‘No Room For Blame Game’, IBB Asks FG, States To Unite Against COVID-19

A file photo of Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (retired).

 

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (retired), has called for a strong collaboration between the Federal and state governments to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

In a statement he personally signed on Sunday, Babangida who is also known as IBB, believes a united front is critical to winning the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is no room for blame game now but concerted support by all Nigerians,” said the former military leader who commended the governments at both levels on the efforts made towards managing the spread of the disease.

He added, “It is time for synergy between Federal Government efforts and that of states where a majority of citizens live with attendant implications for flattening the curve, increasing testing capacity and reducing the pains and we have the lesson and experiences of China, Taiwan, and other countries to benefit from.”

Babangida noted that although the numbers have continued to rise, the situation has been kept at manageable levels within the limits of the nation’s health care system.

He stressed that the success recorded so far would be sustained with the enforcement of appropriate and consistent social distancing prescription for effective prevention of the further spread of the pandemic.

The former military president also commended the professional display and efforts of the frontline medical personnel for their patriotism, resilience, sacrifice, and commitment to the fight of eradicating COVID-19.

He also thanked the individuals, groups, and corporate entities that have supported the government at different levels with various donations.

Babangida also commended the government officials for the palliatives geared towards alleviating the pains of Nigerians as a result of the lockdown in parts of the country.

On Easter celebration, he said, “I Enjoin our Christian brethren to use the holy period of Easter to pray for the country in the COVID 19 pandemic situation, and to our Muslim ummah to use the month preceding the holy month of Ramadan to pray fervently for Allah’s mercy and reprieve in the circumstances we find ourselves.”

“We all have our roles to play collectively and there is need to observe all recommendations of NCDC and adhere strictly to directives of government on basic hygiene – wash your hands frequently with soap under running water, avoid touching your face and high-contact surfaces, and also avoiding gatherings and physical contact thus, practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the former military president added.

IBB’s Rumoured Death, A Call To Enact Social Media Law – Bill Sponsor

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

 

 

The lawmaker representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator Sani Musa, has described the rumour about the death of General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) over the weekend as unfortunate, mischievous and unholy.

Senator Musa condemned the rumour in a statement on Monday, a day after the spokesman for the former military president, Kasim Afegbua, said the elder statesman “is alive and bubbling”.

He stressed that the incident was a call for the enactment of the social media regulation law which he pushed for in the Senate.

“Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is, however, not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy,” Musa said.

He added, “It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person dead, especially someone of the calibre of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living.”

READ ALSO: I Am Alive And Bubbling – IBB

The lawmaker recalled that rumours about the death of Babangida have surfaced at least four times in 2019 alone.

“The question most people ask is, who is behind the rumour? Why would he or she engage in such an act? What does he or she stand to gain?” he wondered, adding, “It is indeed baffling.”

Senator Musa, however, stated that the rumour has given credence to the need for the enactment of a social media regulation law.

According to him, although social media has a positive impact on the society, the lack of regulation has rather made it injurious to it.

The lawmaker said, “Truly, social media has great advantages. It has ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which has also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world.

“Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.”

Senator Musa decried that such a situation has taken over social media and cannot be allowed to continue.

If the social media is left unregulated by way of legislation, according to him, Nigerians would wake up someday to chaos.

He, therefore, urged security operatives in the country to investigate the source of the rumour and arrest the perpetrators.

Senator Musa also prayed for sound health for the elder statesman and wished him long life.

‘You Can’t Muzzle Nigerians,’ IBB Condemns Hate Speech Bill

'You Achieved Great Success In Anti-Corruption Fight’, IBB Tells Buhari At 76
General Ibrahim Babangida during an interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019, in April 2018.

 

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has lent his voice against the Hate Speech Bill, warning the sponsors of the bill not to try to muzzle Nigerians.

He said the bill was inimical to the growth of the country and does not support the ideals of a democratic society.

General Babangida spoke during the visit of the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Wednesday at his hilltop residence in Minna, the Niger State capital.

According to him, there is no basis for the ‘Hate Speech Bill’ before the National Assembly and no one can muzzle the voice of Nigerians.

The former military leader noted that a similar bill was presented before the 8th National Assembly and he advised against it saying, he was surprised that the bill has resurfaced.

“There is no basis for this; now we are developing and we should be allowed to develop,” he said.

He added, “If we make mistakes people can be cautioned; if somebody goes off, you have the right to call him to say ‘no we don’t want this.”

General Babangida noted that government at all levels would only experience progress when people were able to express themselves on happenings in the country.

He stated that the only reason for the bill was that the sponsors wanted to show “eye service as we call it in the Army”.

The former military president also described the death penalty prescribed in the bill as “crude”.

He said, “If somebody made hate speech and you put him in the gallows and shoot him, it is crude; it is not 21st century. It could have happened may be some 300 years ago but not now.”

Babangida, however, informed his visitors that he would join the NUJ and other stakeholders to protest against the passage of the bill.

“I am with you on this; I will also talk to those of us who could be in position to bring sanity to bear on some of these things,” he assured.

The former military president explained that he had been following media publications on the forth coming United States election, saying journalists would have been jailed in Nigeria if that was the case.

He credited himself with opening up the media space in the country, even when some of his colleagues opposed his policy, saying the country was better for it.

Babangida, therefore, challenged the media remain strong focussed on what Nigeria wants, stressing that threatening freedom of speech with death threat or N10 million it sounded ‘silly’.

Earlier, the NUJ National President, Christopher Isiguzo, solicited the support of the former military president to bring down the hate speech bill before the National Assembly.

Social Media Accounts, Count Me Out- IBB

'You Achieved Great Success In Anti-Corruption Fight’, IBB Tells Buhari At 76
FILE: General Ibrahim Babangida

 

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR, has distanced himself from the existence of several twitter pages and other social media handles purportedly owned by the ex-military leader.

According to a statement by the media office of the former Military President, General Babangida currently has no twitter handle or any “social media” account.

READ ALSO: EFCC Has Not Accused Me Of Fraud, Says Okupe

The General stated categorically that the twitter handles bearing his name and photographs are fake and targeted at misleading unsuspecting members of the public.

“We wish to emphatically state that General Babangida is an elder statesman and a peacemaker. A malicious story in an online media, ELOMBAHNEWS, dated 16th February 2019 credited to General IB Babangida is a malicious Fake News.”

“Accordingly, we wish to advise the social media community and the general public to be wary of the fake accounts, mischievous fake online news and discountenance whatever message conveyed therein.” the statement read in part.

Buhari, IBB Mourn ‘Patriotic Leader’ Shehu Shagari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and Former Nigerian ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida have expressed sadness at the passing away of Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.

Shagari, the First Executive President of Nigeria, died on Friday, December 28.

He died at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.

In his message, President Buhari described Shagari as an unparalleled patriotic leader.

Similarly, a former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has said Nigeria and Africa as a whole have lost a great leader.

IBB said Shagari will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness.

He described Shagari as a statesman and democrat full of wisdom, counsel, honesty, and transparency.

Below are the full official statements of President Buhari and IBB.

“PRESIDENT SHAGARI WAS A MAN OF UNPARALLELED PATRIOTISM AND HUMILITY – PRESIDENT BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great sadness at the news of the passing away of the First Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.

President Buhari said, “ On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, it is with immense sadness that I received the news of the passing away of the First Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari which event happened Friday in Abuja”

The President described the death as the departure of a patriot whose life of service and humility was widely acknowledged.

President Buhari recalled part of the birthday message he (Buhari) sent to him last February when he said, “ we are enthralled and regaled with the many years of unequalled patriotism, sacrifices and contributions to national development. More specifically, we celebrate the role modelling qualities of integrity, diligence and humility that have been the hallmark of your visionary leadership.”

President Buhari is however, grateful to God that Alhaji Shagari lived to a ripe age and led an exemplary life, which he urges Nigerians of all walks of life to emulate.
“Nigerians held him in the highest esteem even when he was out of office until his demise and will forever miss his wise counsels.”

He prayed that Almighty God will comfort the family of the ex-president and all those who mourn him and will grant the soul of the late nonagerian eternal rest.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
December 28, 2018″

“IBB CONDOLENCE TO THE NATION ON THE PASSING OF PRESIDENT SHEHU USMAN ALIYU SHAGARI, GCFR

 

With deep heart and sympathies I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Family of the first civilian Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Turakin Sokoto, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR who passed on today, Friday, 28 December 2018 at the National Hospital after a protracted illness.

My heart and prayers go to his Family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Sokoto Caliphate and Sokoto State.

Nigeria and indeed Africa has lost a statesman and democrat whose wisdom, counsel, presence and experience and his sterling qualities of honesty and transparency are needed in these very trying moments of our national life.

President Shehu Shagari was a great patriotic leader and an accomplished gentleman, at first a teacher, an administrator, a technocrat and an honest decent unassuming simple Nigerian Leader.

He will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness. President Shehu Shagari was a nationalist who never showed any discrimination due to ethnicity or religion and was a very dependable bridge builder.

To keep his memory alive Nigerian politicians and indeed all fellow Nigerians must put to practice all his ideals of peace and party politics without rancour, irrespective of any form of provocation.

I urge all persons vying for political office to emulate him and keep alive the political principles of the late Turakin Sokoto, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, the quintessential public servant who was “Beckoned to Serve”.

I pray for the repose of his soul in Jannatul Firdaus. I pray that the entire nation, his Family, Sokoto State and indeed the Sokoto Caliphate will accept his passing with equanimity.

General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR
Former President Federal Republic of Nigeria
Friday, 28 December 2018″

IBB Mourns Tony Anenih, Describes Him As A ‘Master Strategist’

IBB

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (GCFR), has described Tony Anenih as a master strategist which the nation will greatly miss.

IBB while reacting to the death of the former Minister of Works, said, “Indeed Nigeria and Nigerians will greatly miss a political master strategist in the next political dispensation”.

In his tribute, the former Military Ruler referred to him (Anenih) as a charismatic Elder Statesman that has a unique passion for providing solutions in the governance of the country.

“The demise of Chief Tony Anenih is a big loss to the political scene of Nigeria at this crucial time of electioneering campaigns”, he added.

General Babangida also commiserated with the entire Anenih family, Oba of Benin, government and people of Edo state as well as the entire members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Chief Tony Anenih died on Sunday at the age of 85.

2019: You Have My Support, IBB Tells Saraki

The former military ruler, President Ibrahim Babangida has supported the Presidential bid of the Senate President Bukola Saraki.

He pledged his support on Sunday when the Senate President visited him at his hilltop resident in Minna, the Niger State capital.

He (IBB) told Saraki that “You have my support” as he runs for Presidency under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to IBB, he believes the unity, economic development and security of the country are key principles that should drive the leadership in Nigeria.

He said that the Senate President has got the right objectives for a campaign for leadership of the country.

“You have got the objectives for leadership,” he told Saraki.

General Babangida says like his other colleagues in the military, he holds the unity of the country dearly in his heart.

The Senate President on his part thanked the former military ruler for his support and assured him of doing his best.

On impeachment threats, Saraki said that he is not afraid, adding that those agitating for the resumption of the Senate are only doing it for their selfish political interest.

He said the postponement in the resumption of the National Assembly had nothing to do with him but was a matter of constitutional provisions.

 

2019: David Mark, IBB Meet Behind Closed Doors

Attempt To Impeach Ortom Is Unconstitutional, Says David Mark
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark (file)

 

Former Senate President, David Mark is meeting with former military President Ibrahim Babaginda at his hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State.

David Mark’s visit to the former military ruler is to consult with him on his 2019 Presidential bid.

He joined the Presidential race on September 4, 2018, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Senator Mark says IBB has been a father to many of his likes, hence the need to always seek his blessings.

He is accompanied by his Campaign Director General, Senator Zainab Kure, Senators Tunde Ogbeha, and Suleiman Adokwe who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation.

He will be battle with other Presidential Aspirants including Atiku Abubakar, Bukola Saraki, Sule Lamido, Ahmed Markafi amongst others to win the party’s flagbearer come October 5 and 6, 2018.

Eid-El-Kabir: Let’s Unite To Solve Our Problems, IBB Tells Nigerians

IBB Reacts To Atiku’s Defection, Expects Successful PDP Convention
File photo

 

A former military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has urged Muslims and all Nigerians to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration as a time to devote themselves to the teachings of Islam and further unite and strengthen the nation.

Babangida said this in his Sallah message to Nigerians on Monday.

He said: “It is our collective duty during this sacred month and period of devotion to glorify Allah and adhere to our religious teachings by maintaining peace, protecting the sanctity of human life and unite to solve the problems bedeviling us collectively as a nation”.

According to him, “It is a unique and important festivity in the last lap of the Islamic calendar year for all Muslims globally to make sacrifices and religious rites.”

The former Military President also cautioned politicians not to allow their personal ambitions overshadow their sense of reasoning.

He advised that they should be guided in their utterances as some comments are capable of plundering the polity in jeopardy especially as the general elections draw near.

He said, “At this auspicious occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, I urged all Nigerians from all works of life or political affiliations to be in the vanguard of peace and unity and work towards rancour-free polls in the build-up to the forthcoming political dispensation”.

Obasanjo, IBB, Nwosu Absent As FG Confers National Honours On Abiola, Others

A collage showing the presumed winner of the 1993 Presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, and Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo were absent on Tuesday as the Federal Government conferred national honours on Chief MKO Abiola and others.

Also absent at the investiture was Humphrey Nwosu, the Chairman of the country’s electoral body – the National Electoral Commission, at the time of the 1993 elections.

All three of them, however, sent messages to the investiture which took place in Abuja to apologise for being unable to attend the programme.

Chief Obasanjo and Nwosu explained that their absence was due to the fact that they are away from the country.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, informed the gathering about their absence and the reasons for it.

ele
Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida

Both the former military president and Obasanjo have been criticised by supporters of the June 12 struggle.

General Babangida has continued to receive criticism for annulling the elections, which have been widely praised for being the freest and fairest in the country.

Chief Obasanjo on the other hand, was criticised for failing to honour MKO Abiola between 1999 and 2007 when he was President.

Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria’s Freest Election – IBB

Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria's Freest Election – IBB
General Ibrahim Babangida

 

Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), says nobody cares to know the actual reason why the presidential election conducted in 1993 was annulled, or give him credit for how fair the poll was.

General Babangida said this during an exclusive interview on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television programme that aired on Monday.

READ ALSOAwolowo’s Vision And More: What IBB Wants In A Young President

The late Moshood Abiola, a philanthropist and successful businessman, had won the election which was later cancelled by the then military junta headed by General Babangida.

The poll, which was adjudged as one of the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s democratic history, was the first presidential election held in Nigeria since 1983 when the military took power in a coup.

The late MKO Abiola of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) had defeated Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NCP).

IBB Asks FG To Use Psychological Approach Against Insurgency

Twenty-five years later, General Babangida was displeased that despite explaining why the June 12 election was cancelled, nobody cared to listen to him.

He said he had a good relationship with the presumed winner of the election whom he said they had communicated at different occasions.

“Nobody has ever sat down to say the two persons are friends, what went wrong? We tried to rationalise why we had to do what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us,” the elder statesman said.

“I have never seen anybody write anything on this to try to give people a different version altogether. He (Abiola) knew my feeling; I knew his feeling about the country generally because I do talk about Nigeria with the presumed winner of the truly democratically freest election. We even talked about it during the crisis itself.”

Babangida stressed further that the election was widely accepted to be the freest in the history of Nigeria, but he has yet to get a credit for conducting the poll.

He decried that Nigerians were instead interested in ‘he cancelled the freest election, noting that he loved being criticised.

On whether is he is planning to write an autobiography, the former military president said, “People may not read it because it’s coming from a dictator. Yea, he cancelled June 12 and that will kill the thing about the book, but I will try.

“I hope one day if God spares my life I will discuss about it (June 12 elections) because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to put across.”

IBB Asks FG To Use Psychological Approach Against Insurgency

Insurgency: IBB Asks FG To Seek Psychological Approach
General Ibrahim Babangida

 

Former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has advised the Federal Government to employ psychological and unconventional methods in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

General Babangida gave the recommendation during an exclusive interview with Ladi Akeredolu-Ale on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television programme.

While the government increases efforts to ensure the safety of Nigerians at all times, the former military president noted that it would be a mistake to use regular war tactics against the insurgents.

“What we tend to forget is that the insurgents have also got tacticians or people who think for them, and once they do that, then you have a problem.

“You have to find a way of countering that information they dish out,” he said, adding that there is no way other than good equipment, training, psychological operations to win the war.

Babangida, who described the insurgency as a double-edged sword, stressed the need for government to understand the concept of how the insurgents operate in such way.

He said the government must ensure that necessary measures are put in place to keep important places well protected, especially where the people must be secured.

Explaining how the psychological operation works, the former military president advised the government to assure the people that it is aware of their security concerns and ask them to go about their normal duties without fear.

He added that government should embark on sensitisation campaigns in a bid to “dish out a lot of not so good information about the other people (terrorists) so that the populace will have confidence that no matter what happens, the military is there to protect them.”

Watch on Roadmap 2019 on Monday, April 16, at 9pm for the full interview with General Babangida.