News gotten from Nigerian newspaper This Day says that one of the most liked and hated presidents Nigeria has had is seriously ill, due to age related issues.
The report says the ex-president is now carried about by security personnel or walks about with a walking stick. The ailment was first noticed by members of the public when he had to be helped to leave the valedictory dinner of Justice Fati Abubakar, wife of former president Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Babangida is one of the most significant leaders in Nigeria’s history. One of the longest serving presidents, he annulled the June 12 presidential elections which was won by his friend MKO Abiola. He is said to have boasted that he participated in all the successful coups during Nigeria’s military era, and is blamed by many for the high rate of corruption in Nigeria today.
Politically, he has been very influential, as he directly or indirectly anointed people to become president of the country. Directly, he appointed Ernest Shonekan to become interim president when he stepped aside in 1993. And he also made his Defence Minister, General Sani Abacha, second in command to Shonekan. Dark
Dark gogle wearing General Abacha would seize power from Shonekan 3 months later and become president himself.
After Abacha died, during those hours when Nigeria was without a president, in which vaiorus powerful presidents were competing to emerge, Babangida was the person who handled the secret moves that led to the emergence of General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Justice Fati Abubakar’s husband as president.
He it was who influenced the release of jailed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and financed his successful election as president to succeed Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Babangida was a minister in 1983 when Buhari was president the first time around, before he ousted Buhari in a bloodless coup. Babangida then started the IMF supported Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which many Nigerians say inflicted long-lasting damage on the economy.
But he is loved by many for his easy going nature, despite his military background.
The people of Delta State were his late wife Maryam came from also thank him for creating their state for them. Before then, they were part of Edo State.
It was after Babangida’s coup removing Buhari as military president that Col. Sambo Dasuki, the man who has been imprisoned by the EFCC in Buhari’s current administration arrested Buhari. People say Buhari has never forgiven Dasuki and Babangida for their roles in that coup, which occurred in 1984.
If I have missed any important information on Babangida, please add it in the comments.