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2019: New IBB book may be game changer

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How much would he tell?

By Akpo Ometan

 

A new book by Nigeria’s former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, IBB, may  be the game changer in the forthcoming 2019 presidential elections, some commentators are remarking.

The book, Setting the Records Straight: The Autobiography of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is expected to be released to the reading public in January, 2019.

It is coming under the imprint of the Ibadan-based publishing concern, Safari Books.

Past Nigerian leaders have been under enormous pressure to publish accounts of their life and stewardship.

When the exile-returning Chief Emeka Ojukwu came under such pressure in the 1980s, he published Because I am Involved, under the Spectrum Books label but many critics expressed their disappointment that the contents did not address many of the salient issues that they had expected to read about.

One other leader who has repeatedly been challenged to publish his own memoirs is General Yakubu Gowon.

About the most significant exception in the past leaders silence club is General Olusegun Obasanjo who has published several copious accounts of his life and stewardship.

Now the reading public is waiting to read about how much the former military President who has since been nicknamed ‘the Evil Genius’ and ‘Prince of the Niger’ would be letting out in the new book and how Nigerians would be responding to the ‘expose’ which would most significantly be coming out only days to the crucial 2019 polls which is clearly going to be a watershed moment for the Nigerian nation.

Some of the salient topics that readers are looking forward to being addressed include accounts of his relationship over the years with the two leading presidential candidates in the forthcoming polls, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Other high-points being expected are details of what transpired during the June 12 annulment saga, the controversial 53 suitcases incident and his purported turnaround in the restructuring debate.

A source who claims to be abreast of the book’s contents remarks that the text is ‘quite balanced.’

You, who is reading this piece, will also have your own ‘day in court’ to assess its contents once it has been released.

Two issues however are arising. One, would it be as ‘controversial’ as Professor Chinua Achebe’s last book, Another Country? And two, how many copies would it possibly sell in Nigeria, and that is if, considering the touchiness of the national environment, someone would not already be considering heading to the courts to seek an injunction restraining the publication and circulation of the forthcoming memoirs?

We wait.

 

Former President, Ibrahim Babangida

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