The misspelling of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's name is intentional. In the 1980s and '90s when I used to go to Cameroon on holiday, a friend of mine, used to call him "Babaginda". We were about seven-years-old at the time, so he could be forgiven for his oversight. It always makes me laugh when I remember it, because at the time, I thought it was just how Francophone people pronounced Nigerian names.
IBB is serious. After last month's report in the FT about him wanting to run for president in next year's general elections, he has now revealed his plans to the rest of Africa. He appeared on the BBC World Service programme, Network Africa, this morning; listen to the interview. I'm seething with rage. The irascible Jeremy Paxman once said that when he interviews politicians, he thinks, "why is this lying bastard lying to me?" That's how I think of Babangida. Why is this fat, lying, coup plotting, thieving general lying to me?
He never gave anyone the benefit of anything constitutional, and he now clings onto it for the chance to run for president. The constitution needs to be rewritten. Any constitution that can allow Babangida to run for president, within 13 years of him plunging Nigeria into the madness that was Abacha, deserves the paper shredder treatment. Barefaced cheek.
In 2000, the late Pierre Salinger, White House press secretary during JFK's administration, said that if Bush won, he'd leave the US. He made good on his promise, and moved to France, where he died in 2004. If IBB wins, consider me a Nigerian exile. I will not set foot on Nigerian soil so long as IBB is president.
If Nigeria votes IBB in, they deserve him and everything he does to them. After all, people get the governments they deserve. By far the worst IBB-related sentiment I've heard is the "na him spoil am, so make e come fix am" claptrap. Apparently, when a builder through shoddy workmanship, brings down your house, you should invite him once again to rebuild it. You're right, it doesn't make sense.
This is the part where I'm supposed to implore all right thinking Nigerians "not to vote for him, because I really love my country, and I really like visiting, and please don't make me stay away." Bollocks. Not voting for IBB should go without saying. Like nobody should have to tell an adult not to put their hand in fire, or not to smear dog poo on their face. It's common sense. No person with a brain would do these things, so why vote for IBB?
The same goes for Buhari, and all the other power hungry maximum military leaders. Stay in the bloody barracks.