Ibrahim Babangida’s Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria’s politics
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is a former politician and general in the Nigerian Army. Between 1985 and 1993, he presided over Nigeria as its military leader. He advanced through the ranks, serving as Chief of Army Staff from 1984 to 1985. He then masterminded the overthrow of Muhammadu Buhari in a coup d’état.
Father Muhammad Babangida and mother Aisha Babangida welcomed Ibrahim Babangida into the world on August 17, 1941 in Minna. Prior to attending primary school from 1950 to 1956, he obtained an early Islamic education. Together with his classmates Abdulsalami Abubakar, Mamman Vatsa, Mohammed Magoro, Sani Bello, Garba Duba, Gado Nasko, and Mohammed Sani Sami, Babangida attended Government College in Bida from 1957 to 1962. On December 10th, 1962, Babangida enlisted in the Nigerian Army and began attending the Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna. On September 26, 1963, Babangida got his commission from the Indian Military Academy as a regular combatant officer and second lieutenant in the Royal Nigerian Army (a month before it became the Nigerian Army). His personal army number was N/438. Babangida attended the Indian Military Academy from April to September 1963. From 1964 until 1966, he served as the 1 Reconnaissance Squadron’s Commanding Officer. Babangida studied gunnery and the Saladin armored car at the Younger Officers School at the Royal Armoured Centre in the United Kingdom from January 1966 to April 1966. Lieutenant Babangida saw the events of the brutal coup d’état of 1966, which led to Sir Ahmadu Bello’s murder, while he was stationed with the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron in Kaduna. He took part in the July counter-coup, led by Murtala Mohammed, that removed General Aguiyi Ironsi and replaced him with General Yakubu Gowon, along with a number of other young officers from Northern Nigeria.
· Civil war
Babangida was called back to duty after the civil war began and assigned to General Mohammed Shuwa’s 1st Division. He was appointed commander of the 44 Infantry Battalion in 1968, which was actively engaged in battles inside Biafran territory. Babangida was injured on the right side of his chest in 1969 while on a reconnaissance mission from Enugu to Umuahia. The unit was under intense enemy fire at the time. He was then hospitalized in Lagos and given the chance to have the bullet shrapnel removed, but he declined and continues to carry it with him. On September 6, 1969, Babangida married Maryam King while recuperating from his wounds. In December 1969, while in command of a battalion, he returned to the battlefield. Babangida was notified by General Theophilus Danjuma, his divisional commander, that the Biafran Army had submitted to the federal military administration in Lagos, thereby ending the war.
From 1969 till her passing in 2009, Maryam Babangida was Babangida’s wife. Aisha, Muhammad, Aminu, and Halima were their four children together. Maryam Babangida passed away on December 27, 2009, as a result of complications from ovarian cancer.
Babangida’s Net worth
Babangida is thought to be worth more than $5 billion dollars. He is thought to be hiding a multi-billion dollar fortune that he acquired over time through successive ownership of shares in several Nigerian businesses. Babangida is worth $12 billion according to estimates. These allegations have been refuted by Babangida, who maintains that his regime “were saints.”
Babangida’s role in Nigeria’s politics
General Babangida founded the Nigerian Political Bureau of 1986 soon after he took office. The bureau was established to facilitate a national discussion on Nigeria’s political future and was given the following tasks, among others: “Review Nigeria’s political history, identify the fundamental issues that have contributed to our failure in the past, and suggest solutions and strategies for dealing with these issues.” The exercise represented the widest political consultation ever held in Nigeria. Throughout the years 1983 to 1985, the nation experienced an economic crisis. With assistance from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Babangida started the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in 1986 with the goal of restructuring the Nigerian economy. Following a suggestion from the Political Bureau, Babangida established the Mass Mobilization for Self-Reliance, Social Justice, and Economic Recovery (MAMSER) in 1987 to promote economic recovery and self-reliance. The following policies were applied in the SAP and MAMSER:
- · Deregulation of the agriculture industry, including the removal of price restrictions and marketing boards
- · the privatization of public companies
- · depreciation of the Nigerian naira to increase export sector competitiveness
- · loosening of restrictions on foreign investment imposed in the 1970s by the Gowon and Obasanjo administrations.
- · shift Nigerians’ mindsets to reject waste and avarice in order to promote economic recovery
- · remove all pretenses of wealth in their lifestyle, encourage self-reliance, and spread the message that all vices in public life, such as corruption, dishonesty, election and census fraud, racial and religious intolerance, and the promotion of social justice, must be avoided.
- · The IMF carried out these programs as intended between 1986 and 1988, and the Nigerian economy did grow as anticipated, with the export sector performing particularly well. However, the urban classes’ and the public sector’s declining real incomes, combined with a sharp cut in spending on public services, sparked waves of riots and other expressions of unrest that made continuous support for the SAP challenging to maintain.
Babangida helped to build the country’s infrastructure. The Third Mainland Bridge, at the time the biggest bridge on the continent, was completed by him. The Kaduna-Kano highway was dualized under his rule as well. Moreover, Babangida finished the Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Plant. He oversaw the building of the Toja Bridge in Kebbi. At Kano, he also built the Challawa Cenga Dam and the Jibia Water Treatment Plant. In order to administer the nation’s roadways more effectively, Babangida also established the Federal Road Safety Corps. Akwa Ibom State and Katsina State were the two states that Babangida established on September 23, 1987. Babangida added nine new states on August 27, 1991: Abia, Enugu, Delta, Jigawa, Kebbi, Osun, Kogi, Taraba, and Yobe. Nigeria now had thirty states in total as of 1991. Moreover, Babangida raised the state of origin’s percentage of oil royalties and rentals from 1.5 to 3 percent. On December 12, 1991, Babangida and his Federal Capital Territory Ministers, under the direction of Mamman Vatsa, Hamza Abdullahi, and later General Gado Nasko, oversaw the transfer of the government’s seat from Lagos to Abuja.
Babangida improved Nigeria’s international ties. He opposed South Africa’s apartheid system, sent troops from Nigeria to fight in the Liberian Civil War, hosted the Abuja Treaty, which resulted in the creation of the African Union, and improved ties with the US and the UK. Nigeria joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a global group regarded as the “common voice of the Muslim world,” in 1986. The majority-Muslim region of Northern Nigeria applauded this decision. Non-Muslims, on the other hand, criticized the action, comparing it to Nigeria’s aim of Islamization. Nigeria is a secular nation. Commodore Ebitu Okoh Ukiwe, Babangida’s then-second-in-command, protested the decision to join the Islamist group and was fired as chief of general staff as a result.
Babangida has kept a quiet profile in 2015 after General Muhammadu Buhari, a longtime opponent, was elected president. Babangida underwent a corrective procedure in 2017. He has advocated for a generational change in leadership to enable a new generation of leaders to succeed the military class of 1966. He is regarded as a leading elder statesman.
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