- Ibrahim Babangida courted controversy when he spoke about the 2023 presidential election, Buhari's fight against corruption and other issues
- A university don, Abubakar Umar Kari, believes the former military leader had reasons for his opinions on the highly debatable and contestable issues
- Kari noted that IBB took a direct hit on President Buhari’s anti-corruption war when he said his administration was a saint compared to the current government
An associate professor of Political Sociology, University of Abuja, Dr Abubakar Umar Kari, has given his take on the recent interview granted by a former military president, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
Babangida, popularly called IBB, spoke on the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, the presidential ambition of Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu, and other issues.
He gave his reasons why the former military president took a swipe at Buhari, Tinubu and Atiku.
Babangida is too old
According to Kari, IBB can afford to criticise anybody because of his age.
“But then, the IBB of today is too old, hence can afford to take a swipe at anyone."
Justifying his actions has become a mantra
The associate professor believes Babangida is just trying to keep up his spirited efforts to defend some actions he took or failed to take during his administration.
He added that IBB’s justification of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election has become a mantra, and ironically, the more he repeats it, the fewer people who believe him.
To counter those accusing him of corruption
Kari noted that the former military leader's position on corruption looks more like an attempt to counter those who accuse him of institutionalising graft.
Babangida had boasted that his administration did a better job at fighting the nation's number one enemy - corruption.
He noted that if a comparative study is done between his government and the present leadership, Nigerians will discover that he and his then cabinet members were saints.
In reaction to this, Kari stated:
“The claim was a direct hit on President Buhari’s anti-corruption credentials, which have been badly dented, particularly in recent times."
IBB promoted the philosophy of “new-breedism” during his administration
Kari noted that Babangida’s statement on Atiku and Tinubu was not strange. According to him, the former leader has always promoted the philosophy of “new-breedism.”
The university don said:
“He serially banned those he dismissed as old politicians from vying for elective positions under the two parties he founded and funded while in power."
He added that IBB is also aware that Nigerians are looking forward to a change from old politicians like Tinubu and Atiku ruling the nation.
List: Buhari's successor, June 12 annulment and 4 other crucial points IBB raised about state of the nation
Babangida had earlier ruled out Atiku and Tinubu from the coming 2023 presidential race. He urged Nigerians not to vote for anybody who is above 60 years of age as the president in the next general election.
Nigerians react to IBB's comments
Mixed reactions have trailed Babangida's statement comparing the levels of corruption in Nigeria under the military and civilian governments.
While some strongly rejected IBB's claim, some others believe his assessment of the menace of corruption in the country is correct.
Reacting, David CN Seer completely disagreed with IBB. He said on Facebook:
"You people that have ruled this country with impunity, bastardized the economy, thinking you can go scotfree, time shall come you will be convicted posthumously, if the country Nigeria still exists."