Letter: Sinister move for Nigeria

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Sir: General Babangida's decision to annul the 12 June presidential poll and to suspend the National Electoral Commission (NEC) is not at all surprising ('Babangida annuls presidential election', 24 June). Most Nigerians have always been sceptical of his regime's promise to hand power over to a democratically elected government. Nevertheless, I had hoped they would have conjured a much more convincing reason for scuttling the transition programme.

Babangida's decision was ostensibly taken to protect Nigeria's law and judiciary system from politicisation and disrepute in the wake of injunctions and counter injunctions issued by Nigerian High Courts since the presidential elections.

Decree 13 of 1993 promulgated by his regime precludes the transition process from interference by civil proceedings. Despite this decree, the military government has allowed civil court injunctions to bar the NEC from releasing the election results. This has sinister implications, especially when all other decrees are always forcibly implemented.

In the interest of peace and stability I do hope his abrupt and ill thought out decision does not sever the already strained forces of cohesion holding our nation together. Democracy is Nigeria's undeniable right.

Yours sincerely,


London, WC1

24 June