The Ikemba Nnewi and Dikedioranma of Igboland, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, recently played host to some Babangida's errand boys aka town-criers, who had paid him a visit under the aegis of a comatose New Nigeria Peoples Party led by one Major Agbo. According to the story, they came on behalf of Babangida to solicit Ojukwu's, and by extension, Igbos' support for Babangida's nefarious plan to foist himself again back on the Nigerian people as president in 2011. Sourced information claimed that Ojukwu bought into the poisoned candidacy of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and endorsed him for president.
Icheoku screams holy macro, unbelievable and surprise, surprise; and hereby denounces the alleged act of approval as a betrayal to everything Igbo, their fabled resilience and standing up for justice for all Nigerians! Such nod of approval to Babangida's candidacy by Ojukwu himself, sends a wrong message that what Babangida did was of no interest, concern or consequence for the Igbo people of Nigeria. Icheoku says not in our name! Such an endorsement is an affront to the general psyche of Nigerians who are yet to fully recover from the trauma that was June 12th 1993; as well as other concomitant atrocities of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's regime; including the thousands of innocent Nigerian lives that were lost under his brigandage and direct supervision/approval.
Icheoku asks, what was Ojukwu thinking or smoking when he poured this heinous libation for Babangida; or has he not "strayed" enough from the course since his return from exile in 1982, when he pitched his tent with NPN instead of the NPP. Admitted he had then promised to take the Igbos back to the mainstream of Nigeria with his joining NPN; but his recent political antecedents, carrying the banner of APGA, suggests he is no longer mindful of the quest for a full integration. When the Igbos and other peoples of the defunct Biafra thought that Ojukwu's going to Abuja, cap in hand, to genuflect before his juniors, for his pension as a retired Nigerian army colonel was already enough insult on what they fought and died for; now comes the mother of all disappointments, the Ikemba's endorsement of the Nigerian worst reject, the most hated man alive in Nigeria, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Does Ojukwu, a once darling hero of the Igbos and the entire former Eastern region, still have any moral scruples left in him; or does he think that simply because Ojukwu says so, that makes it alright; and every Igbo man and woman should salute and bow out.
But to Babangida and all those unconscionable chorus-singers who throng around him, and who are goading him into a mistake of an unimaginable self-destructive gambit in 2011, Icheoku says, you are long lost at sea. If Babangida and his minders think that Ojukwu still speaks for the entire Igbo nation, then they have another thing coming. Ojukwu's credibility have since so watered down and eroded in Igbo-land, that of all five full Igbo States and their brother quasi-Igbo states of Delta and Rivers, Ojukwu could only manage to turn enough sympathizers as to win in only his native Anambra State out of thirty-five states in Nigeria. A formerly highly respected regional champion and hero of the people, have now so imploded as to become pigeon-holed into a mere one state's demi-god and henchman. Peradventure, Babangida gambled that because the former INEC's chairman and election manipulator, Maurice Iwu choose not to disgrace Ojukwu completely by awarding him Anambra State, that alone makes Ojukwu the man to go to with respect to Igbo support and votes? And because Babangida is too old, he still sees Ojukwu in the old-school eyes of the Biafran warlord but forgot that the area formerly known as Biafra have split into eleven states, many of which does not hear Ojukwu when he calls. Hopefully for his job, Ojukwu collected a sack-full of IBB's illicit stash; and since 2011 is just around the corner, we shall see how much Ojukwu's endorsement is really worth.
Babangida committed series of mortal sins which cannot be easily wished away, forgiven or forgotten; and not by any true and decent Nigerian alive or dead. How can any sane Nigerian hold a brief of forgiveness for this killer-monster and ask for 'Nigerians to lay to rest all their bitterness and hatred of former President Ibrahim Babangida, over his botched June 12 presidential elections'.
Unfortunately, these Babangida's apologists forgot to add to his June 12th atrocity, his terrorist bombing of Dele Giwa to smithereens; his vicious murder and acid-pouring on the body of Poet Mamman Vasta following a fathom coup; the disappearance of Gloria Okon; the death in a military coup of Thomas Sankara of Upper Volta; the 132 military officers that perished in a staged Ejigbo plane crash; the pains of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP); the refusal to retire late midget of Kano Sani Abacha when he forcibly stepped aside; the destruction of the society known as Nigeria through wanton corruption and the institutionalization of 419 criminality; the first devaluation of the Naira to accommodate his bureau-d-change currency changers, who helped launder his millions of dollars of illegal drug proceeds; his Zango Kataf massacre; the unceremonious retirement of Domkat Bali from the army; the murder of Gideon Orkar and group of other patriotic Nigerian military officers who wanted to remove the cancer that was then killing Nigeria as personified in Babangida; the criminal overthrow of second republic democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari in December 1983; the stab at the back-like overthrow of the government of Muhammadu Buhari in which he was the gates keeper, being the Minister of defence; - a case of a guardian robbing the fort? So for which of these crimes are Nigerians being asked to forgive Babangida of, or is Ojukwu now so forgetful not to understand that Nigerians still hurt from Babangida's hostage-taking of Nigeria and its associated brigandage and that also thousands of Igbo people lost their lives during the Abiola upheaval.
Just thinking about IBB makes Icheoku want to throw up; and we wonder what type of toxicity is whirling in the brains of all these Nigerians clamouring for his presidency in 2011? Call it personal if you want, but Icheoku refuses to accept that there is any sane Nigerian alive today who witnessed what transpired between 1983 to 1993 under Babangida's infamous military regime, who could sincerely fathom or entertain the idea of the absurdity of an IBB presidency in Nigeria again. To this shadowy Major Agbo who led his NNPP delegation to Ojukwu to solicit his/Igbo support on behalf of Babangida, Icheoku emphasises that there is a chasm between "taking responsibility" and "apologising" for a crime especially the crime of June 12th. And assuming for the sake of conversational deduction that both words have now become interchangeable in their meaning and purport, Icheoku asks, what about the other crimes of Babangida's regime or are they not egregious enough for him to also "take responsibility" for.
This selective "taking of responsibility" by Babangida for June 12th is primarily goal-driven and targeted; and we make bold to add, were it not for his ill-advised move to vie for the presidency in 2011, Babangida would not have ever cared to volunteer that he is taking responsibility for that criminality. Icheoku have never heard about this Major Agbo prior, but says it is good that no one knows him; otherwise what a nightmare it would have been thinking that a person you thought you know is nothing but a shriveling cockroach. Maybe he only rose to the rank of a "Major" in the army through the help of Babangida and now wants to show his appreciation; but sure this man or woman that is preached and sold the gospel of Babangida to Ojukwu, and who forced Icheoku's hands against a revered man, has no shame at all; his/her conscience is as dark as Hades. What a case of Judas IsCariot and the miserable 12 shekels of silver, that forced this human specimen to take upon himself such an inglorious and dishonorable errand trying to hawk a Babangida's candidacy that is dead on arrival.
Further Icheoku disagrees with Major Agbo that June 12th was a 'mistake'; and asserts that it was a deliberate and calculated callous act of wickedness, perpetrated by Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to deny MKO Abiola his fairly won mandate; which forced Abiola to declare, "with a friend like IBB no one needs an enemy!" The same remorseless Babangida, few years ago, went to the Kano's graveside of Sani Abacha and paid him tribute as the best "head of State" Nigeria ever had. Icheoku says, may be for helping Babangida finish off Abiola and ensuring that Abiola's mandate never resurrected. The definition of "mistake" is some unintended or undesired result of an act, which June 12th definitely was not since it was fully calculated and deliberated upon. Major Agbo's sanctimonious preaching of forgiveness for Babangida is also fraught with deceit since Babangida never adverted his mind to forgiveness nor asked for one by saying he is truly sorry for his sin of June 12th annulment as well as the many other infra-digs of his regime. Talk about asking for forgiveness in HELL, long after a person had assumed room temperature; possibly this Major Agbo is not a christain otherwise he would have been acquainted with the teachings regarding when and how to ask for forgiveness. In answer to Major Agbo's posed question on what Babangida could do to assuage Nigerians ill-feelings towards him, Icheoku says, let Babangida jump off a cliff or bridge; or at least, withdraw himself from the 2011 presidential race. Babangida should help Nigerians to heal by getting out of the Nigerian political scene forever and for good; he is an eyesore and a constant reminder of the evil that he represents.
The Igbos of South East Nigeria, the new minority of Nigeria politics, cannot and have refused to get their acts together politically, because of some people who supposedly are in their leadership positions. Imagine a whole Ojukwu endorsing Babangida for president despite the facts on the ground that makes such an endorsement an untouchable and avoidable poison pill. The other time, it was the South East governors who were caught on the wrong side of the divide following the power tussle that ensued between former vice/acting president Jonathan and the Yar'Adua cabal. Prior to that, PDP's chairman Vincent Ogbulafor guffawed that the presidency remains in the north in 2011 without first checking with or consulting the then acting president to feel him out on his plans or any possible game-changer.That Igbos went through five senate presidents within four years until Ken Nnamani stopped the banana-peel syndrome bears no better testament either as to their political astuteness.For the first time in the history of a representative government in Nigeria, a major tribe like the Igbo, occupies neither the presidency, vice presidency, senate presidency nor the speaker of the house. Inexplicable! In the political gamesmanship of Nigeria, Igbos have been found grossly wanted and deficient; and unless they do something serious to tidy up their losse ends and really fast, every other zone in Nigeria might possibly taste the presidency before them; assuming they are ever considered for such opportunity. But who in his widest imagination in Igboland could ever imagine, a few short years ago, that the south-south minority will first preside over Nigeria before the South East.
Icheoku reiterates that June 12th and all atrocities committed by Babangida is not just the exclusive concern or injury to one certain section or zone in Nigeria, but that of every freedom and democracy loving Nigerian. Whatever war that will be waged or is now being waged or prosecuted to honor that sacred mandate by stopping Babangida in 2011, should also include and find the Igbos within the fore-front of the battle. June 12th is not a wrong against only Abiola or the Yoruba South-west nor is Dele Giwa's murder only an Iru-Ekpen's mortal violation, but these as well as other crimes of Babangida were wrought on the collective psyche of all Nigerians and so must retribution be championed by all Nigerians. Also Babangida's disrespect for a duly constituted Justice Oputa panel of inquiry is not just an affront on the erudite justice but on every Nigerian; and so also was the missing $12billion dollars a general commonwealth fund of Nigerians including the Igbo South East.
Concluding, Icheoku tasks the Igbos to politically wise up before it is too late and end its perpetual genuflecting tendencies to anything out of northern Nigeria, including Babangida. The civil war was since over four decades ago and according to the verdict of reconciliation, there was no victor, no vanquished. The Igbos should become more assertive as full bona fide members of the Nigerian society and forcefully demand to be taken seriously by other components of the Nigerian federation. If the Igbos are waiting for anyone to just hand them power or the presidency without any meaningful serious agitation, then they will have to wait for too long if not forever; as power is never given freely but taken by whatever means necessary. The Yorubas south-west were heard during Abiola's unrest and Obasanjo became president for eight long years; the south south Niger Delta did it with militancy and Jonathan is now a full fledged president.
The truth of the matter is that Babangida is evil and anyone supporting or endorsing him, or seen to be doing either or both, could as well pass for a mini-evil giving comfort to the enemy! Such support and/or endorsement is an unconscionable act, mindful of the blood, tears and sorrow Babangida rained on Nigerians!. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has not denied that he endorsed Babangida and witnesses bear testimony to this perfidy; hence our condemnation of the said endorsement as blatant, reckless and capable of alienating the Igbos further from other good people of Nigeria, especially among the Yoruba south west. Igbos cannot afford to be seen as the group that glossed over Babangida's crimes and is cavorting with a murderer. Icheoku says to the Igbos, never again shall they allow themselves to be caught like a deer in the headlight, on the wrong side of the intriguing political permutations in Nigeria. Their apparent support for the moribund IBB's very insulting 2011 presidential ambition with this Ojukwu's endorsement is not a healthy political move; and smacks of political naivety. Nigerians will not have a Babangida's presidency in 2011 or any other time; and the sooner the Igbos realize this and jettison off IBB's unworthy political boat, the better.