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2011 and the IBB option

The pre-election tremors are being felt all over the world. People, especially Nigerians worldwide, are in total frenzy embellishing the probability of a possibility. Facebooks,…

The pre-election tremors are being felt all over the world. People, especially Nigerians worldwide, are in total frenzy embellishing the probability of a possibility. Facebooks, twitters, blogs, newspapers, television stations, internet newsgroups, person-to-person emails, radio programs, and even traditional talking drums are agog these past days; Christian overseers and Islamic malams are all excited: all because the general is about to ‘step back’ into the office of President of Nigeria, a position he left in 1993 when he ‘stepped aside’ as a military President. However, this time around, he is coming back through election.

General Babangida’s second attempt to ‘step back’ into office is giving some people ulcer, especially former Concord newspaper veterans, Lagos-Ibadan axis journalists, and uninformed Nigerians. At his first attempt to step back in 2007, all available state powers, illegal tactics, and brute wickedness were used to stop him. Undeterred, IBB still picked the nomination form. When then Governor Umaru Yar’adua was imposed on the nation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo through the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – an imposition akin to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and an extension of Obasanjo’s ‘third term’ agenda by proxy – it created an illegality by the national assembly called ‘Doctrine of Necessity.’ General Babangida withdrew tactically to prevent the system from overheating. However, current political-behavior infrastructure has oscillated to a different equation and, if not managed carefully, the situation may still implode, especially if those seeking a fourth term through Acting President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan are allowed to succeed.

Those who are afraid of the Babangida’s Rebirth-of-a-Nation programs are like vermin. They have already started pouring out their venomous poisons against IBB. They are probably afraid that he will succeed in transforming the nation to greater heights than he did in the past, and much better than Obasanjo. They are talking about Dele Giwa, Vatsa’s coup, Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), the June 12 election annulment, and of his being corrupt. Well, they are entitled to their opinion as I am to mine.

The new-breed politicians, courtesy of Babangida’s transition program of inclusivity, have dominated the democratic space since 1999; some as governors, local government chairmen, state legislators, and members of the National Assembly (NASS). Had these characters done well to move their respective states and the nation forward, Babangida would have no reason accepting the call to come back to help reset the ship of the nation. The truth is simple: Whereas many of these new breeds have failed to perform, a few among them did well. This is a direct result of Obasanjo’s style of governance and PDP’s suffocating system, which frustrated enthusiastic new-breed politicians out of contention and hence allowed local lightweight urchins to masquerade as “newbreeds.”

Babangida believes in the indissolubility of this great nation, his natural constituency. Therefore, he has an irrefutable and God-given right to aspire to be president in the country he almost died defending. Those who belong to ‘Traducers Political Party’ (TPP) better get used to the fact; and, truth be told, they too have the right not to vote for him. However, for those of us who love Babangida, we see the good works of the past and his vision for Nigeria’s rebirth. By the grace of God, Babangida will succeed.

A famous Welsh proverb states, “He that would be a leader must be a bridge.” General Babangida is indeed a true bridge. His friendship and friendliness spans across the nation. Many have used his name and influence to achieve greatness.

In the past 17 years, General Babangida has reflected on how to diversify Nigeria’s economy, create wealth through job creation, solve the energy scarcity by investing in windmill, solar, hydro, and gas to secure energy sufficiency. He will stop the increase in crime by partnering with state and local governments to create local government and state police force, while retaining the federal police force (NPF). He will introduce true fiscal federalism and give the nation a rebirth. These are a part of the fulcrum of IBB’s second coming. He can do it because he has the political will.

And in the words of Abraham Lincoln, General Babangida is “determined that things can and shall be done, and we shall find the way.” Babangida’s vision of Fiscal Federalism in simple language means that every state will now control its resources but pay assessed tax to the federal government. This great idea means that ‘resource control’ is realizable. It means that Taraba State, a state considered the richest in natural resources, will explode with riches. This will enable the industrialization of Nigeria. It means that farmers will take up the challenges of ensuring food security of the nation.

His idea of creation of state police and local government police is equally a fantastic one provided it is implemented to serve the people, and not the personal whims of a sitting governor or local government chairman. Babangida’s electoral infrastructure in 1993 produced the best election ever recorded. Option A4 proved that Nigerians can tolerate a two-party system and a Muslim-Muslim ticket without implosion. The election was highly successful, free and fair; unfortunately, the results were annulled through no fault of Babangida, but by Fifth Columnists in the military and their civilian collaborators and with the blessings and affirmation of Almighty God who allowed it to happen.


Gbanite is a public affairs analyst and can be reached on [email protected]

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