Nigeria Will Remain An Indivisible Entity, Says IBB

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

 

Nigerians have been advised to remain confident and optimistic that despite the problems, the country will continue to remain an indivisible entity. 

Former Military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida said this while addressing newsmen in Minna, Niger State on the 62nd anniversary of Nigeria.

A collective effort is required to achieve this, he said, applauding the efforts of successive administrations to keep the country united. He, however, called for more.

On what he desires for the nation, Babangida said he wants the country to remain a strong, prosperous, and united country where peace reigns supreme.

READ ALSO: Obaseki Didn’t Endorse Obi, Will Work For Atiku – Aide

He also expressed optimism that the current crisis between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will be resolved soon.

General Babangida appealed to youths to resist the temptation of allowing themselves to be used as thugs by politicians.

Meanwhile, former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar has called for the recruitment of additional security personnel to effectively tackle the insurgency bedeviling Nigeria.

He made the call while addressing journalists at his Hilltop residence in Minna.

General Abubakar said this had become imperative because security personnel have been overstretched.

He also stressed the need for the provision of necessary equipment for security personnel to enable them to discharge their duties effectively. The elder statesman called on Nigerians to provide them with useful information that will assist in improving the security system.

On the lifting of the ban on presidential campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he expressed sadness that some electorates are still selling their votes while to his dismay politicians are also encouraging the negative act.

He, therefore, called for a change of attitude to overcome such challenges.

General Abubakar, who warned politicians against campaigns on calumny and abuse, wants them to engage in a campaign of tolerance to achieve a hitch-free 2023 general elections.

While reacting to the question on restructuring, he maintained that though members of national and state houses of assemblies have a vital role to play on this matter, equity justice, and fairness are what is needed in Nigeria.

Abubakar expressed optimism that the problem between the Federal Government and ASUU will be a thing of the past soon.

Ex-IBB Spokesman Duro Onabule Dies At 83

Chief Duro Onabule

 

A veteran journalist and former spokesperson to the ex-military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, has died.

Chief Duro Onabule passed away on Tuesday at the age of 83, although the cause of his death is still sketchy.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun confirmed the death on Wednesday in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin.

READ ALSO: Presidency 2023: Tinubu, Obasanjo Meet Behind Closed-Doors In Ogun

Describing Onabule as one of the finest experts of the pen profession, Abiodun said he received the death of the Ijebu Ode-born foremost journalist with a shock.

According to the governor, the nation would not forget his role as the mouthpiece of the military government of Babangida’s regime.

He added that the former Editor of the defunct Concord Newspaper would always be remembered and missed for his profound comments on national issues, via his column in the Sun Newspaper.

Abiodun stated that the young generation of journalists would also miss a national figure and father-mentor in the late journalist, adding that Ogun State would always remember him.

In commiserating with his immediate family, Ijebu Ode and the entire state, Abiodun prayed for the repose of the soul of the former journalism guru.

“I received the news of one of the finest journalists Nigeria can boast of, with great shock. He remained a trailblazer in his profession, who proved his mettle while serving as the spokesman of the IBB’s regime,” he stated.

“Though his death is a national loss, we, in Ogun, will feel the vacuum most. No doubt, one of our illustrious sons and gift to Nigeria is gone, he shall be sorely missed.

“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Ogun State, I commiserate with the immediate family of late Onabule and his hometown of Ijebu Ode. May God rest his soul.”

Born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state, on September 27, 1939, he graduated from CMS Grammar School and School of Journalism, London. His first media work was as a reporter for the Daily Express in 1961. Three years later, he joined the staff of Daily Sketch. He spent some time with Daily Sketch before going back to his previous employer, Daily Express.

In 1969, he served as the London correspondent of the Express. In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Daily Times, rising to become a deputy editor of Headlines magazine.

Put Nigeria Above Other Interests, IBB Tells Presidential Aspirants

IBB believes the interest of Nigerians should weigh above everything.

 

Former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida has told those aspiring for the presidency to put Nigeria above other interests in everything they do.

Babangida gave the counsel when he received the former Senate President Bukola Saraki; Bauchi, and Sokoto State governors, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambwal respectively when they paid him a courtesy visit at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State on Thursday.

“Your belief in having a better Nigeria featured very prominently. You made my day. What you talked about is Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria. I want you to keep it up, for the benefit of this country and generations yet unborn,” Babangida said in reaction to the comments from Mr Saraki who led the three-man delegation.

“I want you to keep it up, for the benefit of this country and generations yet unborn. What you are doing is good, this is how the country should develop.”

He promised to support the group “so long as you stay on the course of promoting Nigeria all the time, making it a secure country”.

Earlier, the former two-time governor of Kwara State had said they were in Minna “as part of our consultations; going round the country talking to our elders and stakeholders”.

READ ALSO: FG Is Complacent On Insecurity, Says Senator Ndume

IBB exchanging greetings with the Bauchi governor, Bala Mohammed.

 

Saraki, who spoke to newsmen after the visit to General Babangida, said the team felt the former military president should be briefed about the efforts they are making to get a consensus presidential candidate that will face that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s election.

“We took him through what we are doing. This is part of what we call solution providing. We are trying to provide a solution to the political process because we want to ensure that it is smooth, it is not rancorous and it leads to a better Nigeria at the end of the day,” he said.

He said it was out of their “desire to make a better Nigeria that those of us who are aspiring to be president came together that we must find a way of having a consensus so that we can reduce the number and ensure that we have a candidate who is competent who has the support of everybody”.

According to him, they could not achieve the objective without the wise counsel of General Babangida and other leaders.

 

Saraki said Nigerians have been going through hell, especially in the last few days. He condoled those who lost their loved ones and those whose relations are injured or missing due to the train bombing incidents in Kaduna recently.

Niger, Akwa Ibom Governors, Others Celebrate IBB @ 80

 

Governors of Niger, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states today met in Minna, the Niger State capital to celebrate with former Nigerian Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on the occasion of his 80th Birthday at his hilltop residence.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Governor Abubakar Bello who described the Retired General as a man of the people, said he has achieved so much in his years on earth.

The governor wished him more wisdom in life.

Governors and other dignitaries gather in Minna, the Niger State capital, to celebrate Retired General Ibrahim Babangida

 

Also speaking to journalists, the Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom described the former Military President as a highly detribilised leader who succeeded in uniting the country despite the differences in religion and tribe.

Udom said the celebrant is a rare Nigerian who combines character and charisma and deserves to be celebrated.

Their Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal recounted how the celebrant has been a great statesman and a quintessential leader in the country, right from when he was in active service as a military personnel up to when he became Military President.

He said Babangida is respected and of inestimable value to the nation based on his experiences.

The governors all prayed for God to grant the celebrant more years, strengthen him and give him more wisdom to continue to counsel the younger generation.

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.

Your Service Will Always Be Remembered, Buhari Greets Babangida At 79

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

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) on his 79th birthday.

The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, joined family, friends, and associates to celebrate with the elder statesman.

“As the former military leader turns a new age, the President believes his services to the country will always be remembered,” the statement said.

“President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will continually strengthen Gen. Babangida, grant him good health and longer life.”

IBB served as a military President of Nigeria from 1985 until his resignation in 1993.

‘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″