It is a very wrong move and an anti-Nigerians' position by the Obama administration to back such a discredited military junta named Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) as Nigeria's next president, come 2011? It is with great surprise and a very rude shock that Icheoku learnt of the administration's desire and current subterranean moves in progress to foist IBB on Nigerians. We condemn both the thought and effort as being greatly detrimental and anti-Nigeria's best interest. It is an affront on the budding democracy in Nigeria that the world's bastion of democracy should be working with an ex-military dictator to truncate real democracy in Nigeria. This is unbelievable, an Obama administration headed by a constitutional law professor and himself a beneficiary of the open competitive presidential race system in America, now contemplating to smuggle a very wicked and mean bastard called Ibrahim Babangida back into Nigeria's seat of power at Aso Rock. say it ain't so Ameria!
His reputation for raw brutality not withstanding, but is it not about time Nigeria's democracy is allowed to freely evolve and eventually throw up a dynamic and ebullient leader, like America did with Barack Obama, instead of always playing the midwifery role on who becomes Nigeria's leader?Surprisingly, it does not matter to the administration that IBB was a "terrorist" head of state of Nigeria between 1985 to 1993; a coup plotter and truncator of democracy who twice stabbed democracy in the back through the heart respectively in 1983's coup against second republic Shehu Shagari democratic government and again in his 1993's annulment of the freest election ever recorded in Nigeria which made Abiola, the president-elect that was never sworn into office? It also does not matter to these Americans that IBB was once alleged to be a gun and cocaine runner and it was on account of the latter, the story of which Dele Giwa was pursuing on account of one Gloria Okon's disappearance, that he was brutally murdered by a parcel bomb on the orders of IBB? Is it possible that IBB's enormous wealth has bought him respite which saw him being allowed in UCLA cancer center where his millions was simply not enough to buy back his late wife, Maryam Babangida's health as succumbed to ovarian cancer attack last December 29, 2009? Has his looted billions of dollars now washed away his sins that America now finds him acceptable as their point-man in Nigeria's seat of power?What a fatal blow to the fight against corruption this will be, if a corruption-personified and corruption-Field Marshall, the man who reinvented corruption and flagrantly inserted it in Nigeria's lexicography in a manner never before seen or contemplated; and who made it a glorified and acceptable societal behavior is now being asked to provide an oversight function to the anti-corruption effort as president of Nigeria?
Instead of investigating his source of stupendous wealth, particularly what he did with Nigeria's first Iraq-war $12 billion dollars oil windfall and his alleged dabbling in drugs, America is now merely busy sending delegations to IBB to nudge and push him to run for Nigeria's president in 2011? Icheoku asks, is oil politics just enough for America to pretend or deny that IBB was too mean and vicious, and that he trampled on so many citizenship human-rights of Nigerians, including some Nigerians' right to life? Anyway with their antecedent prop of the unpopular Shah of Iran and the history of Latin America's nascent past, nothing is impossible with Washington; but Icheoku makes bold to say that Teheran's fallout which is still reverberating throughout the Middle East shall fade in comparison with what Nigerians will throw their way, should they persist to toy with the idea or experimentation of a very unpopular, anti-Nigerians' Babangida presidency come 2011. Admitted that to the United States, foreign policy means the protection of America's interest anywhere it exists in the world including the Niger Delta's Nigeria oil resources. Such a foreign policy trust initiative seems to imply that it does not matter if the host-country's people are being pummeled or trampled under the jackboots of their propped up dictator; provided the spigots are open and the sea route remains open? But not this time, America; IBB's candidacy is going to be a costly experiment and with Chinese advances in Africa, alliances might be forced to sway in their direction if the only and last hope for humanity and democracy defender is now seen not to be different than the rest of the others. Babangida is, simply put, unacceptable to Nigerians, period!
Icheoku therefore calls on the United States to retract its steps forthwith and not to support or bankroll an un-bankable person IBB; any attempt to foist him as Nigeria's president will create more disruptions to the oil-flow than is presently being imagined as the Nigerian people will rise in unison to say not in our name, never again and not this time! IBB is a forever politically damaged goods; and he who would annul the freest democratic election in Nigerian chequered history should not be the right and proper person to benefit from the same democratic setting, which he had earlier twice sabotaged. America should try not to replicate similar problem, which have made them 'unwanted and unwelcome' in the Middle East; and which is causing so much resentment and an otherwise avoidable tension over there, once again in Africa. Nigerians still love America so much and to the extent they see it as being open enough, to elect the first black American President Barack Obama; but this dalliance will go south the moment they realise that what was good for America goose is not good for African/Nigerian gander? Which country installed Obama at the White House one may ask, none but the generosity of the American electorates; so why must the chief protagonist of democracy in the world ever contemplate doctoring and truncating the same democracy elsewhere in Nigeria, to produce a strange outcome, which the citizens Nigeria does not want? Why IBB, one may ask?
Such a scandal of an American backed IBB Nigeria presidency, is capable of painting America with the wrong colors before the viewing prism of most Nigerians; many of who are still nursing the snub of the century handed to them when the same President Obama visited Ghana in disregard to the traditionally Nigeria 'ownership' claim to the first-visit right or privilege of any American president visiting sub-Saharan Africa. It is capable of a great backlash of resentment and shall be resisted with every demonstration imaginable and unimaginable; or better still, easily hand over to America what their national security assessment have since determined - a splintered Nigeria, instead of waiting for their 15 years projected time? In America, now is always better, hence the popular commercial " It is my money and I want it now"! Where were these foreign policy arrow-heads and their human rights mantra when the same Nigerian-reject, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida blew away journalist Dele Giwa with a parcel bomb? Where were these progenitors and apostles of an Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's 2011 presidency when the same self-styled evil genius of Nigeria annulled the election of Chief MKO Abiola - the freest and fairest election ever conducted in Nigeria under the only good thing IBB ever formulated, Option A4? Where were the Americans when the same Nigerian-Maradona killed poet Mamman Vasta based on a phantom coup plot? Icheoku wants to know if these Americans think that the near-wiping out of all the soldiers of Middle Belt of Nigeria origin, during Gideon Orkar's failed coup against Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was justified?
Icheoku warns that the Obama administration will be making a huge foreign policy mistake in Black Africa if they try to impose Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida on Nigeria, come 2011. It is unpopular, unacceptable, not a good smart choice and will surely backfire! But peradventure, the Americans will not dare nor succeed with such a suicidal initiative, judging from the tsunami of resistance such a move will generate in Nigeria among civil society groupings and the general polity. If they think that they can pull this rabbit off the hat, then like they say in America, they have another thing coming. Peradventure they succeeded in the coronation of IBB as president, then it will be against a Nigeria boiling over like hell, and possibly the harbinger of the end of Nigeria as the Yoruba South West nation will not accept to be part of a Nigeria with an IBB president. The sons and daughters of Oduduwa will lead a vociferous resistance to both IBB's emergence and governing as president, using whatever gets the desired result including the highly potent Africa black juju magic to make it a road not worthy of travelling? How dare any man born of woman think that Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida would be tolerated by the Yoruba nation to benefit from the same democracy which he denied their 'son of the soil' Abiola, whose election he infamously annulled? June 12 is IBB's Achilles heels, his albatross, his fork on the road and has permanently damaged him politically. It has made him an unacceptable and unelectable president of Nigeria as is presently constituted with the Yoruba South West still a major component of the geographical entity. But a Nigeria without the South and the South West in particular, may be a possibility for such asinine contemplation of an IBB's presidency; but Icheoku is sure such a re-configured Nigeria is not what these Washingtonians have in mind, while nursing this wishful thinking?
It is President Barack Obama who while on a visit to Africa once said, 'what Africa needs are strong institutions and not strong men', so Icheoku asks, why the sudden u-turn and change of mind, in pursuing the same issue of a 'strong man' for Nigeria's future president? How would the espoused 'strong institutions' develop in Africa if America continues to interfere in local countries politics and engineering the imposition of a retired military junta as being contemplated, who do not have the peoples mandate to govern them? By encouraging the absurdity that is Babangida's second missionary journey to Aso Rock, America will be doing a great disservice to Nigerians and to all it stands and preaches of if it continues on this course of infamy. A country of more than 150 million people with so many well trained and highly qualified manpower including so many Ph.Ds, former diplomats. scholars, a Nobel Laurette, a former Commonwealth secretary general, a world bank managing director, a world acclaimed computer genius, very successful business men and women, lawyers, doctors, engineers, political scientists, some untainted retired military men and women and so many other potential presidential candidates; many of whom are rather too urbane and savvy to participate in the bawdily that is present Nigeria politics that they chose instead to remain aloof and silent in the bandits dominated jungle of Nigeria politics; should have and deserves a better option than IBB.
If America means well by their seeming current foray and interest into Nigeria's politics, let them do right for and by Nigerians - encourage a level playing field, push strongly for election reforms, constitutional amendment and help in building strong institutions. Such institutions as made it possible for a previously distant and improbable then presidential candidate to emerge as America's 44th president will be welcomed in Nigeria by well meaning Nigerians. Otherwise, were it in present day Nigeria that BO ran for president, may be hell would freeze over before he can ever achieve the feat of last November 24, 2008? Now instead of encouraging the emergence of Nigeria's own Obama, this administration is reaching into the cesspool of Nigeria's polity to pull up a discredited army man named Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to put him in Aso Rock? Icheoku asks, if Obama administration could contemplate this disservice to Nigerians, does it mean that the hope and change mantra which propelled him to the White House was country-specific to the United States only; and that Nigerians should not dream and hope or at least reserve the right to hope for a change they can believe in, in their own country which has eluded them since 1960? Icheoku believes that Nigeria deserves a fresh beginning, a clean break from her despicable past leaderships, especially from Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, who twice truncated democracy in Nigeria and this should be the thrust of any political assistance of the Americans to Nigeria towards 2011.
If however the Obama administration pulls off this sacrilege and IBB is foist on Nigerians in 2011, Icheoku is hereby making a promise to get the American press to know what transpired; renounce membership of the Democratic Party and will work tirelessly to make this an issue in Obama's 2012 possible re-election campaign. We shall not only denounce what transpired in Nigeria but shall work hard to get the message out that the real Barack Obama needs to stand up; for being one of its body-double is a democracy hypocrite but not its formidable propagator. President Barack Obama will surely pay a huge political price as our support, our visitors', as well as our numerous friends and millions of other Nigerian/African community in the US will go elsewhere, for his not standing up and helping Africa get rid of their sit-tight leaders and past discredited military junta, one of whom his administration 'installed' in Aso Rock?
But whatever happens with this America's recent budding interest in IBB presidential candidacy, Nigerians will resist with every sinew in their body, the attempt to smuggle IBB back into the saddle of power in Aso Rock; and shall defend their right not to be ruled again by a retired army general and especially IBB. Never again and not after the traumatic experience of Nigerians under the other former army man, Olusegun Obasanjo; as no sane Nigerian ever wishes for a deja vu with the return of Ibrahim Babangida Babaginda to power. The United States therefore must back off this toxic-asset IBB, as they are stepping into a non-negotiable territory for most Nigerians with their alleged support of IBB, his candidacy is not acceptable to Nigerians, especially the people of Yoruba South Western Nigeria who are still haunted till this day by the tragedy that is Babangida's annulment of their son MKO Abiola's 1993 presidential election. Why stir an hornet nest that will hurt everybody, America? Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida as damaged goods cannot be sold or bought by Nigerians, so why try to market such a moribund dead on arrival candidacy to Nigerians? Moreso with the loss of his amiable wife Maryam 'Better-life' Babangida, his charm offensive asset is forever gone; and which sane Nigerian wants to see a 70 plus year old toothy ex-military junta as their president? Not anyone known to Icheoku, except of course some of those Nigerian political traders and harlots who like the masses in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, will always mistake Cicero the poet for Cicero the conspirator; and regard any government as good government that looks the other way while they perpetrate and perpetuate their evil corruption, which has led to Nigeria's stagnation to till this date. Please America, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is a wrong choice for your support for Nigeria's presidency in 2011 or at any other time whatsoever, so abort your effort now!