The Men who'll change Nigeria in 2015

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General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB)

Former President of Nigeria (1985-1993)

Date of Birth: 17/08/1941
Place of Birth: Minna, Niger State

Married to Maryam King, with four children.

Education: Government College Bida, 1957-62; Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna, 1962-63; Indian Military Academy, 1964; Royal Armoured Centre, United Kingdom, 1966, 1967; Advanced Armoured Officers’ Course, Army Armoured School, United States, 1972-73; Command and Staff College, Jaji, 1977; Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, 1979; Senior International Defence Management Course, Naval Postgraduate School, USA, 1980.



Career: Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Nigerian Army, 1963; appointed Commanding Officer, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 1964-66; promoted to Captain, August 1968, and Major, April 1970; Instructor and Company Commander, Nigerian Defence Academy, 1970-72; appointed Commander, Reconnaissance Regiment and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, 1974; Inspector and later Commander, Nigerian Army Armoured Corps, 1975; promoted to Brigadier, 1979; appointed Director, Army Staff Duties and Plans, 1981-83; promoted to Major-General, March 1983; appointed  Chief of Army Staff, 31 December, 1983; member, Supreme Military Council, August 1975-October 1979 and December 1983-August 1985; became Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, 27 August 1985; President of Nigeria, 1985-93.

Commentary:  Nicknamed 'Maradona' for his political survival skills, General Babangida took power from Muhammadu Buhari in a palace coup in August 1985. He was Head of State until August 1993, when he annulled the June election after Yoruba candidate Moshood K.O. Abiola had won it.

Babangida came to power promising to end corruption and human rights abuses, but his regime stands accused of some of the worst abuses in Nigeria's history. A report by economist Pius Okigbo on how the Babangida regime spent windfall profits after the first Gulf War would have shed more light but was never published.

A multi-millionaire, Babangida has an extensive network of wealthy Nigerians loyal to him, some rumoured to be fronts for his corporate interests. He was a runner in the PDP's presidential primaries but withdrew in January 2011.

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