Biography of Ibrahim Babangida (1941-VVVV)

Nigerian politician, President of the Republic between 1985 and 1993, born in Minna (Niger State) on 27 August 1941. His full name is Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

With in the Gwari ethnic group and Muslim origin, he studied at the military school of Kaduna and India Military Academy. In 1966 he was promoted to Lieutenant and completed his instruction in the Royal Armoured Corps, United Kingdom. He served as an officer during the war of Biafra (1967-1970) and later (1970-1972) as Commander instructor at the Nigeria Defense Academy. In 1974 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and took a course at the Army Armoury School, United States. Member of the military juntas of 1975 and 1976, in 1983 he was appointed director of planning by the army with the rank of general of division. As such, participated in the ouster that year of the civilian President Alhaji Shehu Shagari , General Muhammadu Buhari.

Being a member of the Supreme Military Council and Commander-in-Chief of the army, led a coup d ' état (the sixth since independence in 1960) on 27 August 1985, which Buhari from power and has set up a Council of Government of the armed forces (AFRC). Then its reputation as man of action (participated decisively in the crushing of the coup plot in February 1976, which cost the life to the military President Ramat Muhammed and resulted in Olusegun Obasanjo Board), was compared with the austere and restful modes of Buhari. The contempt shown by Buhari to popular desires for greater freedom was, according to Babangida, one of the causes that led to its intervention. In July 1987, Babangida announced a program for the institutional normalization, passing the call to elections that same year (no answer of parties, which were banned), elections to the assemblies of the States in 1990 and to the federal Assembly in 1992. Indeed, on December 12, 1987 the local elections were held and a new Constitution confirming the federal nature of the State was published in May 1989. However, on October 7, 1989, after a series of violent clashes, Babangida suspended six parties authorized the previous May 3 and announced the creation of only two formations, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Republican National Convention (NRC), conceived and organized by the AFRC and which occupy respectively the left and right of the political spectrum in the constitutional system.

As it happened in April 1986, on April 22, 1990, Babangida overcame a dangerous coup attempt (69 soldiers allegedly involved were executed and many civilians suspected of complicity suffered persecution) and 8 December new local elections, now on the party basis were held. On December 14, 1991 the deputies of the Federal Assembly; elected governors and assemblies of the 30 States, and on July 4, 1992 but the presidential elections, which were to be the devolution of power to civilians on October 1, 1992, were postponed until 1993, once were voided the primaries to choose candidates of the SDP and NRC.

On 2 January 1993 Babangida disbanded the AFRC and prerogatives were transferred to a National Council of Defense and security (NDSC, military), while the Government was replaced by a National Council of transition (CNT, mainly civil). Presidential elections were held finally on June 12, 1993, but Babangida, unexpectedly, refused to recognize the virtual winner, Moshood Abiola, of the SDP, and suspended the process of transition, which should have culminated on August 27 with the assumption of the President-elect. It was then suggested as reason for such a decision the popularity of Abiola and his dubious docility in a future civilian regime under military supervision. The truth is that, after forcefully suppress unleashed protests and unsubscribe from active duty in the army, Babangida resigned on 26 August in favour of the CNT. However, on November 18, the military became definitely with the power in the hands of the general Sani Abacha.

Although he came to power as a defender of human rights, his performance in this area deteriorated progressively. Their reforms of administration and the security forces, according to the federal State model, but not so much with the secular equally valid (in Nigeria, there are almost as many Christians as Muslims), raised religious tensions do not exempt from regional politicization, that was accused to feed the expectations of those who sought the implementation of Sharia law in the Northern States and the Islamization of the country. Actually, maneuvers such as the promotion of northern Muslims to key positions in the Government and the army, served above all to his desire for consolidation in power.

A year get to Babangida declared the national economic emergency and announced the implementation of austerity measures as inevitable. He accepted the recommendations of the World Bank for economic recovery in the form of a structural adjustment programme, presented to the public, not as something imposed from outside, but as an initiative of structural adjustment. Painful for the economy of the population, the effects of this program were warned at the end of the Decade in the form of lower inflation and a more balanced national budget.

At the forefront of the most populous country in Africa, regional oil and political power, Babangida introduced to Nigeria in the Organization for the Islamic Conference (1986), adopted a clear stance in favour of the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait (1990) and led and provided the bulk of the troops of the economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission in Liberiathat from August 20, 1990 he monitored the implementation of the peace agreements. At the OAU Summit held in Abuja on 3-5 June 1991 Babangida was elected Chairman of the Organization for the period 1991-1992.

In July 1998, shortly after the sudden death of Abacha and initiate the new military authorities a real democratic transition, Babangida made a statement that assumed responsibility for his performances of 1993, which favored the imposition of more severe regime of Abacha and that delayed the return of the soldiers to barracks another six years.