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Sunday, December 09, 2018

Nobody Wants To Give Me Credit For June 12 1993 Election – Babangida Says



Babangida spoke of the intricacies surrounding the election, and the details of what led to the annulment.

His words: “I think people who said that have not been fair to me because when we started the transition programme, I was in the media; I said we will be doing it step by step, by learning.

Wherever we met a hiccup, we will stop, change it and move again. On this, I was honest with Nigerians. I told them that, and they would have judged me with what I said on that particular issue.

But everybody wanted the military to just leave. But I did say it, that in the process of implementation, we may have a hiccup or mistake. And if we do, we would pause, correct it and then move on.

“Even the transition after the June 12, we gave a time span which again nobody was patient with. But we studied, we compared to either have a non-conventional election or a general election.

And everybody said they wanted to see the country carry out a general election. And you can’t just have a general election within seven days. You have to plan for it. Again, if people allowed us, we said there would be a general election in this country. I think Abacha came in November.

Nobody wanted to listen. Everybody was tired. I appreciate that. I appreciate it. Yes, people were bored and we envisaged it and we said it. We warned you in advance that if this happens, this is our next step. And that led us to the famous June 12.”

Responding to the interviewer’s statement that read: “June 12 is considered the freest and fairest election…”, Babangida said: “And nobody wants to give me credit for it”.

On June 12, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari tendered a national apology to the family of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, for the annulment of the election by Ibrahim Babangida, the then Military President. See Also Politics ‘MKO Was The Winner’ — Buhari Apologises To Abiola Family Over Annulment Of June 12 ’93 Election 0 Comments 5 Months Ago

When asked why he didn’t take the opportunity to support the 1993 democratic process, Babangida said: “Everybody said so. I agree. Even my boss, OBJ, told me that. He said you had an opportunity and if that had gone through properly, history would have recorded it as your greatest achievement.

But then, we discussed at length what could have transpired. Again this: I will always talk about the Nigerian mentality. I think we are always anxious. We are always in a hurry. We want things to get done in the fastest time possible time.

I tried to go out and talk to the public on why we had to do this but we were overwhelmed with criticisms. Nobody wanted to listen”.

He also revealed plans to release his memoir, stating that: “It is a work in progress. It is in the works. I will have time to finish it. It will be soon”.

Afterwards came the question on if he was threatened at the time by General Sani Abacha on being head of state, to which he responded: “No, he couldn’t have threatened me, to be fair to him. But I knew he wanted that job at all cost. You will be reading it…”

Speaking further on why he decided on the annulment, Babangida continued: “I have a conviction that if I get involved in building this environment, I wouldn’t like to be seen as having the environment destroyed. That’s number one.

I wouldn’t be part of the destruction. So, I either make sure I remain with it, and belong there, or a circumstance will come and, eventually, I will leave. When I leave, if it gets destroyed, nobody will blame me.

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