Former military dictator, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has lost out to Abubakar Atiku to become the northern PDP candidate for the Nigerian presidency.
Atiku was chosen by a committee of 17 to stand for the next presidential elections – to be held early next year. The decision was announced at the Shehu Yar’Adua center in Abuja, yesterday. During his acceptance speech Atiku said:
“I am humbled by this endorsement, and I accept it wholeheartedly, with humility and sense of responsibility. I commend the Consensus Committee for this endorsement and for their sacrifice, their patriotism, their commitment and their integrity. They have made an important contribution to the unity and stability of this country.”
This news will come as a relief to many who remember Babangida’s numerous human rights abuses during his dictatorship as well as the election he annulled in 1993, when it appeared that he had been beaten by businessman Moshood Abiola. Referring to his leadership credentials the former dictator said: “I have conducted the freest and fairest – and this is attested by the international community – elections in the history of our country. The fact that it was annulled is a different story altogether.”
It seems that Nigeria has had a lucky escape from this clueless tyrant.