IBB, a name or you could say a symbol, is definitely an enigma. It transcends beyond the person associated with it, that is, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. The former military head of state is one of the very few people who have been involved in the Nigerian political scene since its first military coup in 1966.
IBB served as head of state between 1985 and 1993. After a long time of leaving power he remains a silent force to reckon with in the country. His interview with Arise news was aired to day and the former head of state who will be turning 80 in few day bared his mind on so many issues surrounding the country, both old and present.
He spoke about the current level of corruption in government circles and gave instances of how he tackled corruption during his own tenure. He opined that the set of leaders during his time were saints compared to the present ones.
He emphasized that Nigeria is still troubled by the issue of bad leadership. Commenting on the issue of a future leader for the country, he said:
“I have started visualising a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person, who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with.
“That is a person, who is very verse in economics and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already in his sixties.”
But when asked if the person could emerge victorious in the 2023 presidential election, the Minna-born former military leader said, “I believe so if we can get him.”
Responding to a question on whether or not he still believed in the future of Nigeria, the former military president, who turns 80 on August 17, 2021, said:
“I do believe in the future of Nigeria, but Nigerians don’t believe in the future of their country. They created and they destroyed.”
Though his regime was not without its own scandals, like the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election and the introduction of SAP (Structural Adjustment Program) which is purported to have caused hardship for Nigerians, IBB in the interview gave defense to his actions.
He said there was credible intelligence that there was going to be instability in the country if he had not called off the election, coupled with pressure from both the military and civilians.
For the SAP, he said that those who went along with the program are better off today when compared to those who did not.