Monday, September 20, 2010
BABANGIDA'S PRESIDENTIAL QUEST, A VOYAGE DOOMED BEFORE IT SET SAIL!
When way back in 1999 this contributor wrote urging Nigerians not to acquiesce to the return of army man Olusegun Obasanjo back to power, as that will open the floodgates for all other army men to queue up waiting for their turn particularly Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. So many people told me to me to be real and branded my reservation against Obasanjo as the usual anti-Yoruba sentiments. Peradventure, Nigerians paid dearly for that grave mistake of allowing Obasanjo's comeback; which subsists till today. Obasanjo, having let the dogs out, another disgraced former army man has presented himself to Nigerians to plead his case to be let back into power. The recent declaration of the resident evil, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, for the presidency of Nigeria is not only an affront on Nigerians but a bad example of what happens when a people do not stand firm against evil. Had Nigerians remembered what Olusegun Obasanjo did in the 70s particularly his repression of students and other trade unions which led to "Ali must go" riot of 1978; and rejected his candidacy then in 1999, there is no way in hell that Ibrahim Babangida would have ventured on the same thorough-fare to Aso Rock now. But a 'monkey see monkey do' mentality has now spurred Babangida to want to match and possibly outdo Obasanjo's ruling record, with his declaration to rule Nigeria as her elected president in 2011. But Babangida will be surprised at the abysmal failure his campaign will receive in the hands of the Nigeria people at the polls, assuming he doesn't chicken out before the d-day as has become his customary cowardly stock-in-trade practice. And to make matters worst, this self-styled prince of Minna is jumping the gun and instead of doing first things first, he is pretending the preliminary imperative can easily be glossed over. Icheoku says, Babangida before you seriously get involved in your presidential pipe-dream, please first explain in detail to the Nigerian people, why your previous eight years first coming to power was such an atrocious experience for Nigerians; thereafter apologize profusely to them for the sweat and blood which you took away from them. A good place to start is to explain why June 12th ended in flames; and mindful that it was Nigerians mandate held in trust by Abiola that you messed up, apologize and ask for their forgiveness. Then visit UruEkpen and ask Dele Giwa's people to please forgive you for murdering their son or better still for being the man in-charge in Nigeria when their son was brutally parcel bombed. Then tell Nigerians that your scorning Oputa panel was out of your rascally misbehavior and that you have since grown up and now no longer a hot head or so explosively ill mannered and tempered. Then tell Nigerians that admitted you took control of $12billion of their money, that you used it to develop Abuja and nest your retirement; that you are not arguing or trying to justify any of your evil actions but merely asking for their understanding and peradventure, forgiveness. That Mamman Vasta, Gideon Orkar and co were victims of an army survival tactics which you learnt in Defence Academy? That those army officers that you killed in Ejigbo faked military plane crash also had to go because of security imperatives. And that all the money you amassed were not Nigerians' money but kickbacks you got from being a corrupt head of state and that they should understand and please forgive your poor judgment. Lastly that you surreptitiously took Nigeria into OIC (Orgnization of Islamic Countries) membership not out of your free will but out of instigation of Saudi Arabia; that you will use all powers within your authority to withdraw them as soon as you are inaugurated. Except that such a day of your official oath taking as Nigeria's president shall never arise as you are both unelectable and heavily disliked and hated by every sane Nigerian. Now Babangida, Icheoku wants you to know that the beef Nigerians have with you is not necessarily because of your numerous acts of misdeeds while in office, but for your arrant and arrogant refusal to ask for their forgiveness, atone for your sins and make amends. Nigerians are a forgiving bunch and if only Babangida has come genuflecting before the wronged millions of Nigerians, all these army lined against his candidacy would have been unarmed and of peace keeping nature than the present one firing on all cylinders. Regrettably, Babangia and his handlers do not get it and are not getting it - the real reason why the resistance against him is so goal-directed, fierce and widely spread; otherwise he would have long adjusted his strategy and come before Nigerians, humbled and in tears, plead for their forgiveness. That is the only way Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida would and could jump-start his near dead on arrival presidential effort and securing power again in Nigeria. Anything short of this is not necessary as they are efforts in futility akin to putting the cart before the horse. If Babangida wants to plant a farm of Nigerians, he must first cultivate it and this is the missing link of his lacklustre campaign efforts this far. It does not matter how many times he flies to Enugu in his ill-gotten private plane to meet with Ojukwu or to the West to meet some other Yoruba leaders or to the north to meet with some emirs; Icheoku says until he resolves his problem with Nigerians and apologizes to them, he is just wasting his time.
The rehashed speech at his declaration of intent notwithstanding, Icheoku fact-checks as follows:- the situation Nigerians face today are minor compared to what they were forced to endure during Babangida's eight long years of murderous regime; that nothing infrastructural was developed then; that power supply was the ever "never expect power always" and so was telephony and other communications, which led to his then communication minister David Mark, the now senate president to once say that 'telephone is not for the poor;' that Babangida never harnessed the abundant human resources available in Nigeria instead he was busy blowing them away with parcel bombs; that instead of encouraging education he was in constant war with higher institutions, arresting and jailing students union members as well as Academic Staff Union officials including the current INEC chairman Attahiru Jega; and corruption was midwifed by Babangida as his own beloved child. So Icheoku does not see how Babangida would kill what he gave birth to or better still, let Babangida show leadership by example by explaining to Nigerians how he came about his humongous fortune including a private jet? Babangida Icheoku says it is either you do what is expected of you - apologize to Nigerians for your regimental misdeeds especially the political roller-coaster ride that ended in June 12th annulment or just forget about the 2011 presidency. Just in case you need to be reminded, Nigerians have since passed their verdict - they do not want to relive the nightmare that was your first coming and are now tone-deaf to whatever message you may have, get it! What a politically damaged good this toothy-fairy, evil-incarnate is; and he doesn't even appreciate the enormity of the hate Nigerians nurse for him.