By Chioma Iruke
Former Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has explained why his administration annulled the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Recall, the June 12 election was contested between Chief Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC).
Babangida, while speaking with Arise TV during an interview on Friday, explained that the election which was adjudged by most Nigerians as the freest and fairest in the nation’s democratic experience, was annulled to avoid a violent coup d’etat that would have happened.
He said: “If it materialised, there would’ve been a coup d’etat — which could have been violent. That’s all I can confirm.
“It didn’t happen thanks to the engineering and the ‘maradonic’ way we handled you guys in the society. But that could’ve given room for more instability in the country.”
Babangida said there was pressure on his junta within and outside the military to nullify the election for that reason.
“Both. The military can do it because they have the weapons to do it, and others (civil society groups) can use agitation,” he added.