Have a rethink if you think the Evil Genius is out of national life.  Ibrahim Babangida, the unrepentant dictator, failed to foreclose his political ambition in his acceptance of the sectional pick of Abubakar Atiku as the Northern Candidate for presidential election. Although IBB said he would abide by the decision of the Consensus Committee of the Northern Political Leaders Forum on the choice of ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the Northern candidate for the presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he also plans to rebound, in characteristic doublespeak.

Read the dialogue with journalists...

What do you mean by rebound?

Babangida: It is simple English.


Could you be more forthcoming, we don’t understand that?

Babangida: It is a straightforward language.


Are you coming back into the race?

Babangida: Give it any meaning you want. I know you are capable of doing that. So do that. I know what I said.


What did you say? Are you going to contest 2011 presidential poll under another party?

Haba! I am an honourable man. I told you there, I will abide by the decision of the Consensus Committee. I said so, I said so. So, the message is I am supporting the consensus candidate. Whatever meaning you give that I know that tomorrow, the headline will be: ‘I will rebound back-IBB.’ I didn’t say so.

Earlier in his address to all his campaign coordinators, Babangida expressed regrets that the decision on consensus came at a time that the indicators of his presidential campaign were positive.

But he urged his supporters to remain undaunted despite the turn of events.

Babangida said: "At a time like this, we need more than ever before, to hold ourselves together in a higher spirit. We need to sustain the spirit of goodness and belief in our commitment to the objectives which have brought us together in this organization.

"We must neither be overcome nor run-over by the burden of an unexpected political development.

"We have all been in the top gear of an historic political campaign; and all available indicators were positive and indeed encouraging. I believe it is a necessary agenda, one that was prompted by the fundamental challenges before our nation.

"Although a decision has emerged, the challenges remain relentless, dominant and problematic. This is both rational and essential for us to continue to be in good spirit and remain steadfast in our engagements. While we keep to the elements of the Consensus Agreement, we shall remain undaunted.

"I wish to place on record, my profound gratitude and appreciation to all and every one of you who have been involved out of sheer conviction and dedication, in my political and public affairs; especially so, in 2011 Campaign Organization.

"The Director-General, National Directors, Zonal Coordinators, State Coordinators and the numerous stakeholders have all been exceptional in their sacrifices including the exposure of their lives, families and businesses to extreme threats and danger.

"I wish to also sincerely recognize the huge assistance by our security personnel, gatekeepers, office staff, drivers, media men and women in the print, broadcast and online network. I appreciate your efforts in the firm belief that our relationship are likely to grow beyond this phase of my political enterprise; indeed, for some of you it has been a continuing life-long relationship for which I am deeply obliged.

"I wish to especially thank the youths and the women, as individuals and as organized associations; and all the numerous Pro-IBB groups and admirers all over the length and breadth of this great nation.

"While their activism may be unduly affected by the current state of affairs in the political campaigns, their commitment is certainly not lost to me or to history. Who knows: for at a time like this, we may rebound!

"Beyond the current political campaigns, I am in due course, going to address the processes of sustaining our vision and commitment to Governance, National Development and the Values of a Productive Economy and a Caring Society.

"At a time like this, we shall continue to give hope and optimism, not despair and resignation as the driving forces of our continued involvements in the affairs of our country.

On his part, the Director-General of the IBB Campaign Organization, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, asked all coordinators to remain at their duty posts while awaiting further directives.

He said: "We are working out the modalities for the collapse of all the campaign structures and how to integrate everyone into one formidable campaign Organization."

The brief ceremony was attended by die-hard loyalists of Babangida like ex-Speaker Ghali Na’aba; ex-Governors Peter Odili and Abdulakdir Kure; ex-Ministers AVM Hamzat Abdullahi(FCT); A.B.C Nwosu(Health); Chiwe Obaji(Education); Mohammed Gusau(Mines and Steel); Sam Oyovbaire(Information); and Musa Elayo(Justice).

Others were ex-Deputy Governors Abiodun Aluko(Ekiti) and Azeem Gbolarumi(Oyo); ex-Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Abdul Ningi; former National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bibi Farouk; former Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Bawa Buhari; Tajudeen Kareem; Kenneth Kobani; Augusta Iradiri; Chidi Nwankwo; Woroko Sanni Woroko among others..

What did you say? Are you going to contest 2011 presidential poll under another party?

Are you coming back into the race?

Could you be more forthcoming, we don’t understand that?

What do you mean by rebound?

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