Babangida, Ibrahim

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Babangida, Ibrahim

Ibrahim Babangida (ēbrä´hēm bäbän´gēdä), 1941–, Nigerian military and political leader. After graduating (1963) from Nigeria's military college, he joined the army and received further training abroad. A senior officer in the 1967–70 Nigerian civil war, he rose to the rank of major general by 1983. That year he participated in the coup that brought Maj. Gen Mohammed Buhari to power; Babangida became army chief of staff. In 1985 he seized power, becoming president and commander in chief. Although Babangida instituted a number of political and economic reforms, there was widespread corruption during his tenure and the economy faltered. He permitted the formation of two political parties and allowed democratic elections to restore civilian rule in 1993, but he then annulled the results. As protests and strikes roiled the nation, he resigned (1993) and then supported Gen. Sani Abacha, his former defense minister, when he soon seized power. Babangida made an abortive move to secure the People's Democratic party (PDP) presidential nomination in 2006. In 2010 he announced his intention to seek the presidency in 2011, but northern PDP politicians settled on Atiku Abubakar as their consensus candidate for the nomination.

See study by L. Diamond et al. (1997).

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