16th September, 2010
As opposition mounts against former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida,Â IBB, (retd) over his ambition to contest next yearâ€™s presidential election, a group hasÂ warned Nigerians not to trust him.
The group, Association for Better Nigeria, ABN, which appears to be the cloned version ofÂ the same group IBB floated to scuttle his own transition programme, denounced IBB in a paidÂ advertorial in some national newspapers today.
The media campaign against IBB is coming barely 24 hours after he declared his intention toÂ contest next yearâ€™s presidential election in Abuja yesterday.
According to ABN, IBB lacks integrity and as such he should not be trusted.
Comparing IBB with President Jonathan in the advertorial titled: Who Will You Trust? withÂ the photographs of both men boldly displayed on the page, the group chronicled the promisesÂ Jonathan kept alongside those of IBB that he failed to keep when he ruled Nigeria as aÂ military dictator between 27 August, 1985 and 26 August, 1993.
Said the group: â€œGoodluck Jonathan promised to appoint a credible INEC chair. He kept hisÂ word by appointing Prof. Jega, a credibleÂ civil society activist as chair of INEC.â€ On theÂ other hand, IBB â€œpromised to hand over power to civilians in 1990. He betrayed his wordÂ byÂ dribbling the Nigerian people.â€
ABN further stated that â€œGoodluck Jonathan promised to protect the independence of INEC. HeÂ kept his word by removing INECÂ Commissioners who were alleged to have PDP sympathy,â€ whileÂ IBB â€œpromised to hand over to civilians in 1992,â€ but â€œbetrayed his word by shifting it toÂ 1993.â€
Another major promise IBB failed to keep as highlighted by the group was the one he made toÂ â€œChief MKO Abiola, his close friend, business associate and prime supporter, that he wouldÂ hand over to him if he won the election.â€ But IBB â€œbetrayed his word by annulling a free andÂ fair election won by MKO Abiola.â€
The group also listed other promises kept by Jonathan, including the release of N87 billionÂ to INEC to enable it conduct free, fair and credible elections and the signing of theÂ Electoral Act which many thought was against his interest.
The group concluded its campaign against IBB by saying â€œthe new Nigeria is only possibleÂ with leaders who keep their word.â€
Babangida ruled Nigeria for eight years during which the nationâ€™s economy was ruined becauseÂ of the economic policies he introduced, like the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, andÂ the devaluation of the naira. The nation is yet to recover from the negative effects ofÂ those policies.
It has also been established that Babangida is one of the most hated former Nigerian leadersÂ because of the obnoxious anti-people policies he introduced; the annulment of June 12Â presidential election won by his friend, the late Abiola; entrenchment of corruption duringÂ his regime, closure of media houses and detention and murder of journalists by hisÂ administration.
All these are still haunting the retired general 17 years after he was forcedÂ to stepÂ aside.