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June 12: We were deceived into working with Abacha - Zwingina

June 12: We were deceived into working with Abacha - Zwingina

- More facts are emerging on the June 12, 1993 annulled election in Nigeria

- Senator Jonathan Zwingina who featured prominently in that period has given more insight into some happenings back then

- According to him, the late Abacha deceived SDP members into working with him

The Director-General of the MKO Abiola campaign organisation, Senator Jonathan Zwingina, has revealed that SDP members who served in the government of Abacha all had the permission of Abiola.

The Adamawa-born former lawmaker said this during a live breakfast show on Channels Television on Monday, June 11.

Zwingina, who ran the campaign tagged ‘Hope ’93,’ further said Abacha deceived them into working with him.

READ ALSO: You cannot honour Abiola and admire his tormentor Abacha at the same time - Soyinka tells Buhari

His words: “I have been the secretary of most of the meetings on the June 12 campaign and I can tell you some facts that we sat in a meeting chaired by MKO Abiola and agreed as a team to work with the government of Abacha in anticipation of declaring June 12 after about six or 12 months.

“That is what happened. Nobody just ran away. That is not correct. I have seen it in the media. Everything is just speculation."

Zwingina said he was in possession of the minutes of the meeting where the decision was taken by Abiola and others to serve in Abacha’s government.

He added: “It may not be quite accurate to say somebody jumped ship or ran away from a mandate. That is not accurate. I had the list of those who were presented to General Abacha and we had protests about some areas and they were corrected.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we can say we were deceived but the fact was that we had good faith, we believed it was going to happen and so we threw in our best heads. The late Onagoruwa didn’t really want to be in the government but I remember that my principal (Abiola) said to him ‘look, if you are not there and June 12 is being discussed, who would speak for me?’

“This same argument was presented to Lateef Jakande and other leaders and this was what encouraged them (to work with Abacha). It is true that we were given this impression strongly that this was going to lead to the validation of the June 12 mandate and I am speaking with authority because I have the minutes of the meeting.”

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Meanwhile, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said the declaration of June 12, by President Buhari as Democracy Day and the award of GCFR to late MKO Abiola serves as an acknowledgement that the latter won the 1993 election.

Tinubu in a message entitled 'The Immortalisation of Chief MKO Abiola,' said that the award of the GCFR was also an acknowledgement that Abiola should have been allowed to serve as president after winning the free and fair expression of the popular will of the people.

He said that the declaration was a good news for democracy and a proud moment for Nigeria.

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