Femi Ajayi's Outlook

Did I hear amen from Nigerians that Nigerian ex-Generals are into the game of not touching the untouchable, IBB, preventing the opening of that 'can of worms and "old wounds" from Babangida'? What a country!
Wednesday, July 13, 2005



Dr. Femi Ajayi

ANNOUNCE THIS ARTICLE TO YOUR FRIENDS
"SPECULATIONS AND RUMORS ON ALLEGATIONS OF [IBB] WRONGDOINGS IN COFFEE SHOPS AND MARKET PLACES":
WHO WILL 'CORRECT HISTORY' OF BABANGIDA'S ADMINISTRATION?



hile responding to a question from the members of African All Party Parliamentary Group at the House of Commons in London on Tuesday, July 5, 2005, during the G-8 meeting in Scotland, President Obasanjo stated that Babangida "is very much alive and kicking". British lawmakers wanted to know about Babangida's political future and the misdeeds of his administration
"…if Babangida is still alive and whether he plans to succeed Obasanjo in 2007".
On a very sad note, Obasanjo noted that
"speculations and rumors on allegations of wrongdoings in coffee shops and market places, not one of those allegations have been substantiated".


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If we may add to Obasanjo's statement, it was also rumored that a lengthy petition against IBB was sent to Obasanjo and Obasanjo sent it Minna for IBB's response. The rumor continued, IBB responded to every single allegation against him. When Obasanjo got it back he commended his shrewdness and been meticulous. To Obasanjo's surprise Babangida provided answer to every single allegation against him. That is another rumor.

At the G-8 meeting, July 2005, another whooping $50 billion aid package for Africa was approved by the G-8. With a last-minute pledge from Japan, Tony Blair won a key victory, announcing that aid to Africa would rise from the current $25 billion annually to $50 billion by 2010. Blair might have lost his push to get all summit countries, including European Union, to commit to boosting foreign aid to an amount equal to 0.7 percent of national income by 2015, of which United States with its 0.16 per cent of its national income still undecided on what to do. According to Blair

"It is in the nature of politics that we do not achieve absolutely everything we hope to achieve, but nonetheless I believe we have made very substantial progress indeed."

You know what I am thinking; Europeans are now turning to Africa for some reasons still not too clear to African leaders. All I know is that the Middle East Oil is becoming a trouble spot for them, and the poor Africans need to be "given back" from the colonial style stealing from the Continent. Reparation in the making! With the deployment of U.S. Marine to the Gulf of Guinea, in that 'green corridor' from Guinea to Angola, potentially endowed with the best oil in the continent; Forgiveness of debts, economic package for Africa, what is behind all these? Hopefully, African policy makers would never sleep with their eyes closed. 'Once beaten, twice shy', so our people talk. Colonization, neo-colonization, debt forgiveness, aid-package for Africa! It is time for African Policy Makers to bring home their sons and daughters to 'open' up their inner eyes to see what are coming up at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to Tony Blair of Britain for taken the lead on this gesture.

Going further, since Nigeria is full of

"speculations and rumors on allegations of wrongdoings in coffee shops and market places",
Obasanjo said that
"four years ago (2001), he had established a commission of inquiry (Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission headed by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa) into all alleged wrongdoings of the past with a view to finding out the truth and attracting apologies. I appeared before the commission twice; Babangida was invited but he did not go there''.

Babangida blew that opportunity to clear his name and REFUSED to attend. Babangida's next step was to go to Court and the court blocked the publication of the Oputa Commission's report. According to Obasanjo,

"…we have to obey the court."
As referenced by Obasanjo, Babangida went to Court and his lawyer, Yahaya Mahmood, Esq., asked the court to grant
"an injunction restraining President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Attorney General and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, from considering and for accepting the observation and recommendations by the Human Rights Investigation Commission, pending the hearing and determination of the suit".
It was granted and Obasanjo's administration REFUSED to challenge that in upper Court. Did the case reach Supreme Court?

During the Oputa Commission seating, with the pressure mounting on IBB he declared on Wednesday, September 3, 2002 that his absence from appearing at the Oputa commission was not to open up old wounds so as not to

"create a lot of problems for a number of other eminent Nigerians."
Is Obasanjo's administration afraid of the "old wounds" that Babangida wanted to open?

No one was sure whether the "old wounds" were related to the death of Dele Giwa; June 12 election; the oil Gulf revenue money and other corrupt Nigerians that benefited from the oil windfall; death of a crop of Nigerian elite Army Officers; or the installation of Abacha, or Obasanjo in Aso Rock. It could be that Obasanjo was afraid of the "old wounds" if he were involved. If no one wants to 'Correct History' of Babangida's Administration, Nigerians know that Madam Elekia Giwa, Dele's mother, wants to look at the old wounds. Her symbol of peace designated by her dress of Iro and Buba made of light green with a message to the killers of Dele Giwa:

"I can not be happy until I hear that Babangida has been punished."

On the annulment of June 12 elections, Professor Omo Omoruyi, the former Director-General of the Centre for Democratic Studies, stated that Babangida did not annul June 12, 2003 election. According to him,

"Ibrahim Babangida did not annul the election; the election was annulled by circumstances beyond his control. It will be unfair to say he annulled the election. The circumstances that pervaded the polity at that time made room for the annulment of the election. Therefore, it's better we go back and have a reflection. … To me, it's unfair to tie something around a man's neck and to continue to say he did it."
Probably Professor could help Nigerians solve the mystery surrounding the annulment of June 12, elections and the "old wounds" Babangida referred to.

On corruption during Babangida's administration, Professor Omoruyi is of the opinion that there was no proof. According to him, in collusion with President Obasanjo,

"Unfortunately you guys just deployed some callous ways of dealing with very complex problems. Like you journalists will write on how corruption was allegedly perpetuated under Babangida with no proof. All l can say is that Nigerians should be left to make their deductions on his person based on things written by unbiased people."
Professor Omoruyi sound like Obasanjo here now.

Here is another

"speculations and rumors on allegations of wrongdoings in coffee shops and market places"
on loans received during Babangida's administration circulating in Nigeria coffee shops and market places. There were no tangible projects that could be attached to the loans during Babangida's administration. We might want to confirm through loanclientservices@worldbank.org, or 202-458-8330.

Project ID

Description

Principal

Disbursed

Approval Date

P002087
P002088
P002062
P002068
P002063
P002066
P002069
P002089
P002099
P002114
P002073
P002082
P002100
P002070
P002102
P002091
P002142
P002146
P002125
P002098
P002143
P002101
P002074
P002113
P002084
P002106
P002148
P002140
P002124
P002127
P002134
P002094
P002092
P002121
P002109
P002107
P002167
P002156
P002176
P002175

Industry TA
Lagos Solid Waste MG
Multi. State ADP
Transport Parastatal
Livestock II
Southern Borno ADP
Trade Policy/Exp.I
Forestry II
Urban Infrastructure
Technical Education
Highway
Sector Loan
Lagos Water Supply
M. S. ADP II
SMSE II
Trade & Invest. Policy Loan
Imo Health & Population
Refinery Reghab.
Power Maintenance/RE
Nat.Ess. Drugs
Tree Crops (Oil Palm
National Seed
Telecom
Oyo State
Urban (IDF)
OSO Condensate
Water Rehab
Health System Fund
FADAMA
Agric Tech.
M. S. ADP III
Education University
Develop.
Primary Education
Population
Ag. Research
Environmental Manage
State Water I
Tate Roads
Economic Management
Dev. Communication
State
Roads II
Lagos Drainage & SAN

5,000,000
72,000,000
162,000,000
20,900,000
81,000,000
25,000,000
452,000,000
71,000,000
69,500,000
23,300,000
250,000,000
173,200,000
85,200,000
270,000,000
500,000,000
27,600,000
27,700,000
70,000,000
68,100,000
106,000,000
14,000,000
225,000,000
50,000,000
218,000,000
256,000,000
70,000,000
67500,000
42,500,000
100,900,000
120,000,000
120,000,000
78,500,000
78,000,000
25,000,000
101,000,000
68,000,000
20,000,000
8,030,000
85,000,000
63,000,000

2,415,696
68,876,093
161,888,643
18,141,404
60,946,713
24,544,381
451,486,416
71,000,000
61,072,587
21,512,795
141,697,499
173,200,000
77,700,000
109,179,801
500,000,000
12,338,356
9,176,420
67,885,037
35,588,775
19,162,965
13,847,748
19,784,579
24,735,886
214,449,353
252,240,569
52,892,483
67,500,000
39,457,126
106,067,797
44,537,209
92,198,130
10,517,560
81,960,182
25,758,201
99,590,216
37,715,009
20,772,020
7,949,583
84,532,748
63,648,445

10-Sept. 1985
19-Sept. 1985
26-June 1986
26-June 1986
8-July 1986
15 July 1986
16-Oct. 1986
21-Oct. 1986
29-Mar. 1988
29-Mar. 1988
16-June 1988
28-July 1988
25-Aug. 1988
20-Oct. 1988
22-Dec. 1988
30-Mar. 1989
29-June 1989
29-Aug. 1989
17-Oct. 1989
17-Oct. 1989
29-Mar. 1990
26-June 1990
26-June 1990
9-April 1991
21-May 1991
21-May 1991
26-Mar, 1992
9-June 1992
13-June 1989
24-May 1990
13-Dec. 1990
7-May 1991
11-June 1991
14-April 1992
28-May 1992
21-July 1992
5-Nov. 1992
13-April 1993
27-April 1993
17-June 1993

Professor Omoruyi's strong defense of IBB's administration, notwithstanding; Who Will 'Correct History' of Babangida's Administration from 1985 - 1993? We need Nigerian Professors, like Professor Omoruyi to take up this project. According to Professor Omoruyi,

"Civilians, especially the "pro-democracy groups," are more confused and will never ever sit down to read which is our greatest tragedy as a nation."

He went on

"I just want to appeal to journalists not to stand between him {Babangida} and the voters. It's a responsibility we owe Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians as a people. If democracy must thrive in Nigeria, candidates must be allowed to lay-out their plans and we allow the Nigerian voters make their choice. I don't mind the interpretation you use. But let's allow him lay out his plans and see how it goes."
I doubt if any Nigerian is standing between Babangida and the voters. He is the only one standing against the voters and his bid for 2007.

What IBB ought to have done, according to Obasanjo Ibrahim

"must do everything to protect or clean it"
He turned down the Commission's invitation and blocked the publication of the Oputa Commission's report. Continuing his defence for IBB,
"no allegation has been proved or formally presented to either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the former ruler (Babangida)"
Ribadu and Obasanjo are looking the other way.

IBB should realize that good name is better than millions of Diamonds and Gold. Nixon succumbed to the Water Gate investigation, Reagan could not remember a thing about Iran Contra Deal, nonetheless Oliver North declared his knowledge about the Iran deal, and Clinton admitted his affairs with Monica. These individuals moved on with their life and the community respected them and still respects them, dead or alive.

Unfortunately it is hard for African leaders to admit to their shortcomings. No one is 'Mr. Perfect'. We are all humans. African leaders carry guilt to their graves: Mobutu Sese Seko never admitted to his wrong doings with the killing of Patrice Lumumba; Field Marshall Idi Amin Dada of Uganda never admitted to his wrong doings, Sam Doe refused to accept his atrocities; Charles Taylor is still undecided what to do about the pains and sufferings he brought to his citizens. General Diya came very close to admit of planning a coup, late Adisa admitted to the coup against Abacha before he met his untimely death. Babangida should come out and let the whole world knows the truth about the "speculations and rumors on allegations of wrongdoings in coffee shops and market places," that Obasanjo is talking about.

Nigerians would agree with Obasanjo that what IBB could have done was to appear at Oputa commission like President Obasanjo who appeared twice, and shame the devil. Madam Elekia Giwa, Dele's mother's thoughts, confirmed by Obasanjo, that

"I want to believe that this government [Obasanjo's administration] is also afraid of Babangida".

Chief Gani Fawehinmi would be more than happy to see the "old wounds" reopened. His teeth are brawny enough to pick up the dry bone with Babangida and whosoever is involved in the killing of Dele Giwa. The odor of the wounds is no problem for Gani Fawehinmi. His nose is large enough to smell whatever Babangida is cooking. If Gani becomes the President of Nigeria he is ready

"to dust the file in respect of Dele Giwa, call on Abubakar Tsay who was investigating, call on my minister of Justice and call on the inspector General of Police to go and arrest the man called Ibrahim Babangida, and tell the Police to conclude their investigation immediately, Minister of Justice, arraign Babangida before the court, and let the course of justice take its turn. And if he's found guilty, I am not going to use prerogative of mercy, I will not use bombs to blast him the way he blasted Dele Giwa's life out of existence. I will use the ordinary process of hanging which we have under the law. The hangman is there and his life will be taken in accordance with the law if he is found guilty. I have no doubt in my mind that he committed the offence. I have never had any doubt since 1986, so that will be the first of many acts I will take as President."

In reference to Oputa Commission's report, Section 88, p. 35, reveals that:

"From the evidence before us, we hold that military rule has proved to be a cure that was worse than the disease. This much was admitted or conceded by military officers who appeared before the Commission."

Section 90, p. 35 reacts:

"Clearly, the military are to be held accountable for gross human rights violations in the country, during the period under review. This is exemplified by cases of torture at the Intercentre, DMI headquarters in Lagos and Jos".
And Section 4 reveals that: The military had operated under a cloud of secrecy in many respects. What is more, except for some celebrated individuals who were prominent in society, the majority of victims who were not so well known languished in jails and detention centers without any mention by the media. They lived under very harsh and inhuman conditions. The public hearings gave them and the society a chance to hear their stories."

Chapter Three, Sections 97-100, pp. 88-89 of Oputa Reports states:

"98. On General Ibrahim Babangida, we are of the view that there is evidence to suggest that he and the two security chiefs, Brigadier General Halilu Akilu and Col. A. K. Togun are accountable for the death of Dele Giwa by letter bomb. We recommend that this case be re-open for further investigation in the public interest."

Chapter Three, Sections 97-100, pp. 88-89: 100 states that

"By refusing to appear before the Commission, they denied themselves the wonderful opportunity of explaining to Nigerians what happened in each case, like General T. Y. Danjuma and Dr. Walter Ofonagoro did."

Nigerians will always find it very interesting to see how Nigerian ex-Generals play upon their intelligence in the Nigeria political system. Nigerians know that the Obasanjo administration has been looking the other way on the matters that affects his brother, Ibrahim. He has the intelligence information about him and decided to protect him for the obvious reasons best known to him. Babangida seems to be whispering to Obasanjo: 'Do not deviate from the 1999 agreement. If I made you the President of Nigeria, you will not probe me, and when you complete your full eight-year term, that is, after breaking the election jinx in 2003, you will get me someone to succeed you and the individual would not touch me. Atiku would chew me into pieces, like you chew goro, if he succeeds you. However, I would make Nigerians believe that I would run, play it to the point that I would use my 'stepping aside' as a bargaining position so that whomsoever is placed there would not probe me'. Did I hear amen from Nigerians that Nigerian ex-Generals are into the game of not touching the untouchable, IBB, preventing the opening of that 'can of worms and "old wounds" from Babangida'? What a country!

President Obasanjo has declared that the NPRC would decide on the Oputa Commission's Report. I could hear Obasanjo calling Ibrahim to 'press his buttons' on the NPRC for his 'boys' not to touch the Oputa Report.

Who Will 'Correct History' of Babangida's Administration? Is it going to be the National Political Reform Conference? Who knows?