We overthrew Buhari because Nigerians were tired of suffering — Babangida

Former Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has said that they had to overthrow Buhari’s government in 1985 because there was frustration in the society under his regime. He said the sign was clear when Nigerians were saying the “worst military regime is better than this government.”

Babangida stated this in an interview he granted to a team from Zero Tolerance (ZT), a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Asked on the circumstances surrounding his emergence as military president in 1985, he said “First of all, we planned a coup towards the end of 1983 that truncated the democratically elected government and the military government came in January 1984.

“Then that government also suffered the same fate as the democratic government when the military staged one of the finest coup in this country, because there was no blood, nothing was lost, smooth and everybody was treated with the most civility and our administration came.

“When we came in August of 1985 there was a plan to kick us out in December 1985, it didn’t work, they went into operation again in 1990. I think the country was going through a phase at that time, it’s a developing country and we always had one reason or the other for doing what we did at that time.

In whether a rift between him and Buhari was responsible for his actions, he responded, “No, let me give you a lesson today. A coup or change comes about if there is frustration in the society. Just get that right.

“There was frustration in the society between 1984 to 1985. The ground was fertile for a coup. It wasn’t fertile, thanks be to God, in December, 1985 when the first attempt on me was made. Neither was it fertile in April 1990 when the second attempt was made and we had the support of all of you sitting down here.

“You write, you analyze, you talk, and you demonstrated. It was not unusual then to hear, in the case of the democratically elected government in1983, a common phrase was ‘the worst military regime is better than this government’. So you were giving us the impetus to stage a coup. We are not dummies. If we didn’t have the support of all of you, we wouldn’t venture into it.”