Ibrahim Babangida

Last updated

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida
Ibrahim Babangida (cropped).jpg
8th Head of State of Nigeria
In office
27 August 1985 26 August 1993
Preceded by Muhammadu Buhari as Military Head of State
Succeeded by Ernest Shonekan as Interim President of Nigeria
Chief of Army Staff
In office
January 1984 August 1985
Preceded by Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi
Succeeded by Sani Abacha
Personal details
Born (1941-08-17) 17 August 1941 (age 78)
Minna, Northern Region, British Nigeria
(now Minna, Niger State, Nigeria)
Political party People's Democratic Party (PDP)
Spouse(s) Maryam King Okogwu (1948–2009, her death)
ChildrenMuhammadu (son), Aminu (son), Aishatu (daughter), Halimatu (daughter)
Alma mater Government College Bida
Nigerian Military Training College
Indian Military Academy
Command and Staff College, Jaji
Nickname(s)Maradona [1]
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Branch/service Flag of the Nigerian Army Headquarters.svg Nigerian Army
Years of service1962–93
Rank General

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR (born 17 August 1941), is a retired Nigerian Army General who was President of Nigeria from 27 August 1985 to 26 August 1993. He previously served as the chief of army staff from January 1984 to August 1985. Babangida was a key player in most of the military coups in Nigeria (July 1966, February 1976, December 1983, August 1985, December 1985 and April 1990).

Order of the Federal Republic

The Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) is one of two orders of merit, established by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1963. It is senior to the Order of the Niger.

Nigerian Army Land warfare branch of Nigerias military

The Nigerian army (NA) is the largest component of the Nigerian Armed Forces, and is responsible for land warfare operations. It is governed by the Nigerian Army Council (NAC). It bears the brunt of the nation's security challenges, notably the Boko Haram insurgency.

There have been a large number of successful and failed military coups in Nigeria since the country's independence from the British Empire in 1960. A military coup is the violent or non-violent overthrow of an existing political regime by the military. Between 1966 and 1999 the army held power in Nigeria without interruption apart from a short-lived return to democracy between 1979-1983. “Military coups and military rule became a seemingly permanent feature of Nigerian politics.Buhari was the one who lead the military coup of 1983. Buhari removed then head of state shehu shagari and imprisoned him for two years in a closed door without light.


Early life

Ibrahim Babangida was born on 17 August 1941, in Minna, Niger State, to his father Muhammad Babangida and mother Aisha Babangida. [2]

Minna LGA and city in Niger State, Nigeria

Minna is a city in Middle Belt Nigeria. It is the capital of Niger State, one of Nigeria's 36 federal states. It consists of 2 major ethnic groups: the Nupe and the Gbagyi

Niger State State in Nigeria

Niger or Niger State is a state in Central Nigeria and the largest state in the country. The state capital is Minna, and other major cities are Bida, Kontagora, and Suleja. It was formed in 1976 when the then North-Western State was bifurcated into Niger State and Sokoto State. It is home to Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, two of Nigeria's former military rulers. The Nupe, Gbagyi, Kamuku, Kambari, Dukawa, Hausa and Koro form the majority of numerous indigenous tribes of Niger State.

From 1950 to 1956, Ibrahim Babanginda attended primary school. From 1957 to 1962 Babangida was educated at the Government College Bida, Niger state, Nigeria. [3]

Military career

Babangida joined the Nigerian Army on 10 December 1962, when he attended the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) in Kaduna. Babangida received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a regular combatant officer in the Royal Nigerian Army (a month before it became the Nigerian Army) with the personal army number N/438 from the Indian Military Academy on 26 September 1963. [4] Babangida and General Mohammed Magoro were among the first batch of Nigerian graduates from the NMTC who attended the Indian Military Academy from April to September 1963. Others in subsequent batches from Babangida's NMTC class include Garba Duba and Ibrahim Sauda. [4] Babangida furthered his armoury training from January 1966 until April 1966 by enrolling in Course 38 of the Young Officers' Course (ARMED) in the United Kingdom where he received a four-month course in Saladin and gunnery. [5]

The Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force, was formed by the amalgamation of the Northern Nigeria Regiment and the Southern Nigeria Regiment on January 1, 1914. At that time, the regiment consisted of five battalions:

Indian Military Academy officer training Academy of the Indian Army

The Indian Military Academy is an officer training Academy of the Indian Army located in Dehradun. It was established in 1932 following a recommendation by the Indian Military College Committee which was set up under the chairmanship of Field Marshal Philip Chetwode in 1931. From a class of 40 gentleman cadets in 1932, IMA now trains over approximately 400 gentleman cadets in a batch, with the total strength of the institution being 1200. Cadets undergo training for one year. On completion of the course at IMA, gentleman cadets are permanently commissioned into the army as a Lieutenant. During the duration of the course, cadets are given a monthly stipend of Rs. 56,100/-.

Mohammed Magoro is a retired Major General of the Nigerian army who was twice a government minister, under Generals Obasanjo and Buhari. In the April 2011 elections he was elected Senator for the Kebbi South constituency of Kebbi State, Nigeria.

From August 1972 to June 1973, he took the Advanced Armoured Officers' course at Armored school. He attended the Senior officers' course, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, from January 1977 until July 1977 and the Senior International Defence Management Course, Naval Postgraduate school, U.S., in 1980.

The Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the army, air force and navy. It is near the village of Jaji, Nigeria, about 35 km northeast of Kaduna in the Igabi Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, Nigeria. It is currently headed by Air Vice Marshal Lawal Shittu Alao.

He was heavily involved in quelling the Nigerian coup of 1976, when he was to ‘liberate’ a radio station from one of the coup plotters, Col Buka Suka Dimka (a close friend of his), to prevent him making further announcements over the air waves. Although he did prevent further broadcasts, Col Dimka managed to escape.

Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Suka Dimka was a Nigerian Army officer who played a leading role in the February 13, 1976 abortive military coup against the government of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed. Dimka also participated in the Nigerian Counter-Coup of 1966 which toppled the government of General Aguiyi Ironsi.

He attained the following ranks: Second Lieutenant (1963), Lieutenant (1966), Captain (1968), Major (1970), Lieutenant Colonel (1970), Colonel (1973), Brigadier (1979), Major General (1983), and General (1987). Babangida also served as a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1 August 1975 to October 1979.

Participation in the Nigerian counter-coup of July 1966

Babangida, then a lieutenant with the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron in Kaduna, was one of the many officers of northern Nigerian origin who staged what became known as the Nigerian Counter-Coup of 1966 [6] which resulted in the death of Nigeria's first military Head of State, General Aguiyi Ironsi (who had taken power in another coup earlier that year), and his replacement with General Yakubu Gowon.

1985 Coup, overthrow of Buhari's regime

Babangida was the Chief of Army Staff and a member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) under the administration of Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Babangida would later overthrow Buhari's regime on 27 August 1985 in a military coup that relied on mid-level officers that Babangida had strategically positioned over the years. [7]

Head of State (1985-93)

Oil Revenue

With the oil revenue, Babangida created the Federal Environmental Protection Agency in 1985. He created eleven state governments and several local government councils. He had the Toja Bridge in Kebbi constructed. He also created the Jibia Water Treatment Plant and the Challawa Cenga Dam in Kano. In 1992, constituted the Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission. Babangida also increased the share of oil royalties and rents to state of origin from 1.5 to 3 percent. [8]

OIC membership

In January 1986, Nigeria joined the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as its 46th member. The OIC was established in 1969. The chief of staff supreme headquarters, Commodore Ebitu Okoh Ukiwe, was removed and replaced from his post as chief of staff supreme headquarters by Babangida, because Ukiwe was opposed to the registration of Nigeria, a secular country, in the OIC. [9]

The creation of eleven states

On 23 September 1987, Babangida created two states: Akwa Ibom and Katsina. On 27 August 1991, Babangida created nine more states: Abia, Enugu, Delta, Jigawa, Kebbi, Osun, Kogi, Taraba and Yobe. [10] Bringing the total number of states in Nigeria to thirty in 1991.

Economic policies

Babangida issued a referendum to garner support for austerity measures suggested by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and subsequently launched his "Structural Adjustment Program" (SAP) in 1986. The policies involved in the SAP were:

Between 1986 and 1988, these policies were executed as intended by the IMF, and the Nigerian economy actually did grow as had been hoped, with the export sector performing especially well. But falling real wages in the public sector and among the urban classes, along with a drastic reduction in expenditure on public services, set off waves of rioting and other manifestations of discontent that made sustained commitment to the SAP difficult to maintain. [1]

Babangida subsequently returned to an inflationary economic policy and partially reversed the deregulatory initiatives he had set in motion during the heyday of the SAP following mounting political pressure, and economic growth slowed correspondingly, as capital flight resumed apace under the influence of negative real interest rates. [11]

1990 Major Orkar failed coup

On 22 April 1990, Babangida's government was almost toppled by a failed coup led by Major Gideon Orkar. Babangida was at the Dodan Barracks, the military headquarters and presidential residence, when they were attacked and occupied by the rebel troops, but managed to escape by a back route. [12] Orkar and 41 of his conspirators were countered, captured by government troops. They were convicted of treason. [13] On 27 July 1990, they were executed by firing squad.

Relocation of the federal government to Abuja in 1991

On 12 December 1991, President Babangida relocated the seat of the federal government from Lagos to Abuja. [14]

Cancellation of 1993 general election

In 1989, Babangida legalized the formation of political parties, and after a census was carried out in November 1991, the [ National Electoral Commission]] (NEC) announced on 24 January 1992 that both legislative elections to a bicameral National Assembly and a presidential election would be held later that year. A process of voting was adopted, referred to as Option A4. This process advocated that any candidate needed to pass through adoption from the local level to any height of governance.

Babangida had formed two political parties, namely the SDP (Social Democratic Party) and NRC (National Republican Convention) for the elections. He urged all Nigerians to join either of the parties, which the late Chief Bola Ige famously referred to as "two leper hands." The two-party state had been a recommendation of the 17-member Political Bureau.

The legislative elections went ahead as planned, with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) winning majorities in both houses of the National Assembly, but on 7 August 1992, the INEC annulled the first round of presidential primaries, alleging widespread irregularities. On 4 January 1993, Babangida announced a National Defense and Security Council (NDSC), of which he was president, while in April 1993, the SDP nominated Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) as its presidential candidate, with the National Republican Convention (NRC) choosing Bashir Tofa to run for the same position. On 12 June 1993, a presidential election was finally held, but no results were ever announced, because Babangida annulled the elections. It was however unofficially announced in some states that Abiola had won 19 of the 30 states. That Abiola had unofficially won the general election. [15]

Human rights

The killing by a letter bomb of Dele Giwa, a magazine editor critical of Babangida's administration, at his Lagos home in 1986 was allegedly attributed to Babangida [16] and remains a controversial incident to this day. In 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo established the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission headed by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa to investigate human rights abuses during Nigeria's decades of military rule. However, Babangida repeatedly defied summons to appear before the panel to answer allegations of humans rights abuses and questioned both the legality of the commission and its power to summon him. He was however represented by counsels, Mustapha Bashir Wali and Yahya Mahmoud. His right not to testify was upheld in 2001 by Nigeria's court of appeal which ruled that the panel did not have the power to summon former rulers of the country. [17]

The Oputa Panel Report would conclude that: "On General Ibrahim Babangida, we are of the view that there is evidence to suggest that he and the two security chiefs, Brigadier General Halilu Akilu and Col. A. K. Togun are accountable for the untimely death of Dele Giwa by letter bomb. We recommend that this case be re-opened for further investigation in the public interest." [18]

Presidential aspirations and campaigns

2007 campaign

In an interview with the Financial Times on 15 August 2006, Babangida announced that he would run for president in Nigeria's 2007 national elections. [19] [20] He said he was doing so "under the banner of the Nigerian people" and accused the country's political elite of fuelling Nigeria's current ethnic and religious violence. [21]

On 8 November 2006, General Babangida picked up a nomination form from the Peoples Democratic Party Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. This effectively put to rest any speculation about his ambitions to run for the Presidency. His form was personally issued to him by the PDP chairman, Ahmadu Ali. This action immediately drew extreme reactions of support or opposition from the western population of the country. In early December, just before the PDP presidential primary, however, it was widely reported in Nigerian newspapers that IBB had withdrawn his candidacy to be the PDP's nominee to run for president. In a letter excerpted in the media, IBB is quoted as citing the "moral dilemma" of running against Umaru Yar'Adua, the younger brother of the late Shehu Yar'Adua (himself a former nominee to run for the Presidency during IBB's military regime), as well as against General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, given IBB's close relationship with the latter two. It is widely believed that his chances of winning were slim. [22] [23]

2011 campaign

On 15 September 2010, Babangida officially declared his intention to run for the presidency in the general election at the Eagles Square in Abuja, Nigeria. [24] Babangida later withdrew his nomination for the presidency, due to lack of support from party members. President Goodluck Jonathan was chosen by the PDP party to run for the 2011 general election.

Personal life

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida was married to Maryam (née King) Babangida (deceased) (First Lady of Nigeria 1985–93). They had four children together: Muhammadu, Aminu, Aishatu, and Halimatu. [2] Maryam Babangida died from complications of ovarian cancer on 27 December 2009.


General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Rtd.) has received several awards and medals. In alphabetical order they include:

Related Research Articles

Umaru Musa YarAdua President of Nigeria

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was the 13th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was governor of Katsina State in northern Nigeria from 29 May,1999 to 28 May,2007. He was declared the winner of the controversial Nigerian presidential election held on 21 April,2007, and was sworn in on 29 May,2007. He was a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). In 2009, Yar'Adua left for Saudi Arabia to receive treatment for pericarditis. He returned to Nigeria on 24 February,2010, where he died on 5 May.

Major General Mamman Jiya Vatsa OFR was a senior Nigerian Army officer and writer who was executed by the government of Major General Ibrahim Babangida on 5 March 1986 following a military tribunal conviction for treason associated with an abortive coup. He served as Minister of the Federal Capital Abuja, and was a member of the Supreme Military Council.

2007 Nigerian general election

General elections were held in Nigeria on 21 April 2007 to elect the President and National Assembly. Governorship and State Assembly elections had been held on 14 April.

The Social Democratic Party of Nigeria, commonly known as the SDP, was established as a center-left political organization. It was created by former President Ibrahim Babangida via a democracy project meant to form two detribalized political parties - one slightly to the left and one to the right. During the Nigerian Third Republic it was seen as a moderate party attractive to young radical intellectuals and socialists. In its manifesto, it called for concerted efforts to improve welfare and fight for social justice.

Third Nigerian Republic

The Third Republic was the planned republican government of Nigeria in 1993 which was to be governed by the Third Republican constitution.

The Nigerian political bureau of 1986, established by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida shortly after his successful coup, was one of the broadest political consultation exercises conducted in Nigerian history. The bureau was headed by Dr. Samuel Joseph Cookey, and contained 17 members charged with the responsibility of investigating the problems of the failed Nigerian political and democratic institutions, collating the socio-political views of Nigerians and submitting remedies to curtail the perceived shortcomings of the political and economic process. Before the establishment of the bureau, Nigeria had undergone two major democratic experiments replete with institutional failures. However, this did not quench the demand for a return to democracy, after what was perceived as a relapse to authoritarian tendencies during the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari.

Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe is a retired Commodore in the Nigerian Navy who served as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria during the Ibrahim Babangida military government from 1985 to 1986.

Dodan Barracks is a military barracks occupying a large area located off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. Dodan Barracks was the residence of the heads of state of various Military Governments in Nigeria, and also the Supreme Military Headquarters from 1966 until the move to Abuja in 1991. The name "Dodan" originated from the site of a battle fought during the Second World War by the 82nd West African Division in Burma.

Colonel Aminu Isa Kontagora was Administrator of Benue State, Nigeria from August 1996 to August 1998 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha, then Administrator of Kano State from September 1998 to May 1999 during the transitional regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, handing over power to the elected executive governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on 29 May 1999.

Abdulkareem Adisa was a Nigerian major-general who was military governor of Oyo State during the military regime of Major-General Ibrahim Babangida. He was convicted for involvement in an attempted coup against military head of state General Sani Abacha in 1997, and was on death row when Abacha died in June 1998. He was subsequently pardoned.

Major General Paul Ufuoma Omu was Military Governor of South-Eastern State, Nigeria between July 1975 and July 1978 during the military regimes of Generals Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo.

Clement David Ebri is a Nigerian politician who was elected on the NRC platform as Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria between January 1992 and November 17, 1993 during the Nigerian Third Republic, leaving office after the military coup that brought General Sani Abacha to power. He was a strong supporter of General Ibrahim Babangida, who had initiated the short-lived third republic.

Alhaji Sa'idu Barda is a Nigerian politician who was elected on the National Republican Convention (NRC) platform as Governor of Katsina State, Nigeria, holding office between January 1992 and November 1993 during the Nigerian Third Republic. He remained active in politics in the Nigerian Fourth Republic.

Major General (retired) Chris Abutu Garuba was Governor of Bauchi State, Nigeria from August 1985 to December 1988 during the military regime of Major General Ibrahim Babangida. Garuba was born in Ipole, Otukpo Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.

Colonel (retired) Abdulmumini Aminu was military governor of Borno State, Nigeria between August 1985 and December 1987 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. He later became Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association, and then Chairman of the West Africa Football Union.

Colonel (retired) John Yahaya Madaki was appointed military governor of Katsina State, Nigeria in December 1989 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. He handed over to the elected civilian governor Saidu Barda in January 1992 at the start of the Nigerian Third Republic.

Brigadier General (retired) Ahmed Abdullahi was Military Administrator of Kwara State, Nigeria between December 1987 and July 1988 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

2011 Nigerian presidential election election

Presidential elections were held in Nigeria on 16 April 2011, postponed from 9 April 2011. The election followed controversy as to whether a northerner or southerner should be allowed to become president given the tradition of rotating the top office between the north and the south after the death of Umaru Yar'Adua, a northerner, when Goodluck Jonathan, another southerner assumed the interim presidency.

1993 Nigerian coup détat

The 1993 Nigerian coup d'état was a bloodless military coup which took place in Nigeria on 17 November 1993 when the Armed Forces, headed by Defence Minister General Sani Abacha, forced Interim President Chief Ernest Shonekan to resign. Shonekan assumed the interim presidency on 26 August 1993, succeeding General Ibrahim Babangida as head of state, in the aftermath of Babangida's annulment of the 12 June 1993 presidential election. In a nationwide broadcast following the coup, Abacha cited the stagnant nature of Shonekan's government, and him being unable to manage the democratic process in the country as a cause of his resignation. In September 1994, Abacha issued a decree that placed his government above the jurisdiction of the courts, effectively giving him absolute power. Another decree gave him the right to detain anyone for up to three months.


  1. 1 2 3 Lewis, Peter (March 1996). "From Prebendalism to Predation: The Political Economy of Decline in Nigeria". The Journal of Modern African Studies. 34 (1): 79–103. doi:10.1017/s0022278x0005521x. JSTOR   161739.
  2. 1 2 "Ibrahim Babangida 1941– Nigerian president and military officer". Encyclopedia.com.
  3. Agbese, Dan (2012). Ibrahim Babangida: The Military, Power and Politics. Adonis & Abbey Publishers. pp. 19–40. ISBN   9781906704964.
  4. 1 2 Agbese (2012). Ibrahim Babangida. pp. 48–49.
  5. Agbese (2012). Ibrahim Babangida. p. 83.
  6. Siollun, Max (2009). Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966 - 1976). Algora. p. 97. ISBN   9780875867090.
  7. Siollun, Max. "Buhari And Idiagbon: A Missed Opportunity For Nigeria". Gamji.com. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  8. "Leadership, Policy Making, and Economic Growth in African Countries: The Case of Nigeria" (PDF).
  9. Iloegbunam, Chuks, "Nigeria: Perspectives: Jubril Aminu And Ebitu Ukiwe: the Main Point", Vanguard, 14 December 2004.
  10. "How Nigeria got to 36 States (Timeline of State creation in Nigeria)". 2 August 2018.
  11. Oyeniyi, Bukola Adeyemi; Falola, Toyin (February 2015). Nigeria. ABC-CLIO. p. 58.
  12. "The Orkar Coup of April 22, 1990".
  13. Omoigui, Nowa. "The Orkar Failed Coup of April 22, 1990 Part 2". Urhobo Historical Society. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  14. "The City as Public Space: Abuja - the Capital City of Nigeria" (PDF).
  15. Campbell, Ian (1994). Nigeria's Failed Transition: The 1993 Presidential Election. Journal of Contemporary African Studies. pp. 179–199.
  16. Human Rights Investigation Violation Investigation Commission of Nigeria (HRVIC) (May 2002). "HRVIC Report Volume Four - Case-by-Case Records of Public Hearings" (PDF). NigerianMuse. pp. 103–106. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  17. "Generals evade Nigeria rights panel". BBC News . 1 November 2001.
  18. "Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations" (PDF). Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Nigeria). May 2002.
  19. Mahtani, Dino (15 August 2006). "Former military ruler of Nigeria seeks presidency". Financial Times .
  20. "Nigeria's 'evil genius' enters election race", IOL.
  21. "Babangida to contest Nigeria poll". BBC News . 15 August 2006.
  22. Ologbondiyan, Kola, Sufuyan Ojeifo and Oke Epia, "IBB: I Withdraw for Gusau, Yar`Adua"], This Day, 12 December 2006, p. 1.
  23. "Blow to Babangida's Nigeria bid", BBC News (11 December 2006).
  24. "IBB Formally Declares to Contest for President". 15 September 2010.
Military offices
Preceded by
Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi
Chief of the Army Staff
Succeeded by
Sani Abacha
Preceded by
Muhammadu Buhari
President of the Armed Forces Ruling Council of Nigeria
17 August 1985 – 26 August 1993
Succeeded by
Ernest Shonekan