Since the Interim National Government was put in place, a great deal of talking has taken place. Even at the time of writing, the matter is before the courts as to whether or not the Interim Government is a baby
properly conceived, fathered and mothered and born.
The facts on the ground SHOW that Nigeria is a country with someone at the head of the Government at the Federal level. He performs the duties of head of state and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.
His name is Chief Ernest Shonekan who until he was enthroned as head of state was the Chairman of the Transitional Council that would have, among others, seen to the organization and conduct of elections
to install a president for Nigeria on August 27, 1993.
That was not to be because of the reasons we already know. Now, we have up to March next year to effect necessary changes for the life of the Interim government to terminate on March 31, 1994. At the rate we are going, we are unlikely to have elections that will be nationally accommodated. Whoever emerges in the event of an election will not have the national support that a Nigerian President at this time needs to push at national and international levels, the contribution of the Black race in the emergence of a new perspective to freedom which is reflected today in so-called pro-democracy movements. These bodies
are on the right path but will discover sooner than later that what they are into is a brand new order that is more predictably objective in its manifestations than the current arbitrary world interpreters now show.
If there is further dithering in taking the bull by the horns to address very impartially, the political problem, we will discover that the choice in March next year will be between the Interim National Government continuing in office and anarchy which may lead to the return of the military. The truth of the matter is that there is nowhere in the Interim constitution that provides for the extension of the life of the interim government, and it will be a most trying period for the legal minds of this country to determine how, say, the National Assembly can extend the life of a government whose existence many have not only questioned but have vehemently denied.
The debate on whether or not there should be an enquiry into the June 12 annulment is, in my view, diversionary. It is not part of our legal system for people to prove their innocence.
It is for the person who accuses another to prove that other’s guilt. Those who annulled the election have the responsibility to prove the guilt of Chief Moshood Abiola. It is not for Abiola to prove his innocence. It will therefore be a most ill-advised step for Chief Abiola or any of his supporters to argue that the enquiry is either unnecessary or that it is set up by a body they refuse to recognise.
The last point that should be made as we watch the clock tick towards March 31, 1994, is that if changes were to occur in a constitutional manner today, who would hand over government to the next President?
Definitely not General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida who has retired to Minna since August, 1993. Can’t we see the need to stretch over backwards to learn to cooperate with the inevitable?
May those in a position to decide for Nigeria act aright so that at thetime of reckoning, those who look back would say, “We thank them for their valour. We owe them our present unity, the fulfilment of this destiny. Most of all, we thank God, Almighty.”