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EXCLUSIVE ! How Ibrahim Babangida annulled 1993 election over MKO Abiola’s Vice + The Three backbone behind Abiola’s victory revealed

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The June 12 1993 Election has come and gone but the memories of that year will forever linger around in the heart of Nigerians. The outcome of the election led to the death of Nigeria’s most celebrated democrat, MKO Abiola.

The election results came out and MKO Abiola won but due to some reasons, it was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida. This brought about a lot of reactions and in a bid to reclaim victory, some died in the process.

On the 12th of June, 2018, MKO Abiola was honoured with the GCFR Title with his Vice by President Buhari but further researches carried out by Sahara weekly revealed that those who actually fought for Abiola, those who were with him even before election weren’t mentioned.

In an interview with one of them, Chief Abimbola Aboderin, the elder brother of Deceased Punch MD, Wale Aboderin, he revealed a lot of things that weren’t known to the public.

Excerpts below :

 

Q – Can we meet you?

R – My name is Chief Abimbola Aboderin, I’m an industrialist, .Although I studied Banking and finance  in California, , I also do property business.

Q – We understand you have a strong relationship with the late MKO Abiola, how did it all started?

R – Late Abiola was a very close friend of mine, it all started when I came from US In 1980. I came to the house to see my father who was an industrialist and a politician at the beginning With the likes of Late Adegoke Adelabu and Awolowo.  So that day when I came to see my late father, I saw Abiola on the floor because my father was sitting at the Water front house.

 I saw someone lying there, I didn’t know who he was and I asked my father.  He said his name was Abiola, I didn’t know who he was. He saw me and greeted me and asked me to come see him later. He wanted my father to convince the Yorubas to be on his side and that Was in the early 80s. So, I went to see him  and we discussed. We didn’t see again for a while until the  day I met him again in Ibadan at the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu’s home who happened to be living in one of the properties my father gave him. I was like his landlord. My father gave him little of the property when he came to request for help from him but he put me in control of it. Adedibu was anxious to see me so I met Abiola there for the second time. He greeted me and told me he is afraid of the convention towards his nomination  that he knows he will win the general election but the convention is his problem.

We became friends, Also I got to know General Ibrahim Babaginda through the armed forces. He introduced Yaradua to me  and General Alimi,. The three of them were my friends.  I was one of the special Monitory group and while we were canvassing for votes, it was obvious that Kingibe and Atiku were leading, Atiku was using Yaradua’s structure so we didn’t know what to do again and Adedibu suggested we go to Yaradua’s house., He took a few people there and at the end of the day, he was able to convince him to ask Atiku to step down so all his delegates now voted for MKO and that was how he won the convention.

He only beat Kingibe with few delegates. so we were all happy and jubilated. I didn’t stay with them but ayed in a hotel with a doctor and Abiola’s lawyer, Chief Abimbola. We were close and they call us President’s men. After the victory,  Adedibu suggested we visit Yaradua to show appreciation. We got there and as Abiola’s right hand, I was given a package to give Yaradua to thank him,  sincerely,  Adedibu played a key role in Abiola’s political journey. As we came out of Yaradua’s home, I was throwing some cash and everyone was jubulating but some people were not happy and wanted to kill Adedibu.  They started shooting . Luckily, I had my car with Lagos number escaped the assassination attempt.  If not for the game we played during the convention,  Abiola would have lost that election.

it was very crucial because he told me personally. Afterwards, we formed a committee towards the general election and we started raising money for the Late MKO because no matter how rich you are, you must raise money for politics. Thus, the day we commenced preparation towards the election, , Abiola came with his wife, Bisi. He organised his three wives into three zones.  Bisi was for West, Soyinka handles the  East and Kudi was North. We  raised about 360 Million cash and some few cheques. The money was in my custody from 6 o’clock till the next morning, if I had removed N50Million then I would have bought a house at GRA then ( smile)  but iI’m not desperate becaise am comfortable.  The next morning, the lawyer came, we handed the money to Chief Adedibu and all of us drove to Lagos to see Abiola at  home.

 

We jubilated again and said we will win the general election by God’s grace. Everything was in our favour and you can see that Abiola was winning all over the country. The election was very peaceful, the best so far in Nigeria. We then drove to Abiola’s house after the election and went up stairs where we normally have our meetings

Even before that, lets talk about the issue of Vice Presidential candidate.  IBB and Abiola were good friends.  They were always talking, it wasn’t a tribal thing., What happened was that when two people were nominated from what Abiola told us, Bafau and Matama Sule. They were the credible people. Bafau was head of the labour at that time, so we said if we choose those people,  kingibe will not be happy because he was the party chairman and he can play games.

We asked the lawyer to go to Abiola and tell him Ambassador Babagana Kingibe was the man we chose., That’s how he got there,. He used to sit down very quietly at Abiola’s place , he didn’t know how his nomination has Vice president came about.  But I think when Abiola told IBB, about the choice of Kingibe as Vice president,  he was not happy.

Q – So IBB Preferred either of those two to Ambassador Babagana Kingibe ?

R – Yes,! It’s ts not as if the doesn’t like him but  he prefers those people. Back to the election,  While we were all jubilating, we just suddenly heard the election was cancelled. We were  shocked.

Abiola asked us what’s the solution? His lawyer started a legal action. We were the first to start the legal action against the Government. We went to Mr Afe Babalola to discuss, people were ready to fight but to me it wasn’t a war issue. It was just an issue between two friends.

Q – When the election was annulled, what was MKO’S Reaction and did he try to reach IBB?

R – At that time, they were not really talking on phone again., Abiola was angry too so we got some people from Ibadan to protect Abiola. Another issue is that some people betrayed Abiola by divulging what we discussed to Babangida and vice versa., Some people were like that because they wanted money. They were political jobbers . They came between the two of them,l. Our plan was that Abiola should go abroad and declare so they can call him over to be president but unfortunately, the struggle was hijacked by NADECO.  I know you cant declare king in a cabinet of Lion, and Abacha was already in power., That was the beginning of the problem

He was locked up.  We tried our best to get him out. We went to Abacha and Adedibu tried to convince him to release Abiola but they took it seriously and I can’t blame him. If there was diplomacy, they could have settled the issue between two friends. At the end of the day, Abiola died. it was a very painful day for me especially for a man who has worked so hard for him.

Q – As someone who was close to IBB, Did you at any point in time during or after the annulment tried to get IBB’s Opinion?

R – Unfortunately, when I was with Abiola, IBB didn’t know. I didn’t see him for a while. When he became president, I only saw him once.

Q – During the Annulment, How did Abiola react and what did he say about IBB?  IBB Said he annulled the election because of his own life, do you believe?

R – I believe Abiola had issues with some people in the armed forces.  He made a mistake by calling them Bad dogs., Probably they were not happy that a man that could abuse them is coming in but Abiola meant well for the people. I believe it is possible that IBB was scared because some soldiers might not want Abiola to be there. They were good friends.

Q – Would it be right to say MKO Was betrayed by people close to him?

R – Yes, some of them took words from Abiola and told IBB. Sincerely,  if we have engaged diplomacy as planned and getting him to declare his mandate abroad, it would have been better.  It wasn’t a tribal thing but NADECO hijacked it and it spiral out of control.  I can’t blame them.  Everybody was angry with government.

Q – Talking about President Buhari’s honour of Abiola 25 years after, what is your take on that? Do you believe its the right time or it’s politically motivated?

R –  Actually, he is right because it’s been a long period, it’s never too late to do justice. The man won the election. I think Buhari did a good thing.

Q – There was a story that Abiola said Kingibe was part of the people that betrayed him that he even started giving him salary as a vice-president immediately he picked him, how true is this?

R – I don’t know. That is between him and kingibe. He didn’t tell me that.

 

Q – Before the annulment, did late MKO Abiola have the premonition that such will happen?

R – No, because we were all happy. He was sure of victory and was shocked when it was annulled

Q – During the struggle, Kudirat lost her life too, were you still part of the struggle then or you decided to leave them because you didn’t agree with the way they were going  with the struggle?

R – I didn’t agree with the radical approach. Even when Abacha took over from Ernest  Sonekan, everyone rushed to Kudirat’s place and we were hoping Abacha would do something because he was talking with MKO too then. We were not happy with the struggle, because with little tact and diplomacy, it would have been different today.   I commend Buhari for what he has done but most people honoured were not part of the real story.  Adedibu, myself and the lawyer were the backbone behind the struggle because all decision were made by us.

Q- What did the lawyer say about the honour?

R – I called him. He was one of the Oba’s that were chosen to be at the event. His name is Oba Abimbola Jibola.

Q – Was he happy with the radical approach?

R – He wasn’t happy because it was annoying.

 

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NAUB: MR PRESIDENT, WHO ARE THOSE PLANNING TO KILL THE ONLY FEDERAL UNIVERSITY THAT DOES NOT GO ON STRIKE? By Femi Oyewale

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NAUB: MR PRESIDENT, WHO ARE THOSE PLANNING TO KILL THE ONLY FEDERAL UNIVERSITY THAT DOES NOT GO ON STRIKE? By Femi Oyewale

NAUB: MR PRESIDENT, WHO ARE THOSE PLANNING TO KILL THE ONLY FEDERAL UNIVERSITY THAT DOES NOT GO ON STRIKE? By Femi Oyewale

 

Sahara Weekly Reveals That Higher education in Nigeria, quite frankly, is facing immense challenges including but not limited to poor infrastructure, unrealistic academic calendars resulting in extra years against stipulated durations, lack of teaching equipment, social menace, poor funding, amongst others.

 

 

NAUB: MR PRESIDENT, WHO ARE THOSE PLANNING TO KILL THE ONLY FEDERAL UNIVERSITY THAT DOES NOT GO ON STRIKE? By Femi Oyewale

 

 

Interestingly, Nigerian Army University, Biu (NAUB) is quite unique from other federal universities in the sense that since inception, there has not been any issue of strike, cultism, protest, or anti-social conduct.

 

Rather, the university is reputed for its excellent condition of learning environment.

 

This was aptly covered by the Governor of Borno State, H.E Professor Babagana Umara Zulum through his deputy during the maiden edition of the convocation ceremony of NAUB on Saturday, October 28th, 2023 at the University’s main campus ( note not temporary campus within five years of existence) in Biu, Borno State.

 

 

The Borno State governor said he was physically present at the groundbreaking ceremony of the foundation laying stone of NAUB five years ago, and he is impressed by what he has seen adding that it must take military precision and focus to put in a full-fledged and functional university on a barren land in such a short period.

 

 

The Governor further thanked the Federal Government, the Nigerian Army, the traditional rulers, scholars and academics philanthropist, industrialists, associates and men and women of goodwill from within and outside Borno State for the selfless service of gradually re-modelling the future of Borno State in particular and Nigeria in general and for putting Borno State on the path of further greatness through the Nigerian Army university, Biu.

 

Why then do we plan to abort such a great independent institution of learning known as a barrier breaker and line crosser by merging it with NDA whose missions and visions are not in tandem with each other .

 

Why cut short the dreams of such noble ideas via politics?

 

Are there those who do not want a stable educational system in Nigeria?

Are there external forces or their agents at home trying to destroy a good foundation for a stable educational system in Nigeria?

 

Is NAUB in competition with the private universities?

Are there big shots who benefit from a chaotic educational system in Nigeria?

 

Are there some subterranean forces working within the system to achieve the Boko Haram objective that “education is sin”?

The words of Governor Zulum rings a wise bell when he said that Boko Haram insurgents have achieved their objectives if the university is scrapped.

“Therefore, we appeal to Mr. President to look into this issue so that the Army University Biu would remain a university… because of the importance of education in this part of the country, where Boko Haram is saying that education is forbidden. And I think that by allowing this Army university to be scrapped, they might have achieved one or two of their objectives,” he said.

 

The governor noted that, for over a decade, Borno State has been facing a serious crisis that has denied many children access to education.

“Therefore, this university is very important to not only the people of Borno State but our neighbouring states,” he said.

 

Look at the Western countries that started with military polytechnics that propelled revolution in military equipment development.

 

Many of these developed countries collaborated jointly through civil-military research.

The Swedish Defence University established like NAUB is Sweden’s leading resource in, and first choice for, education, training and research in the management of crisis, war and periods of tension in the leadership of both civil and military agencies. The Swedish Defence University is an accredited institution for academic education for military and civilian students and researchers where different experiences, approaches, and traditions come together. It has become a hub for both national and international students.

 

It might shock you to know that American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). APUS is wholly owned by American Public Education, Inc., a publicly traded private-sector corporation that offers associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, in addition to dual degrees, certificate programs and learning tracks.

 

During my NYSC, I served in the Nigerian Army School of Education (NASE), Ilorin, which is a renowned military institution focused on providing high-quality education and training for Nigerian Army personnel and civilians. So why the proposed merger of NAUB?

 

Interestingly, the Nigerian Army University Biu provides such a platform for the Nigerian military towards technological innovation, research, and development in varied fields for national defence and security breakthroughs like many modern nations. In fact, instead of downgrading the Nigerian Army University, many more Army universities should be established in Nigeria. That is the way out for a caricature type of educational system that has failed to have stability over the years.

 

Who is not interested in seeing that a federal university graduates its students within the regular course time frame?

 

Must programmes of all federal universities be easily disrupted. A course of 4 or 5 years ends up taking over 6 to 7 years to complete. The worst part is that many universities end up in a crash programme to be able to cover up for the lost times. The terrible damage to these universities’ products is the very low standard of graduates.

 

Who wants the Nigerian educational system to collapse completely? These are rhetorical questions the amiable president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all stakeholders should ask those proposing the merger to answer us publicly, else should let the matter die forever in the abyss of hasty decision.

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*Photo Story: Israel Ovirih, Alhaji Adam Nuru Pay Courtesy Visit To Hon. Minister for Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola*

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*Photo Story: Israel Ovirih, Alhaji Adam Nuru Pay Courtesy Visit To Hon. Minister for Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola*

 

 

Courtesy Visit to Hon Minister for Blue Economy HE Adegboyega Oyetola by the Coalition of Shipowners in Nigeria 🇳🇬 and Technical Advisors for the take-off of Maritime Bank for Africa; Alhaji Adam Nuru and Dr. Israel Ovirih

Courtesy Visit to Hon Minister for Blue Economy HE Adegboyega Oyetola by the Coalition of Shipowners in Nigeria 🇳🇬 and Technical Advisors for the take-off of Maritime Bank for Africa; Alhaji Adam Nuru and Dr. Israel Ovirih

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Which Way Nigeria: The Imperatives of A New Economic Direction

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Presidency Clears The Air On Tinubu’s Planned Visit To Qatar

*Which Way Nigeria: The Imperatives of A New Economic Direction*

By Dapo Otubanjo, a financial analyst & real estate entreprenuer

 

After eight months in the Villa, the clock ticking on President Tinubu’s administration has gathered enough time for us to start seeking accountability for his actions, and the delivery of his electoral promises to a Nigeria with an urgent need for national renaissance, and a new economic direction.

The realities of our lives today as Nigerians is gravely incongruous to the promise to renew hopes, and reinvent the economy for a new era of opportunities, and prosperity for all of us. The agony of excruciating economic stagflation is now more widespread, and tending towards a period of national economic depression.

Nigerians understand, and have demonstrated severally in time past, that when time and government change, so must we the people as “new challenges require new responses”. Unfortunately the economic pains of this era are like a disaster with no solution in sight, leaving most folks in the terrifying situation of inadequate household income for survival talkless of a decent living.

Given Nigeria’s precarious economic situation post Buhari’s government of destructive economics, there was no doubt about the need, and urgency for appropriate reforms to reorganize the country for economic recovery, and national security. And whilst the reforms of Tinubunomics are requisite liberal policy prescriptions, the executions are mired in premature timing, terrible implementation, and insensitive partisan gloating over the government’s audacity to introduce the reforms rather than a democratic tolerance for national discussions on the devastating consequences of its impacts as leverage to gauge acceptance, and gather citizens feedbacks for reviews, adjustments, and corrective measures in its areas of deficiencies, and ineffectiveness.

However the opportunity still exist, for correction and, to arrest our miserable spiral towards economic doomsday, and President Tinubu must hurriedly embrace the wisdom to do a reset, and refine the wrong elements of his reforms for the achievement of better outcomes in critical areas of job creation, reducing, and stabilizing both the value of the naira, and inflation, and attracting significant local, and foreign investments for the immediate task of economic recovery, and recreation of a vibrant middle class that was totally wiped out by the previous APC government, and long term goals of industrialization, and sustainable growth in the economy, and our export sector.

The best, and most imperative solution, and palliative for the rising cost of living is immediate wage increase across all sectors. The Federal government must seek to achieve wage increase of two hundred thousand naira for Federal workers, negotiate with the states for one hundred and fifty thousand naira for all state employees, and push the private sector towards fifty thousand naira as the barest minimum for the lowest set of workers to fuel consumer spending that was hitherto dwindling for obvious reasons, and improve households financial resources to minimally mitigate against worsening economic situation.

The inflationary effects of an unstable naira need a freeze otherwise the application of wage increase will be futile, and become a continuous demand. It is imperative for the government to return the provision of interventions in the FX market through partial exchange rates management until all foreign investors seeking full liberalization are willing to bring in their funds, and/or when the sale of government assets, and export earnings are sufficient enough to provide adequate supply for FX demands. The arbitrage gains of FX trading in the previous APC government made FX business highly profitable with devastating practices of round tripping, and speculative FX trading that continuously encourage a large number of folks to hoard, and hold on to a large pool of foreign currencies at the expense of a free fall in the value of the naira.

Through the CBN, the government need to urgently introduce appropriate monetary measures to curb these practices, and incentivize the release of more foreign currencies into the market.

Our national challenges cannot be resolved by government alone but the government have a crucial role to play in setting the agenda, and transforming the private sector into a pivot for growth, and national development. President Tinubu should as a matter of national emergency deploy all presidential support for the Dangote, and other refineries to achieve refining capacity sufficient enough for local fuel consumption, and make provisions to export excess supply to the West African sub region. And use the support, and other regulatory instruments to negotiate a stable fuel price over three to five year period as further safeguard against inflation, and forex pressure on the naira.

So many of our Federal assets are wallowing in the inefficiencies of terrible operations, corrupt government practices, and nepotistic managements delivering inadequate, and unreasonable returns for the Nigerian state. There should be an urgent consideration for their privatization, and sales to generate requisite, and significant revenues to shore up the economy, and engineer a long term foundation for sustainable growth, and national prosperity.

Our demands, and exploration for foreign investments must seek prospects in the Middle East, and some parts of Asia where there are abundance of liquidity for investment capital, and great probability for immediate result. The president should constantly deploy his most brilliant envoys to the region for continuous negotiations, and schedule all presidential investment travels around the region for closing of appropriate investment deals.

Recently, the government launched over a hundred billion naira housing programme. As good, and commendable that is, it is still a drop in the ocean, and too meagre for any significant social, and economic impact for a nation of over two hundred million population. We must seek to raise trillions of naira within a short term for the substantial growth of the sector, and its exponential impacts on the economy, and provide complementary infrastructure for urbanization, rural connections, and the financial reform of our mortgage system to reduce interest rates, increase period, and affordability, and expand access to more households. We have a large pool of idle funds in various pension schemes, and must explore a viable government means for these funds to find profitable returns in real estate business opportunities.

The erosion of value in our banking sector capitalization levels are critical challenges for our national ambitions, and obviously needs urgent rounds of renewal towards the trillions of naira capitalization threshold to adequately fund the expansion of national productivity, manufacturing, sustainable large scale credit industry, and a new middle class.

And those super highways (SHW) the president promised us need to start coming alive in urgent, and huge contract awards, and accelerated construction works as credible means to connect communities, and states across the country, and ease the movement of people, and products. Our rail networks need significant improvements, and expansion with appropriate security measures to complement the comprehensive renewal, and expansion of our transport means, and its impact in the boosting of trade, and commerce.
Generations of Nigerians have endured economic crises at different times of bad governance often with the deceptive cliché that the situation will eventually get better. President Tinubu must make a departure from that decades old political narrative, and explore credible means within the limitless possibilities of our potentials to stimulate immediate economic recovery, and long term sustainable growth, secure, and unite the country, and deliver the promise of a developing nation.

Today’s worsening economic situation is not a new territory for Nigeria as we have often travelled through tough national periods of economic stagnation, and recession, widespread poverty, and underdevelopment. The president should reasonably review thoroughly the economic reforms of the democratic government of 1999 – 2007, and draw appropriate economic lessons from the successful economic reforms of that era in reasonable FX market, and inflation management, naira stabilization, privatization, bank consolidation, the commencement of a credit system that was subsequently unscaled, a widening middle class, and amazing economic growth that put Nigeria at the forefront of the globally acclaimed narrative of Africa rising. And essentially gave a national rebirth to the audacious can do spirit of the Nigerian folks. It was an era of incredible demonstration of what we can achieve together through collective actions, and visionary leadership, and we must seek to replicate the same economic results as a navigating path out of our current economic downturn.

The current generation of Nigerians possess all that we require to transform ourselves from a nation perpetually travelling in the wrong direction into a developing country of proud citizens. The onus is essentially the president’s to lead from the front, and set forth a clear vision with opportunity for everyone to make appropriate contributions towards sustainable growth, and national development.

Tough times define great leaders. And time, and chance they say happen to all of us. There is a great moment for the president to seize, and more importantly for the sake of our nation, we hope he takes this period as an incredible chance to cement the foundation of his legacy, and unfold the greatness of Nigeria.

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