Journalism in the service of society

IBB opens up on Dele Giwa’s death, crashed military jet

FORMER Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), has broken his silence on the assassination of renowned journalist and editor of Tell Magazine, Dele Giwa and the crashed military plane in which over 159 senior officers lost their lives in a swamp in Ejigbo area of Lagos in 1992.

In an exclusive interview featured in the inaugural edition of The Interview magazine, the former military ruler revealed that, based on maintenance concerns and the aircraft’s accumulated flying hours, the crashed military carrier should not have been operational on that particular day.   

IBB is speaking on the issues for the first time 31 years after. Responding to the events leading up to the crash and whether a thorough investigation was conducted, the 82-year-old former president affirmed that an investigation was conducted and the incident duly reported.

He emphasised that the investigation was carried out and concluded. He added that the aircraft’s flight was in violation of mandatory stages, flying hour limits, and maintenance requirements; stressing that crucial protocols and procedures were not adhered to. 

The Minna-born former military leader lamented that certain individuals and the public had preconceived notions, which hindered genuine interest in the report of the investigation

Asked what happened to the people who authorised the plane to fly on the ill-fated day, Babangida said there was no penalty meted out, adding, they ought to have been punished. 

“I know that blame was apportioned; I wouldn’t know about the punishment. We investigated; we even apportioned blame but no penalty.” On why that was so, IBB simply remarked, “That is the Nigerian factor.” 

Reacting to inquiries on the letter bomb that killed Dele Giwa and who sent the parcel, the self-styled military president said, “A bomb! Would you ever think somebody could sit and ask a soldier or anybody, go and kill that man?  

“If what you hear about other African leaders is anything to go by, you are right to believe that it could happen because of what happened in the case of the Mobutu of this world. But there is also one human being who believes in God, who believes you cannot take away life, who believes that God forbids you to do that, who believes that God created you equally. Somebody of that nature cannot, in all fairness, order the execution or killing of another person.”  

 On his relationship with the late journalist, IBB said: “We were friends. Very soon, somebody is going to accuse me of saying he is my friend. I knew him very closely. I have correspondence between him and me but that is not enough for you to believe that we were friends. What is enough is that I took a bomb and killed him.”   

 Responding to the claim that Giwa knew a lot of military officers, the government at the time was dealing in drugs and Gloria Okon and knew more than he was supposed to know, Babangida said, “Somebody should have come out with it by now. He must have left some manuscripts. There was a report on that investigation if you may be interested to know.”   

On the claim that witnesses in the investigation were hidden, Babangida said, “No. Most of what you guys talked about was fictitious. Even one of the persons you guys said was involved does not seem to exist. Gloria Okon; she does not seem to be in existence. 

 “And then you came out with, what is the name of the other girl who was supposed to be my wife’s friend? She was in prison or something; you came out with that one. There is virtually no truth in it all. 

People are not very good at putting stories together to make it look credible. They only make it look fantastic. If you are dealing with an idiot, of course you can do anything. But you deal with a man who thinks, a man who tries to rationalize.”  

1 Comment
  1. Avatar of mickykarim
    mickykarim says

    VINTAGE IBB AT IT AGAIN!

    The “Nigerian factor” as excuse for no penalty for the killing of the finest of the military officers under his watch.

    AND HE THINKS THAT SHOULD FLY WITH Nigerians. INCLUDING, AFTER SEVERAL YEARS AFTER THE OCCURENCE OF THE UNFORTUNATE EVIL INCIDENT.

    Yes, he was right about the assertions of stupidity of the gullible ones. Especially in the supposed HUMAN RIGTHS communities by the NOISY dunce and reckless so-called ACTIVISTS.

    A case in point would be the assassination of the SENSELESS evidence presented against Obasanjo by Femi Falana and company in the killing of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. At the TRUTH COMMISSION set up by the Otta brute himself. Obviously, a deception to cover up all the excesses of the past military government in the name of RECONCILIATION.

    The Otta brute then as President SHREDDED whatever the Femi Falana’s presented as watertight case against the military government of Obasanjo alleged to have plotted planned and executed the killing of Fela’s mother.

    I WATCHED ON NATIONAL TV THE CHARADE WITH INCOMPETENCE OF THE Femi Falana’s BAND AND COHORTS AND THE BASKET OF LITANIES OF LEAKAGES OF NO CASE AND NOT WATERTIGHT EVIDENCE THEY BROUGHT TO THE COMMISSION. AGAINST ALL THE CLAIMS OF POSSESSION OF CONCRETE FACTS AND FIGURES TO PROSECUTE Obasanjo and HIS COHORTS IN GOVERNMENT, CONSIDERING THE BACKGROUND OF ALL THE CEASELESS SCREAMS BY THE SELF APPOINTED HUNAM RIGHT ACTIVISTS OF Nigeria.

    In that defining moment by which the activists would have taken their gauntlets to the dictators and serve a notice of warning against future reoccurrence of the MISUSE of power in Nigeria. They blew up the opportunity the TRUTH commission offered for the new Millenium.

    IF YOU ARE STILL WONDERING WHY Nigerian DICTATORS THEN NOW AND, IN THE FUTURE, STILL GETS AWAYS WITH MALFAESANCE AND HIGH HANDEDENESS WITH US. YOU MAY NOT HAVE TO LOOK AND OR THINK FAR, NO LONGER FARFETCHED.

    Babangida just laid it out in this piece. In the tell it all interview.

    THE BRAZENESS OF THE COURAGE AND SMARTNESS OF THE EVIL GENIUS YET TO WANE BY EVEN A BIT.

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