Thought Experiment: ‘I am Ibrahim Babangida, and this is what I think about the June 12 hype’

Please, this is not a true account. This is a writer pretending to know what’s going on in the mind of General Babangida as he lives through another June 12 knowing people are judging him for annulling “their election”.

Sigh, 24 years already!

Every year since 1993, I have had to endure the shades, the taunts and sometimes the insults that come my way every 12th of June – the one day when these bloody hypocritical civilians think back in time to how docile they have always been. I have to endure this every year in addition to the insults that naturally flow to we the military class. To think all we did was save them from themselves.

Think about it. This June 12 thing. It was the first time an Agbada-wearing guy would have promises from here to yonder about better tomorrow. Sure, that Abiola was a good guy. At least that’s what they say. He had all those businesses, amassed all the titles from South to West and then he started that Abiola Bookshop thing. You have to be a good guy to do all that. But to be honest, I don’t care much. You can never trust these barawos. All of them with their sweet talking and their degrees. How did that Fela boy put it? “International Thief Thief” (ha ha ha).

When that Abiola guy came and said he was full of hope and knew the way to Make Nigeria Great Again (no, that’s the new Orange one). “Make Nigeria a better place for all”, I think he said. He seemed genuine. He sounded like he’d done his research, at least he spoke the right grammar where necessary. It would have looked bad on me in 89 if I didn’t agree to help them transition to their crazy democracy.

But you can never trust these Agbada boys. What do they know? So I said wait: let me put you in two groups. I created the two parties. They regrouped quickly. And this Abiola guy with all his smooth-talking and all his international friends, they thought they could wade in and just lord over everything in the name of monitoring. Who did they think they were anyway? I was trying to help but he went and brought all those people who’d eventually take the credit for everything. Tcheew.

But I already made the promise. I had to see it though.

Actually, if I’m being honest, I assumed they were going to tear themselves up before June 12. Those bloody civilians. They still do even now. I assumed they were going to self-destruct before or at least by election day. But that Abiola guy… smoother than I thought. He’d brainwashed all of them.

What was I to do but annul? I made social reform policies for them for years. Eight good years, I tried to help them clean their corrupt slates. And they didn’t even bat an eyelid. They were just going to let another corrupt one take over like that. What did he really know about governance?

They were not ready. I could see it. I knew it was all going to implode the moment we went back to the Barracks. I had to help them some more. I gad to cancel.

But they’ll never be grateful. These bloody civilians!

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