Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB for short, is perhaps the most hated living political figure in Nigeria today. And this is for no reason other than the fact that his regime annulled the June 12, 1993 presidential election result which led to the death of many Nigerians, including the winner of that election, Moshood Abiola and his wife, Kudirat.
That election has been adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeriaâ€™s political history. IBB himself confirmed this and takes the glory for it. Yet, he annuled it for selfish reasons. And 17 years after, IBB has failed to apologise for that tragic act that also smacked of taking Nigerians for a ride. He has not pleaded with Nigerians for the wanton killings of innocent citizens whose only offence was to fight for the revalidation of the result of that election.
He has not shown remorse for wives who became widows and husbands who became widowers or parents who lost their children to the June 12 struggle. IBB has found it very difficult to apologise for the death of Abiola and his wife. It was the annulment that sparked off the events which led to Abiolaâ€™s incarceration and death while Sani Abacha held sway in Aso Rock.
Without showing remorse for all these problems he caused, IBBÂ has formally declared his intention to run for the presidential seat in 2011. This has drawn the anger of Nigerians. Already on Facebook, which is a social interaction internet site, over 2.7 million Nigerians are said to have shown their aversion for the ambition of IBB.
IBB is said to have written on his home page the following words: â€œwhatever we said we did is there, you can feel it, you can touch it, and you can see it. Of course, there were mistakes before and I can correct those mistakes now. I confronted them when I didnâ€™t attain the age and experience I have now. My belief is that I did it and I can do it now. The truth is that there is work to be done and someone has to do itâ€.
But a barrage of comments later followed with many of them condemning the self-appointed former military president.Â Here are just two of the scathing reactions: â€œIBB, you think Naija people are so stupid to forget your antecedents? If you think our stolen money would send us back to your slave yard, you canâ€™t come back next year and even again in our lifetime;â€ â€œTogether, we can make what, sir? You had your chance in 1993, when the whole nation was behind you to conduct the freest and fairest election in the history of this nation but you wasted itâ€.
Although IBB and the few gullible supporters he apparently has, might argue that there is no constitutional impediment to his desire to become a civilian president, on moral ground, he should not. It is on this moral ground that we say the former military president is unfit to rule us again. It is on the same ground we call on well meaning Nigerians to continue to resist IBBâ€™s â€œMaradonicâ€ moves.
The same media he emasculated and rendered prostrate as a military dictator is the same vehicle he is now using to deceive Nigerians that he is coming back to make things better. Nigerians will be doomed if they allow IBB to return to power again with all the evil he is capable of unleashing on the people. We must not be deceived by his sugar-coated promises. Never again!