A non-governmental organisation under the aegis of the New Initiative For Credible Leadership (NICReL) has lampooned the former military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and other nigeria’s former leaders over their plots against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.
Addressing newsmen at a press conference in Abuja, the Executive Director of the group, Rev. Steven Onwu, maintained that the retired General’s statement tagged ‘Towards a National Rebirth’, through his spokesperson, Kassim Afegbua, asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election or for Nigerians to vote him out in 2019 if he decides to contest and “the spate of attempts by some former leaders to ingratiate themselves into the polity” were attempts to “truncate our hard-worn democracy.”
According to the group, the hostility with which Nigerians received the statement initially prompted IBB to walk back the statement but he somehow got the bluster to frog march Afegbua to the studios of a national television to stand by the initial claim”.
Rev. Onwu noted that “such double-dealing prevarication from the man dubbed “The Evil Genius” is not new because such maneuvers were his stock in trade in his days as a military dictator.
“We dare say there will be more of such in the days ahead as he thinks he still have it in him to leave up to his moniker of “Maradona”.
“Kindly note that former military head of state and former president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo only a few days ago, apparently singing from the same hymnbook issued a statement with which he called on Nigerians to form or join a Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM).
“Nigerians should further note that: Babangida was one of those that sponsored the Obasanjo in his failed coup attempt under the Sani Abacha dictatorship, which promptly landed Obasanjo in jail for treason.
“Upon the demise of the dictator and Obasanjo’s release from jail, Babangida was among the cabal that imposed him on Nigeria, albeit under a compromised election that set the tone for dubious elections in the country.
“Babangida’s spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, is on the steering committee of the Obasanjo-founded Coalition of Nigerian Movement”, he said.
He added that “Considering the health condition that has kept the former dictator homebound, Afegbua and a handful of others are his proxies on the new project to jeopardize Nigeria’s democracy.
“Another foot soldier of the supposed coalition has called on a couple of other former military chiefs to issue their own statements, which indicates that this campaign of instability is something that was well hatched for synchronized activation.
“The people coalescing in this manner are connected one way or the other with the grand corruption that has kept Nigeria in the doldrums and they are also the ones that are losing their grips on the illicit revenue from corruption under the ongoing reforms.
“Even in the midst of these ominous conjugations however, we could not but notice the dark humor of the man credited as the father of corruption and the one that institutionalized corruption in Nigeria now grandstanding on the same issue in his desperation for relevance.
“IBB’s era as President saw Nigeria sat comfortably at the highest perch on the Global Corruption Index.
“Without him repenting and publicly apologizing for our commonwealth in addition to making restitution, he has suddenly found the courage to become Nigeria’s latest anticorruption crusader”, the group observed.
The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICReL), therefore, called on Nigerians to put the Obasanjo, IBB, and the other members of their “evil alliance (that are yet to come out) on notice that they shall be held responsible for any breach of peace in the run up to the 2019 General Elections.
“Their statements and utterances clearly indicate that they are secretly engaged in other activities destabilize the country even though the specifics of such evil machinations are not yet known.
“We shall lead our own coalition of the affected to attract the full weight of the law upon anyone that causes instability in the polity.
“We urge the Federal Government to immediately place anyone associated with threatening stability of Nigeria in this manner under watch.
“Caution must however be exercised in taking them in for questioning because their objective is to whip up sentiment around such reaction in their bid to find something with which to provoke civil unrest across the country.
“To this end, we advise the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to cancel his declaration of Afegbua wanted as this will only make him more relevant.
“His activities should rather be monitored and discretely investigated until there is overwhelming evidence to arraign him for any crimes committed in the course of implementing the agenda of the Evil Genius”, the group said.