Today in history, June 12 MKO Abiola contested election cancelled by Babangida

Today in history, June 12 MKO Abiola contested election cancelled by Babangida

The history of Nigeria's democracy will never be complete without due consideration of June 12 and why what happened that day started to mean much to the average Nigerian.

June 12, 1993, was the day Nigerians to voted, Chief M.K.O Abiola as the president of Nigeria. But on June 21, 1993, General Ibrahim Babangida, the then military head of state cancelled the election, which most Nigerians at the time saw as free, fair and credible.

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That move by Ibrahim Babangida set in motion a lot of national crises and indeed truncated what true democracy stands for.

The June 12 presidential election in 1993 was the first since the 1983 military coup. The result of the poll clearly pronounced landslide victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

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Abiola floored Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). But to the dismay of most of the electorate, the military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the elections and thereby sparked off serious nationwide unrest that was terminated by a coup by Sani Abacha the same year.

Meanwhile, reported that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in his evaluation of Nigeria’s democratic history, had said that June 12, not May 29, captures the nation's evolution in the struggle for freedom.

This position by Tinubu was contained in a statement he signed to commemorate the June 12 celebration titled, June 12: The truth that sets democracy free in our land.

He maintained that May 29 only stands for Nigeria's transition from military to democratic rule in 1999, adding that the date does not reflect the woes the country suffered even before 1993 as a result of dictatorship. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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