Wednesday, September 18, 2013

COINCIDENCES: Of Pope Francis, Babangida, Lamido Sanusi, Buhari and the APC

There are some interesting coincidences between Spain and Nigeria in respect of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Ibrahim Babangida, Muhamadu Buhari and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. All these eminent Nigerians are Muslims and Spain used to be a Muslim country.

Pope Francis is a Jesuit, meaning he belongs to the Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius of Loyola. Pope Francis was head of the Jesuits in Argentina. “On the morning of the 15th of August, 1534, in the chapel of church of Saint Peter, at Montmartre, Loyola and his six companions, of whom only one was a priest, met and took upon themselves the solemn vows of their lifelong work.”

Babangida was born August 15, 1941. Babangida was given the Argentinian name Maradona by the Nigerian press.

Pope Francis was born December 17, 1936 and Muhammadu Buhari December 17, 1942. July 31 is known as Saint Ignatius of Loyola Day and Central Bank Governor, tipped as a possible presidential candidate like Buhari, was born on July 31, 1961. The registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was accepted on July 31, 2013 by INEC.

Ignatius of Loyola was born in Northern Spain in 1491. He was a soldier. Ibrahim Babangida was born in Northern Nigeria in 1941 – also a soldier. 1491 could be said to be a rearrangement of 1941.

Babangida is an ex-General of the Nigerian Armed Forces and Ignatius was a Superior General of the Catholic Church.

Ignatius took up arms for the Duke of Najera, broke his leg and injured another. He was known to limp, had surgery and spent a long time recovering after being taken home by French soldiers .

Babangida fought in the Nigerian Civil war. Sustained a leg injury, known to limp, had surgery and spent a long time recovering in a Hospital in France.

Najera sounds like Nigeria. Najera is associated with the River Najerilla. Nigeria is associated with the River Niger.
Ignatius lived in the Castle of Loyola in Spain. Babangda lives in a Mansion in Minna, Niger State.

July 31 is known as the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius of Loyola died July 31, 1556. On July 31, 1991 Babangida declared open the Executive Chamber of the Presidential Villa (where maters of state are deliberated).

Interestingly, Raymond Dokpesi, the director of the then Babangida Presidential Campaign Organisation, is an old Boy of Loyola College Ibadan.

COINCIDENCES appears fortnightly on Wednesdays. The columnist, Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, is based in England, Britain, but can be reached via e-mail through


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