Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, a.k.a, IBB, is popularly called Maradona by Nigerians for his special skill to cheat and divert, in the fashion of Argentina's soccer genius, Diego Maradona, who infamously cheated to earn victory over England in the 1986 World Cup. A self-described 'evil genius,' Babangida led Nigerians through a tortuous and deceptive political and economic transition that ended in a cul-de-sac. Perhaps because of his craftiness, it wasn't until the end of his military career that the dictator's ruthlessness and lust for power became obvious.

He is believed to have been born August 17, 1941, at Minna, Niger State and attended Government College, Bida, from 1957 to 1962. There is no evidence he passed his School Certificate examination, as he did not receive his undisclosed results until three decades later in a publicized ceremony as the military head of state.

Babangida received his military training at the Nigerian Military College, Kaduna, and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1963, just like many of his colleagues, some of whom could not demonstrate the measure of literacy expected of an officer.

He was given further military training at Nigeria's expense, which he paid back by way of incessant coup plots. Judging by his records, Babangida seemed more interested in politics than a professional military career, as he had been the face behind every military coup in Nigeria over a 30-year period. It is not a secret, and the BBC remarks, that Babangida had taken part in all coups in Nigeria. With his cohorts, he unleashed many years of needless bloodshed and power rotation that left Africa's highest grossing nation one of its poorest.

When the military returned to power December 30, 1983, IBB became the chief of army staff and member of the highest ruling military body, the Supreme Military Council, SMC. He also served in that council during the Murtala Muhammed/Olusegun Obasanjo administration. On August 27, 1985, the Muhammadu Buhari/Tunde Idiagbon administration was toppled in a palace coup by Babangida, who understandably made himself Nigeria's first "military President," an indication of his lust for political power. Babangida was Nigeria's sixth military ruler and inarguably the most powerful.

IBB has received numerous national and military decorations, most of which he awarded himself or received from his subordinates and beneficiaries. To his supporters, he is a god - because he showered them with material benefits, stolen from the national treasury. However, to most Nigerians, he remains a brutal dictator, much disliked by the millions of Nigerians whose hopes and dreams IBB's evil orchestrations over the years have helped to truncate. But apparently this menace to the society has been well shielded from justice, supposedly by the current political dispensation and he yet wields enough corrupt influence to try to buy his way around millions of hungry Nigerians. Babangida now hides most of the time in his vast and opulent 50-room mansion in his hometown of Minna because he knows it could be fatal for him to venture out. He has been attacked in public before, and fears some angry Nigerians could maul him on the street.

Married with four children, Babangida said his hobbies are reading (he has not written a book, not even a newspaper article, to date), listening to people and their problems (he has created more political and economic problems for Nigeria than any other military ruler), and sports.

As with most dictators, the evil genius was methodical, shrewd in power, flamboyant in style, and ruthless in response. His predecessor, Mohammadu Buhari was resolute, but Babangida would kill by any means necessary and would not consider it inappropriate to weep at his enemy's funeral.

Deft and tactical, Babangida announced himself to power as a champion of human rights, but unleashed a spate of human rights abuses that was only matched by his savage successor, Sani Abacha. As he strategically spread his political tentacles, Maradona's first call was to release most of those jailed by Buhari, including the late music star, Fela Kuti. Nonetheless, Babangida brutally muffled opposition, as he frequently detained labor leaders, students and human rights advocates.

Ibrahim Babangida has been indicted by the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission, led by the respected Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, for the killing of Nigeria's top journalist, Mr. Dele Giwa, by a parcel bomb in 1986. Up till now, the killers of Dele Giwa have not been officially exposed, and efforts to probe Babangida's implicated associates have been consistently blocked by him. The report noted: "On General Ibrahim Babangida, we are of the view that there is evidence to suggest that he and the two security chiefs, Brigadier General Halilu Akilu and Col. A. K. Togun are accountable for the death of Dele Giwa by letter bomb. We recommend that this case be re-open for further investigation in the public interest." Babangida has blocked that report from being released through the judicial system he blatantly corrupted.

By the time Babangida was one year in power, he had begun to demonstrate his deceptive abilities. He started a national debate on whether to accept an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan or embark on austerity measures. Thinking their leader was faithful, Nigerians favored the measures but soon found that the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) was not being faithfully executed. While they were sacrificing, billions of dollars of Nigeria's money was being pocketed by Babangida and his followers, such that under SAP, unemployment numbers, food prices, and cost of living soared. While Ghana and Uganda were making gains under SAP, Nigeria was going under, until Nigerians responded in a 1989 riot, to which the dictator replied by first killing hundreds of protesters, then issuing palliative measures. A World Bank report issued in 1995 fully documented how grand theft under Babangida's regime nullified the gains of SAP.
His government implemented a myriad of failed programs, which only helped to divert attention and fritter scarce national resources. Such programs include the People's Bank, Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), and Better Life for Rural Women. All these programs are today moribund or dead.

Among his other deceptive ways, Babangida replaced his deputy, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe with Rear Admiral Augustus Aikhomu. The former was headstrong and idealistic, while the later was largely a yes-man. He executed dramatic changes in public administration, filling strategic military and ministerial positions with his loyalists. The headship of the ministries of external affairs, petroleum resources, internal affairs and agriculture, considered the most powerful cabinet posts, were awarded by ethnic parameters.  Babangida introduced measures that threatened the secularity of Nigeria. Under his watch, Nigeria secretly became a participant at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), an action so controversial that it was linked to the ouster of Ebitu Ukiwe.

As things got worse, a band of top officers, including Babangida's colleague and best man at his wedding, General Mamman Vatsa, allegedly planned to remove him. They were all captured and killed without sufficient evidence. We now know in 2006 that Vatsa may have been murdered for offences he did not commit, going by revelations by the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Domkat Bali.

Nigeria continued in spiral fall until April 22, 1990, when a brave junior officer, Major Gideon Orkar, almost toppled the Babangida regime. The official residence of the head of state, the Dodan Barracks, was razed. Babangida escaped by a slim stroke of luck. Significantly, Nigerian civilians were, for the first time, involved in a coup attempt, a development the dictator responded to by quickly moving the seat of power from the heavily populated Lagos to previously abandoned national capital city of Abuja, just about an hour's drive from his hometown. Orkar had, however, made damaging allegations about Babangida’s personal life and political problems, including homosexuality, drug peddling and corruption.

From this point, IBB was held in widespread suspicion among Nigerians. He held on to power with a single promise: to lead Nigeria back to democracy. Trusting and hopeful once again, Nigerians were carried along until 1992, when his abrupt cancellation of a political process led to mass suspicion about his true intentions. At this point, the term "Hidden Agenda" was coined by the late lawyer, Mr. Alao Aka Bashorun, who declared that Babangida was attempting to succeed himself. Bashorun seemed to have provided light in a dark tunnel as Nigerians began to place the evil genius' programs under the microscope.

The outcry that followed the cancellation of presidential primaries about to be won by the late General Shehu Yar'Adua led Babangida to hurriedly, without much of his usual plotting, move the political transition process at such a pace that caused a generally accepted candidate, billionaire philanthropist, M.K.O Abiola, to be elected as president in Nigeria's most peaceful and acceptable election. Confused and dazed, IBB annulled that election and unleashed a national outrage that led to his downfall. Hundreds of Nigerians were killed by soldiers acting under the directives of Babangida and his beneficiaries, as the citizens fought for the mandate given to Abiola.

Eventually, it dawned on the Maradona, the game was up. He was forced to vacate his beloved presidential seat. Nigerians can remember how Babangida made a spectacle of himself on the NTA as he bounced continuously on a chair in utter confusion when he had to “step aside.”  Babangida was forced out, but not before he planted his equally ruthless and utterly vindictive partner, the late General Sani Abacha, to guide a lame civilian caretaker administration of Ernest Shonekan. It surprised no one that Abacha sent Shonekan packing in less than three months, and continued the evil legacy of his former boss, IBB.

The hand of God played Abacha out (or so people think), as he died mysteriously in power. Strangely, other leaders, including M.K.O Abiola and General Tunde Idiagbon died in the same manner, all in Abuja, within months of each other. Babangida's crony and kinsman, General Abubakar Abdulsalam, became the Head of State overnight. The stage was set for Babangida's return to the limelight, as he quickly arranged for former military head of state, General Olusegun Obasanjo, to assume power as civilian president. Obasanjo was probably the guinea pig for Babangida's experimentation of former military ruler as civilian president. Nigerians have responded favorably to Babangida's experiment, having accepted Obasanjo, also a former soldier. Don’t be fooled: the evil genius knows he had stepped aside long enough, and his insatiable thirst for power remains part of his evil nature. IBB has sent his beneficiaries out to the field on a mission to buy back lost political patronage with his vast wealth, stolen from Nigerians, and which is now being employed to attempt to bring Nigerians back to servitude under his contemplated return to political office as a "civilian president."

The bedrock for today's economic and financial problems in Nigeria was laid by this man, Ibrahim Babangida!  He created conditions malignant to national advancement, such as the institutionalization of the culture of corruption that is now heavily entrenched in the social and moral fabric of the Nigerian society. The phenomena of the notorious thievery schemes or theft-by-deception, a.k.a "419," is largely believed to have gained undue prominence and seeming acceptance during the eight-year misrule of Ibrahim Babangida in Nigeria. Today, the nuisance of the so-called "Yahoo Boys" is believed to be a by-product or creation of the IBB era. What is the moral justification for a society to wage war on scammers when known social culprits enjoy stolen public wealth without restraint? These conditions have been almost impossible to reverse. And now, IBB is out again to try to make vain the labors of our heroes past.

Instead of Babangida being placed under arrest by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for trial and possible conviction for his social, economic, and financial crimes against the good people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, his ugly billboards daring to advertise his proposed second coming now litter the streets of Nigeria. IBB's presidential ambition now is not only an insult to seven years of democracy in Nigeria, but a mockery of our collective destiny as a people!

For those who have received stolen funds from Babangida, beware that your hands are blood-stained, and the blood of the innocent will be on your head. Nigerians who have chosen to serve Babangida at the local and national levels, even if just to do minor work for his campaign, will be as guilty of crimes against Nigerians as the evil genius himself. While there is still time, we urge you, in the interest of posterity, to rethink your efforts and take a stand on the side of truth. We urge you to join patriotic citizens to stop this demon that pretends to be an angel.

It is sad to realize that among those taking money from Babangida against the interest of the society are the so-called Emirs, Obas, Obis, and High Chiefs, business executives, retired military officers, political bigwigs and even intellectuals.  Which is why we wonder how our collective conscience became so depleted to the extent that people who should be respected are the greatest culprits of the moral bankruptcy that is prevalent in Nigeria today? It does not matter how highly placed they are, any Nigerian who is willing to serve Babangida is an enemy of the people. They should be identified and treated as such. The time has come for Nigerians of goodwill to totally unite and unequivocally reject the enemies of the people.

If anything at all, the great news Nigerians ought to be eagerly awaiting is Babangida's arrest by the EFCC, and not his presidential campaign. Somebody once asked, "What does it really take to insult Nigerians?" General Babangida's opulent 50-room mansion in his hometown of Minna is not a secret. What remains shrouded, at least to the ordinary Nigerian, is the financial source of the mansion. It does not require the aptitude of a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to know that the rogue general's entire salary during his military career could not have built such an edifice, even if he never used his salary for any other thing but the mansion. And even today, the $12 Billion Gulf War oil windfall received during the Babangida administration remains largely unaccounted for. An official report implicating Babangida has remained an official secret. Nigerians should be asking the EFCC, "What about Babangida?"

What can you as a citizen do about Babangida? Well, we should not sit back, weep or cry. Fellow Nigerians, be advised that the rogue General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has challenged you to a fight. It is up to you either to stand up and fight for your destiny and your children’s future or auction off your children's inheritance. What is your dignity worth to you as a Nigerian? Should a well-known but yet untried treasury looter, murderer, and dream destroyer of millions of innocent Nigerians have the guts to come back with extremely provocative "in your face" attitude and bravado? Ask yourself what you have done for Nigeria lately to strengthen the foundation of democracy? Will you not fight this mindless dictator? Can you really just sit down and do nothing?

This is the perfect time for Nigerians to tell Babangida and his fellow crooks: "No, thank you, but before you even turn back, we need to check your pocket!"  We want all of Nigeria and the rest of the world to know today that we have started a fight to ensure that any little dream Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has about ruling Nigeria will not mature. AGAINSTBABANGIDA.COM HAS LIFTED A STANDARD FOR THE CITIZENS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AGAINST BABANGIDA. We will need the help of all Nigerians to stand with us to force Babangida to retreat. We implore you to become a true patriot and rise in support of this noble cause, conceived by ordinary Nigerian citizens at Againstbabangida.com. May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

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