Former Head of State Ibrahim Babangida has said he isn’t given enough credit for conducting the freest elections in Nigeria.
The former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, says Nigerians no longer take him seriously because he annulled the June 12, 1993 Presidential election adjudged as the most credible election in the history of Nigeria.
Babangida said this during a programme on Channels Television titled, ‘Roadmap 2019’ on Monday.
Speaking at an interview with Channels TV, IBB discussed the annulled 1993 elections.
The June 12, 1993, elections, often regarded as the freest and fairest elections in the history of Nigeria, had M.K.O. Abiola of the Social Democratic Party run against Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention.
Abiola had been believed to be the winner, but the Head of State at the time, Babangida, soon annulled the elections.
Babangida, speaking in the interview, said it’s often said that he annulled the elections, but no one gives him the credit for conducting the elections.
When asked to explain further if it was true that people dismissed his words because of the annulment of June 12 election, he said, “That is right. They say, ‘he cancelled the freest election in the history but he annulled it’ but nobody gives me credit for conducting the freest election in the country.”
The former maximum ruler said he was hopeful that the younger generation would understand why he annulled the election.
He added, “We try to rationalise why we did what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us. So, it is a matter of time. One day, the younger generation will say they have heard one side and want to hear the other side of the story.
“Maybe by then we will have a better society that is prepared; that is well-informed of what happened within a period of their existence. They will then be able to say this is the true story.”
When asked if he would publish his biography soon to tell his story, Babangida said nobody would read it because of his past.
Babangida said no one had ever reflected the fact that he and the acclaimed winner of the election, MKO Abiola, were friends before and after the annulment.
When asked if he would publish his biography, he said, “I don’t know. People may not read it because it is coming from a dictator. A lot will say ‘he is the one who cancelled June 12 and that will kill everything that I have to talk about.
“I hope that one day God will spare my life so that I can discuss it because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to do. Nobody has ever sat down to say the two personalities are friends, what went wrong.
“I have never seen anybody write about this to try to give people another version of things. I knew his feelings and he knew my own. We even talked about it during the crisis itself.”
See the interview below: