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IBB: BEST CANDIDATE TO RULE NIGERIA NOW – TSAV

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•Abubakar Tsav
National critic and social commentator, Abubakar Tsav, has said that with the turn of events in the country, the best candidate fit to rule Nigeria at this critical moment, is the former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda (IBB).

According to the former Lagos State Commissioner of Police who preferred Buhari to Babaginda but ended up glorifying Babaginda, said 'as far as I am concerned, my best candidate is General Buhari and the second, Babaginda because Babaginda is detribalized.

He knows many people and wherever he goes in this country today, he is accepted. Don't forget that most of these people who are ruling us today were brought up by Babaginda. He assisted them.

Most of the people who are ruling us today were his boys. He brought them into limelight. He knows virtually everywhere in this country.

'Let me tell you something. We have many politicians in this country and we have not tested them yet. Babaginda has been tested. There are some you can just drag in to rule us and they will fail. Babaginda knows every important person in this country. When his wife died, you saw the caliber of people that went to console him. It means he is an acceptable person and he is detribalized. People like him and he likes many people and he brought a lot of them to limelight. Most of these people who ruled us in this country are his boys.'

Continuing, Tsav said, 'I cannot see any other person. Most of these people warming up are rogues. All of them are rogues but Babaginda has advanced in age and has no ambition now to acquire money. What borders him now is to come and make a name so that at the time he is no more, his name will be written in gold. He is not looking for money to build houses, to buy cars or to travel abroad to enjoy his holidays. No, he is planning to create a name and he has seen the criticisms of leaders and he will try to avoid those mistakes.

He did not spare Acting President Goodluck Jonathan whom he said he cannot commend and cannot criticize. He also spoke on other controversial issues such as the recent Federal Government's decision to quash the charges preferred against the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the alleged return to the Peoples Democratic Party by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and other sundry issues.

Excerpts:
Some said the president's cabal arranged the visits in order to deceive Nigerians. Do you agree with that notion?

I can't say that but it may be true and may not be true because the issue of sectionalism in our society is getting too much. I wouldn't know.

Would you say those around the president have been fair to Nigerians for not allowing the acting president to see ailing President Umar Musa Yar'Adua?

They have been very unfair to Nigerians because the acting president was the vice president to Yar'Adua. So if Yar'Adua was in any situation, the first person to see him should have been the vice president who is now acting in that capacity of a President. He should see the president so that the president would have one or two things to tell him.

Former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda has just declared his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election and the family of the late founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch Magazine, Mr Dele Giwa, have said that God would stop him. As the Investigative Police Officer in the Dele Giwa murder case, do you have reasons why you think Babaginda cannot contest?

As a Nigerian, IBB has right to contest. No court has barred him and found him liable for the murder of Dele Giwa. It is mere allegation even though I investigated it and I knew what happened. But following the trend of things happening in this country, you cannot hold him responsible. He is qualified as a Nigerian. No court has disqualified him and as a Nigerian, he can contest. It is left for the electorates to either elect him or not to elect him since he was tested in the past and they knew how he ruled us.

From your testimony at the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Panel, if you were called upon to tell Nigerians the truth about the Dele Giwa murder case, what would you say to Nigerians?

I would have said the death of Dele Giwa was caused by the government because that was the first time we had letter bomb incidennce in Nigeria. Since it was strange, if the government was innocent, the government should have gone all out to try and found out who did that act but the thing was stalled. And thereafter, we started having explosions here and there. If government had tackled that case conclusively to know where it came from and who did it, maybe the subsequent incidents of bomb explosions would not have happened at all.

Since you said the murder of Dele Giwa was caused by the government, do you think the man who headed the government at that time be allowed to rule Nigeria again? Don't you see more of such incidences and new crimes on the way?

I wouldn't say he is responsible for the murder of Dele Giwa but his overzealous…

…but he headed the government
He headed the government, that is quite right but maybe his overzealous security officers did it. You see, you can be the head of state or a state governor, sitting quietly in your house and somebody outside there abuses you. You will not know when your security details will go outside and pounce on the person without you giving them instructions. Maybe in the same situation.

You have a way of assessing people. From your personal information about the personality of IBB, would you he is the best candidate to rule Nigeria at this critical moment?

As far as I am concerned, my best candidate is General Buhari and the second, Babaginda because Bagaginda is detribalized. He knows many people and wherever he goes in this country today, he is accepted. Don't forget that most of these people who are ruling us today were brought up by Babaginda. He assisted them. Most of the people who are ruling us today were his boys. He brought them into limelight. He knows virtually everywhere in this country. At the time he ruled us, it was a military regime, the Constitution was suspended and they did what they wanted. Similarly, when Buhari ruled us in this country, he ruled us without the constitution and they did what they wanted to do. Maybe with a Senate and the House of Representatives in place, they may not wield such powers as they had during the military days.

Having placed Babaginda in the second position, it shows the man is truly qualified

Who?
Babaginda. You are saying he can rule Nigeria again

Why not? He is a Nigerian.
We are not talking about citizenship but his personality?

Let me tell you something: we have many politicians in this country and we have not tested them yet. Babaginda has been tested. There are some you can just drag in to rule us and they will fail. Babaginda knows every important person in this country. When his wife died, you saw the caliber of people that went to console him. It means he is an acceptable person and he is detribalized. People like him and he likes many people and he brought a lot of them to limelight. Most of these people who ruled us in this country are his boys.

But people said he criminalized the country such as the introduction of 419(Advance Fee Fraud)

If you talk about promoting corruption, I would say yes because before he came in, we had the poor people, the middle class and the rich people but during his administration, he devalued the naira; I think twice and then there was this sharp divide between the poor and the rich. You had only two groups: the poorest and the richest people. You had no middle class. That was the only thing he did. But like somebody who has failed his exams, if you ask him to repeat the same exam, he will pass except he is a dullard. So, if he has made a mistake, he will correct the mistake this time.

That means the second coming of Babaginda would change so many things in Nigeria?

Yes, because I cannot see any other person. Most of these people warming up are rogues. All of them are rogues but Babaginda has advanced in age and has no ambition now to acquire money. What borders him now is to come and make a name so that at the time he is no more, his name will be written in gold. He is not looking for money to build houses, to buy cars or to travel abroad to enjoy his holidays. No, he is planning to create a name and he has seen the criticisms of leaders and he will try to avoid those mistakes.

General Buhari, to some extent, falls short of those attributes you ascribed to General Babaginda, which means you are indirectly saying General Babaginda is the best candidate to rule Nigeria at the moment?

For now, but there are many others too. There is one gentleman, an Igbo man, General Nwachukwu. He is a fantastic person but unfortunately, the man is not coming out.

But he doesn't have the type of connection Babaginda has

But he is very good. He is very civilized and he is well polished. He is not coming out. All other people who want to come out are rogues, who want money by all means and who want to be in that position and marry more wives.

How do you view the support of Ex-President Obasanjo for IBB?

I wouldn't know but you see, they are joined together by their spirit of military background because that es spirit de corp is still there. Once you are in the military, whether you are retired or not, that es spirit de corp binds you together.

He refused to support him before, why now?
Maybe he has looked around and found nobody that can rule this country except Babaginda.

…that Babaginda is the best candidate?
Maybe. That is his own opinion (laughs).
And how do you view the return of Atiku Abubakar and his cohorts to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Look, we have no politicians in this country. What we have are people who are scheming, who want to amass wealth for themselves. They don't care for other people because if Atiku really cares about other people, he will not come back to PDP. He will stay in the opposition because once you are in the opposition in a democracy, a time would come when you would form government. You will stand in as an alternative government. But since the man has no ideology, all he wants is to have a sense of belonging in the PDP. And he is the same person who abused the PDP, who said all sorts of things against the PDP; that they were undemocratic, they were this and they were that and now he has come back with his knees on the ground, begging that they should allow him. It is a shame! Our politicians don't care for us, they care for what they can amass for themselves.

Taking a look at Nigeria, how would you access our nation?

As far as I am concern, Nigeria is a failed state because very soon we will be 50 years and we cannot manufacture a bicycle. A bicycle! We cannot manufacture it in this country. All these steel rolling mills that were established, people who are responsible for them took the money and ran away. Other countries like Brazil and Malaysia who started with us are now producing hardware but we cannot produce any single thing. Ours is a failed state and unless there is this silent revolution, we would not attain anything.

Sir, do you have any solution on how to improve our nation?

You see, people in this country are mad. You see one person having fleet of cars. Fleet of cars! I don't know.