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By Soni Ehi Asuelimen
I suggest a Judicial Commission of Inquiry instituted to try those responsible for the criminal annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, adjudged the freest and fairest poll Nigeria ever held so that the ghost of June 12 will finally rest in peace. It is then the Greek Gift of President Mohammad Buhari of declaring June 12 Democracy Day is converted to the Nigerian Gift.
As part of subtle political move to woo back the Yoruba West who have been heavily shortchanged in three years of giving Buhari the decisive votes that made him to clinch the 2015 presidential poll, after three previous failed attempts, PMB plans second batch of scam appeasement by hosting June 12 activists, a settlement ploy to destroy remnant vestiges of June 12.
The first dubious settlement, ahead of forthcoming February 2019 presidential poll was the giving of national award to the winner of the poll, Chief MKO Abiola, and some June 12 renegades, Babagana Kingibe, the late Abiola’s vice presidential running mate, who renounced the June 12 mandate to appease the powers that be, confirming that Nigerian politicians are largely unprincipled.
With the death of Abiola in prison after Army Arrangement, facilitated by the June 12 poll annuller the military dictator Gen Ibrahim Babangida, self-styled (d)evil genius, Gen Sani Abacha took over as military Head of state, after a contraption called Interim Natioanl Government headed by Ernest Shonekan, a southwest Yoruba, was eased out in three months, dumped after use. Tinubu beware, shine eye.
Before Abiola was allegedly poisoned in prison custody, another Yoruba military General from Ogun state Dagboru Jagbolu and another Davistone from Benue state presided over a conspiratorial 13-man committee to recommend to Babangida the annulment of Abiola’s victory. The marked Benue general had reportedly vowed then that it would be over his dead body that Abiola would rule as president. Why?
Abiola had said during electioneering that he is not interested in probing anybody, of which the military guys were scared stiff, but that he would check corruption by shutting all the financial, public treasury tap leakages, still yawning and fawning abundant today.
Noteworthy is that the beneficiaries of the military appeasement for the ghost of June 12 to go away are all from Abiola’s Ogun State, Shonekan and later Olusegun Obasanjo alledged to have headed this group of conspirators that recommended annulment to Babangida. He had said then that Abiola was not the messiah to heal Nigeria. There is no depth an envious person cannot sink in blind fury. Eight years in the saddle, Obasanjo could not prove he was the needed messiah, wasting humongous billions of dollars on rogue money laundering projects.
Perhaps, to compensate OBJ for the conspiracy against a fellow townsman, out-of-power Babangida constructed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and caused to be freed from prison, which the late Abacha dumped him for his notorious meddlesomeness, and promoted him to contest the 1999 elections. But for the pleadings of global community and the Pope, Abacha would have executed Obasanjo, who is now crying that PMB wants to gulag him.
Yet, the criminal conspiracy to annul June 12 led to the death of many Nigerians, many were forced into exile, many jobs, including mine then, were truncated. Military arrangement of Obasanjo as military head of state was believed to have rigged Obafemi Awolowo out of the 1979 presidential contest in favour of Fulani Shehu Shagari. Obasanjo’s comment before announcement of that result was that the best candidate may not win. Obviously then, Awolowo was the best candidate, going by his track records as western region premier.
The summary of it all is that no amount of appeasement and bribery will rest the ghost of June 12, which stands for the betrayed ‘HOPE 93’ that Abiola capsuled. Let’s beware of the curse of an aggrieved, cheated of rights. A family, a nation could suffer heavily from such a curse if not genuinely confessed with restitution. Obafemi Awolowo cursed, over the believed rigging that Nigeria will not know ‘genuine democracy’ after 1979 poll. Have we had the democracy that procures the greatest good for the greatest majority, which Abiola exemplified, since 1979, before the irrepressible ghost curse of June 12 annulment joined in 1999?
Only good governance by politicians with people’s interest at heart, not in their mouth, will chase away the June 12 ghost. Before then, a judicial commission of inquiry to judge criminal annullers of June 12 may assuage the people and the restless ghosts.
All the conspirators are alive. Babangida had said more than 10 years ago during a June 12 anniversary that the nation could burn if he opens his mouth on the conspirators that pushed him into the ignoble annulment that has confined him into obscurity. Few months ago, Babangida said he was not keen on writing his biography because nobody would read it. That is not true, we want to know the conspirators, unless you commissioned the conspirators to draft annulment agenda, which is treason, in all ramifications, punishable with hanging.
Those June 12 vultures waiting to eat the abomination sacrifice of appeasing June 12 ghosts through bribery ahead 2019 elections should prepare for the judgment of history and posterity. Beware of the haunting ghost of June 12.
• ASUELIMEN writes via firstname.lastname@example.org