Sunday, June 12, 2016
JUNE 12 1993 - Light A Candle
It was a very bright and sunny day. It was election day in Nigeria. after scuttling the re-election of Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the NPN in 1983 and after dribbling Nigerians for 10 years the Military was finally willing to return to the barracks and mind their constitutional responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of the Country and so Professor Humphrey Nwosu fixed today as the election day to choose between Moshood Abiola of the SDP and Alhaji Tofa of the NRC (both parties were created by the Military President – Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida).
So like millions of Nigerians, I also queued up to vote in the Option A4 pattern of voting adopted by Nwosu for the purpose of making the election free and fair.
As results were being declared from the States, they went to the election bill board erected by the then Electoral Commission so that nobody had any chance to “doctor” it before the announcement.
So more or less, the overall election results could be gleaned from the election bill board.
It was one election that was devoid of all the violence that used to mar previous elections in the Country and the world was on hand to declare it the “freest election ever held in Nigeria”
Despite the fact that Abiola’s ticket was a Muslim – Muslim ticket, Nigerians of various religious inclination including the atheists were in the process of choosing Abiola to be the President which was confirmed by the number of States that had made returns to the Election Bill Board before the “sword of Damocles” fell.
Humphrey Nwosu’s fingers were removed from the Bill Board and his voice was arrested and his physical presence removed from the venue of the announcement and Nigerians were informed that the election was inconclusive and therefore ANNULLED
It was one announcement from the Powers that be then that Nigerians rejected flatly and the agitations that followed led to the death of so many innocent Nigerians who just wanted a better day and deal for their beloved Country through the election of M. K. O Abiola a man who rose from dust bin to International acclaim, who would have been a classical model for the “Nigerian Dream” just as there is an “American Dream”
Lives were lost, innocent blood was shed, houses were burnt, properties worth millions of the old naira were destroyed in the agitation to validate the result of the June 12 election.
NADECO was formed and the progressives and the opposition found themselves in one camp against a common “enemy”
MKO and quite a number of notable Nigerians went into exile and NADECO in diaspora was born.
Somewhere along the line with the contraption put in place by the stepped aside Military President and headed by a Yoruba man – Ernest Shonekan, the Interim National Government was hoisted on Nigerians but they were not assuaged.
The clamour to validate the June 12 election became even more intense and Abiola was persuaded to come back and fight for his mandate.
Listening to his friends and political associates, Abiola came back to a tumultuous welcome and heightened the agitation to validate the June 12 elections and declare him winner.
After about 3 months in office, the ING was scrapped and our dear Sani Abacha stepped in as Head of State.
Every effort was then made to muscle and silence the June 12 election validation agitators,
Abiola was declared enemy of the state and arrested and when the juicy offices of the State were being shared Abiola’s friends and associates including those who swore that they would not abandon him come rain or sunshine jumped ship and picked up offices with the Government of General Sani Abacha – what a wicked world!!!!!
They led him to the gallows and abandoned him there – WHAT A BETRAYAL.
Abiola’s wife Khudirat was the one on ground and fighting for the mandate of her husband but somewhere in the twilight, life was snuffed out of her with heavily loaded shots from superior machine guns in an orchestrated accident.
Dark days indeed
So while Abacha was busy trying to trans-mutate from a Soldier in Khaki to a Democrat in babanriga through being the ONE and ONLY HEAD upon which all the caps of all the ethnic groups in Nigeria fitted, suddenly there was an apple and Abacha DIED IN OFFICE,
Abdusalami Abubakar stepped in as Head of State, there were talks of reconciliation, then there were visits by foreign dignitaries to Abiola trying to persuade him to drop his agitation but it appeared like he preferred to die in detention and, he drank tea that they offered him, then subsequently Abiola died of cardiac complications as the autopsy revealed and so with the death of Abiola, the agitation for the validation of the June 12 1993 elections died a natural death but THE PEOPLE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN.
June 12 2016 – exactly 23 years today by date
May the souls of all those whose blood was shed for the present civilian administration we are “enjoying” now continue to rest in peace.
Spare a thought for those who died wanting real and genuine democracy for their Country, LIGHT A CANDLE TODAY!!!!!
God bless you as you do that
Dr. Jerry - the First Oguzie: JP