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Dotun Oyeniyi
BSc.(Hons); LLB (Hons); LLM (Lond)

Author, Economist and Practicing Attorney
London, England

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NEVER AGAIN! SHOULD WE ALLOW BABANGIDA TO RULE NIGERIA
by Dotun Oyeniyi

At almost 70, what else can IBB offer us but the same old shit?  The world is moving beyond geriatric governance and human recycling and Nigeria can not be an exception.  Of all the presidential hopefuls, IBB is the clearest danger to the survival of our nascent democracy; a vote for IBB is not only the laying of foundation for the annulment of 2015 or 2019 elections but also a tacit agreement with IBB that we are a nation of morons.  Never again

 

There comes a moment in the lives and times of most clever men, when out of a self deluding believe in their supposed superior intellect over others and the assumed idiocy of others; they end up taking decisions which are anything but clever.  I strongly believe that that moment is here for General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) with his decision to return to power.

 

Without doubt, IBB would have started to rue the very moment he decided to throw his hat into the ring for the 2011 presidential contest.  Everywhere he had turned since jettisoning his magnificent Hill Top Villa for political gallivants across the nation; IBB has met nothing but condemnation of his latest ambition by the people; except, predictably, his friends, in-laws and hanger-ons who have seen his possible return to power as an assured avenue to another round of lucrative deals and political appointments and thus continue to hail his candidature. 

By attempting to come back to power, IBB has taken all of us for some amnesiac fools.  Forget about his pretensions about wanting to contribute his own quota or his incredulous, degrading and offensive declaration that Nigeria lacks experienced youthful hands. Truth be told, IBB planned return to power is less an act of patriotism than of self-interest.

Given his antecedents; IBB should not have contemplated a return to power at all.  Here was a man who caused a needless and avoidable impasse out of a free and fair, in fact, the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria.  After annulling the June 12 election, IBB left Nigeria in a confused and comatose state, to either swim or sink, under a hurriedly contrived but illegal government of Ernest Shonekan, and fled to the safety and opulence of his Minna mansion, with his tail between his two legs.

The unjustified and obviously unjustifiable annulment of the June 12 election casts a long, dark shadow over IBB’s trustworthiness to be entrusted with power again.  In spite of his outward bravado, IBB knows, deep inside him, that the annulment decision is a heavy and terrible burden that he will carry for the rest of his life.  The burden would have been made lighter and less terrible if IBB had summoned the courage to admit his fault and apologise to Nigerians. 

But IBB is not one to apologise.  As a person, he is capable of a breathtaking arrogance and nothing evidenced this more than his obdurate refusal to apologise over the annulment and to appear before Justice Oputa led Human Rights Violation Commission.  About June 12 election’s annulment, he has said that he takes responsibility for it, but as much as he thinks we are not, we are indeed clever enough to know the big gulf between taking responsibility and offering an apology.

IBB is a character with a scary cocktail of terrible reputations encompassing  backstabbing of his friends; palm greasing to buy his ways; accommodating of corruption; insidiousness; dishonesty in the name of political dribbling; cultivating friendship with ‘sheathed claws’; sit-tightism in power and the abundant possession of weapons of mass deception.  Given all these characteristics, only a nation peopled by just morons will entrust its destiny in the hands of such a character again.

Nigerians would never forget Abacha’s reign of terror which would never have come up if IBB had not annulled the June 12 election.  Diminutive but ruthless; General Abacha neither had respect for civilians nor reverence for his fellow soldiers.  He and his murderous team had neither inhibition nor decorum as they rode the nation roughshod forcing down poison down the throats of voices of opposition.  It is logical to hold IBB vicariously liable for Abacha’s reign of terror; the murder of Dele Giwa, Alfred Rewane and Kudi Abiola; the judicial murder of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 8 and the contentious death of MKO Abiola.

At almost 70, what else can IBB offer us but the same old shit?  The world is moving beyond geriatric governance and human recycling and Nigeria can not be an exception.  Of all the presidential hopefuls, IBB is the clearest danger to the survival of our nascent democracy; a vote for IBB is not only the laying of foundation for the annulment of 2015 or 2019 elections but also a tacit agreement with IBB that we are a nation of morons.  Never again!  
 

 

 


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