and any other case.”

This may be Badeggi’s simple response to a complex issue which is already generating interest across the country. The day Badeggi’s outburst came out, TheNEWS gathered, Mrs. Vatsa did not hold back her own ballistic missile. She reportedly said: “Anybody who says I am being used is a big fool. In the first place, my husband made Kure. As a Minister, my husband brought Nupe people to government. That was when Kure came to Abuja to work with my husband. If Kure was not made by my husband, would he be in a position to have an aide like the one talking rubbish? That aide should shut up 100 times. Nobody is sponsoring me. All I want is the matter to be opened up so that the whole world will witness the case. There are many other thousands of innocent people in the grave whom IBB murdered. Their souls are crying for justice. All those he made widows and orphans are seeking justice. He has no hiding place. Should anybody or group of persons make any mago mago to force IBB on Nigerians, the Aba women riot of 1929 will be a child’s play to the women riot that will be witnessed in 2007.” Will justice be done in the Vatsa case?

Source:Ocnus.net 2007

Anonymous said...

ENTERTAINMENT
LIFESTYLE
Africa's 18 richest men - The African Billionaires club Over the past 14 months our researchers and journalists contacted dozens of officials, went through countless documents, and publsihed articles to try to narrow down a list of African Billionaires. Likewise, the hardwork has finally paid of with a solid list of 18 African Billionaires with a total networth of over US$50 Billion Dollars. The networths published in this article come from tangible assets which can be easily identified such as property, equity, metal holdings, and corporate bonds (all were converted to the US Dollar). However, our networth totals do not include bank accounts since they are virtually impossible to find and research.

Over the past 14 months our researchers and journalists contacted dozens of officials, went through countless documents, and publsihed articles to try to narrow down a list of African Billionaires. Likewise, the hardwork has finally paid of with a solid list of 18 African Billionaires with a total networth of over US$50 Billion Dollars. The networths published in this article come from tangible assets which can be easily identified such as property, equity, metal holdings, and corporate bonds (all were converted to the US Dollar). However, our networth totals do not include bank accounts since they are virtually impossible to find and research.

Calculating the Wealth
A number of billionaires are richer in real dollar terms due to the declining US Dollar. John Bredenkamp the only Zimbabwean billionaire on the listour was one of the hardest to calculate due to the nature of the Zimbabwean economy. We mostly based our calculations on previous reports and what experts in Zimbabwe believe to be the value of his properties in Zimbabwe/United Kingdom and business dealings with the government of Zimbabwe. When it comes to the two politicians on the list, current Head of State for Gabon Omar Bongo and former Military Ruler of Nigeria Ibrahim Babangida, the calculations mostly came from various published articles and data available on their regimes. Furthermore, we calculated their networths by valueing their property interests and company profits which are owned by them and family members(mostly to cover the Head of State). Although from what we gathered these two are worth more than what we calculated, but have a employed the most sophisticated financial corporations and accountants to hide away their money. The easiest networths to calculate came from individuals from Eygpt and South Africa. Easy access to financial records and a simple property market made it easy to estimate the worth of the billionaires from these two countries. Many, of the billionaires seemed pretty open about their wealth but declined to be mentioned in the article, one billionaire even telephoned us back and expressed his prospects for the future to be included in the top 10 of the richest people in the world.

Most Potential for New Billionaires Next Year
Lastly, the Republic of South Africa seems to be the one country destined to have many more billionaires appearing on the list in the upcoming years due to its BEE (Black Empowerment Campaign) and its policies aimed to improve the economy. The only thing which disappointed our researches and reporters was the lack of a women billionare, a variety of honorable mentions come up when we where resarching the list, with Elisabeth Bradley being the richest woman on the continent with a estimated networth of US$225 Million. However, we are already digging into the secretive world of African wealth to bring a list of the wealthiest women in Africa in the upcoming months. Enjoy the list.

THE RICH LIST

1) Naguib Sawiris
US$10 Billion Egypt Orascom Holdings/Inherited

2) Mohammed Al Amoudi
US$7.2 Billion Ethiopia Investments/Self Made

3) Nicky Oppenheimer
US$5 Billion South Africa Mining/Inherited

4) Onsi Sawiris
US$5 Billion Egypt Orascom Holdings/ Self Made

5) Aliko Dangote
US$4.2 Billion Nigeria Cement and Diversified Industries/Inherited

6) Lakshmi Mittal
US$4,030 Billion South Africa Mining/Self Made

7) Nassef Sawiris
US$ 3.9 Billion Egypt Orascom Holdings/Inherited

8) Rupert Family
US$3 Billion South Africa Luxury Industry/Inherited

9) Mo Ibrahaim
US$2.5 Billion Sudan Telecom/Investments/Self Made

10) Patrice Motsepe
US$2.2 Billion South Africa Investments/Self Made

11) Donald Gordan
US$1.6 Billion South Africa Insurance/Investments

12) Samih Sawiris
US$1.6 Billion Egypt Orascom Holdings/Inherited

13) Omar Bongo and Family
US$1.5 Billion Gabon Investments/Head of State

14) Mike Adenuga
US$1.2 Billion Nigeria Telecom/Investments/Self Made

15) Rembrandt Trust
US$1.2 Billion

16) Manu Chandaria
US$1 Billion Kenya Diversified Group/Self Made

17) John Bredenkamp
US$1 Billion Zimbabwe Investments/Tobacco/Self Made

18) Ibrahim Babangida
US$1 Billion Investments/Former Head of State

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