24 years after the annulment of June 12, election that was adjudged to be the freest in Nigeria, Voice of Ndigbo in this report takes you through some of the actions of 11 major players in the annulment debacle.
The election which was claimed to have been won by Late Moshood Abiola, a Yoruba man popularly called MKO is still a subject of great discussion in the political arena of Nigeria.
Abiola who contested the Presidential election under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was acclaimed to have defeated his counterpart, Bashir Tofa who contested under National Republican convention NRC.
The election was later annulled by the then head of state, General Ibrahim Babaginda who consequently faced widespread condemnation and ultimately stepped aside after installing Ernest Shonekan as Head of Interim Government.
Believed to be the winner of the annulled June 12 election. Moshood Abiola was thrown into detention for declaring himself as president after the regime of Sani Abacha refused to restore his mandate.
General Ibrahim Babangida was the head of state who annulled the June 12 election.
He was reportedly close to the acclaimed winner of the election, Abiola.
IBB is currently a member of the PDP, made several attempts to return as a civilian president, but did not even succeed in picking the ticket of his party. Till date, IBB is yet to give a straightforward answer on the June 12 issue.
Humphrey Nwosu was the chairman of National electoral commission (NEC) which conducted the June 12 election which is also described as free and fare.
Ahead of the 1993 election, the commission introduced option A4 voting system and the open ballot system.
Compared to the past, Nwosu’s election witnessed a major innovation: the introduction of an election monitoring group. 3,000 observers took part in the nationwide exercise.
Described as a military dictator, Abacha forced Ernest Shonekan, head of the interim national government, to step down after barely three months in office.
He threw his opponents into detention.
Many fled the country, while some organised a massive campaign against his government from within. He went after Abiola after the politician declared himself as president.
Abiola was accused of treason and arrested. He was detained for four years. He later died in power.
He was Abiola’s main challenger.
His running mate in the election was Sylvester Ugoh, one time governor of the former Central Bank of Biafra.
Tofa later joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and became a member of the party’s board of trustees.
On June 10, 1993, Nzeribe tried to stop the election, relying on a court order which his group, Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), got from late Justice Bassey Ikpeme of Abuja High Court. ABN was known to be pro-Babangida.
Babagana Kingibe was Abiola’s running mate. It was the first time Nigeria would have a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket.
Ndubuisi Kalu was appointed governor of Imo state in March 1976 but later in life joined the pro-democracy movement and played a leading role in the agitation for the actualisation of June 12.
He was the chairman of NADECO.
Despite serving Babangida, he described his regime as “the time when things started to go wrong, with increasingly centralised control”.
Okupe was a chieftain of the NRC in 1993 and had reportedly congratulated some of his SDP counterparts for their victory in the election.
Suddenly, the story changed, and Okupe later told Nigerians that IBB instructed Tofa not to accept defeat. He is a former aide of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, and former Goodluck Jonathan.
Tom Ikimi was the chairman of the NRC. Just like Tofa, he refused to accept that his party lost the 1993 election. He even spoke in a manner suggesting that he was in support of the annulment of the election results.
Ikimi later served as foreign affairs minister in the administration of Sani Abacha. Ikimi, who is a founding member of the APC, lost his bid to be the party’s chairman.
He subsequently left, but not without creating a storm.
Tony Anenih was chairman of SDP. Anenih did so much for his party, but the story changed after the annulment.
He took the cancellation in good fate, and this earned him so much criticisms. Anenih is a prominent chieftain of the PDP and former minister of works.