Niger Delta: I forgive Ibrahim Babangida

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I was still sitting on the fence as to whether to forgive IBB on his role in the annulment of June 12. But after reading Chief Duro Onabule, a trusted former aide of his, in the interview granted a newspaper during his 70th birthday anniversary coupled with what I read from an article written by Obong Ndarake on the abrogation of oil dichotomy in Nigeria, I now join people who saw IBB as a man who may have believed in justice and fair-play.

I, to a large extent, forgive IBB on the premature rape on our democracy as represented by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections, which his late friend MKO Abiola won. All those military men (then) who pushed IBB into succumbing to the annulment are now enjoying democracy in Nigeria with some of them occupying various 'elected' and appointed positions.

It is true that if IBB did not get the abrogation carried out before leaving office, by now it would have still remained unattainable through the National Assembly. You can imagine simple review of the country's Constitution has been going on from the inception in the hallow chambers in the past ten years and nothing tangible in sight that to the direction of sincerity of purpose. Our electoral act reform and State creation are all now at the back-burner.

Though the oil dichotomy has been abrogated, the custodians (State governments) of the derivation funds are not allowing it to flow to the affected communities as appropriate. A more acceptable formula should be evolved to avoid the squandering of riches now going on, which has left the affected communities wallowing in poverty, pollution, degradation and want.

Mrs. Benedicta Apia,
Ezikwo Road,
Abakaliki, Ebonyi State

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