Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR(rtd) is 80 today. For a man who means different things to many people, attaining the age of 80 is milestone.
IBB was born on August 17th, 1941 He ruled Nigeria from 27 August 1985 until his resignation in August 1993 and also served as Chairman of the Armed Forces Ruling Council from 1985 to 1993 and Chief of Army Staff from 1984 to 1985; going on to orchestrate his seizure of power in a palace coup d’ètat against Muhammadu Buhari. He rose through the ranks of the Nigerian Army fighting in the Nigerian Civil War and at various times being involved in all the military coups in Nigeria, before advancing to the full-rank of a General and ultimately as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; and as an unelected President and military strongman from 1985 to 1993, ruling for an uninterrupted period of eight years. His years in power, colloquially known as the Babangida Era,are considered one of the most controversial in the military history of the country, and characterized by a burgeoning political culture of corruption in Nigeria.
In a congratulatory message by President Muhammadu Buhari signed by one of his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, noted that as former military commanders during the war, both retiring as Generals, they had mutual interests, great hopes and expectations in a strong and united Nigeria.
Buhari further expressed the hope that privileged Nigerians like Babangida and others like himself would recommit to ongoing efforts to help the nation to reach more glory, progress, and prosperous years ahead.