‘Nigeria Has Lost An Uncommon Patriot’; IBB Mourns Shonekan

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (retired).

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), has mourned the late Chief Ernest Shonekan, describing him as an uncommon patriot and one of the cerebral minds of his regime.

General Babangida said this in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the news of his death was shocking and is a great loss to the country.

Read his full statement below.

The shocking news of the death of one of Nigeria’s finest brains and patriots came to me this morning with helpless awe.

I hadn’t the faintest idea that Chief Ernest Shonekan would depart this sinful world too soon, even at 85. He was a man, a leader, and an uncommon patriot who had a presence of mind and whose understanding of Nigeria was profound and remarkable. It is indeed a personal loss to me.

Chief Ernest Shonekan was one of our cerebral minds during our time in government. He was the architect of our principle of the free-market economy which helped to open up the system for robust participation by the private sector.

The liberalisation of the economy, the investment and boost in the agricultural sector and budget management approach were part of his brainchild. I recollect very vividly how he used to give us tutorials on budget, planning, and management of national resources, each time he was invited to our session.

At each budget year, Chief Shonekan would be invited to critique our budget proposals and gave us further input to enrich the final budget. He was a man of ideas and ideals. He was prudent and preached so much about fiscal discipline.

It was, therefore, timely for us to appoint him as Head of the Interim Government to help stabilize the polity at a most trying period of our country’s political evolution. He was a calm personality whose managerial skills were foretold in the way and manner he managed a lot of blue-chip companies.

As Head of the Interim Government, he was able to consult with a broad spectrum of the Nigerian populace in charting a roadmap out of the political impasse at that time.

His brilliance and meticulous interrogation of situations helped in large measure to forge ahead during the period. I owe personal gratitude to him throughout his sojourn on earth as we maintained a very robust mutual relationship after his exit from the corridors of power.

Given the achievements, we recorded during our time in government in the area of infrastructure, economy, and social rebirth, I owe a word of gratitude to him for his experienced intervention in helping to dissect our policy frameworks each time we called upon him to do so.

He was an engaging personality whose sense of patriotism was total. He was friendly and sociable. He understood the economy and made so many projections that helped us to bail the country out of the economic conundrum. We benefited from his immense knowledge, experience, and brilliance.

May the Almighty God console his family and other Nigerians who had a relationship with this gentle giant of quintessential orientation.

May God grant his soul eternal rest. Nigeria has lost a patriot, an urbane and refined gentleman, a thoroughbred boardroom maestro, and a cosmopolitan mind who was devoted to his country.

Rest in peace Chief Ernest Shonekan. May God grant the family, associates and friends the fortitude to bear with this priceless loss.

Overcoming Nigeria’s Security Threats Require Long Term Planning, Says IBB

 

Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida says the security threats faced by Nigeria at this time, can be dealt with but requires long-term planning. 

In an interview on Tuesday, General Babangida stated that the nation can overcome its security issues if those in the position of authority plan appropriately.

He said quashing the threats posed by kidnappers, bandits, and the insurgents require a lot of planning, adding that it is not a short-term plan.

General IBB said he has obtained information suggesting that security agencies are working together to map out new strategies on how to deal with the situation.

The former president while stating that he is concerned about the situation in the country, urged the government and the citizenry to join forces to overcome the problem.

READ ALSO: 10 Killed, 47 Injured In Maiduguri Explosions

Similarly, former Head of State, Retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar says all hands must be on deck to ensure that the insecurity menace in the country is tackled appropriately.

Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in Minna, the former president said he urged the governors to stop all squabbles within themselves.

According to him, the nation’s security architecture is overstretched and the Police Force is underpopulated, hence the need for support from the citizens and an increase in manpower.

General Abubakar said it is sad that citizens are now being seen as strangers and are looked at with suspicion when they leave their states of origin and visit other parts of the country.

The Elder Statesman was of the opinion that the nation must go back to the time when brotherly love existed, saying “Let us go back to when we were our brothers’ keeper”.

Former President IBB Mourns Emir Of Zazzau, Shehu Idris

IBB Calls For Resilience, Determination Among Leaders
A file photo of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida.

 

Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retired), says the passing of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris is for him, a profound personal loss.

In a communique on Sunday, the former president sent his heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Kaduna State, the entire Zazzau emirate and the late monarch’s beloved family, as well as the Federal government.

General Babangida described Alh. Idris as a powerful force for keeping Kaduna State so cosmopolitan.

According to the former president, Alhaji Idris has been a pillar of the traditional institution, a bridge between people of various ethnicities and religions.

He further noted that the dead ruler’s wisdom and integrity have been invaluable in advancing the growth and progress of the nation, adding that as a beneficiary of his support and fatherly advice for many decades, the loss was indeed personal.

READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila Mourns Emir Of Zazzau

Below is the communique as sent out by General Ibrahim Babangida.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILLAIHIN RAJI’UN

It is with great sorrow that I received the sad news of the passing of our beloved father and revered traditional leader, the Emir of Zazzau and Chairman of the Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died today at the age of 84.

My heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Kaduna State, the entire Zazzau emirate and his beloved family, as well as the Federal government for the loss of this foremost traditional ruler.

For 45 years, Alhaji Shehu Idris has been a pillar of our traditional institution, a bridge between people of various ethnicities and religions, and a powerful force for keeping Kaduna State so cosmopolitan.

Indeed, his wisdom and integrity has been invaluable in advancing the growth and progress of our dear nation. As a beneficiary of his support and fatherly advice for many decades, the passing of this great man is a profound personal loss indeed.

As we mourn the loss of this iconic leader, one of the longest serving traditional rulers of our time, we pray that Almighty Allah grant him Aljannah Firdausi.

Gen. I B Babangida GCFR
20th September, 2020.

Ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida Returns From Medical Vacation

Ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) Returns From Medical VacationFormer Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has returned to Nigeria after a 7-week medical vacation in Switzerland.

He arrived Minna International Airport on Saturday evening at 6.45PM.

Alighting from the aircraft, he expressed gratitude for prayers and goodwill messages from different quarters during his vacation.

He said: “I am feeling stronger and better now. I must thank Nigerians immensely for the prayers and concerns over my health.

“I must use this opportunity to also call on Nigerians to continue to pray for the leaders and the country to move forward in positive direction.

“We should remain united and work collectively towards the progress of our nation by thinking positively about the leaders and providing constructive criticisms and solutions to any challenge we may face.”

On the situation in the country, IBB said that the current economic recession is not peculiar to Nigeria.

“I am aware that other countries face different political, social and economic challenges. I believe the current government is working assiduously towards addressing some of the issues.

“We need to support all arms and tiers of government in their efforts to ensure economic recovery and political stability,” he concluded

General Babangida left the country for medical vacation in the Europe on December 18, 2016.

Rilwanu Lukman, Former Petroleum Minister Dies at 75

images (1)Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Rilwanu Lukman died in the early hours of Monday July 21, at his residence in Vienna, Austria after a brief illness.

The late Lukmam was born on August 26 1938 in Zaria, Kaduna State and left behind a wife and 3 children.

He attended the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology; Zaria from 1956-58 and later proceeded to the prestigious Imperial College London where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering in 1962.

He was appointed Minister of Mines, Power and Steel between 1984-85 and later Minister of Petroleum Resources from 1986-1989. As Petroleum Minister, he served as President of the Organisation for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference for several consecutive terms from 1985-1989.

From the petroleum ministry, he moved to foreign affairs ministry where he served as Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (1989-90) – all during the military regime of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) from 1993-94. Furthermore, Dr. Lukman was elected as Secretary General of OPEC from 1995–2000.

It was from his position as Secretary-General at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria that, in 2000 he was formally invited by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and appointed as Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy Matters to the Federal Government of Nigeria and Chairman of the NNPC, until in November 2003, when he voluntarily retired from public service.

He was later brought out from retirement in active public service by the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua administration to serve again as Minister of Petroleum Resources from 2008-2010.