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Re: The road to Aso Rock does not go through Minna

Abu Najakku, the nom de guerre of a well-known antagonist of General Ibra-him  Babangida Babangida, wrote the above-titled article that appeared on page 65 of…

Abu Najakku, the nom de guerre of a well-known antagonist of General Ibra-him  Babangida Babangida, wrote the above-titled article that appeared on page 65 of Daily Trust of December 30, 2014.
Ordinarily, I should allow the Hill-Top, Minna, media office, or spokespersons of the retired military president to respond adequately to Abu Najakku’s malicious and inaccurate disposition. The writer always seeks for a slight opportunity to shower abuses on IBB. I believe that the editorial policy of any media organization does not permit any avenue for hatred or settling perceived disputes among parties without factual and cogent facts. But in any case as a Nigerian and someone who is aware of chronology of events from 1985 to August 27th, 1993, when IBB stepped aside and relocated to Minna, much criticism of the man is mostly fiction and misrepresentations.
The recent visit by President Goodluck Jona-than to Hill-Top Minna on Saturday 27th December, 2014, on which mainly online media reported and a few pro-government media organizations reported, quoted IBB as saying  “What I will say is simple: The president means well for this country, and he is working well for this country. Anybody who means well for this country should support the president to make sure that Nigeria survives as a united country”. This was a clear and an unambiguous statement based on the current challenges of insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery and many other crimes that bedevil Nigeria. It would be a stupendous change for any former head of state or elder statesman in our present predicaments and uncertainty to utter a word about 2015 general elections while the unity of our country is at stake.
IBB’s message here is simple: that as a professional soldier that fought gallantly during the civil war to keep Nigeria united, security and unity should take precedence over any other national issue, including politics, regional sentiment or primordial consideration. Therefore, supporting Jonathan’s re-election or any candidate was not what was topmost in the Generals mind and thoughts.
Therefore, for Najakku and his ilk that are preoccupied with politics and considerations of the moment, they have not gotten into the depth of IBB’s mind. To start with, early this year when some renegades began beating the drums of war, IBB offered to put his military fatigue (Khaki) back on, to go back to the trenches and defend the territorial integrity of this nation he so loves and served. To date none of the former military brass that fought the civil war and served the military in different capacity and times has offered to do same, based on patriotic fervour and desire for the unity and indivisibility of this country.
As it is often said, man is a political animal. Politics is embedded in our life right from our homes, communities up to national stage. There was never a time that age is considered a barrier to engaging in politics. Great leaders of the Soviet Union (now Russia) that became prominent in international politics were above seventy years of age on average and yet they led a very prosperous union, with might in military and strong economic base. It is a well known fact that BB, after his sojourn in the military that culminated in his being military president, tried to stage a comeback into politics; but the effort was truncated by ‘new breed’ politicians and, as a reformed democrat, he decided to play a fatherly role of an elder statesman providing advice and guidance to all politicians. Therefore, it is absolutely absurd for Najakku and his mercantilist mentors to drag IBB into partisan politics. Is Najakku aware that during the last general elections in 2011, General Muhammadu Buhari and his political party, then the CPC, were denied access to the Trade Fair Complex, Minna for his presidential campaign? It was IBB, through his son (Mohammed Babangida), who is known to be a PDP member in Niger State that provided Buhari the polo ground for his campaign.
On the issue of Mohammed Babangida being afraid of defeat and in tactical withdrawal from being a candidate for gubernatorial election in Niger state as Najakku claimed, let it be known that due to perceived ill-feelings and of course fairness, IBB told some of his close associate that Mohammed would not contest for governor of Niger state… his reason being that Wushishi, the native town of IBB, is in Kontagora Emirate to which PDP had zoned the governorship slot. It would be unfair, according to IBB, that himself that most of his life after the military service has been in Minna, to go back and deprive others their rights. A former governor who was willing to sponsor IBB’s son to join the governorship race and indeed the chairman of a leading political party visited IBB on his sick bed sometime in October this year in Germany to persuade him to allow Mohammed to stand for election to be Niger State governor; but he vehemently rejected their calls to cajole his son into partisan politics. I believe the people mentioned will in due course verify this for the sake of posterity.
One cannot exhaust in a single rejoinder to articulate all the attributes of the man IBB. But it is often said that ‘History will not forgive you for not taking a decision; but history would rather forgive you, even if you took a wrong decision.” I believe that IBB took the right decision and has become part of the history of this nation; the man remains an elder statesman and a champion of a united and indivisible Nigeria. As for Najak ku and his cohorts using fallacious statements should know that throwing abusive words on elders, especially General Babangida would not earn them any good, because one day this codename will be unveiled and someone will retaliate. I agree with the statement credited to Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State in an interview with a foreign broadcast medium that showering abuses on elder statesmen, political leaders and traditional rulers would backfire on the responsible renegade elements  in our society. I pray this to happen soon.

Idris, the Danlawan Birnin-Gwari, wrote from Abuja <[email protected]>;

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