June 12: Babangida was under threat – Ezeife

Mon Jun 11th, 2018 - Abuja (FCT)

…says Nigerians never expected Buhari’s honour on Abiola

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA – A former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife has said that former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida was under serious threat from the military hierarchy to annul the June 12, 1993 elections.
MKO Abiola -Died for June 12 1993 election and IBB – Annulled June 12 election

Dr. Ezeife who disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard in Abuja also said that many Nigerians were shocked over the honour from President Muhammadu Buhari to the acclaimed winner of the June 12 election, Chief Moshood Abiola, alleging that many Nigerians have known the government of negative things.

He also said that if the acclaimed winner of the June 12, election could be honoured, the head of the electoral umpire that midwifed the election adjudged to be the most credible elections in the country should also be honoured.

Ezeife who was a governor within the period Chief Abiola won the annulled election also said going by the way things were going in the country, it appeared the country had not learnt anything from the June 12 experience.

He said, “We have not learnt any lessons from June 12. But what I am hearing now, it is as if nothing happened, anything can repeat itself many times over before we learn a lesson. It was a traumatic period especially for those of us who were directly involved.

“As for the importance of it, as you know a Muslim/Muslim ticket cleared the whole thing including Kano where the opponent came. So, nobody knows the whole truth but I was close to Babangida and he was telling me that the melitatry were opposed to (the declaration of Moshood Abiola as winner of the election). He said ‘will you like me to be killed?’ as if he had recognised the victory of Abiola and that if he (Abiola) is made President, people will kill him and kill the new President.

“So I said this one it is your job to do it but protect yourself as you do it. Of course he tried it didn’t work.

“So if we stand 20 years from now and look at this decision, it will be commended, many people will commend it, nobody will be opposing it. And now nobody is against the President except that most people don’t believe that it was done in the interest of the nation. Some people think it is some plot to harvest Yoruba votes in 2019. It may not be and it may also be.”

On his view at the President Buhari’s gesture to Chief Abiola, he said, “I look at it as self serving. From the kind of thing we are seeing coming from the same direction, this one stands out as odd not like what should be expected from there.

“This is too positive to be expected from there. What normally you see is some negative actions that are not popular but this one is a good one.”

On how the 2019 elections could be improved, he said, “That is where one problem exists. Somebody conducted that election that was so good and I think that it is the problem where we are thinking narrowly or about our self interest.

“If we are looking at June 12 and we recognize the significance of June 12, the person who was the INEC man who conducted that kind of election should have been remembered along with Abiola and Kingibe and other person. That is one indication that the look was not comprehensive by its own merit.”

Also responding whether the President was right to make such a declaration without passing through the National Assembly he said it was the good intention that people should be bothered about.

He said, “I think a good decision should be applauded but should be done well. I am sure any mistake can even be corrected now. Of course I am not a lawyer, I have heard of posthumous award and I don’t know what was wrong with this one.

“But in a place where things are working, the government, executive especially and the legislature will take glory in doing the right thing and then do it together. But this one was not done so. I have read comments but as I said I am not a lawyer so I am not vast to comment in being able to comment on that.”




source: Vanguard