Icheoku asks, what then is "quota system" or "federal character" that Babangida was advocating its demise, if he is now insisting that power must be 'zoned' to the north, just because it is their turn to rule; instead of allowing the best and the brightest available Nigerian to lead the country? Babangida's present argument that the "zoning arrangement" of the PDP must be respected “because Nigeria is in a peculiar situation that makes zoning inevitable,” flies in the face of his earlier argument and position that such practices hold back the country's march to greatness and has impeded the nation’s progress since its independence. Courageous and statesmanlike one would say of his earlier stand, but now the toothy fairy army man seem to have drank a laced cool-aid and is singing a different tune? Otherwise how does one explain such equivocation by a supposed statesman, or is someone once again pointing a revolver on his head and forcing him to read a prepared statement as he alleged happened when he wickedly annulled June 12th MKO Abiola election?
Nigerians, please do not be swindled by Babangida into giving him the benefit of the doubt with a presidential mandate, as he has not come out fully to explain what is driving his mad ambition for another foray into power; but is instead keeping it very close to his chest. Were Icheoku to second-guess his principal reason, it is to avenge the north's perceived shortchanging by Olusegun Obasanjo; and take it from Icheoku to the bank, should the impossible happen and Babangida gets into Aso Rock, his first order of business will be to arrest Obasanjo and prosecute him for daring the north? This Islamic fanatic, who surreptitiously smuggled Nigeria into OIC without proper consultation or consensus from the multi-religious populace, feels that Nigeria is becoming too secular and that Obasanjo dealt the Islamic Sharia North, a wrong hand and cannot wait to play their Saladin. Just recently he ignored the old wise warning that he who lives in a glass house should not throw stones when he called for the investigation of all the plane crashes that occurred in Nigeria under the watch of Olusegun Obasanjo; and they were many including the one that killed poet JP Clark and hundreds others, some military top guns in Manbilla Plateau, the Sultan of Sokoto and over hundred of Fulani/Hausa top-heavies including a Federal Senator and the two that crashed in Port-Harcourt etc?
Icheoku have nothing against any such investigation to unravel some suspected strange occurrences geared towards preventing any future repeat of what happened; but we have issue with Babangida instigating it. A sponsor and perpetrator of state-terrorism, a black kettle calling a pot black should not be allowed to suddenly become holier than thou. Were it another source that is championing the investigation, no problem; but IBB, just forget it. Otherwise the probe should start with him from the Ejigbo staged-plane crash that wiped out 139 young army officers including a friend Major Mbah, the parcel bomb that killed Dele Giwa, Mamman Vasta state murder using a phantom coup, June 12th election annulment, $12 billion missing Iraq-war oil money or better still, the source of his stupendous wealth, Zango Kataf massacre, Kano riot, SAP and the list goes on. Icheoku says, as between Babangida and Obasanjo, the only difference between them is in nomenclature of six and half dozen; both men are evil and should have been put away for good a long time ago, were Nigeria a lawful and law-abiding country? Both men suffered Nigeria without let and had joy doing it, being the monsters there are, who derive joy and happiness, seeing others pine away in sorrow, going through hell on earth. That some Nigerians are even entertaining the idea of a Babangida's possible come-back, with his antecedents and especially after the mad-bull in a China shop-syndrome exhibited by the other army man Obasanjo, is simply speaking scandalous and unfathomable. It smacks of an unconscionable group of people, political profiteers, pirates of the polity, buccaneers out to reap from the carcass of the beached whale and who are as always without any essence in them; and believe you me, Babangida himself will privately be wondering that too, after all that he visited on Nigerians during his regime of terror and corruption that some Nigerians still desire him?
In a piece Icheoku picked up while researching this article, one commentator quipped: "Does it occur to IBB that given his recent political machinations, it is apt to state that he can be named the most divisive element in Nigeria today? Does a person in IBB's status not know that in this day and age, and given the turn of events in Nigeria, the hitherto abused PDP's zoning arrangement which he now champions, and which he is seen plotting to exploit for his political ambitions is a sure avenue to hand over the future of 150 million people to an inept president? Does he not know that the so-called North/South divide in Nigeria's political lexicon is an amorphous contraption cooked up by politicians scheming to share political perquisites? Does IBB not know that on the surface, the zoning arrangement may project fairness to all, but deep down, it is a phenomenon that entrenches divisions between Nigeria's ethnic groups? Does he not know that the type of divide-and-rule politics he is seen to be orchestrating is an antithesis to how political leaders can be chosen in a democracy? It's no use advancing the deceptive argument that every country has its own sort of democracy as democracy is indivisible."
Icheoku adds, this is a truism since democracy is definite and not amendable to peculiar whimsical adaptations by countries including Babangida's Nigeria; being a government of the people by the people and for the people; any other thing short of this is definitely not democracy defined, period. Therefore any thing that in anyway truncates or attempts to truncate on the will of the people by whatever arrangement made or not made, agreed or not agreed, laid in stone or fluidly, is a misnomer; not a democracy hence is dispensable and disposable, including the so called gentleman's internal arrangement of the PDP. Given that the determinative factor is constitutionality, the question remains whether or not the so called PDP's arrangement conflicts with any known right guaranteed under the constitution? If yes, then to the extent it sort to deny a right vested by the constitution, it is void and voidable; hence President Jonathan is empowered by the constitution to ignore such illegality and proceed full steam with his presidential ambition in 2011 if he so desires. It is the trite law of the land that rights cannot be arbitrarily proscribed by any over-broad arrangements or agreements, especially those reached without the effected parties reasonable consent.
Icheoku reminds Babangida that zoning or rotation of the presidency is counter his earlier position that federal character quota system be done away with in Nigeria; being the same thing - just two sides of the same coin since both tend to undermine meritocracy while institutionalizing mediocrity. Debunking Babangida's theory of fallacy that zoning is imperative and needed “to keep the union stable in order to encourage and sustain developmental initiatives across board,” Icheoku said it is not so since the north was almost continuously in power for thirty-eight years of Nigeria's fifty years life and Nigeria did not go to hell in hand's basket or evaporate into the thin air? Babangida's northerner argument is so weak that it gives more impetus to President Jonathan's position that tribal and religious sentiments are usually a means to an end by some scheming individuals, and not necessarily an end to a means that is worthy and sustainable. But like the evil-genius he claims to be, when Babangida blew away Gideon Orkar and his compatriots he forgot Benue/Plateau is part of the north? When Babangida murdered Mamman Vasta and poured acid on his dead body, he forgot that the name sounds northern? When he visited mayhem on Zango Kattaf, he forgot that southern Kaduna is also part of the north? When he overthrew Shehu Shagari and Muhammadu Buhari, he forgot that both men are his compatriot Hausa-Fulani northerners? But now, low and behold, he is pushing a northern cohesive agenda and wants to ride the northern bandwagon into Aso Rock as their protector Saladin? Anyway, Nigerians have been put on notice by Babangida and they will be shamed if Babangida fools them twice. So, Nigerians decide today who shall be your president come 2011; but for Icheoku, we shall not have Babangida and will work tirelessly to stop his march back to power.
Icheoku asks Babangida, if federal character quota system is no longer fashionable within the Nigeria's socio-economic and political system.and deserves to be abolished, what then is the fashion in a 'zoning system' that should make Nigeria proudly wear it? Why is Babangida prevaricating, approbating and reprobating, and being all over the map on the same issue just like America's Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona who was once for so many things including immigration reform but now is no longer for anything; or his Democratic counterpart Senator John Kerry who said he was voted for war funding before he later voted against it? Has Babangida become so 'politicianized' that he now speaks politically - telling every side and every person who cares to listen, what they will like to hear? Has Babangida become gifted with the modern day equivalence of biblical 'speaking in tongues,' if you will prefer that analogy; that every listener hears the version of his thought that he wants to hear? But is it fair not to ask Babangida directly to really explain himself and his position, instead of all these varying interpretations or trying to figure out which side of the fence he really is on? Babangida, Icheoku asks, why the double speak, tongue in the cheek equivocations; they are as confusing as they are misleading and at best, useless. Babangida, Icheoku queries the rationality of your assertion that 'federal character has been defeated by circumstances and no longer useful', when you now want to reintroduce and revive the same previously chastised policy through the back-door, with the amorphous zoning system which you are the champion of? FYI:- Icheoku however agrees with the evil-one that there should be devolution of more powers and responsibilities to the states and local governments; and reconfiguration of the command structure of the police to allow states and local governments fashion out their respective internal security needs and man that through some form of state police with provisions shielding them from unnecessary abuse by overbearing chief executives).
Babangida's newly found passionate fervor with zoning system also runs counter his earlier position, which he conveyed at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, that Nigeria’s growth and democracy is being challenged because the nation still accords greater emphasis to the religion and tribe of its citizens in deciding who occupies public positions? Quoting the evil-genius, “For now, there is still too much emphasis on religion and ethnic origin and little respect for merit and competence in choosing who occupies public office in Nigeria.” Icheoku reminds Babangida, in case his brainwave is flashing counter-clockwise, that the presidency is a 'public office' position and is also amenable to his prescribed new rule of competence and merit, as being the guide and only determinative factor for who occupies it. Further, referring to Babangida's irrational position that 'zoning stabilizes democracy', Icheoku emphasis that contrary to that, Nigeria's true stability rather depends on real democracy where the best and brightest is thrown up through popular votes to lead the people who enthusiastically follows, and not his newly found gospel of warped theory of zoning, which fertilizes and fosters medicority? True democracy also provides that any qualified bona-fide citizen of a practicing country, with Nigeria being the test-tube case here, can run for any office; including President Goodluck Jonathan who is eminently qualified and can run for the presidency of Nigeria. Babangida was also quoted as saying, “Our country needs clear-headed, public-spirited leaders at every level to propel this country to a higher stage of development than is presently the case. If we have the right calibre of people at the helms of affairs, then it will be much easier to practice democracy in truth and indeed." To this Icheoku interjects that Babangida is not clear-headed nor public spirited; and is not the right caliber of individual who would allow democracy to thrive, having annulled June 12th, the freest and fairest democratic election ever held in Nigeria. Also if according to Babangida, religion is a personal affair with God/Allah, where each individual will personally answer for his own deeds before the Almighty, Icheoku asks, why then did he forcibly and surrepitiously smuggle 150 million Nigerians wholesale and lumpsum into the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), without their input or consent; and without even calling for a referendum on the matter from the different ethinicities and religiousities of a secular Nigeria to determine their pulse? Does this devil maycare know that gaffees of this nature roil the people of Nigeria so badly that it hurts? Hopefully Babangida is since ready to answer for all the atrocities of murder, corruption, destruction, lies and deceits which were the hallmark and corner-stone of his armed and dangerous eight years military intervention in Nigeria.
In the final analysis, call it his signature forked tongue moments or tongue in cheek conceited and insincere gaffes, but one thing is certain, that this Machivelian army man wears his secrets very close to his heart and do not usually tell anyone what he is really thinking or what his real action or game plans is. But Nigeria will be better off without him as no one want to relive the nightmare that was his 8 years of hijack of power in Nigeria in the eighties. Babangida's hands are bloody, soiled with innocent blood of so many Nigerians including dele Giwa, Mamman Vasta, Gideon Orkar and his patriotic crew, Zango Katafans, June 12th mayhem victims and such other Nigerians that his direct order, acts, omission and suggestion sent to their early graves? Babangida's thoughts are evil that dreamt up the annullment; and his deeds are calamitous that ignored Justice Oputa duly constituted legal panel of reconcilition which shows that he does not want a peaceful one Nigeria where the rule of law is supreme? Icheoku asks Nigerians, so why gamble with the possibility that this leopard IBB has changed or will change its spots? It is not even worth trying as the old dog IBB cannot be taught any new trick? Even the prospect of his becoming imposed on Nigerians is already causing so much restlessness and hysteria among the polity; so Nigerians why do you want to overheat the polity with the IBB question? Therefore Nigerians must move on without the evil one, Ibrahim Badamosi Bbabangida. Reject Project IBB, say no to IBB 2011.
Icheoku wants to end this piece by urging Nigerians to put to an end such crass and mundane tribal and religious allegiances, that brings about a situation where the President of the country was forced to wash the country's dirty linen before the watching world's global audience? The ethnic and religious dimensions to everything in Nigeria including politics has gotten so ridiculously entrenched that Nigeria is now a laughing stock of the world and a poster-country for tribalism and religious intolerance. It is a shame that Nigeria has degenerated so much because of tribalism and religious affinities that it was described by its president in far away Canada in the following unflattering terms:- “We are a country where our leaders tend to play tribal sentiments, saying I am from the South-South; I am from North-west; I am North, I am South, I am a Muslim and I am a Christian. All these are for selfish motives to make people who probably cannot compete with others, use these sentiments to get what they ordinarily are incapable of getting.” Icheoku says, this is a classical definition of a mediocre country and coming from the horse's mouth, the president, carries a basketful of credibility. This is the single most damaging factor of the Nigeria state; wherein people are relegated to the back while mallams without ability are foist on the populace as their leaders. The result is the comatose state of affairs in Nigeria caused by various inpet leaderships with which it was cursed for a long time until just few months ago? It is a basic law of life that one cannot give that which he does not have; implicit in which is that Nigeria cannot benefit from a bankrupt leadership, hence its continued down-ward spiral; but seriously speaking, don't you often wonder, can a blind man lead a man with sight?
Icheoku agrees with President Jonathan that Nigeria is populated with ethnic bigots including himself, who ironically manifests this through his dressing; as he continually reminds Nigerians daily that he is an Ijaw man who happen to be president of Nigeria, and by default, Icheoku adds? President Jonathan has maintained a monolithic fashion sense since he became president of Nigeria and even as its vice president, with his screaming Ijaw-biased traditional resource control outfits? If President Jonathan sees himself as truly the president of one Nigeria and not an Ijaw-man first president, why then does he not periodically adorn other Nigerian tribal outfits such as Yoruba's agbada, Hausa's babaringa and Igbo's red cap with jompar or even a well cut Armani suit? Why does he always have to wear his signature Ijaw bowler hat resource-control outfit which makes him come off as 'the Ijaw man who happens to be president of Nigeria?' What would other tribes and sections of Nigeria feel like whenever they see their supposed president not identifying with their own culture periodically - ALIENATED! Anyway, Nigeria is what it is - a land where tribal loyalty comes first before any other thing else; and so President Jonathan was wrong in branding anyone tribal because every Nigeria is guilty as charged with tribal bigotry; otherwise show Icheoku who in Nigeria is not a tribal bigot in some sense? But Babangida must not be president! Say no to Babangida; reject Project IBB 2011.