June 12 1993: IBB Wants Credit For Conducting Free, Fair Election
A former military leader, General Ibrahim Babangida, could have written a biography that will contain what happened to June 12, 1993 election, but his belief is standing on his path.
He had annulled an election adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeria's democratic history, but not so much is known about why the leader truly took that decision.
General Babangida had said the election was annulled because of security threats to the enthronement of a democratic government at that time.
While some Nigerians condemned the decision to annulled the election at that time, with some still marking June 12 as the setting-in of democracy in Nigeria, the man that annulled the election wants credit for conducting an election he described as freest and fairest in Nigeria.
The election was clearly won by late Moshood Abiola- a philanthropist and successful businessman - who ran on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.
However, he never had a glimpse of what it means to be President.
On a national television, General Babangida expressed dissatisfaction that despite explaining why the June 12 election was cancelled, nobody cared to listen.
Since the annulment of that election, the former military leader has continued to claim that he had a good relationship with the Abiola, even when Nigerians doubt the genuineness of that statement.
“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.
"So, it is a matter of time. One day the younger generation who will be coming out to read will say, we have heard the other side, let us hear the other side.
"May be we will then have a better society, well informed (about) what happened they will then be able to say no, I think this is the true story,” he 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," he said. Babangida stressed further that the election was widely accepted to be the freest in the history of Nigeria, but wondered why he had not received any credit for conducting the poll.
Nigerians criticisms may not have changed anything about General Babangida's life, as he said he loved being criticised.
But he wants Nigerians to look beyond the annulment of the election to the real reason he had given.
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