Former Military Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has opened up on why he annulled the June 12, 1993 general election which favoured Late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
Gatekeepers News reports that the June 12, 1993 election which was considered as the freest and fairest poll in Nigeria’s history, was contested between MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
Abiola was the leading candidate when Babangida annulled the election results over allegations that they were corrupt and unfair, a decision widely critizised.
However, on Friday, IBB said if he had not annulled the election, a coup d’etat would have occurred.
“If it materialised, there would’ve been a coup d’etat — which could have been violent. That’s all I can confirm,” he said when he appeared on Arise TV.
“It didn’t happen thanks to the engineering and the ‘maradonic’ way we handled you guys in the society. But that could’ve given room for more instability in the country.”
According to him, the pressure was from both within the military and outside the military.
“Both. The military can do it because they have the weapons to do it, and others (civil society groups) can use agitation,” Babangida said.
Gatekeepers News reports that on how IBB acquired the nicknames of “evil genius” and “Maradona”, he said the sobriquets were manufactured by the media because of his “deft political moves”.
“That’s the very good thing about the Nigerian media and Nigerian people, you have to anticipate them. If you anticipate them then you live well with them. They call me ‘evil genius’, I marvel at that. The contradiction — you can’t be evil and then a genius,” he said.
“The definition of Maradona I got from the media is because of deft political moves. That’s the way the media described it.”