After 30 years of arms struggle against the government in power, General Baba Ladde, the country’s war commander has laid down his arms to support President Mahamat Kaka Derby, son of ex-leader, late Idriss Deby.
This could indicate that the government and the people of Chad will witness lasting peace under the regime of president Mahamat Derby.
Recall that late Idriss died of wounds suffered on the front line in the country’s north, where he had gone to visit soldiers battling rebels, according to the armed forces on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.
Reports say that the rebels were bent on stopping the announcement and inauguration of the president who was re-elected for the sixth term of five years in office after scoring over 79 percent of the total votes cast in the recent Presidential Election in Chad.
In this interview with Neptune Prime’s correspondent, Saleh Inuwa, on Tuesday, General Ladder revealed why he preferred to drop his arms and work for the peace of Chad.
Neptune Prime: Am I speaking with General Abdulqadri Baba Ladde, the leader of the popular front for recovery in the Chadian Republic?
Baba Ladde: Yes, but you pressmen can be funny, what is about me that you don’t know since I was introduced to you before my release from prison in Southern Chad, yes, I am the one, I want us to talk about the ongoing political crisis in my country.
NP: Okay, General I am listening, and secondly, I am extremely happy to hear your voice because recently lots of military commanders lost their lives in Chad.
Baba Ladde: When I left Nigeria in January, I was driven to a hideout of Fulani leaders somewhere near the Chadian Republic, we drove for five days, day and night before reaching where they kept me in the hands of some Fulani Leaders, you know I am the President’s General worldwide of Miyyati – Allah in those days, whenever I come to Nigeria, we use to meet in Late Dr Mahmud Tukur’s house in Kaduna, Mahmud Tukur was Buhari’s former Minister for Commerce, the President himself used to attend the meeting, so I am well known to the Nigerian leader and some of his senior government officials.
NP: I remembered, I was fully involved in the media campaign to get you out of Chadian Prison recently, and later, you were invited by some senior government officials in the Buhari Cabinet, what happened next?
Baba Ladde: I was invited through the office of the National Intelligence Agency, I am familiar with Director-General Ahmed Rufai who once worked in Chad representing Nigeria, so the invitation was for me to broker peace between the Nigerian Government and Fulanis for them to laid down their arms and in return, the government will grant them amnesty and also assist them by rehabilitating them financially, I was put up in a hotel for one month and we had series of meetings but that was the end of it, I was told that the sum of N3 billion was set aside to handle the exercise, but one day, I was taken out of Abuja in the night on the orders of NIA and driven for 5 hours before arriving in a Fulani facility where I was kept and was promised that some foreign powers will meet me soon and arrange for me how I will return to chad and participate in the just concluded general elections.
NP: What happened next?
Baba Ladde: Yes, I met some people from some foreign countries but as God may have it, late President Idris Derby dispatched a powerful team of Chadian national and met with me on the need for me to drop my presidential ambition and return to chad and work for the late president, here it quickly came to me that Nigerian government is implementing a script which Idris Derby was fully part of it, I agreed and return to Chad, I was put up in a hotel by the president’s men where I am now granting you this interview from, I was virtually in-charge of his presidential campaign because of my popularity, I was the one speaking with the press locally and internationally and my party logo was put alongside that of the president’s, remember I was to run on the ticket of Popular Front for Recovery, we won the election massively.
But, unfortunately, the president lost his life on the day the election result was announced, thank God the army appointed his son to head the country, this is one of the reasons why I am now part and parcel of the government and will not go back to gorilla activities again.
Our new president is 37 years old and I am 50 years old so we are going to stay here and develop our country.
NP: Before we round up the interview, tell us who is General Mahamat Abdulqadri Baba Ladde?
Baba Ladde: I was born in Gounou Gaya province in 1970, the day I was born other 29 women gave birth to children in the hospital and I was the only male, so I was crowned as prince by the other women.
One day I was told when my mother was carrying me at her back somebody in white attire appeared to her and told her that she should take good care of me because one day I will be a great personality in life.
Even Chadian and International Media have been speculating that I may emerge the next president of Chad after Idris Derby that was why the Late President has been jailing me left and right making life difficult for me.
I am an NCE holder, a General in the Army, I have a Junior brother who is also a General in Chadian Army, in fact, people are still speculating that I have top officers in Chadian Army working with Idris Derby that are sympathetic to me but that is a lie, I was in the bush for more than 30years when there was crisis in the Central African Republic that prohibited Muslims from praying, I landed in Central African Capital with my troops and dealt with the incumbent president, we restored peace in that country and since then, all rebel groups fighting Chadian government wanted me to lead them but I am 50 years now, I have three wives, one in N’Djamena, one in Kano Nigeria, and the third one died recently in Cameroon, I have only one daughter and I cannot continue staying in the bush,
I will be working hard to assist our president so that we will collectively restore peace in Chad whatever comes after that, I will gladly accept it and work for my country but no more gorilla activities, after all, I am now a full-blooded politician and my party will work hand in hand with the ruling party.
I wish they can be another avenue for the Nigerian Government to allow me to bring all our Fulanis to a negotiating table but unfortunately, I am now fully engaged in bringing peace to my country.