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« Of ‘Hungry’ Politicians and Protesters | Main | No Power can Break Nigeria But Contentious Issues within in Collaboration with Foreign Corporate Interests, Part I »

July 25, 2005

Dictators in Civilian Clothing: Letter to President George W. Bush

by Emmanuel Ukpe --- Silver Spring, MD

Dear President Bush,

When I listened to the second inauguration and state of the union speech, I was totally convinced of your position regarding freedom for the citizens of the world, freedom for the oppressed, freedom from dictators in uniforms and the ones who traded their uniforms with intent to return to power as civilians.

I would like to bring your administration’s attention to the political atrocities going on in Nigeria. Specifically, about a former military dictator who is trying to make a comeback. Retired General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), who was credited to have masterminded five out of six successful military coup d’état in Nigeria, is now making a comeback for the 2007 presidential election.

Under Retired General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida dictatorship, Nigeria saw increased corruption, drug trafficking, money laundering, major maladministration, political oppressions and assassinations, journalistic rights suppressed, freedom of speech suppressed, increased human right abuses and the annulment of a democratically elected government. At present, IBB is gearing up to return to power in 2007. I am begging you, Mr. President, the US Congress, and other concerned citizens, who believe in free world to please use your good offices to ensure that candidates like Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida does not run or get elected into the Nigerian’s highest office.

The fact is that, no Nigerian in his or her right mind would vote to elect Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, but election process in Nigeria is not what you would call free and fair election. In Nigeria, a politician with more hooligans and money to spend wins election, through bullying, rigging of votes, buying of votes and hijacking of ballot boxes, which is why, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is confident of returning to power in 2007. Retired General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida ruled Nigeria for eight years, as a military dictator and he did nothing for the country. Under his leadership, Nigeria regressed, corruption was at the highest level, all infrastructure grounded due to misplaced priorities, deficient in vision and ideas.

Retired General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s eight years regime was similar to Saddam Hussein’s, except Saddam provided his people with basic necessities such as roads, power supply, drinking water, schools, operational hospitals and jobs. These are developments Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s eight years military dictatorship could not achieve, because he and his goons where busy looting the country’s wealth. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida lacks vision of progress, because, as a military dictator, he had absolute power to do for the country/people, but choose not to. It is my belief that if Ibrahim B Babangida returns to power, it will regress further the democratic process in Nigeria, something he does not believe in.

Every facet of majority of Nigerians day to day existence remains very challenging in order to improve their quality of life. I cannot emphasize enough in expressing the need for economic and political stability in that region. Nigeria is in desperate need to achieve these stabilities and it has been proven that the military dictatorship of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida lacks vision and as such, cannot realize economic and political stability for Nigeria. The fact is that without stability in Nigeria, there would be no strategic programs of economic transformation. Nigerians should not continue to pay for the consequence for another brutal dictatorship in civil clothing in the name of democracy.

Right now, Nigeria is like a volcano waiting to erupt, such eruption would destroy not only Nigeria, but the corruption lava would spread and destroy other West African democratic nations that looks up to Nigeria. To avoid such eruption and maintain a balance, it is important that Nigeria is lead by a conscious leader with a sense of direction that can develop a sustainable economy, infrastructures and effective coalition with various ethnic groups. A former dictator like Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida lacks the fiscal discipline, honesty and integrity to lead and therefore, he is not, and cannot be the answer to Nigerian predicament in which he created.

Nigeria is a country of intellectuals, educated, conscientious and meaningful human beings, who are capable of fixing the disarray created by Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in his eight year rule. Nigeria needs to maintain a political balance in order to move forward, such balance will pave the way for sustainable development, where there is an atmosphere of peace and stability, a balance that does not require the return of a former military dictator who doesn't accept any type of limits or restraints on his civil right abuses, political oppressions, corruption, and boundless self-enrichment.

To ensure democracy in Nigeria, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida should not be allowed to return to power, because that might encourage another military coup d’état.

Democratic process in Nigeria will continue to improve and I believe Nigeria economy and political future will be better without Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s direct involvement in the political process. Nigerians suffered so much under his eight years of tyrannical regime, he has caused enough pain. We Nigerians are trying so hard to forget and put the past behind us, so that we can move forward. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s return to power will not let that happen. In the name of God, Mr. President, the US congress and concerned citizens please intervene in Nigeria democratic process and stop dictators like Retired General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida from his quest.

Emmanuel Ukpe, Silver Spring, Maryland U.S.A.

Posted by Administrator at July 25, 2005 10:55 AM


There is nothing the US will do, especially when they stand to gain a lot from a weak Nigeria, as evident in all the tyrannical regimes they still support in the Middle East. As a matter of fact, I don't want them to intervenne because I believe they will look for a leader that serves their intrest, the likes of OBJ. Demonise me if you like, but these pseudo-state should not stand; unless we go our separate ways, there unfortunately will not be any signs of development.

Posted by: D.T at July 25, 2005 11:05 PM

if obasanjo ever let maradona (ibb)back ,all his efforts will be in vain.

Posted by: oio at July 27, 2005 10:30 PM

Dear Editor,
I read the complaint posted by Mr. Emmanuel Ukpe and decided to state as follows: That to complain to President Bush is to complain to the big brother of Babangida. Although Bush dictatorship is not very pronounced, he's a dictator himself. I believe very strongly in my opinion that in every so called democracy, there's dictatorship and in every dictatorship there's an iota of democracy. We cann't claim that even the military don't talk and resolve issues with anybody, country, or group. They do, only that their dialogue and openness happen to be very little on their agenda. This's due to the fact that they 've the guns. But, the well pronounced democracies, dictate for the most part too. Like the comment after Ukpe's write up rightly said, Bush and his likes would benefit from any president that would not be people oriented; someone he can sell guns to, train the military for,in exchange for oil, ect. It's a very big shame that Nigerians think that the US president would in any way be of help to the Nigeria's political saga. The salvation of that nation is in the hands of the ethnic nationalities who're forced against their wishes by the British in 1914. Why would Nigerians even think of casting one single vote for the monster? Well, they call it human condition or nature. But it's shameful indeed for the voting citizens to even comtemplate giving him their vote. And, mind you, voting in Nigeria doesn't really count as in other countries, though other nation's malpractices are very mild. Have we forgotten that Abiola was not approved by the US presidency because he was an apostle of reparation to blacks everywhere in the world for the crimes committed against us by the United States and Europe? The only answer to the Nigerian question I suggest is to break up into pieces,or units if you like; particularly into ethnic groups so long as the different groups can take care of themselves. Those who don't think they can do it alone can merge with only the group (s) of their chioce. Nigeria is too big and wise to be forced into one unnegotiated union for these many years.

Posted by: Ben Ikari at August 22, 2005 05:37 AM

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