Former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, has revealed reasons he annulled the June 12, 1993 Presidential election which Bashorun MKO Abiola, was adjudged the winner.
Babangida said he was compelled to nullify the election because of security threats to the enthronement of a democratic government at that time.
Babangida gave the reason yesterday on a TV programme, Moments with Mo, anchored by Mo Abudu and broadcast on MNet channel of DSTV.
Babangida, who described the annulment as “unfortunate” revealed that he would launch a book on the saga next year.
He also said that having been in government at the time, he and the Armed Forces Ruling Council, AFRC, knew that the new democratic government to be installed would sooner than later be toppled through another military coup deta’t, which he said his government wanted to avoid.
He said his regime had decided that it would be the last administration that would ascend the seat of power through coup, adding that it would make no sense to install a democratic government that would be truncated within another six months.
He, however, admitted that the June 12 presidential election was free and fair and also the best of all elections ever conducted in Nigeria’s history.
He said, “June 12 was accepted by Nigerians as the best of elections in Nigeria. It was free and fair. But unfortunately, we cancelled that election. I used the word unfortunately, for the first time.
“We were in government at the time and we knew the possible consequences of handing over to a democratic government.
“We did well that we wanted ours to be the last military coup deta’t. To be honest with you, the situation was not ripe to hand over at the time. Forget about the wrong things that happened in politics.
“The issue of security of the nation was a threat and we would have considered ourselves to have failed, if six months after handover, there was another coup. I went through coup deta’t and I survived it. “We knew that there would be another coup deta’t.
“But not many people believed what we said. They could have allowed me to go away and then they (coup plotters) would regroup and stage another coup. This is how coups are staged – one man will always come to complain.
“And he will try to convince you about his complaints.
“When there are two things, you have an option – this or that or nothing. We tried to regulate the number of political parties. We knew what to do.”
Babangida, who expressed fears that his revelation might put him in trouble, was not categorical about his presidential ambition come 2011.