Posted: October 24, 2010 - 01:21 By Ade Coker
--“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with them”! William Shakespeare (Mark Antony-Julius Caeser, Act3 Scene 2).
---“It is idiotic to link my name to the bomb blast in Abuja”-IBB (on oct.1 bomb blast in Abuja, Nigeria.)
Without mincing words, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is a force to reckon with
in Nigeria, not because he was a one-time military president of the country or because of his wealth but simply because of his character. He is an enigma that cannot be understood by any man or woman, no matter how close you are to him. I suspect his family would have given up trying to understand him. His character is just indefinable by any study.
The recent political intrigues in Nigeria only become a cause of concern and worries
to all lovers of that country not because the incumbent president has declared his interest in running fully as a presidential candidate, or because of the pretenders in the likes of Bukola Saraki, Atiku, Gusau, Buhari, etc but because of the inexplicable interest of the self-acclaim “evil genius”.
Whatever Babangida is up to, only him knows! One thing is certain the guy has done his calculation(s) and it remains to be seen if he got it right or wrong. Time will tell. IBB must have factored into his calculation the mood of Nigerians as regard the cancellation of the freest and fairest election in the history of the country—no wonder he said, ‘nobody can cancel my election’. One would expect him to have considered his absence at the Oputa panel which he considered a waste of time and witch-hunting; the Okigbo reports and the $12.4billion gulf windfall to which no credible explanation has been offered by him; the murder of Dele Giwa; the killing of top military officers in a plane crash and many others that Nigerians passionately seek an explanation about. Nigerians are not in a haste to forget any of these and the manner and circumstances in which he left office. He knows Aso rock more than any man living or dead and yet all he could say was that he was only “stepping aside”.
Having done his calculation, he came to the conclusion that he is the “next president” in waiting and that he will be there only for “one term”. I seriously believe he got something wrong-the October 1 bomb blast in Abuja! Whatever good or bad intentions the perpetrators of that dastardly act have in mind, the biggest victim is IBB. He was clever enough to quickly distance himself from the act by saying “it is idiotic for anyone to link him with the act”, as much as it is stupid for anyone to think he has any hand in the murder of Dele Giwa by parcel bomb under his regime.
One thing is constant in these two events and that is “bomb blast”! Let us forget whatever the forensic experts are saying; let us forget the fact that the campaign director of IBB-Raymond Dokpesi is alleged to know about this either by text on his phone or money moved in and out of account of the political associate of IBB; let us forget the role played by Akilu and Togun in the parcel bombing of Dele Giwa, who coincidentally were boys of the same man. Let us think about his absence at the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence as the only living past leader of the country not to grace the occasion. This to me is central.
To the investigation of that dastardly act, does Babangida know more than the people? You can fool the people most of the time but you cannot fool them all the time. A Yoruba proverb says, “Eegun tiro wole; Eniyan tiro jade, tani ko mo pe Eegun to ro wole ni Eniyan to ro jade.” That is, a masquerade limped inside a house and a man limped out later on, who wouldn’t know that it is the man under the masquerade that has just limped out? But of course, in the world of IBB it is idiotic to think because they both limp, that it is same man—welcome maradona, the end justifies the means. As long as the ball enters the net it never matters if it is scored by hand in a game of football!
This blast meant to portend a weak government is the greatest undoing of the evil genius. No matter what he says his coming back to the political scene has only succeeded in bringing back the bombing days. But this is 2010 and the people are wiser. The younger generations whose futures have been mortgaged are dangerous now on the counter attack. It became very intriguing that IBB who so much love the country and fought for its unity, presided over its affairs for eight years and, if given the opportunity, would like to do it again could miss Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations. His excuse was the “exorbitant expenditures”. OBJ once said that he did not know who would be president after him but he knew who will not be president. I believe him for once! What more does Babangida want for four years?
He could do more for the people as an elder statesman by giving advice to government and money to thousands of beggars in Minna alone. He once said in his speech during the cancellation of June 12 elections, “we believe that politics and government are not ends in themselves. Rather, service and effective amelioration of the condition of our people must remain the true purpose of politics.” I am quite sure, regardless of IBB’s calculation or miscalculation, he cannot rule Nigeria again. Once again, time will tell. But like the proverbial idol that wants to dance in the rain, IBB, let us see your dance steps—you are welcome to the stage.
Political Analyst is based in London.