Laolu Akande, journalist, New York:

At least the Socialists have offered an alternative approach to this debt burden debate, even if the alternative is the same old, same old sing song.

But we need someone to really explore for us the legalistic implications of Nigeria not paying this legal debt-even though we know we have overpaid when we look at the total sum of money disbursed over the years. The question is: Do we have any serious legal recourse to challenge the legality of those debts? May be the international legal minds can help here.

Apart from the argument that much of this debt are corrupt-ridden and the position that we are giving the Europeans a huge payday, what option is open indeed to effectively deal with this debt burden different from campaigning for its abolition outrightly on moral and humanitarian grounds?

And if it is indeed true that Nigeria would still need to continue to deal with the International Finance Capital-IFC-how much room does that leave us with in exploiting a fundamental disputation on these matter? Where are the lawyers??!!

_________ Abayomi Akinyeye, historian, Lagos

While one may disagree with the methods proposed for the solution to the Nigerian and African debt crisis, there is no doubting the fact that the DSM has an apt grasp of the import of the so called debt relief.One needs to add that the Paris Club and creditor nations should not pushed the debtor nations to the brink where they have to think of whatever means of sustaining their lives.The current Blair inspired debt deal is another great assault to humanity and clever devise of continuing with aged long British practice of participating in the enslavement of the continent.What Africa and indeed the world needs from Britain is a sober regrets of her past role in African deprivation and sincere plan for future restitution and not another smart moves to continue flogging Africa with scorpions instead of the ordinary whips of yesteryears.Mr Blair should show the world that Britain is capable of better things that she had

---------- Tunde Abatan, journalist, Daily Independent

For the article on Help Us to help ourselves, it is my opinion that the future and destiny of Africa is in the hands of Afrca themselves who have to come to terms with the accidental disruptions to our lifes occasioned by the Berlin Conference kof 1884.however, having spent hundreds of years managing to survive under a disjointed enclave and post independence governments, it is high timne people of Africa take a conscious effort to redesign leadership which to a large extent account for the aid sponsored development projects which in many cases often end up being white elephant projects.Consider the situation with our country Nigeria that has operated a lopsided unitary federalism for the lpast 39 years after the first military coup with the feudal and oligarchic class all over the country holding onto the future of our people.Until there is a fundamental restructuring of our polity which would remove funds that would l have been made available for development from the pockets of our gullotinuos politicians and office seekers the hope of a development of the 36 states structure is impossible .A situation where 90 percent of earnings is spent on maintaining the overbloated civil service is uncalled for.I make bold to say that as a primary school student in the late 60s I experienced responsible governance which is contrary to my three children who have never in any way benefited anything from governance .Anbd that is the disaster with our country which prides itself as the hope of AFRICA.
I also enjoyed your illuminating report on the RCCG exploits in North America and lell us give thanks to God that at least we have something where we can lead the west.