I have written about June 12 1993 or I have mentioned it in several essays before.
It is very important that we keep writing about it so that the story does not get distorted.
It’s been 18 years since Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida destroyed the hopes and dreams of a better Nigeria.
Nigeria and Nigerians lost the opportunity of being led by MKO Abiola.
It is sad because no one knows if Nigeria would have become a better place today or even one of the greatest countries on earth. We will never know what we missed or did not miss by the presidential mandate that was stolen in broad day light.
What happened on June 12 1993?
On June 12 1993, millions of Nigerians voted in the best election ever conducted in the history of Nigeria.
The elections itself had been planned along two party system. Social Democratic Party’s candidate was Chief MKO Abiola while Alhaji Bashir Tofa was the candidate of the National Republical Convention.
Nigerians voted massively in favour of Moshood Abiola.
Bashir Tofa (the opponent) was said to have sent him congratulatory messages.
As the results were announced, the prices of goods and services were falling.
There was happiness all over Nigeria. There was hope that a new dawn has come.
There was a tailor who refused to be paid for the services he had rendered. He was so overjoyed that “at last” hope has come to the people.
Bus conductor and drivers were offering free rides. You didn’t have to pay anything.
That was the spirit and mood until Nigerians received a rude shock from the military gangsters led by one notorious Ibrahim Babangida. He announced the annulment of the results of the elections without reasons.
There were many hypotheses trying to explain or justify the annulment including that Abiola was a creditor of the federal government, or that a few idiots would not like to see him be president of Nigeria.
Some people said it was because of what he did when he was in NPN that he betrayed or opposed Awolowo, a fellow Yoruba politician. He is also alleged to have sponsored military coups in Nigeria.
No form of arguments would justify the annulment of the June 12 1993 peaceful presidential elections.
The fundamental thing about June 12 was that an election held and Abiola won.
By cancelling the decisions made by Nigerians in a democratic process, treasonable felony was committed by Babangida and those around him including the late Abacha.
Babangida should be arrested and tried not only for corruption but for treason and crimes against humanity. Why is Babangida still a free man in Nigeria?
Are some people above the law in Jonny’s country?
The annulment was resisted by many true democrats, some were killed and many went into exile.
Many innocent Nigerians died in the failed struggle to actualize the annulled mandate.
Many Nigerian politicians sold their souls for porridge because they could not stand on the June 12 mandate. Political prostitution is an old business in Nigeria.
Baba Gana Kingibe was a prince of the game of political prostitution long before Atiku Abubakar.
Nigerian traditional rulers who could have pressurized the silly Babangida kept mute. They loved bribes because their prosperity is built on them.
Those whom we thought were leaders became rulers and accomplices to the crime. Obasanjo said Abiola was not the messiah. I don’t remember MKO claiming to be one.
Abiola died without realizing his dreams and without claiming the mandate he got from millions of Nigerians in the most peaceful and fairest election ever in the history of Nigeria.
The circumstances surrounding Abiola’s death remains controversial. He died in the arms of American visitors sent by Bill Clinton. He was poisoned in the presence of the American delegation. It has become one of the several conspiracy theories that he was killed by the Nigerian military government with the assistance of the Americans.
Abiola’s nephew told me how the issue of repatriation seriously pursued by Abiola became one of his likely undoing.
Those who are too young to understand the June 12 story should continue to discern what they read because lies will be told. Many things have been said against Abiola. Some of them may be true but nothing said can take away the fact that he won the election and that Babangida is a living criminal.
How the laws work in Nigeria is still a mystery. How can someone commit treason and be free?
The 2011 elections are by no means close to the peaceful and fair elections of June 12 1993.
And for those who are superstitious it appears that until something is done to make amends for the devilish errors of
June 12 1993, Nigeria may never make progress. Living conditions have become worse since then.
When Obasanjo was imposed on Nigerians in 1999 politicians thought they have made amends for June 12 1993. That was an error of judgment. Obasanjo was anti-June 12, so it doesn’t count in the superstitious world. In fact it may have added salt to the injury.
Since 1999 the standard of living has dropped and gotten worse. More people have become poorer and lives have been lost in several conflicts.
I do know that the Nigerian government also stupidly adopted May 29 as democracy day in Nigeria.
Sometimes I wondered how Nigerians allow the useless government to impose things that are evil on them.
It would have been better, to honour those who gave their lives for democracy that June 12 be made the national democracy day.
Or we just don’t have any democracy day and still honour these unsung heroes on October 1st every year.
Rather what we do is to decorate accomplished political looters and thieves with national honours.
It appears to me that for as long as we continue to deny the truth about the significance of June 12 and its role in the establishment of our struggling democratic process that we may not make any real progress in this country.
During the presidential debate in 1993 Abiola spoke to Nigerians and answered their questions on what his plans are and how he will help Nigeria to become great.
June 12 came with a manifesto and programs of hope. That is why it is sad that we didn’t experience the reign of Abiola.
A mandate similar to what Abiola got in 1993 and the hopes and confidence that came with it are necessary ingredients for growth and development of Nigeria.
I don’t think anybody can rule Nigeria successfully without a mandate similar to that which Abiola obtained in 1993.
It cut across religion, regions and tribes. It was a universal mandate, made in Nigeria.
It will also be impossible for anyone to lead Nigeria and make meaningful progress without a manifesto of hope and programs that are well planned and thought through.
The positive impacts of Abiola’s victory lasted a few hours; they are part of the most memorable hours of my life. For the first time in my life, then in 1993, I saw hope on the faces of Nigerians. As a country we saw light at the end of the tunnel but the light faded away, very quickly.
In 2011 we remain in the tunnel.