Friday

VIEWPOINT: HOW IBRAHIM BADAMOSI BABANGIDA STOLE $12.5 BILLION GULF WAR WINDFALL

         

      

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             By Babs Ajayi

The subversive element hounded out of Nigeria is now after his old taskmasters. Not because he hates them but because he detests what they stood for: greed, selfishness, arrogance and wickedness against their own people, against humanity and against a nation that trained and equipped them. The years when intellectuals and scholars were literally driven out of Nigeria marked the gradual but steady exodus of most of Nigeria's best brains to the West. Ultimately, the goal was to frustrate them, shut them up through regular harassments, detentions, unpaid salaries, manhunt of teachers right inside the university campuses, government-sponsored suspensions, demotions, and finally rationalization of academic staff and positions.
 
At the University of Ibadan the situation was so bad that many academic staff members who refused to be gagged by the brain-dead (to use his word) illiterates who stole Nigeria and presided over it the way a crocodile preside over its prey, made it a point of duty to go round the campus with their toilet bag in tow. The Men State Security Service (SSS) invaded the campus. The students' union was infiltrated and its Students' Representative Council (SRC) meetings were not spared.

The situation at the Ahmadu Bello University was no different. The academia were molested and tortured. Unholy visits at nocturnal hours became a regular experience. Pains and anguish were all the dictator, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, the International Bad Boy (IBB) was prepared to offer our institutions of higher learning. The pen of the teacher terrorized the dumb dictator so much he became jittery. At that point any conceivable and imaginable excuse to Shuggabilize and deport/get rid of any perceived and presumed subversive element was considered good enough.

The pen and words of the Bala Usmans, the Patrick Wilmots, and many of their compatriots in Zaria were too strong for the bad boy to cope with. He was afraid of revolution and was determined to wipe out the opposition. The fight against subversive elements is nothing but a retrogressive battle to silence the only credible opposition that has stood its ground against a corrupt and illegitimate regime with suspected involvement in drug trade and other related offences. 
 
When the plan to rationalize academic programs were forced down the throats of the deadbeats at the National Universities Commission, then chaos became the order of the day on our campuses. I could not believe the rumour that a leading literary critic of international standing at the University of Ibadan was to be rationalized! I had met the Olohun-Iyo, as he is fondly called, a few times and had invited him to deliver a lecture at one of the English Club (the association of English students at UI) lectures. The erudite teacher did not wait for the rumour to turn to reality before relocating to Europe where he resumed his academic exploits and made more mark.

With the firm and wicked determination of the cretin and his spineless sidekicks to "deal ruthlessly" with the universities and the academics came the gradual degeneration of our campuses. He starved them of funds and succeeded in making them ineffective. He has not attended one and did not know nor understand what value they add to society and humanity.

Today, one of the most abused and dehumanized of the group of subversive elements, Dr. Patrick Wilmot is still actively on the case of the "brain-dead generals" who milked Nigeria into a state of economic depression and her citizens into poverty and darkness. Married to a Nigerian and a patriot of the highest standard, the Junta did not feel comfortable with him, his writings and his presence. He was declared unfit to live in Nigeria, at least he is not a Nigerian, but Patrick Wilmot showed much love, devotion, and concern for the plights of the common man and the voiceless in Nigeria than a million Babangidas ever did. For Babangida everything began and ended in his pocket and he is yet to account for the over 12 billion dollars from the Gulf War windfall. Dr. Wilmot -through his article Truth and Fiction - just surfaced (I have heard nothing about him in years) in The NewsAfrica magazine edition of June 30. From his piece it was clear the man had moved on into bigger things; Patrick Wilmot just refused to go away, a nightmare for Ibrahim Babangida and his lieutenants who rode rough shod over the nation of Nigeria and treated her like a fiefdom.

Accused of teaching what he was not paid to teach and trying to overthrow the government (with his pen and paper!), Dr. Wilmot was removed just like that. His removal did not bring peace to IBB. He had Dr. Attahiru Jega, Professor Olorode, Dr. Idowu Awopetu, Dr. Festus Iyayi and many other ASUU leaders to contend with. It is on record that it was only ASUU that defeated, disgraced and humiliated Ibrahim Babangida and his mis-government, making it clear that the word is mightier than the sword. ASUU broke his back and taught him a lesson from which he refused to learn anything, the drop out and apprentice soldier who pretended to be something.