General Ibrahim Babangida, a former military Head of State in Nigeria has revealed why he annulled the presidential election of June 12, 1993 in which Bashorun MKO Abiola allegedly emerged the winner. General Babangida stated that he was mandated to annul the election because of the looming security threats to the induction of a democratic government back then. According to him, he and the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) knew that if the democratic government was installed at that time, it would have sparked a military coup deta’t, and that was his government wanted to avoid by all means.
He said his government had decided that it would be the last administration to assume the seat of power via a coup. He further added that it will make no sense enthrone a democratic government that will not last beyond six months. However, he acknowledged that the presidential election held on June 12 was not only free and fair, but one of the best elections ever conducted in the history of Nigeria and even till date. He went ahead to say that despite providing this explanation to Nigerians when the incidence occurred, many of them did not believe him.
June 12, 1993 will forever hold a place in the history of Nigeria. Apart from the election that was annulled on that day, Nigerians dedicate that day to the memory of Late MKO Abiola, the icon that lost his life amidst the chaos caused by the incidence. Many, if not all, the states in the south western part of Nigeria even declared June 12 a public holiday in memory of the late icon. However, the states in the northern and eastern parts of Nigeria are yet to follow suit.