Ibrahim Babangida - Power And Corruption: An Analysis
By Cozie Chimason
That corruption is the source of all our problems, from insecurity, to poverty, to our underdevelopment and everything else is not news anymore either in Nigeria or to foreigners. However I wish more journalists would put extreme pressure on the looting and stealing political "elites" to save our dear country.
There are certainly many patriotic and honest Nigerians who mean well for our dear country. There are some very good journalists who could use words to convey strong messages that could educate the public of the true enemies of Nigeria.
My sincere belief is that it is easy to govern Nigeria, if three essential ingredients of nation-building were honestly and determinedly addressed - Patriotism, Corruption and Enforcement of the Written Laws of the Land. Lack of any of these reinforces the other and addressing any of them addresses the others automatically. The bane of Nigeria's problems is the almost complete lack of patriotism, especially among the thieving "elites", which in turn, provides the fertile grounds for corruption. When I was in Lagos in 2007, one look at the traffic situation informed me that 98% of the traffic jams in Lagos is caused by human factor. Essentially, the lack of enforcement of the laws guiding road use, again due to corruption! This is just one example.
The aim of this write-up is to notify Babangida and his cronies that there are patriotic Nigerians all over the world, who have knowledge of his secret activities against the interests of Nigeria, for his own personal selfish benefits. His cousin had described him to me, as a ruthless, vindictive, unforgiving megalomaniac and extremely corrupt. Since he literally determines what happens in Nigeria, it might be very dangerous to pose a frontal attack against him. He's a very ruthless man and powerful. If he could order his childhood friend, Gen. Mamman Vatsa, to be killed without batting an eyelid, we'd be just small mosquitoes!
We all need to start shouting our lungs out through writings, so that these thieves would feel the pressure and get out of the way for a better Nigeria It's just a shame. When I was growing up in Cameroun, every remote village had pipe borne water and all the major towns and cities had 24hours /daily, of electricity! Nigeria is probably the only country in Africa where citizens defecate openly, all times of the day, in major cities, without consequences! I feel sad thinking about all these.
I'm currently based in the U.S and a full blooded and patriotic Nigerian, though born and raised outside Nigeria. The first impression any first time visitor would have of Nigeria would be of a country where nobody takes the law seriously because the laws are there but never enforced due to corruption; of a chaotic, free for all country with a complete lack of patriotism from top to bottom.
How did we get to this sorry and seemingly irreversible state? Our biggest problem is the continued recycling of the architects of corruption and their cronies, the so called military and political "elites", under various guises of minister this, minister that. Ghana was able to move forward because Rawlings realized that the only way to move Ghana on was to completely eliminate all the old thieves. This option may not be feasible in Nigeria's case, but if we all join hands together, especially our journalists, and say “enough is enough” to these thieves, instead of celebrating them, we can achieve something significant. But first, we have to identify the architects of corruption and relentlessly go after them through our write-ups or other civil actions.
The sole architect of the extreme corruption as seen today in Nigeria and the sorry state of affairs is no other than the former dictator, IBRAHIM BADAMOSI BABANGIDA. One of his relatives was my roommate in the US during my under graduate education. I was able to glimpse the true nature of the beast from him. Here is the Babangida most Nigerians know nothing about. Babangida is the most destabilizing force in Nigeria today and the more Nigerians know about it the better.
Babangida was sent here (U.S) in 1983, for a military course, during the Reagan administration. He admired Ronald Reagan's Machiavellian dribbles with the American public and became a disciple of Reagan's trickle-down economics, popularly derided as "voodoo" economics, where the resources and wealth of a nation are distributed to a few cronies, with the hope that their business activities would create wealth that would trickle down to the common man! This is how Babangida single-handedly wiped out the Nigerian middle class, creating a few stealing billionaires and a mass of poverty, with nothing in-between.
Anyway, while in the U.S. it became obvious that Babangida was recruited by the CIA. Mobutu's power and relevance to the U.S interests in Africa was waning and they needed another Mobutu in a strategic country. Babangida fitted Mobutu's personality traits; very ambitious, unpatriotic, bold, greedy and cunning.
So Babangida fitted the profile of a strong-man, like Mobutu, the U.S was looking for. It was also this time, in 1983, that Buhari and Idiagbon overthrew Shehu Shagari, who was drifting and didn't seem to get a handle on how to move Nigeria forward. Buhari/Idiagbon had always been true patriots, and came in to try to save Nigeria. Buhari's government was very serious about putting Nigeria on a straight path. There was a serious effort to combat indiscipline, drugs and corruption that bedevilled Shagari's government. Buhari refused to borrow any more money from the IMF and World Bank; refused to devalue the Naira, as demanded by the West. When the West tried to blackmail and sabotage the Nigerian economy at that time, he countered it with the counter-trade polices, which was actually a corruption fighting tool (it was used by Cuba to neutralize years of America's economic blockade of that island nation).The West knew that Buhari/Idiagbon were hell bent on serving only Nigeria's interests against any other interests and they weren't going to have it.
It should be remember that it was also during this period that Reagan was fighting several covert or proxy wars around the world. During the Reagan's administration, the CIA actually became the main instrument, albeit covertly, of America's foreign policy. When Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua became the leader of that country, it did not go down well with America because of his Marxist leanings. The CIA created and funded a rebel army, the Contras, to overthrow him, in what became known as the Contra War. The U.S Congress was kept in the dark about this covert war for a while, but when it came to their knowledge, they cut off all funding for the illegal war. The CIA was determined to bring down Ortega's government so they had to come up with other ways of funding the war and bypass the Congress. They turned to selling drugs, but they could not do this directly from the U.S soil, so they looked for a Third World country to use to import the hard drugs and later smuggle to the U.S. Nigeria became very attractive to them because of its corruption, large population and chaotic nature. They felt it was the only country they could pull off such with relative ease. But Buhari was the head of state and was sending drug dealers to the firing squad. They knew he would never let them use Nigeria as their base for drug operations to fund their covert war. Nigeria was still the most attractive to them for the venture. It became clear to them that Buhari/Idiagbon had to go.
So entered Babangida and the coup that overthrew Buhari, covertly planned, supported and carried out with the aid of the CIA.
As soon as Babangida overthrew Buhari, he proceeded to undo everything Buhari tried to achieve for a better Nigeria. He devalued the naira, accepted all the conditionalities of the IMF and World Bank. Nigeria became a free for all with zero accountability. If you remembered his speech after the coup, there were ramblings about democracy, free market, human rights, etc. In fact the wording of that speech could have been scripted by the American State Department. In 1986, the Time Magazine (either February or September edition) reported that at the height of America's covert wars during the Reagan administration, the U.S had the very elite commando unit of their armed forces, the SEAL, dispatched to several different countries for covert activities. Guess what; this unit was in Nigeria in August 1985, during the week that Babangida overthrew Buhari. These Special Forces are highly trained in all kinds of warfare. No Nigerian ever asked why they were in Nigeria at that particular time. The thinking of the CIA was that a coup against a Northern Muslim Fulani by a middle belt military personnel would be resisted and therefore bloody. So the SEAL was dispatched to make sure Babangida succeeded. If the coup had been resisted, Buhari and Idiagbon would have been killed, no question about it
After the coup, the CIA cut a deal with Babangida, where Nigeria was used as a major drug transit and money laundering center for the proceeds of the CIA drug trade. This is how the CIA was funding their Contra war. The phony or rogue bank, BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) was used to launder the proceeds of the drug business and take them out of the country. Babangida's loots left the country through this bank. Remember that branches of this bank were everywhere in Lagos and the North. Two investigative journalists in the US later broke the news that the CIA was involved in drug smuggling to fund the Contra War. They didn't mention the country that was used, but from all indications, it was Nigeria! However, Dele Giwa somehow stumbled on this information and was seriously investigating it and was about to break the news when he was killed. This is the main reason that Babangida had Dele Giwa killed.
Remember also that the former leader of Burkina Faso, Capt. Thomas Sankara, of blessed memory, was a close friend, albeit, revolutionary friend of Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, who was hated so much by the .U.S. After Sankara was killed, obviously with help from the West, the rest of Africa condemned the cowardly act except Babangida. As a matter of fact, he gave the leader of the coup that killed Sankara, Major Compaore Blaise, a red carpet welcome to Lagos, barely a week after the murder. Again when in 1986, Reagan unjustifiably bombed Libya and killed Gadaffi`s daughter, everybody in Africa condemned the unprovoked attack, except Babangida, who was blaming Gaddafi for the attack.
Toward the end of 1986, or 1987, (can't remember the exact year), Babangida was given a "Strategic" award, by the Heritage Foundation, a US right wing front whose philosophy is total world domination, economically, politically and militarily. The few other people, who had received this award, include Henry Kissinger and the former NATO Commander, Alexander Haig, people who had gone out of their way and the risk of their lives to advance America's interests.
No Nigerian journalist or news organization asked or questioned the reason IBB was given that award. Nobody asked why there was an explosion of drug activities during IBB's regime. The only investigative journalist we had, Dele Giwa, was killed, so we were and still are in the dark of what is actually going on in Nigeria. And to make things worse, most of our papers are owned by the looters or friends of the looters.
Anyway, it was during IBB's regime that most of our wealth was looted out of the country (about 80%). It was the dream of America to make IBB, President for Life, just like Mobutu.
Enter Orji Kalu, now former Governor of Abia State. I am not very sure whether it was IBB who introduced Kalu to the CIA or the other way round, but it was the dream of the US to make Babangida the President and Kalu his Vice. Kalu is still a sleeper operative of the CIA. Three weeks before the last presidential election in 2007, Kalu was at the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia. The only way anybody could get into that building is if you have a top secret security clearance or an active asset of the CIA with high level security clearance. Remember that Kalu had always boasted about how close he was with the Bush family. The only link between the two is the CIA and the fact that Kalu was a valuable asset for them, having proved it by betraying Nigeria, one way or the other, for his own personal gain.
How did IBB move his loots to France and Switzerland? IBB is as devilishly clever as he is ruthless. Kalu became the go-between, between him and the CIA, to avoid being linked to the CIA. With the help of the CIA, Kalu created numerous phony front companies to launder IBB's loots and payouts from the CIA deal, and move them out of the country through the rogue bank, BCCI. This is why when Ribadu arrested Kalu for corruption, the Bush regime was up in arms against it, and the current Attorney General, Michael Aondoaaka took over the EFCC, in a mild drama. I'll come to this later.
Kalu has the same character traits as Babangida or even worse. The CIA found him very valuable to them because this guy could do literally anything for personal gains and aggrandizement. Remember, Kalu had always stated that he is who he is today because of IBB. In fact this is the only honest statement that ever came out of Kalu's mouth.
IBB created the very problems we are all suffering today. He never ever wanted to give up power for what he was getting out of it. He is an extremely crafty guy and dangerously cunning.
America's dream, or rather the CIA's dream, was to make Babangida a long time dictator like Mubarak of Egypt, and Orji Kalu his vice president, and for Kalu to continue after Babangida. The election that Babangida held in 1993 and which Abiola won was never meant to be. Babangida never wanted to give up power. America didn't want him to give up power either. So he wasted all our resources, just to pretend that he wanted to give up power. He annulled the election on the advice of the State Department of the US, who did not trust Abiola to cut deals with them whenever they needed one. When Abacha realized that Babangida had no intention of giving up power, he tricked Babangida and forced him to hand over to the Shonekan's so-called Interim National Government. The US never forgave Abacha for that. Abacha's demonization went full blast. The US had hopes that they could still find a way to bring Babangida to power. The easiest way would be to eliminate the two major contenders, Abacha and Abiola.This would leave us no other option but Babangida. Abacha and Abiola could have been killed with the assistance of the CIA. I studied chemistry, as an undergraduate, and I know that a very minute drop of concentrated potassium chloride could easily create a massive natural heart attack and death immediately. Potassium chloride (KCl) has a very narrow lethal dose, i.e. very narrow range of lethality. This is the weapon of choice for most intelligence covert operations, because it could never be traced by any toxicology tests. My strong suspicion leans toward the use of KCl to kill Abiola and Abacha, to make way for Babangida to return. Babangida has never told the truth about why he annulled that election. He could never tell the true reason. Nigeria was smart to let Abdulsalam to rule after Abacha's death, instead of Babangida. Abacha was never a saint, but most of the demonization against him was orchestrated by America, in a way, to divert attention away from Babangida. Even the so called Abacha loot in Swiss banks could have been Babangida's, just to use the insignificant amount to blackmail Abacha, and have Nigerians believe that all the looting was done by Abacha.You see, our biggest problem is believing everything the West tells us without questions, not minding that they have always employed the Machiavellian doctrines in their dealings with the rest of the world.
The US actually succeeded in having every Nigerian talking about Abacha's loot, while Babangida conveniently faded to the background, attending weddings, birthday parties, funerals, etc, everywhere! In 2007, all grounds were cleared for Babangida to sneak back, and with the advice of the Bush Administration, for him to appoint Kalu as his running mate, a position which Kalu declined.
Most Nigerians, and most of the rest of the world except Western Europe and Israel, are extremely naive about America. As much as being utilitarian, Americans are natural existentialists, driven in all their actions, bad or good, only by self interests. The only thing consistent about Americans as individuals is their unpredictability. For example, an American can ceremoniously and sanctimoniously give you a million dollars today, and tomorrow that same American kills you unceremoniously over five dollars! It saddens me whenever I read about our government officials trooping here to "learn" about the American system. The American government structure is very organized and extremely well structured and managed by very patriotic citizens. But honestly, America does not want the same fine structure for any part of the world outside Western Europe and Israel. America's prosperity and power are based partly on their ability to manipulate all the developing countries to remain dependent, so that they could easily be used.
America did not accomplish their goal to return IBB to power in 1993, but they encouraged him to contest in 2007. In fact, everything was on the ground for him to run again, but Kalu refused the Vice President-ship. I, personally, was very alarmed that Nigerians folded their arms and some misguided corrupt cronies were actually rooting for this evil man who killed the finest of young Nigerian army officers, and essentially the architect of the present rot we are in. I sent part of the information I'm giving you to Nuhu Ribadu, when he was Chairman of EFCC, and also to the Sun Newspaper (at the time, I did not know the paper was owned by Orji Kalu, Babangida's partner in crime). I'm very sure Ribadu read it, and probably briefed Obasanjo about it. Those at the Sun Newspaper could have informed Kalu about it, and Babangida could have gotten wind of it. About a month after I sent the article, I learnt that Babangida withdrew his ambition with the phony excuse that he would not run against his "younger brother, Yar'Adua". My honest belief then was that he realized that there were people with damaging information about him. And also, Obasanjo could also have discouraged him, having been briefed about this information by Ribadu.These are my speculations as to why Babangida suddenly withdrew from contesting. So Ribadu played a major part in Babangida not running in the 2007 election.
Babangida has a huge animosity against Ribadu, who was really responsible for derailing Babangida`s presidential ambition in 2007. He never forgave him. In one of his several wedding or funeral services talks, Babangida made it clear that even if he never ran for the Presidency again, he would be involved in determining whoever rules Nigeria. He was responsible for the selection of Yar'Adua as President, after twisting Obasanjo's hand, who owed him for getting him out of jail and making him President in 1999. Most of PDP's "BIG" men are all carry-overs from the Babangida's regime. Remember when he said he was satisfied with the selection of Yar'Adua as President, calling him his younger brother? He actually forced his old cronies and "boys" in the PDP to select Yar'Adua. He knew that Yar'Adua has a lot of humility, defers to him and lacks self confidence. He knew he could easily manipulate Yar'Adua. Essentially, Babangida is actually the one still calling the shots, behind the scenes, in Yar 'Adua's government.
All Ribadu's problems were orchestrated by Babangida. Most Nigerians thought it was Ibori, but though Ibori is one of his "boys", Babangida is the only one in Nigeria powerful enough to go against Obasanjo's friends. Babangida influenced the appointments of Okiro (IGP) and Aondoakaa (AGF) and Waziri (EFCC), all in an effort to kill the war on corruption, and stop all the noise about corruption. Have you noticed that in all his public utterances, Babangida had never said anything against corruption? He does not see corruption as corruption, because he believes in Reagan's trickle down or voodoo economics, i.e. give the wealth of the nation to a few of his cronies in government or business, and they would create wealth for others. It is this same Reagan's idea that is wreaking havoc in the American economy today!
Everyday, Yar 'Adua's government looks more and more like Babangida's regime, because he influenced Yar'Adua to recycle his old cronies into important positions. These are men who through the years, have perfected the art and science of stealing and looting.
Babangida remains the most destabilizing and powerful force in Nigeria today. It's almost as if he owns Nigeria. He remains untouchable because all the recycled kleptomaniacs called politicians, who are in leadership positions today, owe their wealth and power to Babangida Watch my words, all talk about Nigeria's progress, remains just talk, until Babangida's powers and influence are erased. Until we have bold, very patriotic, incorruptible, and independent individuals elected by the people, Nigeria would go nowhere!!!!.
The only leader that Nigerian people ever elected was Abiola. The others were either influenced by foreign powers in collusion with corrupt politicians and the military. Nigeria needs the likes of Nuhu Ribadus, Gani Fawhinmis, Tai Solarins, and yes, Mohammed Buharis and Babatunde Idiagbons.
I was born in Cameroun, and I am a true pan-Africanist. I am an extremely patriotic Nigerian with a lot of passion for Nigeria. Any foreigner who ever comes in contact with me ends up loving Nigeria and wanting to go there. It's my little way of rebranding Nigeria, whatever that really means. I sincerely believe that Nigeria could potentially be the greatest wholly black nation on earth if we could put our acts together and stop corruption at all cost and by all means necessary. The West is very much aware of Nigeria's potentials and they are doing everything to stop it, especially the US. This is why the American Press uses every opportunity to humiliate Nigeria, to make us lose our Natural self confidence and not compete with them toe-to-toe. There are more criminals in one American city, than all of Nigeria combined! The truth is that a powerful wholly black nation would shatter the methodical stereotype of the black race, as stupid, by their media over the years. A powerful black nation would also awaken their black population to aim higher, and regain their confidence after years of emasculation. This is something they'll do everything to avoid. I honestly believe that most of our problems, especially the Niger Delta, could be traced back to LONDON AND WASHINGTON, through their multinational corporations, who corrupt and impose corrupt and inept leaders on us
.............Anyway, let see what we do to help our country.
The article should be reconstructed as poser questions for Babangida to answer to Nigerians. This brings out all the points of interests, but avoids accusing him directly
This would force him to react and be on the defensive, thereby, exposing himself for a second look by Nigerians.| Article source