THE 5 REASONS WHY GENERAL IBRAHIM BABANGIDA (IBB) SHOULD NOT BE CELEBRATED.-By FESTUS AFOFUN
The ravaging calamity that befalls Nigeria as a country since colonial era is the act or re-writing history. The Nigeria ruling elites have successfully rewrote the Nigeria history by excluding themselves from the gory path of history and rebranding themselves as Liberators.
This unscrupulous act of rebranding criminals as statemens gets me infuriated. Ibrahim Babangida 80th years brith anniversary brought many fake achievements, hailings and wrong history about the former head of state and his roles in Nigeria Democracy.
Prominent person’s, academicians and influencers in Nigeria are trying to rewrite the gory details of Ibrahim Babangida widely known as Maradonna.
IBB as mostly called is a well-known coupist and enemy of democracy in Nigeria. He was born in August 17, 1941. IBB was a military dictator who ruled Nigeria from 1985 when he staged a palace coup that ousted General Muhammadu Buhari regime. IBB oversaw the brutal assassination of Dele Giwa a veteran investigative journalist who expose the criminalities of IBB and his cronies. Aside from annulment of June 12 election, massacres of dissent voices and enormous corruption committed by Ibrahim babangida what other things do you know about him?
Read five revelations I consciously expose out of numerous crimes against humanity committed by the cheaply celebrated paralyzed elder statesman Ibrahim Babangida.
1. Restrictions of Freedom of expression and press: Babangida crippled freedom of press and expression as various journalists, media houses, critics and civil societies suffered from his inhumane dictatorial 6years regime.
Three newspapers in Lagos owned by John West Publications were shut down in March, 1991 for thirteen days for what was described as “embarrassing publications” against the corrupt Military head of state IBB and his wife, relating to the Jennifer Madike case.
Also William Keeling, a correspondent for the British daily Financial Times, was expelled from Nigeria and declared persona non grata after he wrote an article that exposed the Babangida government of not reporting about half of the extra five billion dollars that it was estimated to have earned from higher oil prices during the Gulf war.
Many media houses were shut down and scores of journalists were imprisoned without charges. The press bitterly suffered from the claws of Babangida’s oppression.
2. Abortion of Democracy: Babangida was the Chief of Army Staff who annulled the June 12, 1993 election which happens to be the most free and fairest election in the history of Nigeria. The unofficial result of the election though not declared by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) but indicated a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). Babangida purportedly annuled the June 12 election after he discovered that Abiola won the election despite all machineries he put in place to truncate the electoral process.
The hidden reason why the archenemy of democracy General Maradonna failed the Nigeria people was that Abiola’s campaign focused on economic issues, as he was a vocal critic of the government’s structural adjustment program (SAP) which the Babaginda government had commenced the SAP in 1986, and following prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, he imposed austerity measures to ensure fiscal discipline by the state.
To interest you Tofa the government sponsored presidential candidate, support the SAP as he harmered the point that he will focus on the effective implementation of existing economy policies when he assume power.
Note that Babangida have closer ties with Tofa as he had once suggested Babangida remain president till 2000.
The evil genius annulef the June 12, election because of his nepotic, tribalistic, selfish and bourgeois interest.
3. Brutal clampdown on civil rights advocates: He jailed hundreds of activists and democrats who demanded for respect of human right and democratic government. He was so tyrannical and brutal that he admitted to a news magazine that his favorite alias was the “Evil Genius”.
Sometimes in n November 1991, the passport of human rights attorney Gani Fawehinmi was seized when he was on his way to London for medical treatment. No official reason was given for the action.
Human rights attorney Alao Aka-Bashorun’s passport, which was seized in 1990, has not yet been returned.
Popular public interest advocate Femi Falana was harassed on numerous occasions, apparently because of his role as defense counsel for Jennifer Madike, whose case was a headache for IBB tyrannical rule. Femi falana was arrested on May 12 1991, when security agents asked to see documents used in the defense of his client.
The activist passport was also seized in October 1991, when he was at the airport trying to leave the country to attend a meeting of non-governmental human rights organizations from the Commonwealth countries. The meeting had been called to lobby the 1991 Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference, which was being held in Zimbabwe. He was questioned over the next two days about the Madike case and accused of being insufficiently patriotic because of his opposition to the government-sponsored candidacies of Nigerians to fill prestigious positions in the international arena.
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was also jailed for years because he criticized the Maryam husband doctoral regime.
Babangida Maradonna also locked up pro-democracy activists in prison like Omoyele Sowore, Sheu Sanni and many others who led protests to demand for democracy in Nigeria.
4. Killings of students: Under babangida rule Thousands of students were massacred across various nigeria universities especially Zaria based on the ordwr of the military dictator Ibrahim Babangida. IBB military governments’ hostility to academic pursuits crippled universities throughout the country as academic operations were stopped.
In 1991, students were the targets of a Maradonna siege, The government crackeddown on student’s union and it’s leaders in May as response to an ultimatum issued by the National Association of Nigerian Students which the government later banned.
Bangida arrested and jailed over 500 students ranging from Lagos State University (LASU), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and other various institutions who protested against the government maladministration of educational system.
5. Corruption: Babangida was corrupt as Goodluck Jonathan former Nigeria president. IBB regime constitutionalize corruption even that his government of 8years regime does have find time to fight corruption. His government finds pleasure in looting the national treasury to enrich himself, friends and families.
Ibrahim Babangida administration was unable to give an account of the Gulf War windfall, which has been estimated to be $12.4 billion.
According to wikipedia.com, General Ibrahim Babangida’s tenure, corruption became a policy of the state that he routinely disbursed vehicles and cash gifts to people to earn loyalty, and the discipline of the military force eroded.”
The term “IBB Boys” emerged, meaning fronts for the head of state in the business realm, someone who usually transact dirty deals from drug dealing to money laundering and all sorts of corrupt deals.
Babangida coveteously enriched himself through banking, oil and import licenses as he used these favors to raise huge cash for himself and his allies.
As of today, IBB is regarded as the most richest past head of state in Nigeria due to his magnificent Mansion in Minna, Niger state and significant investment in Globacom one of the largest telecom operators in Nigeria.
I penned this piece down for this and next generation to know that Ibrahim Babaginda IBB is shrunk that cannot be deodorized. He looted national treasury, closed down universities for several months, he murdered his opponents, jailed journalists, closed down several newspapers and used various government privatization initiatives to reward friends and cronies, which eventually gave rise to the current class of nouveau riche in Nigeria. Babaginda is a thief that should be living in jail by now if only Nigeria is been led by good people not past criminals.
Festus Afofun is a writer and human rights activists writes from Ogun state, Nigeria. Festus can be reached via +234-705-517-2470 or email@example.com