Tuesday, April 27, 2010
BABANGIDA CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO LEAD NIGERIA AGAIN - an article by Hasfat Abiola.
I first heard about IBB‘s declaration of intent to run for the position of President of Nigeria while in Jakarta attending the World Movement for Democracy‘s 6th Assembly. Since then, many people on social networks like Facebook have been asking me to join one or other campaign opposing IBB‘s bid to run. So far, I haven‘t done so. Principally because I think all citizens in a democratic country have a right to seek any office in the land. Indeed, this principle was precisely what both my parents gave their lives to defend. However, as a concerned Nigerian, I would like to register my reservations about his declaration. Nigeria is a long story of stalled potential. So rich in human and other resources, it should be the jewel on the continent‘s crown. Yet, here we are, divided across ethnic nations, religion and class, poorer now than we were at independence. The challenge of moving the country forward is daunting, indeed, and the single leadership currency that stands between failure and success is not past experience, nor capacity, but trust. Nigerian people must trust whoever steps forward to lead them. Unfortunately, trust is an elusive quality even in the best of times, emanating from an individual‘s ability to do what he or she says. Considered in this manner, no other public figure suffers from a greater deficit of trust than IBB. We could speak about so many reasons for this deficit, but let us focus on one: June 12, 1993. On that day, millions of people lined up to cast their vote because they trusted their head of state who had organised the elections, who had promised to step aside for a democratic government based on the results. These millions saw the elections annulled, their votes set aside. Till today, IBB has given no credible explanation for failing to do what he said, for letting Nigerians down.