How Babangida rejected Abiola’s plea to be President for one day – Anenih

Chief Tony Anenih has revealed how winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola pleaded with former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babaginda to let him be President for one day.

Anenih, who was the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the platform under Abiola contested at that time stated this in his recently released autobiography, ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’.

“On the issue of June 12, Chief MKO Abiola had called me on the phone to come for an urgent meeting in Ikeja. I flew to Ikeja and met Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, Dr Dele Cole, and Kola, MKO’s son,” he wrote.

“At the meeting, Chief MKO told us that his friend, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, planned to embarrass him. He kept repeating this without stating the type of embarrassment.

“Later, he insisted that we must leave his house for Kola Abiola’s house. He was terribly frightened and depressed. We all moved to Kola’s house in Maryland. Right from this time, Chief Abiola was trying to get President Babangida on the phone, but each time he tried Akilu received the call.

“We could hear Chief Abiola telling Akilu to tell his friend (IBB) that they were still friends, and that he should allow him to be president even for one day, and he would resign thereafter; that all the photographs they took together were still all over his house, and that he should not forget the past, and that God would bless him.

“MKO would repeat Akilu’s words: ‘You mean I should call back in 30 minutes? Okay, I will call back in 30 minutes’. This went on till 7pm when the national anthem was sung on the television and MKO hysterically was saying, ‘Do you see my friend? You see him? You see my friend? He wants to embarrass me. Pointing to the television and there was IBB with a piece of paper in his hand. It was the annulment speech of June 23, 1993, by which President Babangida annulled the election and repealed Decree NO 13 of 1993 and 52 of 1992 on which basis the election had been conducted.”

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