Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, former Military President of Nigeria.

Ibahim Badamosi Babangida, or IBB for short, the erstwhile self-styled Military President who ruled Nigeria from 1985 until he was forced to step aside in 1993 has said the credit for the success of June 12 currently dominating the news today, belongs to him.

The retired General, often called Maradona for his political antics, stated this in one his tweets after the news broke that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated that henceforth Democracy Day in Nigeria should be celebrated on June 12 and not May 29 anymore.

According Babangida, the symbolism being attached to June 12 lends its credence to the conduct of what he now admits to be “the freest and fairest election” election in the history of Nigeria.

Hear him: “Nobody gives me credit for conducting the freest and fairest election in the country; nobody is prepared to listen to the reasons behind the rationalization of why we had to do what we did; but Nigerians are quick to point IBB as the bad person.”

However, he admitted that making June 12 the actual Democracy Day is the proper thing to do.

“June 12 should indeed be our Democracy Day because it is very symbolic to our history; that was when we had the freest and fairest election and I am really happy the election was conducted by me.”

It will be recalled that June 12, a euphemism for popular democratic experience in Nigeria, caused Chief MKO Abiola, the man who received the mandate of Nigerians in the presidential election of 1993, his life. His wife, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane, and a host of other Nigerians were assassinated on account of the struggle to actualize that popular mandate which was annulled by the military administration of Babangida at the time. And successive administrations afterwards, military and civilian had done everything to consign that date and what it represents to history.

He also took a swipe at the APC-led government, and condemned its performance so far as not satisfactory.

“I am not satisfied with the performance of the ruling APC Government. When APC campaigned with change, I had thought they would device new methods, provoke new initiatives and proffer new ways to addressing some of our developmental problems. By now, we should have passed this developmental stage, but unfortunately they wasted our time.

“After my administration left the office, no administration has given Nigerians a better life than I did during my tenure. Three square meals; good roads, unemployed graduates and terrorism was never a problem for Nigerian. Yet IBB is the bad person.

“Aside from constructing the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, my administration created a lot of jobs and birthed organizations like NDLEA, FRSC, NEC, NDIC, NEXIM, SSS, NSCDC, FEPA, NALDA, among many others; yet some Nigerians think I don’t deserve some accolades.

He also decried how democracy in Nigeria has been polarized in the last 18 years, and therefore wants the nation to consider adopting a two-party structure as a way to solving many of its challenges.

Also reacting to the buildup of political activities preparatory to the 2019 general elections, IBB declared that he would not be supporting any candidate in 2019 general election, but would only be supporting the will of the people.

“I will not be supporting any candidate in 2019 general election; I will only be supporting the will of the people. However, I am looking forward to a new style of leadership that can go head to head with 21st century trends and innovative approach,” he said.

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