What could turn out to be the real reason behind the famed and almost fraternal closeness between IBB and his former Chief of Defence Intelligence, Brig-Gen Halilu Ali Akilu finally emerged at the occasion of the wedding of Akilu’s second son Ibrahim over the weekend. the event itself was sponsored by Hajiya Bola Shagaya at the Banquet Hall of the Abuja Hilton and had in attendance very powerful Nigerians and their Arab business frontmen. Dame Patience Jonathan was there and Hajia Maryam Abacha put in a very rare appearance.
Anyway, it emerged at the event that the late Maryam Babangida and the mother of the groom (late Mrs Akilu) were sisters born to the same parents. That makes the older Akilu children and the Babangida kids first cousins. Coincidentally, the said Ibrahim Akilu, like IBB’s first son Mohammed and first daughter Aisha, also attended university in Switzerland.
IBB’s own children, Aisha Babangida-Shinkafi and Mohammed Babangida featured very prominently at the event. Well, do we also remember that Lieutenant General Garba Duba (who was a leading and powerful figure of the Buhari and IBB regimes), IBB’s classmate at the Provincial Secondary School Bida, coursemate at the Nigerian Military Training College and colleague in the Armoured Corps is Maryam Babangida’s uncle and it was during IBB’s visit to Duba’s family home during vacations from Bida that he met Maryam for the first time ever.
Well, that is the story of Nigeria. A nation firmly in the clutches of a close-knit network.