Former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has stated one thing he would do differently if he had another shot as Nigeria’s president.
He revealed this while speaking with journalists at his residence in Minna, Niger state, on Tuesday. According to him, he would make the national assembly optional if he had the chance to, because of a need to cut down the cost of governance.
“During my public life, there were several decisions we took as military officers or as political officers — when I was a dictator — that if given another chance, I would do differently. For example, in 1989, we proposed that the national assembly should be optional, that is part-time.
“I still believe that if I had the opportunity, I would make the national assembly part-time. I believe in that very strongly and is part of efforts to cut down the cost of governance in Nigeria.”
Babangida also said that he is not an evil genius as some consider him, saying: “I am not the evil genius that quite a lot of people consider me that I am.
“I have had a very excellent background and training.We have to love one another. However, I can understand the feeling people have towards me.
“By the virtue of the job I was doing, I was bound to be misconstrued and my actions misinterpreted as evil. I consider what people say as an opinion as long as I am not what you think I was; I feel satisfied.”
The national assembly has come under intense criticism lately, with Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, accusing the nation’s legislature, on different occasions, of massive corruption.
Babangida is widely referred to as “evil genius” or “Maradona”. Maradona because of the way he dribbled the nation with transition plans that made him Nigeria’s longest serving military ruler (1985 to 1983).
He is most remembered for annulling the June 12, 1993 presidential election — popularly adjudged, till date, as Nigeria’s freest and fairest election ever.
He would be 75 years old on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.