National News

Babangida demands credit for conducting Nigeria’s freest election, says he deserves it

Nigeria’s former military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (Rtd) has demanded credit for conducting the country’s freest election.

He said nobody gives him credit for conducting the freest elections in the country in 1993 even though it was annulled.

Babangida had on Monday during an exclusive interview on ‘Roadmap 2019’, a Channels Television programme said, he had tried to explain why the June 12 election was annulled but nobody cared to listen to him.

Image result for Moshood Abiola
Presumed winner 1993 Presidential election, late Moshood Abiola

Recall that late Moshood Abiola, a philanthropist and successful businessman won the election which was later voided by the then military junta spearheaded by General Babangida – A decision that plunged the country into political chaos for several months and almost tore Nigeria nationhood apart.

Image result for Ibrahim Babangida in military uniform
Military president, Ibrahim B. Babangida

The 1993 poll, which was adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s democratic history, was the first presidential election held in Nigeria since 1983 when the military led by Muhammadu Buhari then as a General in the army took power in a coup on the 1st of January, 1984.

The late business mogul, Moshood Abiola contested under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and defeated Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NCP) in a landslide victory.

The former military dictator, however, revealed that he had a good relationship with the presumed winner of the election, late Moshood Abiola, saying they had communicated at different occasions.

“Nobody has ever sat down to say the two persons are friends, what went wrong? We tried to rationalise why we had to do what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us,” the elder statesman said.

“I have never seen anybody write anything on this to try to give people a different version altogether. He (Abiola) knew my feeling; I knew his feeling about the country generally because I do talk about Nigeria with the presumed winner of the truly democratically freest election. We even talked about it during the crisis itself.”

On whether is he is planning to write an autobiography, the former military president said, “People may not read it because it’s coming from a dictator. Yea, he cancelled June 12 and that will kill the thing about the book, but I will try.

“I hope one day if God spares my life I will discuss about it (June 12 elections) because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to put across.

“Nobody has ever sat down to say the two persons involved are friends, what went wrong? We tried to rationalise why we had to do what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us.

“I have never seen anybody write anything on this to try to give people a different version altogether.”

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