Political Gossip! Babangida testing the waters?; First published October 2009.

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Power house - Nigerian National Assembly
Power house - Nigerian National Assembly

First Published  October 2009.

Political power seekers are a canny lot. And one special trait that identifies them is their ability to overrun their victims and wrestle them into submission with make-believe promises and obvious lies, in attempts to achieve their political goals.

Another distinctive peculiarity is their ability to systematically crawl back to the limelight after several years in obscurity- may be due to long time boredom or having exhausted their previous loot and looking for another way out to access the public money once again.

A recent discussion had painted the Nigerian politician in different lights and the most interesting during the discourse was the mention of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, former Military leader and the most accomplished schemer of  our current political generation.

One of his admirers had wished he had come back to refurbish Nigeria with his accumulated experience and avowed political influence at least before  Nigeria’s situation got worse.

The suggestion immediately got the atmosphere tensed up.

‘You mean Maradona, coming back again’, one of the mates roared from a rear seat. ‘No!, not again’. You don’t know that guy and all atrocities he had committed? … and many unprintable utterances followed.

This writer pretended he was not interested in the discourse and just as the noise was lowered, a voice raised from behind the restaurant gathering to refer to a recent lecture the ex- Military Leader delivered advocating for state police and handing over of  schools to states in Nigeria. ‘He has claimed to be a political born-again and may be he means well this time to salvage Nigeria from the current situation.”.

A lady who had previously observed the discussion just sipping her wine from a glass cup suddenly took over: “Oh my God, you mean Babangida?. He is a schemer. You don’t know politicians? The man wants to come back into politics. He was just testing the waters. How can you rely on politicians’ utterances?. He is actually living up to his old name (‘Maradona’) and he hasn’t change from his old colours”, she uttered to the amazement of other onlookers. Then a little lull!

Surprisingly, the guy who had earlier objected to the mention of Babangida’s name when the ‘debate’ started has an old grudge against the former military ruler. Turning to his friend sitting on the adjacent seat, he reminded:’ You remember that guy, Babangida, he killed my brother, a top officer in the Nigerian Airforce in a sabotaged plane crash in Egbe, Lagos.

Few weeks later, my mother died of the shock’  Then a very long silence…and everybody in the restaurant looked at each other in the face, nodding as if remembering the 1994 Airforce plane crash in Egbe, Lagos State, that killed many top Airforce officers; a silence, very long silence then permeated… I exited just immediately.

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