“It didn’t happen, thank God for the Maradonic way we handled you guys in the society”
Twenty-eight solid years after, former military President Ibrahim Babangida on Friday unsealed his mouth and gave real reasons for the annulment of the 1993 June 12 presidential poll widely won by Chief MKO Abiola, his erstwhile ally.
Some decades down the line, tongues have been wagging as to the cancellation of the announced poll results by the then Chairman, National
Electoral Commission, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu.
Babangida had on June 24, 1993 annulled the poll results.
Persecondnews recalls that the political gaffe had set the country on fire as the election was adjudged the freest, fairest and the best in the annals of national elections in Nigeria.
Aftermath of the annulment saw to the energence of pro-democracy groups especially NADECO championing the de-annulment of Abiola’s popular mandate.
Babangida, the 79-year-old fondly called IBB or Maradona for his political and military schemings and diabolical plots while in office, told Arise TV: “If it materialised (If the election had gone through), there would have been a coup d’etat which could have been violent. That’s all I can confirm.
“It didn’t happen, thank God for the Maradonic way we handled you guys in the society.”
In 2018, Abiola’s victory was confirmed when the Buhari administration awarded him a posthumous Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
GCFR is an honour reserved for heads of state.
Confronted by ARISE TV interviewer, Ngozi, why he took the decision, Babangida like a jerk responded: “Do you want me to be honest with you? The election could have given room for more instability in the country.”
He claimed he was pressured by the military and the civil populace to annul the election.
“Both. The Military, they can do it because they have the weapons to do it. The other is the social agitation,” IBB said.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Abiola’s kinsman had recently described the poll annulment by Babangida as ‘bad belle’.
Persecondnews recalls that Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) had trounced Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The political crisis that engulfed Nigeria culminated in a coup by the late maximum ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha after he sacked an interim National Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan installed by Babangida as he was forced to step aside.
Abiola had at the historic Epetedo declaration on the Lagos island declared himself president and was subsequently taken to custody in Aso Rock, Abuja, where he died in 1998.