Monday, August 2, 2010
BABANGIDA, A FLAWED AND TRAGIC CHARACTER EXTRA-ORDINAIRE!
His admirers and praise-singers alike call him the prince of Minna. Icheoku, because there is no love lost between him and us, call him the toothy-fairy monster of Minna. Icheoku sometimes also refers to him as the devil incarnate of a Nigeria in distress; the architect of Nigeria's festering corruption. An amorphous human specimen whose cancerous impact on Nigeria is still metastasizing and resonating, albeit very negatively, several years since his first forcible incursion into power in 1985. Babangida is so much loathed by Nigerians including Icheoku that we do not wish him well. If we had our way, he would long since have been cooling off at Kuje or Abakiliki prison for the disaster he visited on Nigeria, assuming he is spared the death penalty. Yet this mongrel unabashedly still desires to once again rule Nigeria; and you ask yourself under what possible scenario could such a human aberration ever find himself back in the saddle of power in a democratic Nigeria, where Nigerians are allowed to chose who would rule them? Except of course Nigerians drank of some hallucinatory cool-aid there is no way in hell that Babangida will ever be allowed to preside over the affairs of Nigeria again through popular votes. Babangida had the opportunity once before when he hijacked governance in Nigeria and it was sorrow, tears and blood of an experience for Nigerians and no sane Nigerian living ever wants to relive that IBB's nightmare again. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is a tragic persona who is in perpetual confrontation with his gods; fighting and wrestling with them at every time and place that he is greatly troubled and unguided. His latest pet-project, operation rule Nigeria at any and whatever cost, is one such affront with his destiny and it is not boding well for him; again he is going against the wind of his gods advise. Many Nigerians have also on the graves of their mothers, sworn and declared that never again shall the evil genius of Nigeria rule Nigeria. Icheoku says, provided these crop of Nigerians are steadfast this time and will not jump ship later, lured away by the smell of Babangida's corrupting-cash, in their camp does Icheoku pitch its tent and together, we shall work to stop cold Babangida's inordinate ambition to rule Nigeria again. Who knows also if the alleged stroke suffered by Babangida recently had affected his brains to the extent that he has been speaking with forked-tongue and does not appear to be articulate anymore. Icheoku have gathered some of Babangida's recent misspeaks and poorly articulated guffaws, which any savvy person especially one running for an elective office should not have made but avoided like leprosy. Here are some of such regrettable moments of damaging gaffes which could very appositely be titled "The Many Contradictions of IBB."
1. IBB said he is a democrat yet he annulled the freest and fairest democratic election ever held in Nigeria. Where therefore is IBB's democratic credentials if he could so viciously and violently stab democracy on the chest and in such vagrant and confrontational manner as he did with June 12 MKO Abiola presidential election?
2. Babangida said he and his family loves journalists, yet he killed Dele Giwa, fully aware that he is a journalist and on top of his game when he murdered him with parcel bomb? If this is how to love journalists, then no journalist should be loved.
3. Babangida said that Muhammadu Buhari is the best man to lead Nigeria, yet he is running in competition with Buhari for the same highest office in the land; after first overthrowing Buhari's government in 1985.
4. Babangida in 2008 said that he was too old to start running around now campaigning for any office in Nigeria including the presidency of course. But here is IBB in 2010 now beating his chest as the man to beat in the 2011 presidential election; and you wonder whether his center of gravity Maryam's departure affected his mind in such a way that he now reversed himself shamelessly?
5. Babangida pleaded for Abacha's hit-man in chief Mustapha to be released from prison on compassionate family grounds; yet he forgot that he, Babangida, killed so many Nigerians who had families and without ever considering that their families will miss them? Dele Giwa had family both in Iru-Ekpen and Lagos; Mamman Vasta had family; Gloria Okon had family and the list goes on.
6. Babangida said he is compassionate yet he did not blink an eye-lid when he sentenced his best friend Mamman Vasta to death, only for his Minister of Defense then Domkat Bali to inform the Nigeria people that Mamman Vasta was executed a few hours ago?
7. Babangida was a poor, impoverished almajiri kid growing up, yet he is reputedly the richest African alive today. Icheoku asks, how did he come about his present great fortune; except as every Dick, Tom and Harry knows, he is the most corrupt former head of state alive? But how does a man who usually is not given to head-on confrontation or direct action always get away with his numerous atrocities. Babangida could not accept responsibility for annulling June 12th election but blamed it on a fantasy forces which threatened to kill him should he not do as ordered? Babangida could not look Abacha in the eye and retire him when he stepped aside? Babangida could not defy Obasanjo's orders not to run against Yar'Adua and chickened out of a 2007 presidential run? Most recently, intimidated by some students who threatened to disrupt his flagging off of his moribund campaign in Ibadan, Babangida once again turned tail because his safety cannot be guaranteed; leading Icheoku to ponder aloud, does this aging Maradona of Nigeria really have what it takes to deserve all the literature being written about and concerning him? Is he the brave army man he reputedly corners for himself or a child of destiny who providence puts at the right place each time history is to be written that he has assumed the colossal place in Nigeria's analytical history? How Babangida's true-bravery history will be written depends on whether, faced with the current barrage of mounting opposition to his run, he once again withdraws from the presidential race, this time for President Goodluck Jonathan. Should he under any subterfuge, reason or excuse, shy away again from contesting the presidential election in 2011 contrary to his several boasts that he would not, then Icheoku shall add its voice to the cacophony of voices screaming 'an opportunist coward of the country,' each time the name of Ibrahim Badamosi babangida is ever mentioned again. But irrespective of what happens to Babangida's wishful thinking of a presidential run in 2011, as the national publicity secretary of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said, "Babangida could run in 2011, but it had become obvious that he would ‘run into jail or exile but certainly not into Aso Rock. Jail and exile are the only two places rightfully left for him now to run into." Icheoku also wants to reiterate, aligning itself with Razak Olokooba, that 'if Babangida had annulled the June 12th election based on the opinion of certain individuals against the wish of the Nigerian people, it is very possible that he would hurt the Nigerian masses again through the decision of those few individuals,' if elected and therefore must be rejected as the political leper he is. Once again, Icheoku says, away with Babangida; Nigerians please say no to Project IBB 2011.