Former military president of Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida, popularly referred to as IBB, has said that people have refused to hear his own side of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election saga.
General Babangida was widely criticized by Nigerians for annulling the June 12, 1993 Presidential election adjudged as the most credible election in the history of Nigeria.
Babangida swas speaking on a programme on Channels Television titled, ‘Roadmap 2019’ on Monday.
The former military leader noted that he does not get the credit for conducting the ‘freest election in Nigeria”
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.”
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.”