Nigeria versus IBB.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (alias IBB) overthrew the disciplined government of General Muhammadu Buhari in August 1985 and ruled Nigeria for eight years. Within those years, Nigeria alleged that IBB was involved in the killing, through letter bomb, of one of Nigeria's finest, foremost and brilliant journalists Dele Giwa on the 19 th October 1986. Nigeria is also pointing accusing fingers to IBB that he should explain to her how the $12 billion oil 'freefall' or 'windfall' funds in 1991 were spent. Besides, Nigeria is not happy with IBB concerning the annulment on 23 rd June 1993 of her acclaimed freest and fairest election held on the 12 th June 1993. Nigeria strongly thinks that these issues are too important to be ignored and swept under the carpet especially now that IBB is all-out to rule Nigeria again.
To assist both Nigeria and IBB in fully resolving one of these matters, SERAP, a civil society organization, is interesting in prosecuting IBB. I think this is a good opportunity for IBB to thoroughly lay this matter to rest; instead, he had wrongly warned and told Nigeria to shut-up on the Dele Giwa and June 12, 1993 election annulment. Reason: these are mundane issues! For somebody who wants to lead Nigeria, this democratic decree is highly unfortunate, undemocratic and clearly shows that IBB neither understands society nor understands what it means to lead it. Hence he may not have a good sense of positive perspective of history. Yet, he appropriates history. To lead Nigeria means to assist the country in organizing and administering its resources with the purpose of resolving her social, political and economic issues which she feels strongly about. These three issues must be seen in this perspective.
Unfortunately, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) of Nigeria and other public officers who should be responsible in the resolution of the $12 billion issue are frustrating it by claiming that the original copy of the Dr. Pius Okigbo's Panel's Report on the matter is missing and that the one submitted by SERAP to the AGF is not original enough for them to take up the matter. This is highly illogical and therefore the AGF and all the officers involved in this illogicality should be separately prosecuted for unwarranted high level official fraud and recklessness. Thereafter, IBB should be fully allowed to defend himself on the matter to enable him settle this sore point of his in the history of Nigeria's economic underdevelopment. This must be, even if both IBB and SERAP could base their arguments on a copy that is not 'original enough' or maybe, IBB could assist to produce the copy which is 'original enough'. If these efforts fail, the current AGF should know that he had entangled himself into a thorny issue he probably knew nothing about prior to his appointment and the history of Nigeria will not forgive him for wasting yet another golden opportunity in settling this issue between Nigeria and IBB.
Gani Chambers should again quickly sue IBB on the gruesome death of our dear Dele Giwa. The court and IBB need to allow this matter to be fully prosecuted so that the latter will answer whatever questions concerning the matter. This will facilitate to clear and clean his name on the death of Dele Giwa, especially now that Akilu and co are alive.
Let the human rights groups team up and sue IBB for annulling the June 12, 1993 election because it is a criminal offence to organize an election with the funds and times of Nigeria and waste it. More so, the consequences of that annulment led to deaths of Nigerians, destruction of properties worth millions of Naira and loss of productivity during the crisis. This must be quantified so that IBB and the entire World will know how grievous and serious the losses incurred by Nigeria due to IBB's annulment of the June 12, 1993 election are. The loses are heavy, painful and still affecting Nigeria till date. This is not a matter before constitutionalism; it is one with the social and economic destruction of Nigeria. IBB need to know the consequential weight of what he did to Nigeria. Nigeria is still crying and bleeding from that annulment. Besides, it is not just enough to say, yes I annulled the election, I am sorry. It goes beyond that and that is why he must be fully prosecuted so that at the end, he will lay to rest this nightmare called June 12, 1993. If this is not done, any president can decide to annul Nigeria's elections in the future if he does not like the result.
The courts need to ensure that in all these matters before them, they should accord speedy attention to them so that judgments are delivered before January 22 nd , 2011 when the next presidential election will be held in Nigeria. This will enable IBB to stand cleaned and cleared to seek to lead Nigeria again. Also, Nigeria would have gone a long way to resolve these issues that have been disturbing her since IBB stepped aside in 1993 and wants to step in come 2011. Otherwise, we no go gree !
Okachikwu Dibia Abuja.