Happy 78 th birthday to our father, a legend, IBB a man of reason,
wisdom, experience and leadership. With immense gratitude to Almighty
God, I join millions of family members, friends, admirers, well-wishers
etc across the globe to wish our selfless former President, General
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (GCFR) a beautiful happy birthday as he
clocks 78 years. Sir, let me respectfully wish you a joyful celebration.
Clearly, IBB led Nigeria with humility and industry between December,
1984 to August 1993. Owing to his vision, foresight and craftsmanship in
leadership, Nigeria was united, peaceful, orderly and prosperous under
IBB’s Presidency. There is no contention!
As it stands now, today and this very moment, Governors, Senators,
Reps, Members, Party stalwarts across party lines, Groups, Individuals
etc. streams to the patriot, IBB’s abode-at home or abroad-to seek
advice about how to solve political, social, security and economic
problems facing us as a nation. IBB is indeed a leader with values and
Only some weeks ago the House of Representatives Minority caucus led
by Ndudi Elumelu visited IBB at his home in Minna, Niger State in order
for the former to indulge themselves with the liberty of IBB’s wise
suggestions and ideas so as for them to succeed in moving Nigeria
forward. Sir, our enduring gratitude! Such visits are more apt as
violence, terror and strife are open challenges facing Nigerians today.
Indeed, in IBB, I can see that some people are born leaders-simple,
smart, charismatic and philanthropic.
“Maigida” as he is referred to in many quarters, IBB is a personality that
captures many hearts. He is a man of great accomplishments. This
great Nigerian General understands humanity very well. This high level
of understanding, tolerance and kindness has made him to earn and
keep friends among all the strata of our society-youth, students,
workers, emirs/chiefs, business class, workers, politicians and so on and
An exemplary father, grandfather, husband and mentor, President
Babangida as he then was developed a strategy of consultations with
the academia, clergy, professionals, diplomats and major stakeholders
before taking decisions on many policies, programmes and actions of
his government. A president with a difference one many say.
What is most striking is IBB’s understanding of the complexity, difficulty
and uniqueness of running the affairs of state in Nigeria. That is why it is
difficult to point a finger at him for openly and inappropriately
condemning or attacking any government. Very difficult. But does that
mean he does not give his opinion no matter how dissenting from the
one of the government in power? No! Quite the opposite. Just that he
does it based on person to person and friendly too.
Recall that at several instances, IBB called on Nigerians to fully support
and cooperate with the administrations that came after he left office
including the present government of president Muhammadu Buhari in all
matters because if we get it right, it is to our collective good he believes.
This is the hallmark of true leader; a great statesman.
Nations flourish when God endows them with men that are uncommon.
Men with striking qualities; men with huge appetite to grow and develop
their countrymen, men who respect diversity, men who cherish unity,
men with a great passion to lift their country men and women to where
they ought to be. Thankfully one of such men is a Nigerian, a Pan-
African and a global citizen. That man is IBB, a man of many parts.
Finally, I pray God to endow him more with many more happy years,
good health and wisdom. Happy Birthday Sir, IBB.
Mall. Salman Yusuf