Ribadu Floors Babaginda But Maybe Saved By The Bell


Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa



This Ribadu “self”. He woes that Babaginda will not be the head of State again, as long as he remains the head of EFCC. Though a diligent fighter against corruption, Mohammed Ali he is not. Ali is the one who predicted when and what round a declared adversary was going to fall. As the self appointed “referee/arbitrator” Baba Iyabo counts down to Election Day, will he or will he not out-dribble his friend Maradona?


Those of us who called Ribadu, a loud mouth may need to apologize. He must know something we do not know, as in that romantic word called looting. Babangida should have been contented with keeping his loot in a secret deal, otherwise risk exposure. Apart from the bell’s grace in this case, Ribadu is so determined, not even Ali Baba could stop him. Old soldier, get a deal and stay out as Nigeria Presidential candidate.


Many of us wonder about what made Babangida the evil genius, the great godfather that installed Abacha indirectly after he had installed Shonekan, then Obasanjo, all by chicanery. If he is held in awe in many parts of Nigeria because of this, Ali, Baba Iyabo thinks he can outclass him in those parts of Nigeria. After all, these are boys who served under him and one of them became his god father.


For a long time many Northern leaders who were Fulani wannabes have cried more than the bereaved. Most of them come from North-central but swear by Fulani domain. Some of us may understand the use of One North when it is convenient by both Southerners and Northerners. Moreover, many people think that it is only Babangida that knows how to manipulate the South. That myth has been busted.


One fact that the Southerners refuse to concede is that politically, their Northern brothers are more sophisticated than they are. The North bragged that they relinquished leadership to the South for the sake of unity in the Country in 1999. In retrospect, how true that is. It was only yesterday that we were arguing on how fair it would be to concede leadership to the South-south. We are still waiting for any viable party that will be bold enough to nominate its Presidential candidate from the South-south.


I am wondering if after showing Odili, Duke and Attah the skeletons in their closets, there is any credible Governor left from the South-south. I do not think they withdrew voluntarily. If we are really sincere about South-south, we can find a credible candidate. But that candidate has to get the backing of the North. Which of the Presidential candidates from the North would concede to South-south?


Like it or not, as it is now stands, all the Presidential candidates are from the North. The rest of Nigeria will be split on Vice Presidential material from the South-east, South-south or maybe South-west. Anyone who vote on this basis, I am sorry to say, is a looser.


If you are wondering how it came to this, the name of the game from the beginning is who can beat, outdo or outclass Babangida at his game. Is it Buhari, Atiku or Yar’Adua?


However, Babangida is neither the North nor a Fulani. Obasanjo, Ali Baba, knows the North inside out, he has close Fulani brothers, Babangida is not one of them. No matter what, Babangida can not protect the interest of the Hausa/Fulani more than a Fulani himself. No more Fulani wannabe. Enough!


Nigerians know Buhari and his brother Idiagbon very well. Buhari may be a very honest military Head of State who overthrew a civilian Government while “Ngbati” Press rejoiced. But a democrat, he was not. He had been tainted by people who used his name and that of his brother, Idiagbon to terrorize Nigerians in the middle of the day and night. Without Trial! Only a few privileged people regained their freedom because they know who knew him. Therefore, many of us are aghast that he was endorsed by the Afenifere.


Atiku gained a great deal from the movement of the elder Yar’Adua who was murdered in Prison under the rule of Abacha. Nigerians have never forgotten the gut of Yar’Adua in the face of Abacha and for which he paid dearly with his life. So Yar ‘Adua’s name looms large in our Country, and his spirit did not die. 


That is how Atiku, a part of that Yar’Adua movement became Vice President. However, Atiku has never claimed he did not steal but that others including Ali Baba stole more than him from the cave. Both know the secret words to open the den. While we enjoyed “guguru” in our ring size seats watching Obasanjo and Atiku unfold how they diverted our money into PDF for their egoistic and pet projects; AC party lacked the decency; hence they nominated a kleptomaniac as their Presidential candidate. That turns the stomach of the poor decent Nigerians that play by the rule, violently.


Consequently, Yar’Adua, the Governor has a lot going for him. He is the brother of Yar’Adua who Abacha defiantly and callously murdered. More important, he beat Buhari in Katsina, their home State during the last election. Buhari could not claim convincingly that he was cheated in his home State as the Presidential candidate. He had the advantage at his base. Can Yar’Adua who delivered that State to his party and to Obasanjo as a mere gubernatorial candidate, beat him again as an exalted Presidential candidate?


Obasanjo needs to learn from Babangida. A deal with a godfather is not fool proof. Not even the deal between Abacha and Babangida was fool proof. They almost had some confrontation when he replaced Babaginda’s guards with his loyalist. Needless to say, Maradona avoided the show-down and backed off. So, Ali, Baba Iyabo, what makes you think that a deal between you and Yar’Adua will be fool proof?


Thank God that Third Term project failed, thank Ribadu for knocking Babangida out and we may thank Nigerians in Advance for making a wise choice if the playing field is level and riggers permit. Heaven helps those who help themselves.