“But his voice has been lost in the crowd because they expected to hear sorry but sorry is not the language of leadership.”- Kassim Afegbua, IBB’s spokesman in Compass Newspaper of May 12, 2010. Since the evil genius, retired General Ibrahim Babangida announced his intention to be the president of Nigeria in 2011, he has been making insulting statements and moves all over the country.
One is aware that some Nigerians would argue that he has the right to move around the country and exercise his rights as a human being but this writer would differ.
The first reason is that IBB has not shown any characteristic of being human and hence should not be entitled to human rights. Two major characteristics of a human being include heart and conscience. In all that this writer has read about IBB and has witnessed of him in power, one can conveniently and categorically state that he has neither heart nor conscience. Hence to argue that he has the right to enjoy human rights would be an anomaly. By implication, one is suggesting that IBB has no right to move freely in human society and if Nigeria is still regarded as one human society, then everything has to be done to have IBB consigned to the zoo where he would rightly fit in.
At best, one would suggest that animal rights’ advocates, if they would be kind enough, should take up IBB’s case and see what kind of rights they could appropriate for him.
One has made concerted effort to ignore his varied insults to Nigerians in general and especially the Yoruba people of SouthWest. But having just read the report in Compass newspaper of May 12, 2010, written by one Godwin Isenyo, in which IBB tried to portray himself as a victim of June 12 episode, one has concluded that it is unfair to allow someone like IBB to gallivant around any human society as a dangerous animal.
Among others, IBB suggested in the report the following:
(a) That he, IBB, would have been killed if he did not annul the June 12 election;
(b) That a military cabal had held him hostage to annul the election;
(c) That he annulled the election in the “national interest”
(d) That he “actually cancelled it to stave-off a major political crisis in the land.”
Niccolo Machievalli, in his The Prince, had advised that when you are engaged in long knives of politics, above all you must ensure your own survival. IBB has been reported to be a good student of Machievalli and that most of his political involvement since his Coup planning days have been guided by the philosophy of Machievalli. Actually, it has been insinuated that the reason IBB was once referred to as Prince of the Niger by Chidi Amuta in his book (Prince of the Niger: The Babangida Years (1992), was not unconnected with this IBB’s fascination with Machievallian political gamesmanship.
However, the fact that IBB was not willing to put his life on the line for the good of Nigeria especially as a soldier, should raise eyebrows. To come out and say that he would have been killed actually gives a glimpse into the cowardly mind of IBB. Yet, this is the man who once boasted that he was not only in government, he was also in power. So, when did the power became an albatross in the course of June 12 election to the point that he was not able to exercise this in in the aspiration of the people? To give an excuse that he was about to be killed seemed to be an afterthought. It did not sound to be real and genuine.
As someone in power, he could have exposed the so called cabal and made their plans public. This would have automatically turned IBB into a messiah and the man of the people that he has always sought to be, at least, that has been his expressed desire all along. The fact that he did not mention any name would suggest that he was making up the story as an excuse to justify his heinous crime of annulment of the freest election in Nigeria’s history.
It is very annoying and insulting for IBB to come out and suggest that he tried to stave off national crisis by annulling the election of June 12. One would have liked him to come out and define what the nation has been going through since 1993 to date if not political crisis. Or may be the right thing to say is that this is what you get when you allow non-human to define the activities in a human society!
In the report, IBB’s arrogance once again came to the fore through his spokesman, Kassim Afegbua quoted above. He contended that the evil genius only needed to accept responsibility for his actions did not need to apologise by saying “sorry” and yet he is still insisting that Nigerians owe him another short in Aso Rock? Hear Afegbua:
“We are saying that within the context of issues at hand, if it is on June 12, General Babangida has come out several times to accept responsibility for whatever happened. That it was a mistake and that Nigerians should please forgive him. But his voice has been lost in the crowd because they expected to hear sorry but sorry is not the language of leadership. Owning up responsibility for doing something is the hallmark of a statesman and good leadership.”
If anything, what this conveys is arrogance and condescension towards Nigerians. The quote implies that Nigerians could groan all they want, IBB does not need to apologise to them and he would still become president whether Nigerians like it or not.
IBB and his town criers still believe that those who are opposing the presidential ambition of the evil genius are “a vocal few against the majority and the tyranny of the minority, not the majority.” What this suggests is that it is either IBB did not believe he is loathed or he is in denial. It is amazing that someone like him would harbour the idea that he is still loved by the majority of Nigerians and that only a “vocal minority” is after him to stall his ambition.
So, as IBB continues to insult Nigerians, one is beginning to think that the present effort at garnering signatures around the world to protest his candidateship might not be enough. For determined devils like IBB, mere signatures would not be enough to dissuade him from perpetrating the evils up his sleeves. One assumes that Nigerians are serious about stopping him. If one’s assumptions are correct, then the signatures would not be the instrument of achieving this objective.
What would be necessary would be the creation of people’s vanguard all over the country and mobilise them for this purpose. How this would be crystallized is not clear now because there is no identifiable leader for this purpose. Hopefully, other contending interests in the political space would be able to do this as a matter of self interest and political survival. But obviously, it is very imperative that those who are angered by the possibility of IBB becoming president recognize the fact that they would need to do more than gather signatures as he continues in his insult against Nigerians.