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Date Published: 09/26/10

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida -The Axis of Evil in our Nigeria By Owunari Hopkins-Amachree

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“Evil has no substance of its own, but is only the defect, excess, perversion, or corruption of that which has substance”. - John Henry Newman

“If vice and corruption prevail, liberty cannot subsist; but if virtue have the advantage, arbitrary power cannot be established’. - Algernon Sidney

Am I dreaming! 17 years after this fox called General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida tucked-in his tail between his legs and was chased out of Aso Rock; he is out again out of 140 million to seek for the office of the President of Nigeria. I never wanted to discuss about IBB, it makes me sick to the stomach and feel like I am giving an unnecessary credence to a man that have done so much damage and evil to our country, but according to Edmund Burke "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." We cannot sit by the side and look-on while this evil of a man and his minnows put us back into a bottomless ditch again.

Reading the contents of Babaingida’s Presidential declaration –it raises more questions than answers on the part and role he had played and still playing in our dear country:

Fellow country men and women hear him:

"Corruption of society is the ultimate social cancer since it afflicts every process and every transaction. It defeats the personal goals of most citizens and distorts our values as a nation," Babangida (2010). Really, you want to fight corruption, well charity begins at home, please explain to Nigerians how you got the money to build the hill top mansion in Minna as a starting point to discuss the evil of corruption. Did we hear him say “unexplained or unexplainable sources of wealth” did I hear him well…fight corruption ke? Ok IBB you want to fight corruption be the Japanese, fall on your sword…can a man that has lived all his life practicing and perfecting the act of corruption fight corruption? Who does this man think he is talking down on…Nigerians? Hello!!!! Will IBB learn to use his left hand at 69? Can we teach an old dog like IBB new tricks? Answer is a resounding No. Hmmm IBB you live and strive in corruption and as such a leopard and wolf like you cannot change your color and character in your life time.

If there is evil that had continued to make our country defile all judgment, common sense, solution and stunted the growth and progress of our country, Babangida has played a prominent role in that capacity. As Babangida declared his aspiration to run for the highest office through the ballot box he illegally occupied, took Nigerians for a roller coaster for 8 years , illegally annulled the election that over 50 million Nigerians dutifully went out under sun and rain performed their sacred and civic duty and have decided who they want as their President it is profound to look back to June 12, 1993 and also look at the events of Babangida’s belated, corrupt, evil and unprecedented leadership showmanship that destroyed our collective will to prosper through a decent means. IBB successfully created an incubating environment that enabled bribery and corruption: replaced hard work with mediocrity and laziness, replaced qualification with federal character, nepotism and encashment area, replaced merit with tribal, ethnic and religious inclination, replaced decent women and men with corrupt yes women and men, replaced selfless service with selfish service, created all sorts of avenue to steal tax payers money dry. Babangida enshrined settlement (bribery and corruption) as a policy direction and added it to our polity lexicon.

Babangida practiced and encouraged brutality to a level never experienced before in Nigeria, trampled on people’s freedom and liberty, closed down media houses in mass and banned many at the pleasure of a brutal head of state. Smiled at the people, deceived them, lie to them, stole and shared the common wealth of the Nigerian people at will with cronies, goons, family and hit men…it is instructive to note that this same man and his goons, lap dogs, house boys (like Akinyele) and house girls, rented crowd and leakers are trying to ask for the key of the Nigerian truck they ran into the ditch which they abandoned and the Nigerian people through their hard work and virtue were able to pull out of the ditch. The right to vote and be voted for he denied the Nigerian people 17 years ago, now he is asking for the key of Aso rock through the same means…Igbo man will say tufiakwa chukwu ekewene ihe o jo!, Kalabari man will say Tamuno dukuma..God forbid bad thing!

I have many questions that I believe many Nigerians will equally like to ask Babangida. I cannot even comprehend it that at the turn of the century, Babangida will turn around and ask for the vote and support of the Nigerian people what he denied them after they have decided who their leaders will be. Babangida did not just deny Chief Abiola the right to occupy the office of the president, he denied over 50 million Nigerians their collective will to hand over to their choice…those that Babangida and goons denied them their right to vote and their vote did not count are not just those who voted for Abiola alone, but even those who voted for Alhaji Tofa who lost too because they never had opportunity to see that their vote counted….

“I have absolutely no idea what my generation did to enrich our democracy. We dropped the ball. We entered a period of complacency and closed our eyes to the public corruption of our democracy”. - Wynton Marsalis. Will my generation look on again for another cabal, evil, and despicable incompetent corrupt character like Babangida have they key to the remaining part of our lives. Will we look on, as educated and well travelled men and women and allow this evil in the form of a man drag us along to his grave. Will we hand over the key to the temple again to the same evil man who dribbled us, deceived us perpetually until he finally dribbled himself into the ditch and in his words said he is stepping aside. Let’s say never again and let’s put our resources: Knowledge, connection, social network, money together and fight this devil staring us in our face. Let’s reload instead of backing down to face this challenge once and for all in a life time.

Mr. Babangida do not belong to the leadership Nigerians want, instead he belongs to Mr. Obasanjo’s snake Island prison for the pain, anguish, resources wastage, corruption, indiscipline unprecedented suffering, inept leadership he bequeathed on all of us collectively and individually as free citizens of Nigeria. It is time to get back our country from a few cabals in which Babangida solidly belong to: who have deliberately taken us for granted and destroyed everything he and his cronies met in office: from Education to health system, from transportation to the Petroleum sector, from infrastructure to social orientation and our collective moral obligation to be our brothers keepers, from security to community development and services.

The actions and inactions of Mr. Babangida have deeply cost the lives of thousands of innocent Nigerians: the byproducts of his actions and inactions are still reverberating in our polity over all these several years. Babangida is the axis of evil of Nigeria (paraphrasing former President Bush) and the devil incarnate of our Nigeria no doubt. Together lets rise as a people with common sense in prosperity, purpose, hard work and virtue, freedom, justice, mutual respect for one another and differences- socially, religiously and ethnic inclination to fight this battle in oneness. If we make that singular effort to fight off all these evil leaders like Babangida such that never again will they decide for us our collective fate as a people. Let’s just do it-fight the devil now rather than later.

Insha Allah, we shall meet you IBB at the ballot box one way or the other either in the primary or the general election and that our vote that you deprived us in June 1993 will count faithfully at least for this particular election in which you decided to be a candidate. God is always faithfully to his people no matter how long they have suffered under your suffocating evil machination and that of your fellow cabals, it is time to pay back Mr Babangida in his own coins by our collective protest vote and our collective ability to protect our votes religiously in October 2010/January 2011. Vox Populi, Vox Dei!

Owunari Hopkins-Amachree contributed this piece from Phoenix, Arizona USA.

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