Ebenezer Babatope; Lawyer, journalist, politician and Third Republic Minister of Transport, later Aviation under General Abacha military government. He was also a Director of Research and Publicity of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, as confidant of Obafemi Awolowo. Born January 26, 1933 in Ilesha, Babatope attended Ifaki Grammar School, Ifaki-Ekiti; Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos[i]. He also schooled at the University of Lagos, and University of Buckingham, England. Ebebezer Babatope was among the comrades dismissed from service on August 25, 1978 at the University of Ibadan following the historical student unrest of the year[ii]. In the decade that followed he became Director of Organization of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN. Almost two decades later he joined the post-Abacha era politics as a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Board of Trustees. Babatope authored The Struggle for Power in Nigeria; Abacha Regime and The June 12 Crisis[iii]. The two books were intended by him to be the binoculars through which one would appreciate his role in the June 12 crisis[iv].
As an Awoist, Babatope was a member of the First Western region political head, Awolowo’s socio-cultural group, Afenifere though he denies the modern group consisting of elders at its apex, with whom he shared same political ideology in the second republic. Although his antecedent calls to question his decision to work in General Abacha’s cabinet in 1994, he claims to have no regret doing so[v]. He attended NADECO meetings with Alfred Rewane and the likes of Ayo Adebanjo and Olu Falae[vi].
[i] The News, December 19, 2013
[ii] Tribune, July 31, 2009
[iii] Insider, January 26, 2014
[iv] Vanguard, August 28, 1995
[v] Punch July 28, 2013
[vi] Westerner, August 9, 2010