The matter of Christy Essien closeness to the IBBs
Editor, Reading the article on the abrogation of the oil dichotomy by Ebe-Ndaeyo in the print media recently; I tend to agree an angle suggested by the writer where he felt that the accelerated treatment given to the abrogation instrument was partly because of the personal relationship the Lady of Songs (Christy Essien Igbokwe) had with the IBBs.
In year 1992 I was still with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and in retrospect remembers that the Commission was to be merged with the Nigeria Police Force by IBB regime; the decision was almost certain.. But with our planned programme at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on 26th October 1992 and involving the Lady of Songs on stage whom our bosses (Retired Vice Admiral Akin Aduwo and Dr. Olu Agunloye) had specifically briefed to help avoid the merger plan through (her) appealing, on our behalf, to IBB as she did with the onshore offshore oil dichotomy matter. And right on stage there, she begged and gave good reasons why FRSC should not be merged with the Police. IBB whom I noticed with Abacha (both laughing) when Christy made the request must have been saying between themselves something like “this madam beggar has come again-o”. Nonetheless IBB obliged and that was why FRSC remains till date as its entity. Not only that, IBB further told FRSC to go to the appropriate quarters and collect the fund that was requested in the speech read by FRSC boss Admiral Akin Aduwo at the event. We later that evening had a 'Victory Dance Party' at the Nicon-Noga Hotels.
The audience attendance at the event was very scanty that no one expected that President Ibrahim Babangida would attend. But I later discovered that IBB attended the event because it was confirmed to him that Christy would be on stage for performance.
When the programme was over, I believe Christy must have been taken unaware when the President walked on his way out in company of late General Sanni Abacha (then Chief of Army Staff), Mr. Sam Amuka (publisher of Vanguard newspaper), Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi and few others; to where Christy was standing. In pidgin English, IBB said to Christy “Christy how now……..?”; I could not recollect other things he muttered to her and also what Christy replied.
Obi Nede-Nuhu, 405 Ikorodu Road, Lagos .