If anybody had told the annullers of June 12, 1993 presidential election results that in 2010 Nigerians will still be talking about it, they would not have believed it. If anybody had told Justice Akpamgbo who wanted Nigerians to be prosecuted for mere mentioning of June 12 that it is going to be an exercise in futility 17 years after, he would not have believed anybody.

If anybody had told the progenitors of the annulment that June will destroy the careers of IBB, Abacha, Ernest Shonekan and many others, they would not have believed it. If anybody had told IBB that the annulment of June 12 will rubbish his career, family, history, personality, business, reputation and honour in years to come, he would have called that person a mad fellow. Now did the annullers know that there would be people’s parliament in New York one day discussing June 12?

Did the criminal annullers know that the events of June 12 would initiate series of events that will shake Nigeria to its very foundation? Did the men of darkness who took Nigeria back by 40 years realise then that they were sowing the seed for electoral robbers in Nigeria? Did they know that Chief M.K.O. Abiola they tried to rubbish will be bigger even in death? Did they know that the man will be better than those who are living today? So many questions, so many questions, and all for the criminal annullers.

In Nigeria today everybody is talking about free and fair elections, and one-man-one vote. Every progressive Nigerian is shouting from the roof top that our votes must count in 2011 but have we forgotten that Nigerians got it right on June 12, 1993? The criminal annullers tried to deceive Nigerians that the annulment was in national interest but see where their lies have put us today.

In 17 years their lies have led the world to describe our dear country as a the empire of thieves, the cesspit of corruption, the shrine of corruption, the house of cards, the nest of killers, the cathedral of debauchery and the home of fools. June 12 has been compared to what Charles Dickens wrote in his book about the Tale of Two Cities. Hear him: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredibility.”

The tragedy of that satanic annulment is that 85% of people that have occupied positions of authority in Nigeria since 1993 have been the worst in Nigeria. And if you expect that these set of mediocres can add value to our society, it may just be a mere wishful thinking. You cannot give what you do not have. Annulment of June 12 1993 elections was an assault on our collect consciousness, it debased our values, stole our rights and inflicted monumental reputational damage on Nigeria as an entity. In fact, it is difficult if not impossible to quantify the damage the criminal cancellation did to our collective psyche. It took Nigeria back by 40 years. And we have been paying the price of that dastardly act.

Now, what can we say about the evil genius, IBB who led the pack to do this colossal damage to project Nigeria? What can we say about this rogue leader who failed to stand up for the country that gave him all in a critical moment? What can I say of a man who had the ample opportunity to put his name in the Hall of Fame but chose to blow it for parochial and primordial considerations? What can I say of a dictator who annulled a decision of 14 million Nigerians in a blank paper and caused the death of 5,000 Nigerians between 1993 and 1998?

What else is left for me to say of a General who caused Nigeria to lose thousands of foreign investors for simply failing to do the right thing? The world respects leaders who convert their bushes into nations and hate leaders who convert their nations into bushes.

As I write this, IBB is going around asking Nigerians to vote him for president in 2011. You destroyed the votes we gave Chief Abiola and even destroyed the man and his wife and you want us to give our votes to you in 2011? Wait a minute IBB! We will vote for you with stones when the time comes! IBB, you are totally finished in Nigeria. Quote me!

In 2004 it was fight for I and Mr. Peter Claver and few others to stop him but today IBB’s inordinate, reckless, and blind ambition has roused the internal anger of millions of Nigerians and there is no place for IBB to hide any longer. IBB should quietly withdraw from this race in his own interest.

Seventeen years after the annulment of the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria, I insist that Nigeria needs to come to terms with that unfortunate incident. If after 17 years we are still talking about free and fair election. I want to believe that we were cursed for what the criminals did. And unless we seek restitution and forgiveness from those we wronged, our collective efforts to build Nigeria may just be an exercise in futility. We must put all our cards on the table concerning what happened on June 12 and speak the truth and nothing but the truth. It is only then that God will forgive us and heal the land.

•Igbokwe wrote this piece from Lagos.