- By Sunday Asogwa Moses
A professor of history and international studies at the University of Nigeria, Prof. Victor Ukaogo has asked Nigerians not to make little or Underestimate General Ibrahim Babangida’s prescriptions for national rebirth post 2023.
He gave this advise when he fielded questions last Friday from newsmen at Nsukka. He said that the General’s prescription was a clearly thought out recipe of positively addressing both the leadership question and the Nigerian (equity) question.
It will be recalled that the birthday of one of Nigeria’s most foremost rulers, General Ibrahim Babangida only recently held.
The celebrations may have come and gone but it left many trying to grasp his suggestion of the enigmatic Abia born billionaire Orji Uzor Kalu as a qualified and capable individual worthy of ruling the country come 2023.
This has been received with mixed reactions by many Nigerians but the UNN Don is insistent that such suggestion must not be taken lightly.
He averred that the IBB suggestion of the Abia businessman has the inherent capacity of addressing the obvious leadership issues as well as seeking resolution to agitations associated with inequalities and inequities in the federation.
It is from the above perspective that the IBB prescription must be seen.
According to Professor Ukaogo, the general is well experienced to know who amongst the contenders will do well. If ‘IBB was truly a genius or Maradona as the media called him, there must be something in him that commands attention’ he said.
Years after leaving office, the 80 year old general is still being sought after by all persons including major political aspirants.
In a rhetorical question, Prof Ukaogo asked ‘why has the pilgrimage and human traffic to Minna not ceased since 1993’? It means that the old ‘general has something to offer and many are unwilling to let this something go’ the Don rued.
Prof Ukaogo said that general Babangida was in order because the Abia businessman has all the qualities that good leaders possess. ‘I personally see OUK as the new MKO Abiola’ whose acceptability across the divides is legendary.
With businesses, friends, and interests everywhere, creating impact and visibility, the OUK philosophy otherwise referred to Oukism would probably be the tonic for national rebirth and renewal.
The history professor who incidentally was in the vanguard of students and civil society activists in the 90s seeking the sack and prosecution of IBB said
that with the benefit of what we see now, IBB remains a statesman with colleagues.
The dent of june 12 annulment is there but his contributions to national growth is a legacy even as institutions set up by him still serve our democratic space to this moment.
And since a father knows all his children’s ability, IBB singular preference for OUK is in no way an accident. ‘For me’, according to the Don ‘what is very significant could be inferred from IBB’s preference for Orji Uzor to address the unresolved inequalities and inequities in the Nigerian federation’.
Professor Ukaogo said that Babangida’s prescription is a patriotic attempt to use one stone to kill two birds which is a good recipe for resolving the teething Nigerian question.
And while Nigerians ponder on these issues, it’s probably safer to encourage stakeholders of the Nigerian project to watch and pray.