15th September, 2010
Simultaneously as Nigeriaâ€™s former military dictator announced his plans to contest nextÂ Januaryâ€™s election, his former aide, retired Major Debo Bashorun warnedÂ Nigerians to rejectÂ thisÂ latest attempt by General Badamosi Babangida to keep them in perpetual bondage.
In a four-page statement in Lagos, issued last night, Bashorun said the sugar-coatedÂ rhetoric of the desperate man should be rebuffed, lest Nigerians will be â€œmaradonaedâ€ again,Â a coinage fashioned after the famous Argentine striker, Diego Maradona.
Analysing the antecedents of the self-styled â€˜evil genius,â€™ his former aide said IBB hasÂ been deceitful ever since he assumed power as the first military president of Nigeria on 27Â August, 1985, bringing in credible people to give credence to his eight-year misrule.
Major Bashorun revealed that rather than the former military president following throughÂ withÂ correcting the perceived shortcomings he mentioned in his maiden broadcast to theÂ nation, he did the opposite.
He said he decided to warn Nigerians because of the calculated media onslaught deliberatelyÂ unleashed to launder the image of someone who presided over the most vicious and diabolicalÂ administration since the countryâ€™s attainment of independence 50 years ago.
â€œThese creations being touted as achievements by Babangidaâ€™s handlers were in reality ofÂ what is known in medical jargon as â€˜DOAâ€™ (Dead On Arrival), as they were either simplyÂ non-implementable or deliberately destroyed,â€ he stated.
Major Bashorun cited the situation where the crafty IBB brought the likes of Prof. WoleÂ Soyinka, Chief Olu Falae, the late Tai Solarin and the late Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti intoÂ his government for credibility, only to rubbish them.
The retired major said: â€œNigerians should not forget in a hurry that this is a man who toyedÂ with their lives with impunity and kept changing the dates of a promised hand over toÂ civilians from 1990 to 1991 to 1992 and again to 1993 when he was eventually forced out ofÂ power by human rights activists and pro-democracy groups.
â€œThis is a man so arrogant that he sets parameters for the media on which questions shouldÂ be asked of him. And this is somebody desperately wanting to be the civilian president ofÂ Nigeria either by hook or crook.
â€œThe world is watching to see how Nigerian journalists would react to this gag-order. TheÂ answer he still owes Nigerians is, why he has repeatedly refused to release the findings onÂ who killed Dele Giwa to the public.â€
Bashorun also described his former bossâ€™ annulment of the fairest and freest democraticÂ election in the history of the country in 1993 as an irony as he (IBB) was now struggling toÂ smuggle himself through the back door into the same system he tried to crush.
Bashorun askedÂ IBB to explain what happened to the over 12 billion U.S. dollars thatÂ accrued to Nigerians during his regime, in the wake of the Gulf War. An official panel saidÂ the regime simply stole the money through various financial shenanigans.