‘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.

‘Igbos Cannot Produce President By Just Complaining’ – The Week In Quotes

 

The past week was a very tensed one with so much to be discussed from politics to security matters. 

Below are some quotes that give us a feel of what transpired within the course of the week under review.

  1. A lot needs to be done quite frankly because if what we read in the papers or what we listen to on the radio is true, there are still some challenges in most of these areas we assumed the security situation has been stabilised.

Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, shares his view on Operation Amotekun recently launched by the South-West governors, stating that the move is not a viable one.

2. Given his antecedents, I have no doubt that Senator Hope Uzodinma has the competence, capacity, character, and wisdom to steer Imo State to the next level of development. This is no time for politics but for policies, programme, and actions that will usher in a new lease of life for the people.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, reacts to the Supreme Court judgment that declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 19 governorship election.

3. In its wisdom, the Apex Court finally declared my brother, Senator Hope Uzodinma the validly elected Governor of Imo State In the 2019 Governorship election. I wish to state categorically that I accept the judgment of the Supreme Court in good faith and hereby congratulate Senator Uzodinma on his emergence as Governor.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the March 9 governorship election in Imo State, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume says he has accepted the outcome of the appeal at the Supreme Court in good faith.

4. The mandate you freely gave me ‘has now been truncated’.

Mr Emeka Ihedioha says that the mandate given to him by the Imo people has been truncated following the verdict of the Supreme Court that ousted him and brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma.

5. The Constitution does not prohibit us from doing what we are doing.

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum says that the nation’s Constitution does not prohibit the governors from running with the ‘Operation Amotekun’.

6. In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federal Government is clearly diversionary and hypocritical.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana says that the Attorney General’s statement concerning Operation Amotekun is diversionary and hypocritical.

7. Stepping up cooperation with the US in the area of counter-terrorism is something that should be pursued vigorously given the threats of terrorism in the Sahel.

The increase in activities and threats by terrorist groups in the Sahel region can be largely curbed by stepping up relations between Nigeria and the United States of America, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

8. We owe this victory to a functional judiciary.

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says he owes his gubernatorial victory at the Supreme Court to a functional judiciary.

9. Nigeria has made significant progress over the last twenty years since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, speaks on Nigeria’s democratic journey so far.

10. There is a good opportunity for Igbos to produce the president of Nigeria in the near future or later. The political arrangement in the country is such that you need correlation with some parts of the North and South. The Igbo can make a move of getting partners from other parts of the country, in particular, the North.  It is not just to complain; meaningful efforts should be made to reach out to get partners so that eventually they will realise their aspirations; and I think they can.

Former Presidential Adviser, Tanko Yakasai, believes the Igbo ethnic group has a chance to produce a Nigerian President if it gets the blessing of other parts of the country, especially the North.

11. He died and left office without having mansions.

Bauchi state remembers Late Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first and only Prime Minister.

12. It’s very difficult to be ambitious when you are living in that kind of place because you are only seeing one thing and my goal is to expose them to more than what they have.

Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Nyekachi Douglas speaks after stealing the headlines with her wild celebrations following the announcement of Miss Jamaica as the world’s most beautiful woman at the Miss World 2019 beauty pageant.

13. Please save me, I don’t want to die.

A young Nigerian lady who was trafficked to Lebanon regains her freedom and is handed over to the Nigerian Ambassador in Beirut.

14. Amotekun is a pleasant new year gift.

Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka declares his support for the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as ‘Amotekun’.

15. It is unlawful for Buhari’s daughter to use the presidential jet for private affairs.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, says the private use of the Presidential Jet by members of President Buhari’s immediate family, is not in accordance with the law.

16. I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election.

President Muhammadu Buhari declares that as a beneficiary of a free and fair election in the country he would bequeath the same to his successor and the nation in 2023.

17. Heaven and Nigerians will never honour those involved in election rigging

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike speaks on attempts to rig elections in the oil-rich state.

18. I’ve Been vindicated because Nigeria is still ‘Jaga Jaga’.

Nigerian musician, Eedris Abdulkareem, says he feels vindicated 18 years after he released his hit song, ‘Nigeria Jaga Jaga’.

IBB Says Amotekun Not Viable, Advises South-West Governors

 

Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, has shared his view on Operation Amotekun recently launched by the South-West governors, stating that the move is not a viable one.

Amotekun was set up by the governors to combat the security menace in the region.

He highlighted some of the challenges facing the states and the need for the governors to adopt a more sustainable approach in addressing the security challenges.

Speaking on Channels Television Newsnight, Mr. Babaginda the governors should have convinced the Federal Government to put up some part of the revenue for the purpose of curbing insecurity in the region.

“It is not viable because they are quarreling with minimum pay, now they create another force that you must equip them, pay them salaries, and give them all the needed welfare, which is going to be a problem for the state, where will they get the money to do that.

“If they had succeeded in convincing the Federal Government to put up some part of the revenue for the purposes of that, but if they take on it themselves, it is going to be a problem.

“I think what they need to do is to have a closer look at this; we have a lot of security outfits, and I think it is to assign specific responsibilities. That will take away the burden, they wouldn’t be stretched,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Only A Stupid Soldier Will Think Of A Coup – IBB

Mr. Babaginda maintained that a lot needs to be done to address the security situation while recommending that an intelligence-driven approach should be adopted.

“A lot needs to be done quite frankly because if what we read in the papers or what we listen to on the radio is true, there are still some challenges in most of these areas we assumed the security situation has been stabilised.

“There are still a lot of challenges, what they need to do is to get a lot of intelligence information. It looks to me that there are some people who are thinking for the insurgents and the thinking is we need to find out who is thinking for them, who are leading them, supplying them the weapons and ammunition and we need to put a stop to that.”

Regionally, Mr. Babaginda said he would love to see more commitments at the highest levels from the Heads of states of various countries’ commitments to security.

50 Years After Civil War: Reconciliation Efforts Were Not Pushed Hard, Says Babangida

Former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (retired) says all the efforts made to reconcile Nigerians in the aftermath of the civil war, which ended 50 years ago, have had limited impact because they were not consistently pushed by the authorities.

Babangida stated this during an interview with Channels Television’s Ladi Akeredolu.

The ex-military ruler who fought in the Nigerian army during the 30-month battle lauded initiatives such as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the unity schools set up across the country.

READ ALSO: ‘It Is Unlawful For Buhari’s Daughter To Use Presidential Jet For Private Affairs’ – Falana

He, however, wants the Federal Government to do more by consistently pushing hard to achieve their objectives.

“For example, the NYSC, unity schools.. I think we didn’t push it hard,” he said.

“We should have pushed all those hard so that people from different parts of the country can say that we met at unity schools together”.

THE FULL INTERVIEW WILL AIR ON CHANNELS TV’S Newsnight Monday AT 9:00 pm.

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.

I Am Alive And Bubbling – IBB

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

 

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), is very much alive and bubbling, his spokesman has confirmed.

Babangida’s spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, said this in a statement on Sunday in reaction to a report that his principal had died.

He condemned the report which he described as fake news, noting that it was the third time such an incident would occur in 2019.

The former military president’s aide was, however, hopeful that the Social Media Bill before the National Assembly would tackle the spread of fake news in the country.

READ ALSO: I Would Rather Die Than Join APC – Fani-Kayode

To prove how well he is doing, Afegbua said the elder statesman attended to some of his friends and associates who visited him on Sunday at his Minna Hilltop mansion in Niger State.

He thanked those who reached out to them when the death report surfaced and asked Nigerians to disregard it.

Babangida who turned 78 in August was military president between August 27, 1985, and August 26, 1993.

Read the full statement below:

It has become consistent fake news for quite some time now wishing our own IBB, the one we easily refer to as “the last don” of Nigeria politics, dead.

The “fake news bill” would be a suitable response to this category of fake news carrier. IBB is very much alive and bubbling.

He just started attending to friends and associates who came to see him today, Sunday, 15th December 2019 right here at his Minna Hilltop mansion.

He is full of life and in his characteristic bubbling mood. May Allah forgive those who wish IBB dead. God is the giver and taker of life, not humans.

Death, as the irrevocable end of all creation, will surely come to everyone someday and at the appointed time and hour, but to deliberately spread fake news and wish someone dead, is to take humanity to another bizarre level.

May Allah forgive them.

IBB, by the special grace of Allah, the omniscient and omnipotent One, shall live to fulfill his journey and destiny in life, to the consternation of those who are always wishing him dead.

This is about the third time this year.

We wish to thank those who took time to reach out to us, home and abroad, to find out the truth. We thank you all for your love, care and concern.

May Allah grant us all good health, sound mind, and long life. Amin.

SIGNED…

PRINCE KASSIM AFEGBUA

MEDIA SPOKESMAN TO GENERAL IBB.

‘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.

IBB Calls For Resilience, Determination Among Leaders

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

 

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has asked the leadership in the country to remain resilient.

He also said there was a need for the leaders to be determined in the face of divergent opinions about the recent happenings across the country.

According to General Babangida, Nigeria is a difficult and complex country where many opinions exist.

He noted that from experience, he realised that for every opinion, there were as many other opinions considering the nation’s population.

READ ALSO: Buhari Should Urgently Release All Political Prisoners – PDP

The former military president, however, believes this should not deter those in leadership positions.

He described the country’s population as vibrant, stressing that only what the people want must prevail.

Babangida said he has remained passionate and interested in what was happening in the country.

He also commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and members of the opposition party for working for the good of the country.

The former military president spoke on Tuesday when he received the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, and some members of the minority parties in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Mr Elumelu said the visit to the elder statesman’s residence in Minna, Niger State was to thank him for his support.

He also reacted to his suspension from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the party’s leadership, saying he would not be distracted.

IBB Confident Buhari Will Tackle Security Challenges

 

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, has said that he is hope in President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to tackle security challenges in the country.

He stated this on Tuesday during an interview with Channels Television in Minna, the Niger State capital.

General Babangida, however, urged the President to tackle the challenges decisively as expressed in his message to Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Abachas 211 Million Pounds Loot Uncovered In Channel Island Report

“He (Buhari) made a promise and I believe he will fulfill it,” said the former military leader.

IBB added, “He said that the security situation will be dealt with very decisively; this is the message he sent and I trust he will do that.”

He also urged Nigerians to remain peaceful and uphold the lessons they have learned during the Ramadan fast.

“I sincerely pray for the people of this country and urge them to live in peace with one another to avoid anything that will bring a problem to the people and to the country,” IBB said.

MTEF Meeting Stalls As Ministers, Heads Of Agencies Fail To Show Up

 

The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Ibrahim Babangida, has adjourned the meeting on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy with ministers and heads of agencies.

According to Babangida, the meeting could not hold as the key players failed to turn up.

The lawmaker who spoke with journalists after the meeting was postponed, said their absence will delay the passage of the document.

READ ALSO: MPC Reduces Monetary Policy Rate For First Time In Over Two Years

“We are here today, unfortunately, we discovered that almost all the Heads of Agencies that are key in discussing the issue of MTEF are not here; The Minister of National Planning, Minister of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, Comptroller of Customs, Chairman of FIRS, GMD of the NNPC, Director of the BPE, CBN, are all not here; in fact, the only available person is the DG of Debts Management.”

The lawmaker stated that; “we cannot proceed to discuss the MTEF In the absence of the key players. That is why we have to adjourn the meeting, we are going to give them a new date next week and we hope they will attend to our invitations.”

Presidential Election: IBB Congratulates Buhari, Lauds Atiku’s Doggedness

Presidential Election: IBB Congratulates Buhari, Lauds Atiku's Doggedness

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the presidential election.

He sent his goodwill messages to the President in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

“I wish to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his re-election to lead Nigeria in the next four years,” said the former military president.

He added, “I have observed that, the electioneering campaign was very strenuous and the contest very keen.

“That despite the turbulent terrain of politics, the President submitted and subjected himself to this process. Indeed is a clear testimony that he believes in the democratic process and ideals.”

READ ALSOAPC Suspends Okorocha, Amosun, Queries Akeredolu

General Babangida noted that the Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone.

He also congratulated the electorate for conducting themselves peacefully during the voting process, stressing that they were enthusiastic to exercise their democratic rights of electing candidates of their choice.

The elder statesman, however, regretted the loss of lives in the elections as a result of violence in some part of the country.

He, therefore, extend his heartfelt condolences to their families for the death of their loved ones.

On the way forward after the exercise, General Babangida urged President Buhari to embrace those who contested with him in the election.

He said, “The newly elected President should heal the wounds of the heated campaign exchanges by embracing those who contested alongside with him.”

“The President must resist the temptation to see them as enemies; not even opponents, but fellow compatriots who merely disagreed with him on how best to move our country forward.”

IBB further challenged the President to confront the ‘insecurity of lives and property,’ which he said was the most urgent problem confronting Nigeria, with renewed vigour.

According to him, the Boko Haram insurgency remains a threat to many Nigerians, particularly in the North East sub-region, while the twin evils of kidnapping and armed robbery/armed banditry remain a major national menace.

The elder statesman also asked President Buhari to must pay priority attention to the security issues he highlighted and be creative in improving the economy.

“The economy of the country must also occupy the President’s urgent attention,” he said. “There is the need to be more creative in formulating policies that will improve the nation’s economy, create employment opportunities and give hope to our teaming youths.”

He added, “The President may wish to heed to the yearnings of reasonable Nigerians for restructuring and seek all constitutional means to devolve some powers presently exercised by the Federal Government to the other tiers of government.”

In a similar development, IBB commended and conveyed his admiration to the other contestants for the office of president.

He specifically praised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for his doggedness despite his loss at the poll.

General Babangida said, “I was particularly impressed with the gallant and audacious spirit of the main challenger in the presidential race, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar GCON.

“I was not surprised that even though he lost the most exotic position of the land, his doggedness and pattern of support cut across ethnic, religious and regional lines that earned him the second position of the last Presidential election.”

IBB called on the former vice president to close ranks and work with the winner of the election in an objective and constructive manner.

He explained that this was necessary to ensure that democracy would continue to thrive in the country, especial at this crucial period of renaissance.

“I urged him also to endeavour and prevail on his admirers to eschew bitterness and violence. They must be prevailed upon to understand that politics is a game in which there must be only one winner,” the former military president stated.

He prayed that the Almighty Allah would continue to guide the democratic steps of the people for peace and progress in the country.

Babangida Asks Military To Develop New Strategies To End Insurgency

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

 

Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, has called on the military to develop new strategies to successfully combat insurgency in the nation.

Babangida made the call on Monday in a statement issued in commemoration of 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

He said, “As we prepare to celebrate this year’s Remembrance Day, we should not be oblivious of the fact that our military is presently faced with horrific challenges in the crucial counter-insurgency war, and activities of other blood-thirsty armed groups. To say the least, these ugly circumstances are not only heart-rending but unacceptable.

“Hence, it is high time we seek to consolidate our gains and also fortify our combat strength. It is pertinent for the top echelons of our military to speedily evolve new combat strategy to bravely confront the callous terrorists who have continued to hold many parts of the North East, and in extension, Nigeria in ransom”.

Babangida added that the 2019 edition of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is coming at a critical period when Nigerian electorates will go to the polls and elect their new leaders at various levels of government.

According to him, elections have tested our unity as a people, while also posing threats to our socio-cultural diversity and challenging our common destiny.

“Nevertheless, I have a strong conviction that our Armed Forces will remain apolitical prior, during, and after the general elections, while focusing only on discharging their constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the country either from the aggression of internal rebels in the guise of Boko Haram insurgents or from external retrogressive forces.

“Lastly, on this unique occasion, I wish to pay a special tribute to some of our gallant troops who have been incapacitated while at the Theatre of War in the restive parts of the country,” he said.

The former president also paid tribute to those who paid the supreme price in their quest to defend the nation.

Furthermore, he commended the Armed Forces for their resilience over the years in maintaining peace in Nigeria, United Nations Missions, African Union and regional interventions.