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June 12: Military, elites, judges conspired against MKO Abiola

2018-06-11 15:48:00
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Summary :June 12: Military, elites, judges conspired against MKO Abiola – Presidency
ABUJA – THE Presidency on Sunday said that the annulment of June 12 election said to have been won by Chief Moshood Abiola was a conspiracy carried out by military officers, the elites, judges and money bags. The Presidency also stated that some top retired military generals had lobbied to take over the interim government just as it alleged that some money bags pumped in their money to ensure that the election was cancelledSpeaking through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the Presidency said those people that played roles towards the annulment of the election have expressed anger over the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to acknowledge Chief Abiola and his running mate Alhaji Babagana Kingibe with National Award. Besides, Shehu claimed that some of the elites that had been in the habit of cornering the common wealth to themselves were aggrieved that the free money they used to get was no longer flowing, hence, they have decided to gang up against the Buhari’s government. The Presidential spokesman in what he titled, “June 12 tsunami and the ones who won’t forgive Buhari”, further explained that it was only the President that could decide whether the culprits in the June 12 annulment saga will be probed and be brought to book. According to Shehu, “An old Chinese proverb says: Do good, reap good; do evil, reap evil. This short proverb sums the intensity of attacks against President Muhammadu Buhari, not leaving the ratcheting up of violence in some the States after a period of relative calm, in the wake of the political tsunami honouring the heroes of June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was annulled thus preventing the widely-acclaimed winner, Chief M.K.O Abiola (of blessed memory) from taking office as the President of Nigeria. “Even at that time, it was pretty obvious that the unjust annulment was a huge elite conspiracy, well beyond the schemes and machinations, for which the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida had established a formidable reputation. “June 12 annulment was inspired and supported in spirit, cash and in kind by high-level citizens who saw an opportunity for themselves and cashed in upon it. “Beyond the coterie of two dozen or so military officials whose names have been documented as literally having had a gun to the head of their Commander-in-Chief in trying to induce the annulment, there were tens, possibly hundreds of co-conspirators who either forced the annulment in one way or the other, or joined the sustenance of the injustice done to Abiola and Nigerian voters which, from then evolved into an industry of a kind, supplying incomes and conferring privileges of state upon those in the plot. “Many have forgotten by now that an interim government was contemplated at that time and a number of retired army generals were on queue, having been invited to get ready to head it. “There was the foremost social scientist of the Yoruba stock who prophesied to the then rulers, on the day the announcement of election results was suspended that “the Yoruba will not be angry with the Head of State if he will go ahead to annul the election.” Then he did it. “In the media, there were many who conspired against the June 12, including the publisher who told their editors not to “lose your heads over this June 12. After all, was it not Abiola who thwarted the ambitions of …?” “In the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE where I was one of the three Vice Presidents at that time, rising to become the full occupant of the office a few years later, we had our own battles. For example, when Vanguard newspaper correctly quoted me as asking that Abiola be freed or, in the least be tried in court because detention without trial, even under the military was wrong, newspapers, both of them now out of print circulation, the New Nigerian (which still maintains an online presence) and Today, lambasted me for expressing that view. “Their editors, themselves members of the executive committee of the NGE said in a counter statement that those views were not of the Guild since, as they said, the organization hadn’t met to take a position on the matter. “If you are counting the large number of Nigerians united by that annulment, and who must now be very, very angry with President Buhari for righting that wrong which nourished them, one must not leave out the men and women in the temple of justice who used one subterfuge or the other to keep June 12 buried and its biggest symbol, MKO Abiola in detention until his end came (or was induced). Naturally, there is also the fear of the unknown. What will come after this? “Remember that since the incident took place, no past administration in 25 years has asked the question, why was the election annulled? Who annulled it? What were the consequences? Beyond Abiola and his late wife Kudirat, how many people did the nation lose? In terms of the economy, how much was lost? How much of a dislocation was it, socially, politically and internationally? Overall, how much damage did it cause the nation?” Probe of culprits On whether those who played roles in the anulment of the election adjudged to be free and fair, he said, “Now would there be an inquisition into all of the things that happened? I have not been briefed if there is going to be any. Neither have I heard of any discussions on this. I cannot, therefore, speculate. “Should anyone be afraid? Our very erudite and sharp minister, Lai Mohammed said no Nigerian should fear for their rights under President Buhari, unless they are guilty of wrongdoing. I haven’t still mastered the art of predicting army Generals, not even this one. On this question, only the President can say “yes” or “no” if there will be a probe as many have begun clamouring for. “Understandably, anger against the new Democracy Day and honour to Abiola in a few quarters, the intensity of attack on President’s person would mount as the momentum he gains becomes manifest, even as we recognize that the opposition had been gearing up for offensive towards 2019 elections. “In normal times, even before the shocking master stroke honouring Abiola, President Buhari is a leader who had not been in the good reckoning of a powerful, very vocal section of the country’s elite.
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