By Tunde Ali
Deliver us oh Lord, deliver us.
The God of our fore-fathers,
The Evil Genius is again raising his head;
To commence and perfect the uncompleted work of destructions,
Of his first eight years in office.
How much longer, oh Lord will you keep silent?
How much longer will you look elsewhere?
How much longer, oh lord will you allow;
The destiny of your people to be toiled by this man of valor?
How much longer will you allow the satanic genius to affront our collective peace?
Tell him off, oh Lord and cut him short.
Turn his schemes and pranks to foolishness
Let him know that he is an ordinary mortal.
But, as for us, we count on you for victory and loving kindness.
It is expediently imperative that every well intentioned Nigerian should cry to God to deliver us from the impending danger of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s second coming.
Seventeen years ago before the self styled evil genius was forced to step aside, he had corrupted and destroyed the foundation of the Nigerian democratic institutions. His eight years of terror depicted colossal waste and monumental corruption which changed the tone and dictum of Nigeria politics for the worse. Institutionalized corruption especially at the high governmental levels, prejudicial killing and wanton murdering of innocent people who were opposed to his policies and administration were witnessed. Political schemes and maneuvering that toiled and derailed the destiny of many, and sabotaged the growth and development of the nation were the least of the atrocities committed by this faceless dictator.
The charming devil finally confirmed the speculation of his ambition to return to the Aso-Rock on his way to Asaba where he was scheduled to attend the memorial lecture in honor of his late wife – Miriam. As a Nigerian, IBB has the right to avail himself to contest any public office, however, the regimen of his past continues to haunt and vilify him. Shakespeare once said that “the evils that men do lives after them”. Certainly, IBB’s past is an indelible blood, and it will continue to torment him till he breathes his last.
Whatever IBB forgot in Aso – Rock remains unclear. Eight years is more than sufficient to make a lasting political impression if there is any to be made, or cast a web of notoriety and stagnation. IBB however chose the latter. At age of 67 or there about, Babangida cannot boast of the psychological well being and mental alacrity necessary to rule Nigeria. Taking into cognizance the psychological logjam that he has experienced since the time that he was disgraced out of office, to the emotional setback of the death of his wife. The retired general should be frankly told to his face that Nigerians did not need an extension of his nefarious and ignoble evil regime; neither will they be deceived by superficial smile that is deceptive in theme and purpose.
His maradonic strategy of divide and rule clustered with carrot and stick is re surging. It is not a surprise therefore to see some selfish and self seeking individual mouth-piecing for the evil genius. It is not impossible that they have been bought over. Otherwise, how can one explain the pleading of Gbenga Daniel that the Yoruba’s should forgive IBB for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election. The election that has been judged the most free and fair in the history of Nigeria. My position is that if IBB is truly remorseful, he should come open, and tell the whole story to the nation and apologize to Nigerians. To restrict the apology for the annulment of June 12 election to the Yoruba’s is to be insensitive to the democratic voice of the Nigerians that voted for late Chief MKO Abiola across the nation.
Nigerians can no longer afford to be dribble into another political catastrophe by IBB or his likes. If IBB is truly repentant, and has become “born again” as he claimed, he need to demonstrate this by humbly succumbing to the demand of the Nigerian people. That is, explanation of the activities, or is it atrocities of his administration? After all, the essence of leadership is service, if the people demands accountability about his 8 years in government, courtesy demands that he provides it. If Babangida would be consider for anything at all in Nigeria political environment, the following four concerns must be addressed.
1. Why was the election of June 12, 1993 annulled?
2. What happened to the $12.4 billion oil windfall from Gulf war of 1990? (IBB should defend himself against the indictment by Okigbo Panel of Inquiry)
3. IBB should declare his assets and account for the source of his wealth between 1987 and 1992; and
4. IBB should appear before an appointed judge and defend his indictment by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Commission on his involvement in the death of Dele Giwa – Nigerian top journalist. It is on record that the commission on Human Rights Violations and Investigation headed by Justice Chuckwudifu Oputa, concluded that “…there is evidence to suggest that IBB and two security chiefs – Brigadier general Halilu Akilu and Colonel A.K. Togun are accountable for the death of Dele Giwa by the letter bomb. We recommend this case be re-open for further investigation in the public interest.”
Until IBB provide answers to the concerns raised above, he will remain irrelevant in the Nigeria political landscape. Even if he delude himself with the status of a power broker or stakeholder, he would be eluded by peace and overwhelm by sleeplessness. Macbeth murdered sleep, and he slept no more till he was overcome. Anybody that operates in the tradition of Macbeth would undoubtedly end up in his fashion.
IBB evidently, trusted in chariots (looted wealth). He had bragged to understood the psyche of Nigerians – an indication that with money, he can silence the conscious and outspoken minority and ride over the powerless majority, but he need to be told to his face that his game is up. The poverty which his regime created and unevenly spread remains prevalent. Nigerians deserves better life not only for the rural women but also for the town dwellers of both sexes. He will therefore not be tolerated, neither would his network of cabals.
No matter the extent of our powerlessness as individual citizens, we take pride in our praying potency, and would not hesitate to take our case to the lord. The Lord who heard the cry of the Hebrews and delivered them from the yoke of Pharaoh is still in the business of answering prayer. He demonstrated this with the unexpected but acceptable “removal” of Sanni Abacha. IBB should therefore not see himself as been invincible. Though he act as if he is above the law, but when nemesis is ready to catch up with him, even if he run to live inside the rocks that hold his mansion, he will be smoked out. God listens to the cry of the helpless and He delivers them from their oppressor.
Finally, stopping IBB’s second coming is a task that must be done. It requires collective determination and participations of all Nigerians at home and diaspora. All the progressives and democratic organizations within and outside Nigeria are implored to confront the Evil General and frustrate his satanic agenda. He should be informed that Nigerians requires the service of honest and patriotic statesman as opposed to heartless selfish, and corrupt leader that is evil personified.
Tunde Ali is the President of Citizens for Good Government & Accountability -( CIGGAC).