Millions of Nigerians still squirm and terrify when they hear the name “IBB”. The recalcitrant being is a physical trauma that will never go away from millions of Nigerians for decades and for million others until death do them part. For over two decades the name General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has been familiar in virtually every household in Nigeria and will never go away anytime soon. On August 27, 1985, almost twenty-five years ago this clever but extremely dangerous, cunning and death-defying military dictator shockingly busted the door of power through a military coup and declared himself Nigeria’s military president. Even though he had the instruments of death in his hands and dreadful tongue of terror that spat lethal fire, he attempted to persuade Nigerians to believe that he was the liberator the country deserved. But his boisterous zest for power control, sadistic manipulation and viciousness of killer venom in him can never be covered for so long.
The self-styled military president, who earned the manipulative nickname of “Maradona” after the adroit Argentine football genius, Diego Maradona, launched his cruel attacks against his fellow men in the military, befuddled the nation’s political topography and Nigerians in general. He generously rolled out inhumane and exploitive decrees to intimidate and suppress voices of reasoning from threatened nonconformists, among them the Ogoni who had just launched (in 1990’s) legitimate campaigns against decades of environmental degradation, exploitation, injustice, neglect and systematic ethno-genocide in Ogoni.
Babangida, through his infamous Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) and other defective economic subterfuge ravaged and drowned Nigeria economy. His regime uncontrollably mismanaged and misappropriated the bountiful windfalls from the oil boom following the Gulf War in the 1990’s. Babangida masterminded the siphoning and or diverting public funds into private accounts. His regime uncapped, edified and popularized freely the concept and the entrenched culture of corruption, kickbacks, bribery and fraud in public sector which remain Nigeria’s chronic and foremost quandary today. The devious, manipulative and controversial attempts by the Babangida’s regime to secretly coerce a heterogeneous and religiously diverse Nigerian society into full-fledged membership of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) generated contentious religious and political debates during and after his administration. The wrong impressions his regime had created more than two decades ago are chiefly influential to the insoluble religious tensions and challenge among others the country still face today.
As he contrived to transform from a military ruler to democratic leader he heightened his political onslaughts on the nation. IBB devoured the country's treasury with the intent to buy the conscience of Nigerians at all cost. He smothered Nigeria democracy, denied and robbed Nigerians of their absolute political rights, ruined the country’s politics and murdered hundreds of innocent citizens and political opponents alike. Consequently, like the infamous Serpent in the old Garden of Eden, the former military president and self acclaimed ‘evil genius’ will never be mistaken in Nigeria polity, He will forever be remembered for his unforgettable, unpardonable and insurmountable anguish and his undisputable ties to the myriad horror, despair and heinous crimes the country witnessed during his eight years (1985 – 1993) of undeterred cruelty and tyranny.
IBB treacherously hoodwinked the country with his bogus and ambiguous but deceptive and illusory transition programs to democratic governance. He spent astronomical funds on the so-called transition program which he later truncated by proscribing all political parties and unilaterally created a two-party system, giving birth to the National Republican Convention (NRC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP). The famous late Chief Ajibola Ige described the notorious creation of the two parties as “two leper hands”. Despite the confusion and widely expressed public concern in the country IBB went on to urge Nigerians to accept, embrace and join the two parties whose agendas, manifestoes and philosophies they barely understood. IBB also embarked on a gigantic but fraudulent National Identification Card project and spent uncontrollably for the fruitless program. Apparently, this was another witty means of the IBB regime to misappropriate and siphon money and burgle the national treasury.
This murderer of one of Nigeria finest journalists, Mr. Dele Giwa had repeatedly and defiantly flouted and egregiously demonstrated that he is above the law of the country. For eight years Nigerians suffered terribly under Babangida’s despotic regime that turned Nigeria’s hope into irremediable quagmire and misery. For eight years this cruel ruler rebelled against the shared values, popular will and sensibility of Nigerian citizens and continued to do so since afterward. By the annulment of Nigeria’s most popular, freest and fairest presidential election won by late Chief Moshood K. O. Abiola on June 12, 1993, IBB has brought Nigerian democracy fifty years aback. Ironically, he wants to come back as leader of Nigeria through electoral process. What an insult on the sensibility, conscience and civility of the people of Nigeria? If as battered, brittle, vulnerable and unstable the country was in 1993, Nigerians were able to pressure IBB to ‘step aside’ in ignominy, what will stop us from putting final nails on this outlandish and defiant autocrat terrorizing the freedom and liberty of Nigerian citizens and stability of the country? We, Nigerians in this 21st century cannot afford to jinx the future of Nigeria and future generations.
The doggedly undaunted tyrant is prowling on his interminable quest to turn Nigeria into his personal empire again in 2011.Allowing Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to rule Nigeria again is self-inflicted suicide for all Nigerians. Even as superfluously wealthy as he is, he was alleged couple of years ago to be receiving millions of naira in monthly allocations from the Niger State treasury for maintenance of his palatial residence in Minna. What an insensitive egoist! Help join the cause to save Nigeria from collapse, horror, horrendous rulers, repressed democracy and other entrenched incongruous status quo that scuttle stable development, mortgage security and threaten stability of Nigeria. Help to install and strengthen trusted and responsive democratic governance entrenched in the shared values of the people of Nigeria. This is a very crucial and quintessential call all Nigerians need to respond to immediately.
Fellow concerned Nigerians, pessimism is not an excuse neither is insensitivity a panacea for the growing Nigeria’s challenges and ominous future, but our collective response to the obligatory duty call to our country. This wild human blizzard called “IBB” doesn’t love Nigeria and so must be stopped now or Nigerians will forever regret.
I urge all Nigerians to sign the online petition initiated by the Nigerian Democratic Liberty Forum (NDLF). http://petition.ndlf-ng.org.