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The generals are coming!

The source said it took the intervention of former President Ibrahim Babangida for Gusau to accept the offer. “Gusau was relunctant to come back as…

The source said it took the intervention of former President Ibrahim Babangida for Gusau to accept the offer. “Gusau was relunctant to come back as NSA.In fact, last week’s meeting held with him on the issue dragged on for several hours untill IBB intervened before he finally accepted to come back”
Weekly Trust gathered that the final straw that broke the camel’s back with regards to Muktar, was the failure of intelligence on the recent Jos crisis where the former NSA failed to take proactive action based on the report available to him.
On the issue of the secret return of Yar’adua into the country without the knowledge of the Acting- President, the source said that was the right thing to do in that circumstance because there was loss of confidence somewhere. “You see when Jonathan was made Acting–President all the eminent persons who went to see him did so in the day time. It was only Obasanjo who went there under the dark cover of the night and held a meeting with the Acting-President for over 3 hours and nobody knows what they discussed. It is possible for Obasanjo to tell Jonathan not to allow Yar’adua back into the country. What if Jonathan was informed that Yar’adua is coming back and he ordered that the airport be closed. So it was wise that they brought Yar’adua back before informing Jonathan”, he argued.
On the connection between the emergence of Gusau and IBB for 2011, the source said its all speculations but at this point in time, Nigeria needs a stabilising factor and many people believe that IBB can offer one.
In a recent interview, Alhaji Hassan Jallo, a political associate of Ibrahim Babangida, retired general and former president, gave insight into the present jostle for 2011 presidential election. Jallo, castigated his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), railed against President Yarádua and rubbished the political class in general. However, not surprising, he heaped encomiums on Babangida, describing him as the best man for the presidency. From north and south and across ethnic and religious divides, there is a lot of pressure on IBB, according to Jallo, to contest the 2011 presidential election. However, he declined to give details but Jallo’s comments, investigations reveal, are not merely wishful thinking.
The plot, according to an insider, was hatched around December, 2009 when IBB was mourning his late wife. On December 27, 2009, Maryam Babangida passed away and almost everyone who matters in Nigeria went to condole IBB. Significantly, his Minna hilltop residence hosted dignitaries from within and outside Nigeria and the caucusing began during the mourning period. Yarádua, for about a month, was hurriedly flown out of the country for treatment and the nation was somewhat rudderless. Concerns over the president’s health, his ability to govern and the state of the nation were mounting and they overwhelmed the media and political space. IBB’s visitors, like most Nigerians, also expressed them and a series of meetings, according to the source, were held amidst condolences. The retired generals, after the consultations, concluded that Nigeria’s democracy needs tending and one of their own is better suited for the job. Specifically, they cited the National
 Assembly as an example.  Senator David Mark, a retired general, has stabilised the senate, as did Dimeji Bankole, a Sandhurst-trained military man, who has calmed the House of Representatives.
Intelligent, experienced and widely known, Babangida is regarded as the candidate to beat in 2011 “when and not if he is fielded.” First, he has the necessary national and international clout, financial muscle and political know-how, the source continued, to stabilise the country and move it forward. In the PDP, the power equation favours him, especially in 2011. From 1999 to 2007, Obasanjo and by extension the south, held power for eight years and the same rule should apply to the north. Yar’adua, given his ill health, may not be fielded in next year’s election but another northerner should run for the presidency and “that is where Babangida fits in.”
Significantly, with Jonathan as acting president and Yarádua’s ill health, the latter’s post presidency is apparent. However, two forces are tugging at opposing directions, with Obasanjo and T.Y Danjuma, a retired general and former Defence Minister, leading each camp. Obasanjo, according to reports, wants Yarádua impeached and Jonathan to assume office and from Otta, the ex-president will now call the shots. Significantly, this will distrupt the nation’s political equation as both Mark and Bankole will have to leave office, in the spirit of zoning. The Danjuma camp, at least for now, wants to maintain the status quo, by easing Yar’Adua out of office next year and this game plan is succeeding.
Specifically, as a member of the Advisory Committee, he has moved deftly, appropriated Jonathan and caged Obasanjo away from the acting president. Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, another retired general and Babangida’s point man, bounced back as National Security Adviser on Danjuma’s alleged recommendation. Gusau, according to reports, knows Obasanjo in and out and the sleuth will keep him on a short leash and with time, depending on Yar’adua’s condition, Gusau may be upgraded to Vice president if section 144 is invoked and Jonathan becomes president. Gusau and by extension, IBB, in that scenario, will be a heartbeat away from power and in the event, Babangida will have a head start in the party primaries.
Significantly, it is not clear whether or not Danjuma supports a Babangida presidency but he is vehemently opposed to both Obasanjo and Yarádua. In an interview in 2008, he came down heavily on the duo, describing Obasanjo as an ingrate and Yarádua as his stooge. According to him, Obasanjo “abused Nigeria, he deceived Nigeria and he deserves a second term in prison and we will make sure he ends up there“. Danjuma said that Yaradua is “a harmless and spineless president in Abuja who is counselled by Aremu in Otta.“
This scenario, Weekly Trust pointed out, assumes that  Yarádua is incapacitated but what if his  health improves and he assumes office as president? The source dismisses this suggestion as a   distant probability. However, like a military campaign, if the IBB ticket does not fly, “the Gusau option will be a fall back position. “If either the Babangida or Gusau gambit succeeds, then  “militocracy” would have replaced democracy in Nigeria, where past Nigerian military leaders rebound to the presidency after shedding uniforms.

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