“I didn’t vote for myself. Nigerians voted for me. I’ve already received the presidential election. You can’t re-sit for an examination you will have already handed.”
Dare Babarinsa, veteran journalist and writer of ‘Home Of Battle’ that tour de pressure of a e book on the second republic politics in Nigeria reported MKO Abiola to have stated in one in all his post-June 12 statements earlier than he was arrested and incarcerated. However what prompted the assertion? Why that defiant stance?
June 12 stays a watershed within the historical past of Nigeria. June 12, 1993, was the day Nigerians positioned nationwide curiosity above primordial sentiments. Nigerians performed themselves in an orderly method and filed out to decide on the individual they wish to be on the helm of affairs of the nation in a bid to ship the troopers again to their barracks.
The election was a two-horse race by which Moshood Kashimawo Olawale of the Social Democratic Occasion(SDP) squared as much as Bashir Tofa of the Nationwide Republican Conference (NRC). Abiola’s horse coasted dwelling to victory forward of Tofa’s eagle. Nevertheless, after the horse had breasted the tape the race was cancelled. Ibrahim Babangida the Head of States then ordered a recent election and that was what prompted the opening assertion credited to the late M.Ok.O Abiola. The late enterprise mogul remained as cussed as a mule and demanded the validation of his mandate. The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past.
The enemies of June 12 have been legion. However in celebration of the June 12 epoch, we check out those that belonged to the Abiola’s camp initially however grew to become turncoats because the battle to reclaim his mandate thickened. These are the folks, lifeless or alive, who shouted themselves hoarse whereas chorusing Hossana in help of Abiola on the eve of June 12 solely to desert him and begin shouting crucify him as he wobbled beneath the cross of June 12 and traipsed by way of Golgotha to pay the supreme worth for democracy.
The “evil genius” was the top of the navy authorities from 1985 to1993. Historical past will bear in mind him because the prime architect of the June 12 debacle. He got here up with the 2 events, Social Democratic Occasion(SDP) and the Nationwide Republic Convection(NRC). One, a bit of to the left and the opposite a bit of to the precise—on these platforms MKO Abiola and Basiru Tofa respectively contested. The gap-toothed dictator annulled the June 12 election on June 21, 1993, when it was clear that the winner was the late MKO Abiola and ordered a recent election.
Abiola refused to go to the swimming pools once more. Typically known as Maradona– after the rotund diminutive soccer genius from Argentina– for his political deftness, Babangida would later feint and dribble the nation right into a political cul de sac. On August 26, 1993, Babangida introduced his exit by saying he would ” step apart” thus including a brand new phrase to our ever growing repertoire of political lexicons. By that singular motion, he ushered within the Interim Nationwide Authorities(ING) headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Nevertheless, issues was rosy between the self-avowed evil genius and Abiola earlier than June 12 drove a wedge into their relationship. In reality, MKO stated, in his lifetime, that it was Babangida who first mooted the thought of working for the presidency to him. He raised the thought with him throughout the burial of his first spouse, Simbiat, in Lagos in 1992. IBB, as he’s fondly known as, instructed MKO that he should contest election because the nation couldn’t wait to welcome him as their subsequent president.
Abiola would later remorse trusting Babangida whereas in Abacha’s gulag by saying: ” I believed in a pal. I trusted a pal and he betrayed me. IBB betrayed me.” IBB would later describe June 12 debacle as “unlucky”.
A British-trained Nigerian Lawyer and an Egba Man like Abiola. In a transfer ostensibly make to placate the aggrieved south-western bloc IBB imposed Shonekan as head of an illegitimate contraption known as Interim Nationwide Authorities. Nevertheless,the actual motive for putting in Shonekan was to upstage his fellow Egba man in a means paying homage to how Dr Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi(the Federal Minister of Well being), within the wake of the political disaster often known as operation Weti e that rocked the Western area, was used as a stop-gap by Tafawa Balewa throughout his declaration of state of emergency( the primary within the historical past of Nigeria) in the area ensured Awolowo had been cooling his toes in jail earlier than putting in S.L Akintola his estranged deputy and the Hausa-Fulani minion.
Recounting the occasions that preceded the imposition of Shonekan as head of ING, Professor Omo Omoruyi, the late political adviser to IBB in his expose of a e book titled: “The story of June 12″ (an insider’s account of the intrigues that characterised Gen. Babangida’s transition), stated,: First he ( Shonekan) gave the reassurance and enterprise to the outgoing president(Babangida) that beneath no circumstance would he reopen the June 12 matter. Second, was that he would do all the pieces to divide the Yoruba on the matter of June 12.”
Coincidentally, Abiola and Ladoke Akintola have been holders of conventional title of Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland whereas alive. Shonekan would later be booted out of energy on November 17, 1993, by way of a cold coup by Basic Sanni Abacha. Abacha was the person that introduced June 12 drama to its climax.
A suave retired diplomat who contested in opposition to Abiola within the presidential major election of the SDP and misplaced. Abiola was persuaded by his pals and political supporters to choose Kingibe as his vice-presidential candidate due to his political clout within the North and closeness to Main-Basic Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who was the deputy Head of State within the navy regime of Basic Olusegun Obasanjo. Collectively they offered HOPE 93 to Nigerians.
Sadly, because the plot for the actualization of the June 12 mandate thickened, Kingibe modified camp and ensured that Hope 93 was not simply deferred however fully dashed. Kingibe served as international minister beneath Sanni Abacha, the identical man that arrested and jailed Abiola with whom he ran on the platform of SDP.
Abiola would later remorse selecting Kingibe over Dan Suleiman, a retired air commodore and former navy governor from the then center belt. Abiola referred to Suleiman as a ‘full gentleman’. MKO stated he did know that his working mate had ” in depth connections and relationship” with the safety companies and the navy excessive command. Kingibe contributed to the abortion of the third republic. He would later be honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari with GCON solely due to being Abiola’s working mate. An honour many imagine he doesn’t deserve.
Within the build-up to the 1993 election when Babagana Kingibe determined to throw his hat into the ring for the presidential primaries in SDP, he stepped down because the Chairman of the occasion and Anenih took over. He labored for the emergence of Abiola because the winner of the 1993 presidential election. Nevertheless, the story modified after the annulment.
Annenih was later quoted to have declared that the day the Interim Nationwide Authorities was signed was the happiest day of his life. He even subtly mocked Abiola in his autobiography titled ‘ My Life And Nigerian Politics’. Within the e book, Anenih stated “Chief MKO Abiola as indicated earlier has stated that if you wish to go to Kano, going by air or going by street doesn’t make any distinction so long as you get there.
“His interpretation of this was that going by air meant Abacha taking up from Shonekan and he, Abiola, being sworn within the subsequent day. Going by street was ready until March 1994, when Shonekan would use the Nationwide Meeting at hand over to him as a result of he really received the election.
“Sadly, for Chief Abiola, there was, the truth is, no touchdown, and Kano as the specified vacation spot proved to be a fantasy”.
MKO Abiola regretted doing the bidding of Yar’Adua to make sure the victory of Annenih over Chief Sergeant Awuse. He stated Annenih didn’t seek the advice of him earlier than ” he negotiated away our victory”. The late Professor Omo Omoruyi corroborated Abiola’s declare in his e book. He, nonetheless, included Alhaji Sule Lamido who was the Nationwide Secretary of the SDP as being aware of the signing away of the June 12 mandate.
Former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, like Abiola, can also be from Ogun state. In reality, they each(Abiola and Obasanjo) attended Baptist Boys Excessive Faculty. Obasanjo was stated to have served because the deputy editor of the college journal often known as the Trumpeter, whereas Abiola served as editor.
Abiola initially supported Abiola within the wrestle to reclaim his mandate. Obasanjo had urged Babangida to relinquish energy and cease dawdling on the transition programme. He stated, “Annulment or no annulment, Babangida should depart by August 27. He made the promise, he has to maintain it.” Nevertheless, Obasanjo would later grow to be a renegade of the June 12 wrestle by saying “Abiola just isn’t the messiah”.
Obasanjo would later grow to be the chief beneficiary of the democracy Abiola paid the supreme worth for when he was sworn in on Could 29, 1999, because the president of Nigeria. He saved mum on the difficulty of June 12 all through his tenure.
Like Obasanjo and Abiola, Lieutenant Basic Oladipo Diya is from Ogun State. He served as second in command to the late dictator, Sani Abacha. Diya had promised that Abacha reign can be temporary. Having put his mouth to the nectar of energy, Diya began singing a unique music. In reality, within the warmth of the wrestle for the actualization of June 12 Diya grew to become an instantaneous punster; he derided agbako (woe) the coalition of democrats, often known as the Nationwide Democratic Coalition(NADECO).
He later regretted his motion as Abacha, his boss, would later strive him for planning to topple his regime.
EBENEZER BABATOPE, OLU ONAGORUWA, LATEEF JAKANDE
The duo of Ebenezer Babatope and Lateef Jakande have all the time been staunch Awoists. They determined to serve within the Abacha cupboard on the behest of Abiola who thought Abacha would redeem his pledge of getting civilians as deputy governors. Nevertheless, they refused to again out of the deal when it grew to become apparent that the sport had modified.
Olu Onagoruwa was a firebrand and authorized luminary. He was Gani Fawehinmi’s ally and confidant till he determined to serve beneath Abacha. He was stated to have determined to serve within the Abacha cupboard on the prompting of his fellow Odogbolu townsman, Oladipupo Diya. It’s a unhappy factor that Onagoruwa can be reminded as a ‘villain’ of June 12 having sacrificed loads for activism and human rights. His determination to serve in Abacha’s Cupboard value him loads. And he was ultimately sacked by the dictator.
LAMIDI ADEDIBU, ARISEKOLA ALAO
Each have been Muslims. In reality, Arisekola held the title of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland until he died. And like Abiola, he was a businessman. Nevertheless, each determined to pitch their tent with Sanni Abacha within the battle for the belief of the June 12 mandate. Arisekola and Adedibu hobnob with navy males and different enemies of June 12. Arisekola even defended Babangida on the annulment of June 12 election.
At a press convention, he had stated: “Wallahi Tallahi, Billahillazi la’ila ha illahuwa, and we’re within the month of Ramadan, that’s what occurred at the moment. It was after the election that members of the Armed Forces Ruling Council threatened to kill each MKO Abiola and IBB if he insisted on releasing the results of the election. They threatened to kill each IBB and Abiola,”
Arisekola would later escape loss of life by a whisker when he adopted Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar to the premises of the College of Ibadan for an occasion. Irate college students who felt he contributed immensely to thwart the belief of the June 12 mandate attacked him and set his automobile ablaze.
A former private assistant to the late Kudirat Abiola, spouse of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola who was assassinated throughout the wrestle of June 12. Name him an enemy inside or a fifth columnist and you’ll not be removed from the reality. Shofolahan was prosecuted together with Al-Mustapha, a former Chief Safety Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Basic Sanni Abacha over the loss of life of Kudirat Abiola. Shofolahan was travelling in the identical automobile with the late Kudirat Abiola when she was shot within the brow. Her driver too was killed however Shofolahan miraculously escaped unscathed.
Within the court docket, Mohammed Abdul (a.okay.a Katako), who gave proof as a prosecution witness, narrated how late Kudira Abiola’s private assistant, Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, gave his boss away to the assailants. Although they might later be discharged and acquitted, Shofolahan will go down in historical past as a villain and one of many Judases of June 12.
UCHE CHUKWUMERIJE, TOM IKIMI, WALTER OFONAGORO
The deadly troika, and you could throw Jerry Gana into the combo, labored tirelessly in opposition to democracy. Blessed with the reward of the gab, they deployed their superior expertise into the providers of the anti-democratic forces holding this nation within the jugular.
Chukwumerije who served as info minister within the Babangida regime and Shonekan’s ING was a virulent propagandist within the mildew of Paul Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of propaganda who saved rationalizing holocaust.
He as soon as known as Abiola a generalissimo( referring to his conventional title) that ran away from warfare. And in a second of insanity even requested Basic Abacha to signal a Decree outlawing the point out of ‘June 12’ in public locations. Chukumerije would additionally function a senator earlier than his loss of life. He benefited from Abiola’s sacrifice as properly.
These are simply 12 of the various Judases that betrayed MKO Abiola, the Hope ’93 messiah.