General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Becomes An Apostle Of Federalism

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Written by Prince DAM Adeyeye

It was reported in virtually all the Nigerian Dailies on the 2nd April 2010 that the Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), spent several hours consulting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Otta, Ogun State on the viability of running for the 2011 presidency.

What intrigues me so much is not the “consultation” between two private citizens, but rather, it’s shocking irony of one African’s notorious dictators now preaching the gospel of federalism in Nigeria, of course heaven rejoice over every lost sheep redeemed or found, but the metaphor IBB suddenly becoming a federalist is incomprehensible and mind boggling.

The question that really bothers me is: if truly IBB is a federalist as he now articulates, then when did his conversion and redemption from a dictator to a federalist occurred?

For as much as I know, this conversion did not occur, when he (IBB) orchestrated his coup against General Muhammadu Buhari on 27th August, 1985, nor it did occurred during his rule, when he actually perpetuated one of the worst human right abuses, beyond the scope and impact of that of Muhammadu Buhari, which was the pretext of his coup in the first place.

Certainly this conversion did not occur, during the same time that he failed to answers questions about the death of Dele Giwa, (the Nigerian journalist-editor and founder of Newswatch magazine) as well as lots of unresolved political assassinations on his watch.

Neither did his botched political transition programmes reflect that of federalist, when he banned all political parties formed by ordinary Nigerians of the same mind and the same ideology, only to replace them with his two political parties, which the Late Chief Ajibola Ige famously referred to as "two leper hands" : SDP and NRC. Certainly it doesn’t reflect federalism when he compelled Nigerians to join either of the parties to foster on us his political dubious agenda.

His political ideology or philosophy couldn’t have been that of the fundamentals of federalism, when he annulled without justification the most adjudged freest and fairest election in Nigerian political history that produced the southern Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola in 1993 or even the most absurd and ridiculous excuses he gave a decade later, for the annulment.

His inconsistent economic policies, between the infamous “Structural Adjustment Program" (SAP), taking the IMF loans (against the will of Nigerians), the inflationary economic policy, the deregulatory initiatives he reverted to during the later part of his tenure does not reflects any iota of federalism.

His secret pact of willing Nigeria (as if his personal estate) over to the dictator of Doom: Late General Sani Abacha, is not a principle or even act compatible with the doctrine of federalism as practised in America, Canada, India, Australia or within the European Union.

The core my argument therefore is, If IBB during his regime and days in power as one of Nigerian brutal dictator did not espouse federalism, then, when actually did he become a federalist?

The answer is obvious! He became a federalist yesterday, and for the expediency of 2011 political aspiration.

After his consultation, with General Obasanjo, he told the country that he would favourably be disposed to the presidency of the country if it was the yearning of Nigerians.

Nigerians! this essentially is the ploy of suddenly becoming a federalist, because he can simply claim whenever he finishes his ongoing round of so called “consultation” with his former military colleagues like General Obasanjo and co, that it is the will of Nigerians that he runs as president in the 2011 elections. To that end we know that his consultations were not with the ordinary Nigerians, rather his consultations are between him and the political cabal, American & British Governments, the Military elites, (perhaps maybe not with the inclusion of General Muhammadu Buhari.) and the political sycophants already campaigning for him, trying hoodwink Nigerians to their selfish and unpatriotic political machination by pleading that we should forgive IBB of his “past errors of judgment” which were too many, too often.

Indeed Nigerians perhaps may forgive him, but as far will of the people is concerned in 2011, IBB is neither a leader nor federalist Nigeria need at this crucial juncture in our history. Nigeria is too blessed with human resource and dynamic as a nation to keep recycling evil genius like IBB as leaders.

If IBB, during his 8 years rule, could not guarantee Nigerians, their political and fundament rights and freedoms, could not organise a truly federal constitutional reform, grant the aspiration of States like Lagos to create their own state police, nor recognise the rights of State to equal constitutional sovereignty as under the doctrine of federalism, then there is no new dimension to his political ideologies and philosophies, end of story!

Even, IBB, through the support of his cohorts, sycophants and the backing of the American and the British governments (as they have indicated, lobbied and argued for, because of their interest in Nigerian Oil and economic imperatives) successfully impose himself as a candidate for the 2011 election. We the people and opposition would vehemently reject him for whom he truly is- A dictator!.

My advice for IBB and his cohort is to listen the voice of wisdom: Enough is a Enough!

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