[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Fri Aug 19 08:56:42 CDT 2011
Death Penalty Should Be Removed as Inherently Cruel and Inhuman
The Congolese parliament should adopt draft legislation for a specialized mixed
court to try those responsible for the worst human rights violations in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, but first it should modify the draft law’s
articles prescribing the death penalty as the only applicable punishment, a
group of 30 Congolese and international human rights organizations said today.
A new version of the draft law was adopted by the Council of Ministers on July
30, later submitted to the senate, and is now being reviewed by the senate’s
Political, Administrative, and Judicial Commission.
The draft legislation proposes establishing a mixed court – referring to the
inclusion of both national and international staff – within the national
judicial system to try war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of
genocide committed on Congolese soil since 1990. The mixed court would be
charged with trying the most serious crimes committed both before and after the
Rome Statute, which created the International Criminal Court (ICC), entered
into force in 2002, so long as the crimes are not being prosecuted by the ICC.
The Congolese government would therefore meet its obligation to ensure the
implementation of the ICC’s complementarity principle, according to which
Congolese courts are responsible for prosecuting international crimes after
The current version of the legislation appears to mandate the death penalty as
the only applicable punishment for those convicted of crimes by the mixed
court. The death penalty is a sanction that is inherently cruel and inhuman and
is universally beset with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error, the
“The mixed court can give victims hope that they will finally see justice for
the vicious cycle of unpunished violence that has plagued Congo for decades,”
said Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, international justice advocacy director at
Human Rights Watch. “The legislation holds great promise, but the death penalty
provision should be amended or the court risks becoming an instrument of
The presence of international staff alongside Congolese judges and judicial
staff is an essential characteristic of the proposed court. Congolese staff
will also play a key role in assuring the success of the court, given their
deep familiarity with the context and their knowledge of Congolese law. This
mix of national and international staff is important to help strengthen the
institution’s independence, as well as to bolster the national judicial
system’s capacity to try these complex cases, so that the national system can
work alongside the court. The current text guarantees the presence of
international staff in the court’s chambers, but their presence in the
prosecution and registry offices would remain discretionary.
“Requiring the presence of non-Congolese prosecutors and investigators is
essential to the court’s independence,” said Georges Kapiamba, vice president
of the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO) in
Kinshasa. “Lawmakers have the opportunity to show that they too want a
completely credible court by supporting an amendment to ensure a robust
International staff recruited for the court should have extensive experience in
prosecuting complex crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity,
and a proven willingness to share this knowledge with their Congolese peers.
Non-Congolese Africans who have participated in the work of international
courts and tribunals, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,
the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court,
should be particularly encouraged to participate.
Congolese civil society has expressed strong support for the government’s
proposal to establish a specialized mixed court for grave crimes in Congo.
Representatives of nongovernmental organizations from each of Congo’s 11
provinces, as well as international organizations, met April 6 through 8, 2011,
in Goma, where they adopted a Common Position on the government’s initial draft
legislation, recommending a number of important improvements.
“The government’s openness to civil society’s comments to improve the draft
legislation has been welcome,” said Raphaël Wakenge, coordinator of the
Congolese Coalition for Transitional Justice. “Civil society and the victims of
atrocities now have their eyes fixed on lawmakers to make sure the promising
improvements in the mixed court legislation to date are not undone by the death
penalty’s inclusion as the only punishment available.”
The Congolese government made the courageous decision to establish a
specialized mixed court in response to the October 2010 publication of the
United Nations Mapping Report on serious human rights violations committed in
Congo between 1993 and 2003. This report documented 617 alleged violent
incidents, covering every province in the country, and described the role of
all the main Congolese and foreign parties responsible – including military or
armed groups from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Angola, or controlled by the
governments of these countries.
The report also noted that the Congolese judicial system does not currently
have the capacity or sufficient guarantees of independence to ensure justice
for these crimes. The report therefore suggested other possible options,
including the creation of a mixed judicial mechanism.
Serious human rights violations continue in Congo, notably in the east of the
country. The proposed court would also have jurisdiction over these crimes and
would therefore send a strong signal that the fight against impunity had passed
a decisive milestone.
“The Congolese government made a courageous decision in proposing the creation
of this mixed court,” said Dismas Kitenge, vice president of the International
Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). “Our lawmakers should now show that they
are equally determined to put an end to impunity by adding the improvements
that are still needed, and passing this legislation quickly.”
The following organizations have endorsed this press release:
1.Action des Chrétiens Activistes des Droits de l’Homme à Shabunda (ACADHOSHA)
2.Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture au Nord-Kivu (ACAT/NK)
3.Action Sociale pour la Paix et le Développement (ASPD)
5.Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l’Homme (ASADHO)
7.Campagne Pour la Paix (CPP)
8.Campagne pour les Droits de l’Homme au Congo (CDHC)
9.Centre de Recherche sur l’Environnement, la Démocratie et les Droits de
10.Child Protection Consulting Group (CPCG)
11.Coalition Congolaise pour la Justice Transitionnelle (CCJT)
13.Encadrement des Femmes Indigènes et des Ménages Vulnérables (EFIM)
14.Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits l’Homme (FIDH)
15.Fondation Points de Vues des Jeunes Africains pour le Développement (FPJAD)
16.Groupe d’Associations de Défense des Droits de l’Homme et de la Paix
17.Groupe Justice et Libération (GJL)
18.Human Rights Watch
19.Initiative Congolaise pour la Justice et la Paix (ICJP)
21.Ligue pour la Défense et la Vulgarisation des Droits de l’Homme (LDVDH)
22.Maniema Libertés (MALI)
23.Observatoire Congolais des Droits Humains (OCDH)
24.Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Féminines (PAIF)
25.Réseau des Associations de Droits de l’Homme du Sud-Kivu (RADHOSKI)
26.Réseau d’Initiatives Locales pour un Développement Durable (REID)
27.Solidarité des Volontaires pour l’Humanité (SVH)
28.Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (SOFEPADI)
29.Solidarité pour la Promotion Sociale et la Paix (SOPROP)
30.Union de Familles pour la Recherche de la Paix (UFAREP)
(source: DR Congo)
Troops Stormed Room Where Demonstrators Hid, Town Residents Say
Libyan government forces appear to have executed 10 protesters following an
anti-government demonstration in the town of Bani Walid on May 28, 2011, Human
Rights Watch said today. Earlier on that day government forces fired on
apparently peaceful protesters, killing at least two and wounding 10, in the
government-controlled town about 170 kilometers southeast of the capital,
Tripoli. After the protest a rebel sympathizer apparently killed a government
paramilitary commander and two bodyguards.
Human Rights Watch interviewed six men with knowledge of the day’s events,
including 3 who saw government forces fire on the demonstrators. Three of the
men spoke on cell phones with the protesters who were later killed as they
sought shelter in a nearby building after the demonstration. One of these men
watched government forces storm the building and heard automatic weapon fire.
“The apparent execution by Libyan forces of 10 men is stomach-turning,” said
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights
Watch. “Libya’s government should recognize that atrocities committed even in
remote places like Bani Walid will see the light of day.”
Libya’s Minister of Justice Mohammed al-Gamudi andGeneralProsecutor Mohammad
Zakri told Human Rights Watch during a recent visit to Tripoli that they were
unaware of any killings in Bani Walid on May 28, or any investigations there.
Videos apparently showing the May 28 demonstration in Bani Walid and parts of
the apparent execution have been available on YouTube for several weeks, but
details of the killings only emerged when Human Rights Watch interviewed the
witnesses and victims’ relatives in early July, after they fled the
The witnesses and other Bani Walid residents told Human Rights Watch that the
May 28 protest was the first significant anti-government demonstration in the
town since a protest on March 3, which proceeded peacefully. At the first
anti-government protest in Bani Walid, on February 20, government forces fired
in the air to disperse about 800 marchers.
The May 28 demonstration began about 3 p.m., when a crowd of nearly 300 people
gathered in front of the Saadi Tabuli school and peacefully shouted
anti-government slogans, three witnesses told Human Rights Watch. None of the
protesters were seen carrying weapons during the demonstration, they said.
Three videos viewed by Human Rights Watch apparently of the demonstration show
no protesters with visible weapons.
When the demonstration began to grow, three witnesses said, a government
paramilitary group called the Jafal Nusur el-Fetah (“Jafal”) opened fire on the
crowd, killing at least two men and wounding 10. One of the wounded protesters,
“Ahmed” (not his real name), told Human Rights Watch how the government forces
“They [the Jafal] were about 150 meters away,” he said. “The shabab [youth
activists] ran away. I was wounded right away, around 3:15 p.m., with [bullet]
fragments close to my eye and in my abdomen.”
Ahmed showed Human Rights Watch an X-ray of his head that he said was taken
after the attack. According to a radiologist who reviewed the X-ray for Human
Rights Watch, it shows metallic densities above the eye consistent with some
kind of metallic artifact, possibly a bullet fragment.
Another demonstrator, “Hassan” (not his real name), described the fatal
shooting of one of the protesters, Abdulnasser Rafufy.
“Abdulnasser died right next to me just after the shooting started, around 3:30
p.m.,” Hassan said. “He got a bullet in the head, and there were bullets coming
at us from everywhere.”
Embarak Salah Futmani, the opposition National Transitional Council
representative from Bani Walid, told Human Rights Watch that he received a
phone call at 4:30 p.m. saying that the Jafal had killed his son, Youssef
Embarak al-Salah Futmani, a 28-year-old lawyer, along with two others. The
father identified his son in one of the videos that Human Rights Watch viewed
of the demonstration.
A 3rd witness, “Muhammad” (not his real name), said the Jafal shot his friend
Osama Ali Shafter in both legs. He said he took Shafter to the hospital, where
government forces arrested the wounded man. Members of the Internal Security
force told Shafter’s family that he had been taken to Tripoli.
After the Jafal opened fire, the protesters scattered, the witnesses said.
Hassan and Futmani, the National Transitional Council representative, said that
2 protesters ran to their cars to get firearms.
Around this time, Futmani said, a person believed to be a rebel sympathizer
shot and killed the Jafal commander, Khalifa Jibran, along with two of his
bodyguards. Other Bani Walid residents said that Jibran was killed that day,
but they did not know the time or circumstances of his death.
By around 4 p.m. a group of at least 10 protesters had sought shelter in a room
above a bakery in the Trade Building next to the Saadi Tabuli school. Hassan
told Human Rights Watch that he joined the men in the room, but left by 4:30
when he heard more shooting outside. He said that “maybe 2 of them [in the
room] had weapons.”
Hassan said he then watched from across the street as Jafal forces surrounded
the Trade Building. The demonstrators inside began to communicate with friends
and family by mobile phone, including with Hassan and 2 others interviewed by
Human Rights Watch.
Over the next 3 hours, Hassan said, he watched men going in and out of the
building, apparently trying to convince those inside to surrender. Around 7:30
p.m. the men inside apparently gave up their weapons.
“I saw someone come out with the weapons – 2 or 3 guns,” Hassan said.
Hassan said that immediately after the man carrying the surrendered guns
emerged from the Trade Building, armed Jafal paramilitaries rushed inside. This
was followed by the sound of automatic weapon fire from inside the building.
Hassan said he did not see any Jafal members emerge wounded or other evidence
that the men in the room had opened fire. He told Human Rights Watch:
As soon as this person in civilian clothes took the weapons out [of the
building], the Jafal went in. The person who came out with the weapons tried to
prevent the Jafal from going in, but they pushed him out of the way and went
in. About 24 Jafal went in…I heard gunfire. I heard insults and crying.
At least one video appears to show the shooting inside the room. Human Rights
Watch could not confirm that the video was shot on May 28 in Bani Walid, but
Futmani identified two of the bodies in the video as his nephew, Mustafa
Abdullah Salah el-Futmani, a 29-year-old imam and professor of Islamic studies,
and 38-year-old Fawzi Shlafty. Bani Walid residents told Human Rights Watch
that they believe the video was recorded on the cell phone of one of the Jafal
The video shows at least seven motionless men on the floor. A group of men in
civilian clothes, one wearing a cap with Muammar Gaddafi’s photo, are standing
and shouting in a western Libyan accent. One man is visible pointing a handgun
and another holds a rifle. At one point, a man can be heard saying: “He’s
alive, he’s alive.” About 14 individual gunshots and a short volley of
automatic gunfire follow.
Bani Walid residents said that Jafal Nusur el-Fetah is the primary security
force in the town. Futmani said the Jafal is loosely organized: some members
wear uniforms and others do not. Some are also members of the Revolutionary
Committees and Revolutionary Guards, civilian forces aligned with Muammar
Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, he and other Bani Walid residents said. One witness
said that members of the Revolutionary Committees and Civil Guard [Haras
el-Shabi] were among the forces that fired on the demonstrators, as were some
members of Internal Security in civilian clothes.
“A prompt and impartial investigation is needed for a full accounting of the
deaths on May 28 in Bani Walid,” Whitson said. “But the Libyan government has
shown no inclination to investigate alleged government abuses or see that they
At the protest:
Abdulnasser Rafufy, age and profession unknown
Youssef Embarak Salah al-Futmani, 28, lawyer
In the room:
Walid Shafter, 31, administrative employee in the agricultural sector
Mustafa Abdullah Salah el-Futmani, 29, imam and professor of Islamic studies
Salah Saeed Bin Gatanish, 35, law professor
Mustafa Hmouda Shafter, 43, professor of accounting
Abdullah Shtewi Shafter, 36, engineer
Fawzi Othman Omar Shlafty, 38, unemployed
Haddoud Suleiman Haddoud el-Wurfally, 26, secondary school student
Muhammad Ali Salah Zbayda, 17, student
Muhammad Rajab Masood Zbayda, early 30s, law student
Khalid Fituri el-Ghazzali, age and profession unknown
A protester, “Hassan” (not his real name), told Human Rights Watch that he saw
the government paramilitary force Jafal Nusur el-Fetah fire on the
demonstrators, wounding several and killing Abdulnasser Rafufy:
Abdulnasser died right next to me right after the shooting started, around 3:30
p.m. He got a bullet in the head, and there were bullets coming at us from
everywhere. We were trying to pull back, hiding behind buildings and cars,
because it was live ammunition. I saw one person wounded in the arm, one
wounded in the leg. Another guy got hit, and blood was pouring out. From the
amount of fire we were receiving, we couldn’t even go and help him. We knew
they were trying to kill us because they were firing from all directions.
Muhammad Suni was next to me when he was hit. Theshabab [youth activists] took
him to the hospital because he got a couple of bullets in the hip.
“Ahmed” (not his real name) said he was wounded by government fire at the
protest. He said he did not go to the hospital for fear of arrest:
We didn’t expect anything like this. We thought maybe they would come separate
us. We didn’t think they would kill us…The [Jafal] was about 150 meters away.
The shabab ran away. I was wounded straight away, around 3:15 p.m., with
[bullet] fragments close to my eye and in my abdomen … If I had gone to the
hospital, they would have killed me. Some of the shabab who were with me went
to the hospital and were arrested; we don’t know what has happened to them.
“Muhammad” (not his real name) said the Jafal Nusur el-Fetah shot and wounded
his friend Osama Ali Shafter. He said he took Shafter to the hospital, where
government forces arrested the wounded man:
Osama was hit in both legs. He had escaped from the area where the protest was
happening and had been trying to make his way to my house. So we took him to
the hospital. I reached the door of the hospital and saw that the situation
wasn’t normal. All the katibas [government forces] were there. I didn’t go into
the main door. The shabab told me to go away because obviously there was some
danger… But the shabab took Osama into the hospital. They took him to a room
for two to three hours, and then he was arrested and disappeared. We think they
took him to Tripoli. When his family went to the hospital later, the Internal
Security [Amn al-Dakhili] said that he had been taken to Tripoli.
Hassan told Human Rights Watch that he called one of the men in the Trade
Building room after he saw the Jafal surround the building:
We tried calling people in the room, trying to help, and they told us, “Hassan,
they are trying to kill us, find a way to push them away.” I talked to Salah
Saeed, a professor of law at the university, and Mustafa Hmouda, who has a
doctorate… They [the men in the building] called me later and said, “Do
something.” A negotiator was sent in; I think his name was Ramadan. He told the
people in the room to give up their weapons and surrender themselves. Mustafa
said they were told they would be fine if they surrendered themselves. I told
them not to give up their weapons because they had to defend themselves. But
Mustafa said, “No, I know the negotiator and trust him.” There were 20 calls
between me and the shabab, trying to find a solution. I think two people had
weapons and they both gave up their weapons…. I saw someone come out with the
[surrendered] weapons – two or three guns. This was around 7:30 p.m., but I’m
Muhammad said he was also on the phone with one of the men trapped in the room:
I was on the phone with Haddoud [el-Wurfally]. No one expected what was
happening. The worst thing we expected was that they would be arrested. And we
were sorry about Mustafa [el-Futmani] and Walid [Shafter] because they were
injured. Walid said, “I am finished, I have lost so much blood.”
The only local radio [Radio Bani Walid] was making things worse by saying the
people in the room were al-Qaeda and Egyptians.
There are no outsiders in the [Jafal]; they are all from Bani Walid. So you
don’t expect a cousin to do this to you. So all we expected was that they would
get arrested. Their treatment would have been terrible; they could have been
taken to Tripoli or to Abu Salim. But no one expected what happened…
Their one request was for us to talk to the elders of the city so they could
come negotiate and get rid of the troops. So we went. I was one of the ones who
went to the elders. Unfortunately the situation was terrible. We couldn’t get
in [to the area where the men were taking refuge]. We went to the elders and
tried to speak to them, but there was no solution. So we went home. All of this
time, we were on the phone saying that the elders were outside and not to
I was on the phone with people in the room until 7 p.m., for about 3 hours.
Neither they nor I expected it to finish the way it did. At approximately 7:30
p.m., after heavy fire, I could see the smoke from above the house. Afterward,
the news started getting out that the people in the room had been fired upon.
At first it wasn’t clear that they had killed all of them. We were shocked,
Human Rights Watch spoke with 3 relatives of men killed in the room, who said
that the authorities took the victims’ bodies to Tripoli before handing them
back to the families in Bani Walid. One man whose relative, Fawzi Shlafty, was
among those killed said that another relative had picked up Shlafty’s body in
Tripoli 3 days after the shooting. Embarak Futmani said that the bodies,
including that of his son Youssef, had been taken to Tibi Hospital in Tripoli.
Another man whose relative, Haddoud el-Wurfally, was killed said his family
received the body 5 days later:
They gave us the bodies on the 5th day. The bodies were first taken to the
morgue in Bani Walid, and then the next morning taken to Tripoli, we think at
dawn, because the kids went early to pick up the bodies and that’s what the
Internal Security told them. The death certificate for my relative is from
Tripoli, not Bani Walid.
Human Rights Watch inspected the coroner’s report for Haddoud el-Wurfally
issued by the district attorney on June 1. It states the cause of death as
multiple bullet wounds.
Following the May 28 demonstration government forces searched houses for
protesters, forcing many of them to leave Bani Walid with their families. All 6
residents who spoke to Human Rights Watch had fled to other parts of Libya.
Embarak Futmani, who left Bani Walid after being in hiding for a week, told
Human Rights Watch:
My name was listed. I left a week later. My name was known…Forty cars came from
Tripoli and started searching all the houses in Bani Walid. They were looking
for people who participated in the demonstration. Even now, they are still
searching…They came into my house between 2 and 3 in the morning to take me. I
was hiding at the time in my home.
(source: Human Rights Watch)
Babangida - Vatsa's Execution, My Most Traumatic Decision
Signing the death warrant of a childhood friend is not exactly a position
anyone would like to be - especially when that friend had become more like a
As former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, marks his 70th
birthday Wednesday, he looks back in pain, revealing that the execution of
Major-General Mamman Vatsa, who was the Best Man at his wedding, for an
abortive coup is "the most traumatic decision I have ever taken in my life".
"We were not only friends, but you can confidently refer to him as family
because our families were not only close but our extended families were too,"
Babangida told journalists at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State,
Vatsa, who was appointed Minister of Federal Capital Territory by Babangida
after a successful coup against Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in August 1985, was
arrested and charged over a plot same year.
Despite pleas that the lives of Vatsa and other military officers be spared,
the then Minister of Defence and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General
Domkat Bali, announced in a televised broadcast on the evening of March 5, 1986
that the condemned men had been executed "an hour ago".
Babangida said he would have spared the life of Vatsa but for the existing laws
which prescribed a death penalty.
"We got caught up with the 1976 coup decree that gave no room for amendment and
we could not have changed it at that time. I could not have asked them to delay
the verdict for the decree to be amended because it could have caused more
problems in the military at that time. "It was a decision I took that I pray I
will never find myself in such a situation in my life. Please do not ask me
this question again because it leaves me devastated," he said in a rare public
expression of emotion.
He traced the history of their friendship to the pre-Independence era when they
were both secondary school boys.
"We came in contact as far back as 1959 when we went to Government College,
Bida together. We joined the Nigerian Army together, went to India (for staff
training) together... so if I tell you that it was not traumatising for me, I
am lying," he said.
He further narrated how devastated he was when he was confronted by Vatsa's
granddaughter who asked him about his relationship with her late grandfather.
"An 11-year-old girl came swimming in my house. When she saw me, she ran to me
and asked me about the relationship between me and her grandfather and I told
her that, yes as she was told, we were very close and we took decisions that
one could die if we did something wrong. Though she did not look convinced, she
accepted and then I told her that when she grows up, she will understand the
complexity of our society," he said.
In an interview with The News magazine in May, 2006, Bali would later cast
doubts on the culpability of Vatsa in the coup plot.
Bali had said: "My regret is that up till now, I am not sure whether Vatsa
ought to have been killed because whatever evidence they amassed against him
was weak. My only regret is that I could not say, 'Don't do it.' I am not so
sure whether we were right to have killed him. I think there must be something
between the two of them (Babangida and Vatsa). I think they went to the same
secondary school or something like that. There was something between them since
secondary school days. I think that they didn't seem to trust each other much.
It may have been something that started when they were in secondary school that
created that long-term hatred."
Babangida admitted in an interview with THISDAY when he clocked 60 in 2001 that
it was after the coup plot that he realised there was deep-seated personal
rivalry between him and Vatsa, "going back to their days as young officers".
Vatsa, who was born on December 3, 1940, was also an accomplished poet and
writer, publishing eight poetry collections for adults and 11 for children.
Some of his published titles include: Back Again at Wargate (1982), Reach for
the Skies (1984) and Verses for Nigerian State Capitals (1973). His pidgin
collection included Tori for geti bow leg (1981). He published a cultural
picture book in Hausa, Bikin Suna, and a charming picture storybook, Stinger
the Scorpion (1979).
His involvement in the arts was more than a façade, as he was also a
facilitator and patron of the arts in Nigeria. He organised writing workshops
for his fellow soldiers and their children and got their works published.
He also helped the Children's Literature Association of Nigeria with funds,
built a Writers' Village for the Association of Nigerian Authors and hosted
their annual conferences.
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor Chinua Achebe and JP Clark
were writers who visited Babangida to plead for Vatsa's life when he was
convicted by the military tribunal headed by Major General Charles B. Ndiomu
(Chairman), who later reportedly expressed his regrets over the execution.
Other members of the tribunal were Brigadier Y. Y. Kure, Commodore Murtala A.
Nyako (now governor of Adamawa State), Colonel Rufus Kupolati (late), Group
Captain Anthony Ikhazobor (late, who was replaced by Colonel E. B. Opaleye),
Lt. Col. D. Mohammed and Alhaji Mamman Nassarawa (Commissioner of Police).
Among those executed with Vatsa were Lt. Col. Musa Bitiyong, Lt. Col. Christian
A. Oche, Lt. Col. Michael A. Iyorshe, Lt. Col. M. Effiong, Major D. I.
Bamidele, Major D. E. West, Major J. O. Onyeke, Major Tobias G. Akwashiki,
Captain G.I.L. Sese, Lt. K.G. Dapka, Commander A. A. Ogwiji, Wing Commander B.
E. N. Ekele, Wing Commander Adamu C. Sakaba, Squadron Leader Martin
Olufolorunsho Luther, Squadron Leader C. Ode and Squadron Leader A. Ahura.
Babangida also spoke on other issues, maintaining that he had no regrets in
life but only wished that there were things he had done differently.
One of those things he would love to do, he said, was the devolution of power
among the three tiers of government.
He also stated that his administration would have fared better if it had access
to the kind of money other administrations that succeeded him had.
"During my years as president, I managed poverty to achieve commendable results
but these days, people manage affluence to achieve poverty. I regret the fact
that the price of crude oil was low during my administration. I wished I was
there when it was $120. Nigeria would have seen wonders," he said.
(source: All Africa News)
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