Let me begin by famous quotes of Caesar in the most adorn play by William Shakespeare "... cowards dies many times before their deaths... " to begin a rebuttal by a known antagonist of General Ibrahim Babangida Babangida that hide under a Pseudo name Abu Najakku that appeared on page 65 of Daily Trust on Tuesday 30th December, 2015.
Ordinarily, I should have allow the Hill Top, Minna, media office or spokespersons of the retired military President to respond adequately to malicious and inaccurate disposition by Abu Najakku, whom always seek for a slight opportunity to shower abuses on IBB. I believe that, editorial policy of any media organization does not permit any avenue for hatred or settling perceived disputes among parties without factual and cogent facts. But in any case as a Nigerian and someone who quiet knew chronology of events from 1985 to August 27th, 1993 when IBB steps aside and relocate to Minna up to today, a lot of criticism on him the man IBB are mostly fiction and misrepresentations.
The visits by President Goodluck Jonathan to Hill Top Minna on Saturday 27th December 2014 to which mainly online media reported with few pro-government media organization quoted, general Ibrahim Babangida saying "What I will say is simple: The President means well for this country and he is working well for this country. Anybody who means well for this country should support the President to make sure that Nigeria survives as a united country."Just as the IBB stated it was a clear and an unambiguous statements base on the current situation of insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery cases and many other crimes that became the order of the day in Nigeria. It will be stupendous for any former head of state/president, elder statesman or any young person in our present predicaments and uncertainty to utter a word about 2015 general elections while the unity of our country is at stake.
The message here by IBB is simple, that as a professional soldier that fought gallantly during the Civil War to keep Nigeria united, security and unity precedes any other national endeavour including politics, regional sentiment or primordial consideration. Therefore, supporting Jonathan re-election or any candidate Is not what is topmost in the Generals mind and thought.
Therefore, for Najakku and his ilk who are preoccupied with politics and considerations of the moment, they have not gotten into the depth of IBBS mind. To start with early this year when some renegades are beating the drums of war and belligerence. IBB offered to put on back his military fatigue (Khaki) to go back to trenches and defend the territorial integrity of this Nation he so love and serve and to date none 0f the former military brass that fought the civil war and serve the military in different capacity and times has offered to do same based on patriotic fervor and desire for the unity and indivisibility of this country. Therefore Najakku has goofed.
As it is often said; every man is a political animal. Politics is embedded in our life right from our homes, communities up to national stage. There was never a time age has become a barrier in politics. The greats leaders of Soviet Union (Russia) that becomes antagonists in international politics was propelled by leaders that are above seventy years of age and yet they steward a very prosperous union and might in military and strong economic base. It is a well known fact, IBB after his sojourn in the military that metamorphosed to Military President, tried to stage a comeback into politics but efforts were truncated by New breeds politicians and as a reformed democrats decided to play a fatherly role of an elder Statesman given advisory notes to all politicians. Therefore, it is absolutely absurd for Najakku and his mercantile mentors to drag IBB into partisan politics. Is Najakku aware that during the last general elections in 2011, General Muhammad Buhari (GMB) and his political party CPC were denied access to the Trade fair complex, Minna for his presidential campaign? It was IBB through his son (Mohammed Babangida) whom is known as a PDP member in Niger State that gave GMB Polo ground for his campaign.
On the issue of Mohammed Babangida afraid of defeat and tactical withdrawal to become a candidate for gubernatorial election in Niger state as Najakku stated, let it be known that, due perceived ill feelings and off course fairness, IBB told some of his close associate that ..Muhammadu will not contest for governor of Niger state... his reasons are due to fact that, Wushishi the native town of IBB is under Kontagora Emirates to which PDP has zoned the governorship slot to. It will be very unfair according to IBB, that himself that most of his life times after the Military service are in Minna to go back and deprived others their rights. A former governor that was willing to sponsor IBB son to join governorship race and indeed the Chairman of a leading political party visited IBB on his sick bed sometime in October this year in Germany to persuade him to allow Mohammed to seek number one political office in Niger state but he vehemently rejected their calls to cajole his son into partisan politics. I believe one day, the people mentioned will verify one day for the sake of posterity.
One cannot exhaust in a single rejoinder articulate all what it takes about the man IBB but is often said "History will not forgive you for not taken a decision, but history would rather forgive you, even if you take a wrong decision". For IBB as I believe he has taken a right decision and become part of history of this nation to remained an elder Statesman and a champion of a united and indivisible Nigeria. As for Najak ku and his cohort using fallacious statements should know that, showering abusive words on elders especially General Babangida would not earned him any good because one day this code name will be unveiled and someone will retaliate. On this note, I support Governor Sule Lamido in an interview with a foreign broadcast media that, showering abuses to elder Statesmen, political Leaders and Traditional Rulers will backfire on those renegade elements in our society. I believe and pray very soon.
(Zubair Abdurrauf is an Abuja based journalist and a traditional title holder of Danlawan of Birnin-Gwari)