BY ERIC TENIOLA
General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, GCFR, will be eighty on Wednesday, August 17. He is the second-longest Military ruler in Nigeria, the first being General Yakubu Gowon(86), GCFR, who ruled Nigeria from 1 August 1966 to 29 July 1975. General Babangida ruled Nigeria from 27 August 1985-26 August 1993. His classmates at Government College Bida were General Abdusalam Abubakar (79), GCFR, General Mohammed Mamman Magoro, Major General Mamman Jiya Vatsa, Major General Muhammed Gado Nasko, Major General Garba Duba, Mr. Paul Babale, Aliyu Makama, Ibrahim Sanda, Abulmaliki Ndayako, Mohammed Bello Ndayako, Abdulrahim Dangana, and Alhaji Alhassan Bisallat.
Till today historians are still debating his role in the project called Nigeria. One cannot be neutral when discussing General Babangida, you either like him passionately or dislike him passionately. At the time General Babangida took over power, one-fifth, if not one-third of Nigerians of today were not born. Maybe a chronology of what he did may help define the man to the present generation of Nigerians.
He made major decisions that he will carry to his grave. In July 1986, he introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and on September 29, 1986, the second-tier foreign exchange market took off. He moved the seat of government from Lagos to Abuja on December 12, 1991. He completed and commissioned the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos on August 17, 1991, which was by then the longest bridge in Africa. On March 15, 1988, he launched the new population policy of one woman four children to check the problem of overpopulation in the country. On September 9, 1987, he created Akwa-Ibom and Katsina states. On August 27, 1991, he created Abia, Anambra, Delta, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Osun, Yobe, and Taraba states. He then created forty-seven new local governments on that day. On September 23, 1991, he created additional eighty-nine local governments. On December 14, 1991, governorship elections were held, the National Republican Convention (NRC) won sixteen states while Social Democratic Party (SDP) won fourteen states. On January 2, 1992, the democratically elected governors were sworn in and their deputies.
They were Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and Clement Nwankwo(Abia), Alhaji Sale Michika and Mr. Lynn Nathan(Adamawa), Obong Akpan Semin and Etim Okpoyo(Akwa Ibom), Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Dr. Chidi Mwike(Anambra), Alhaji Dahiru Mohammed and Alhaji Umaru Ahmed(Bauchi), Reverend Father Moses Adasu and Yakubu Agda(Benue), Alhaji Maiji Lawan and Alhaji Hassan(Borno), Clement Ebri and Cecilia Ekpeyong(Cross River), Felix Ibru and Samson Ebonka( Delta), John Odiegun and Reverend Peter Obada(Edo), Okwesilieze Nwodo and Dr. Icha Ituma(Enugu), Evans Enwerem and Dr. Douglas Acholonu(Imo), Alhaji A.S. Biminkudi and Alhaji Shehu Kwafalo(Jigawa), Alhaji Muhammed Lere and James Mugaji(Kaduna), Alhaji Kabiru Gaya and Alhaji Ahmed Usman(Kano), Alhaji Saidu Barda and Alhaji Abdullahi Amidu(Katsina), Alhaji Shaaba Lafiaji and Prince Ojo Fadumila(Kwara), Alhaji Abubakar Musa and Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed(Kebbi), Alhaji Abubakar Audu and S. Ola Akande(Kogi), Chief Michael Otedola and Alhaji Sinatu Ojikutu(Lagos), Dr. Musa Inuwa and Alhaji Jibo Garba(Niger), Chief Olusegun Osoba the Aremo and Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye(Ogun), Chief Bamidele Olumilua and Dr Olusegun Agagu(Ondo), Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke and Clement Adesuyi Haastrup(Osun), Kolapo Ishola and Alhaji Ahmed Gbadamosi(Oyo), Fidelis Tapgun and Alhaji Bala Usman(Plateau), Rufus Ada-George and Dr. Peter Odili(Rivers), Alhaji Yahaya Abdulkarim and Alhaji Ahmed Gusau(Sokoto), Reverend Jolly Nyame and Alhaji S.D. Gani(Taraba) and Alhaji Abba Ibrahim and Alhaji Goni Bura(Yobe).
On July 4, 1992, elections were held into the two houses of the National Assembly, the National Republican Convention (NRC) won thirty-seven Senate seats and two hundred and seventy-five seats in the House of Representatives while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won fifty-two Senate seats and three hundred and fourteen seats in the House of Representatives.
On June 23, 1993, General Babangida annulled the Presidential election held on June 12, 1993. It was the last act that turned out to be tragic both for General Babangida and the country. The annulment is a cross he still carries today. He paid for that act by “stepping aside” on 26 August 1993. Too many scholars, writers, and commentators have implied that many of Nigeria’s problems were worsened by the annulment. The old hostile exaggeration persists today. Hostile exaggeration can make true perspective much difficult for the living.
But then, some beseeched and supplicated and still plead till today that as a forgiving country we should forego that cardinal sin committed by General Babangida twenty-eight years ago and let bygones be bygones and that after all many polluted and contaminated waters have passed under the collapsing Nigeria bridge. They insisted and still insist that to judge a man by just one act in his eight-year tenure is harsh, unfair, inapt, discordant, hypocritical, and sanctimonious. Some are still arguing, not all, that the annulment is not worse than the insecurity and splits in our social tribal, and religious fabrics of today where inadequacies and inequalities have become paramount in our national life.
Fifty-three ministers served under General Ibrahim Babangida during his tenure. They were Alhaji Ibrahim Zakaw, Professor Tam David-West, Major-General Jiya Vatsa, Brigadier Jeremiah Timbut Useni, Alhaji Abubakar Umar, Lt-Colonel Anthony Ukpo, Senas Ukpanah, Air Vice- Marshal Ishaya Aboi Shekari, Professor Sam Oyovbaire, Dr. Tunji Olagunju, Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere, Dr. Chu Okongwu, Major-General Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu, Major-General Muhammadu Gado Nasko, Dr. Shetima Mustapha, Alhaji Bunu Sheriff Musa, Prince Tony Momoh, Alhaji Ismaila Mamman, Major-General Abdullahi Bagudu Mamman, Alhaji Lawal Mala, Brigadier David Bonavontoure Mark, Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, Air Commodore Adebayo Hammed Lawal, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Major-General Yohanna Yerima Kure, Rear Admiral Koshoni, Major-General Mamman Tsofo Kontagora, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, Air Vice-Marshal Nuradeen Mohammed Imam, Air Commodore Anthony Ikhazobor, Olawale Ige, Zakari Ibrahim, Alhaji Abubakar Hashidu, Air Commodore Lamba Deng Gwom, T.O. Graham Douglas, Olu Falae, Professor Babatunde Fafunwa, Eyoma Ita Eyoma, Professor Emmanuel Emovon and Professor Gordian Ezekwe.
Others are Major-General Domkat Yah Bali, Lt-Colonel Abubakar Tanko Ayuba, Alhaji Mamman Ankah, Professor Jubril Aminu, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, Clement Akpamgbo, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Alex Akinyele, Lt-General (rtd) Julius Alani Ipoola Akinrinade, Prince Bola Ajibola, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar, Air Commodore Hamza Abdullahi, Lt-Colonel Ahmed Aboki Abdullahi and General Sani Abacha.
Under General Babangida, the following were appointed members of the Armed Forces Ruling Council/National Defence and Security Council. They are General Mohammed Sani Abacha,GCFR, General Domkat Yah Bali, Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Diya, Lt-General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro, Lt-General Garba Duba, Lt-General Mohammed Balarabe Haladu, Lt-General Salihu Ibrahim, Lt-General Aliyu Mohammed, Lt-General Jeremiah Timbut Useni, Major Generals Abdusalam Abubakar, Peter Igezunya Ademokhai, Duro Ajayi, Abubakar Tanko Ayuba, Yohanna Yerima Kure, Abdullahi Bagudu Mamman, Muhammed Gado Nasko, Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu, Paul Ufuoma Omu, Mohammed Sani Sami, Edward Ushie Unimna, Mamman Jiya Vatsa, Brigadier Halilu Akilu, Ahmed Mohammed Daku, Chris Abutu Garuba, John Mark Inienger, David Bonavontoure Mark, Adetunji Idowu Olurin, Joseph Olayeni Oni, Raji Alagbe Rasaki, John Nanzip Shagaya, Admiral Akhabue Aikhomu, Admiral Murtal Nyako, Vice-Admiral Patrick Koshoni, Vice Admiral Dan Preston Omatsola, Rear-Admiral Mauftau Adegoke Babatunde Elegbede, Rear-Admiral Ochegomie Promise Fingesi, Rear-Admiral Chijoke Kaja, Navy Commodores Stephen Aluko, Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu, Ebitu Ogoh Ukiwe, Air Marshals Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa, Akin Dada, Adebayo Hammed Lawal, Nureini Oladimeji Omotosho Yusuf, Air Vice-Marshals Nuradeen Mohammed Imam, Larry Kioyan, Anthony Okpere, C.U. Ugah, Muhammadu Yahaya, Air Commodore Al-Amin Daggash, Air Commodore Nsikak Eduok, Alhaji Aliyu Attah, Alhaji Mohammed Gambo, Etim Iyang, Clement Akpamgbo, Matthew Mbu, Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene and Ernest Shonekan.
Some of the decrees he promulgated during his tenure are Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural infrastructures, Decree 4, (1988) Medical and Dental Practitioners Decree 23, Securities and Exchange Commission Decree 29, National Primary Education Commission Decree 31, Federal Road Safety Corps, Decree 45, The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council Decree 53, National Economic Reconstruction Fund, NERFUND, Decree 2, Counterfeit and Fake Drugs (Miscellaneous Provisions, Decree 17, National Population Commission, Decree 23, National Directorate of Employment, Decree 24, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Decree 48, Agriculture and Agro-Allied–Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures Decree 4, 1987, National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation Decree 35,1992,Federal Universities of Agriculture, Decree 48, 1992, National Agricultural Seeds, Decree 72, 1992, Fertiliser Control, Decree 90, 1992, National Agricultural Land Development Authority, Decree 92, 1992, National Primary Education Commission etc. Decree 31, 1988, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council Decree 53, 1988, Advertising Practitioners (Registration etc.) Decree 55, 1988, National Commission for Nomadic Education, Decree, 1989, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education Decree 17,1990, Federal School of Surveying Decree 19, 1990, Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre (Change of Name) Decree 42, 1990, School Year (Variation) Decree 27, 1991, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructures, Decree 33, 1992, Federal Universities of Agriculture, Decree 48, 1992, Medical and Dental Practitioners Decree 23, 1988, Counterfeit and Fake Drugs (Miscellaneous Provisions Decree 17, 1989, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Decree 48, 1989, Children Trust Fund Decree 30, 1990 Marketing (Breast Milk Substitutes) Decree 41, 1990 and the Tobacco Smoking (Control) Decree 20, 1990, National Economic Emergency Powers Decree 1985, Second-Tier Foreign Exchange Market, SFEM, Decree,1986, Raw Materials Research and Development Council(RMRDC) Decree 39, 1987, Securities and Exchange Commission Decree 29, 1988, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) 1988, Industrial Development Co-ordination Committee, Decree 36, 1988, National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) Decree 2, 1989, National Directorate of Employment Decree 24, 1989, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Decree 49, 1989, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations Practitioners, Decree 16, 1990, Company and Allied Matters Act, CAMA, 1990, Peoples Bank of Nigeria Decree 22, 1990, Central Bank of Nigeria Decree 24, 1991, Banks and Other Financial Institutions Decree 25,199, Nigeria Export Processing Zone Decree 34, 1991,Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) Decree 38, 1991, Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Decree 39, 1990, Community Bank, Decree 46, 1992, National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Decree 49,1992, National Metallurgical Development Centre, Decree 5, 1992, Urban Development Bank, Decree 51,1992,Nigeria Export Processing Zones, Decree 63, 1992, Maritime Operations Co-ordination Board, Decree 7,1992, Chartered I nstitute of Taxation, Decree 76, 1992, National Planning Commission Decree 12, 1992 (Governance), Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission Decree 23 (Governance), National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Decree 29 (Health), National Institute for Sports, Decree 31 (Sports), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Decree 33 (Education), National Broadcasting Commission, Decree 35 (Communication), National Commission for Women, Decree 42 (Gender), Community Bank, Decree 46 (Economic/Business), Federal Universities of Agriculture, Decree 48 (Agriculture), National Steel Raw Materials Agency, Decree 49 (Economic/Business), National Metallurgical Development Centre, Decree 50(Economic/Business), Urban Development Bank, Decree 51 (Economic/Business), Nigeria Export Processing Zone, Decree 63 (Economic/Business), Consumer Protection Council, Decree 66 (Governance),National Housing Fund, Decree (Housing), Community Health Practitioners Registration, Decree 61 (Health), National Agricultural Seeds, Decree 72 (Agriculture), Maritime Operations Co-ordination Board, Decree 74 (Economic/Business), National Communications Commission, Decree 75 (Communications), Chartered Institute of Taxation, Decree 76 (Economic/
Business), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Decree 81 (Tourism), Nigeria Press Council, Decree 85 (Media), Environmental Impact Assessment, Decree 86 (Governance), Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning, Decree 88 (Governance), National Council on Intergovernmental Relations, Decree 89, Fertiliser Control, Decree 90, 1992 (Agriculture), Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, Decree 91 (Health), National Agricultural Land Development Authority, Decree 92 (Agriculture) amongst others.
General Babangida appointed seventy-four military governors from September 1985 to August 27, 1993. They were Colonel Godwin Osagie Abbe, Lt-Colonel Ahmed Aboki Abdullahi, Navy Captain Joseph Abulu, Group Captain Luke Chijiuba Achulor, Group Captain Arnest Olawunmi Adeleye, Colonel Abdulkarim Adisa, Navy Captain Adeyemi Afolabi, Adeyinka Afolahan, Colonel Leo Lapade Ajiborisha, Group Captain Frank Ajobena, Navy Captain Mike Ohkai Akhigbe, Colonel Robert Akonobi, Group Captain Ibrahim Alkali, Lt-Colonel Abu Ali, Lt-Colonel Mohammed Christopher Alli, Major Abdulmumuni Aminu, Colonel Dan Archibong, Lt-Colonel Ernest Kizito Attah, Colonel Abubakar Tanko Ayuba, Colonel Patrick Aziza, Colonel Ishaya Bakut, Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Daku, Commissioner of Police Sani Ahmed Daura, Lt-Colonel Herbert O. Eze, Colonel Idris Garba, Lt-Colonel Chris Abutu Garuba, Navy Commander Olabode George, Lt-Colonel Lawan Gwadabe, Lt-Commander Amadi Ikwecheghi, Lt-Colonel John Mark Inienger, Group Captain Jonah David Jang, Navy Captain Oladeinde O. Joseph, Lt-Colonel Aliyu Kama, Colonel Alwali Jauji Kazir, Group Captain M.A. Lawal, Colonel John Yahya Madaki, Colonel Joshua Mamman Madaki, Lt-Colonel Yohanna Ateyan Madaki, Navy Captain Allison Madueke, Colonel Bashir Salihi Magashi, Colonel Mohammed Maina, Lt-Colonel Fidelis Makka, Lt-Colonel David Bonavontoure Mark, Lt-Colonel Mohammed Buba Marwa, Colonel Abdul One Mohammed, Lt-Colonel Abdullahi Mohammed, Lt-Colonel Ahmed Mohammed, Lt-Colonel Garba Ali Mohammed, Colonel Garba Mohammed, Commander I.E. Mohammed, Wind Commander Isa Mohammed, Group Captain Gbolahan Mudashiru, Colonel Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar, Wing Commander I.O. Nkanga, Colonel Jonathan Tunde Ogbeha, Commander Anthony E. Oguguo, Navy Captain Sunday Abiodun Olukoya, Lt-Colonel Adetunji Idowu Olurin, Group Captain Samson Emeka Omeruah, Colonel Lawrence Onoja, Colonel Ekundayo B. Opaleye, Colonel Sasaenia Adedeji Oresanya, Police Commissioner Fidelis Oyakhilome, Lt-Colonel Oladayo Popoola, Commander Eben Ibim Princewill, Colonel Raji Alagbe Rasaki, Group Captain Abubakar Salihu, Colonel Olayinka Sule, Colonel Anthony Ukpo, Major Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, Wing Commander Mohammed Ndatsu Umaru, Colonel John Ewerekumoh Yeri and Colonel Danladi Zakari.
ERIC TENIOLA, A FORMER DIRECTOR AT THE PRESIDENCY WROTE FROM LAGOS.