The word IBB has been a misunderstood name for sometime In the political context of Nigeria. This gentleman, the former President and retired General has been vilified in some quarters because he has made known his intention to contest the 2011 general elections as elected President.
But what those who criticize him unfairly do not know is that General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) is mortal. He has never claimed to know all. As mortals, we make mistakes and amend.
A close study indicates that the states-man after leaving office seventeen years ago has immersed himself into wide reading. That is symbolical and synonymous with learning all over again.
If we look back with a reasonable mind, when he stepped into office in 1985 and stepped aside in 1993, a period of about nine years, he did so many things that gave the country a good footing. One, he did away with the tyranny and dictatorship before him. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) is a listener. Any person that is a reader is a leader and listener. He was and still a listener. He carried everyone along and when a member of his cabinet didn’t perform, he was removed. His structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that was introduced during his administration was not meant to punish the people as some speculated and assumed.
On the June 12 election of 1993, he has several times said, it was collective decision of the Army Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) and not individual decision. Many Personalities and those who participated in that Government has spoken in the media of how some meddled and insisted the election be annulled.
To the economic growth and developments measures in all sectors – he introduced short time policies like the establishment of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which is still existing and skimming the unemployed youth in our midst. When he comes back, this Directorate would be improved upon. There was the Directorate of Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure. This, too has assumed a new name under the present Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Infrastructure of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Peoples and Community Banks were established which helped alleviate problems of finances at the grassroots. Nigeria will certainly improve under a new Leadership of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd). Nigeria will witness a new lease of life. His vast experience will unfold new economic blue print that will salvage Nigeria from economic doldrums. Once bitten, twice shy they say. He is calculative and when he must have assumed Leadership next year, he will be able, like he did before to collect more energetic, virile, sound intellectuals, who can change the course of things.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) needs forgiveness and understanding from all Nigerians.
As for his comments on the youth, I believe he must have been misquoted. Since he spoke in Hausa on that British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Programme, many thought, he was castigating the youth. No! he said, youth should sit up more than what they are now to take over the Leadership and face the challenges. In Nigerian politics, there is always blackmail, this is one of them. After all, were the youth not those who participated in the IBB regime as Military administrators and ministers and touched the world?
Additionally, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has the right under the Nigerian constitution to contest and be elected for, he has no criminal record, as far as I know and this is my rightful opinion.
Therefore, my view is that Nigerians and all Nigerians should stand up and support him. In old France, USA and Russia, history has it that retired Generals made more impact in governance, when elected into office, because of their training of discipline. Civilians were/ and more loose and Tended to see democracy as Jamboree, extravagance and a way to make money.
Today, our desire as concerned citizens is to see the country move forward. The vast network, the connections, the vast experience, the lessons, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has gathered are assets, he will use to put the nation on the right path.
Nigerians should not be deceived by June 12 and other mistakes made in the past. The man has adjusted and with the tragic blow he suffered, when he lost his life time partner, what a greater lesson, that life is not permanent.
General Ibrahim B. Babangida (rtd) is the only aspirant that can solve the problems of this country whether economic, political, social or tribal. We must fall back on his past to re-adjust the future. Let us mobilize ourselves, galvanize each other for IBB for President. His option A4 and two-party system have been recurring issues for debate in recent times. These two alone show how the man was visionary and focused. Next year, when he elected, he will build on these.
Princess Fatima I. Borgu
No. 26 Mangal Plaza
Wuse, Zone 1, FCT
Abuja. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org