June 12: Abiola was not the choice of Yoruba —Lamido
Former Governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido has revealed late Chief MKO Abiola was not the choice of South West Region for the June 12, 1993 Presidential election.
Lamido who made this known in Sun Newspapers added that Yoruba’s were no where to be found on June 11, 1993 before election but came to hijack it when it was annulled.
He added that Yorubas were not happy with Abiola because of his role in exposing late sage Obafemi Awolowo as the real owner of Dideolu Estate in Lagos.
He said,”From nowhere, Abiola and Bashir Tofa appeared. By the time Abiola joined the SDP, a council chairman in his ward or local government, the governor of his state, members of the Houses of Assembly, members of the House of Representatives and Senators had all been elected.
“He had no idea how they were produced. He didn’t know because he came at a time they had all been elected, so in terms of political relationship they didn’t know him talk more of his contribution to the party, same thing with Tofa in NRC.
“When these two joined the race after the annulment of the first two conventions, the confession of the then President Ibrahim Babangida that he knows who he was not going to hand over power to, has become true, since his friends were now emerging, because both Tofa and Abiola were his personal friends. It meant he was goading us towards his own destination.
“Kingibe saw a chance; he didn’t even rise to defend Yar’Adua (after Babangida annulled the primaries), as chairman of the party he connived and endorsed the annulment of the convention of his own party, he endorsed the disqualification of Falae and Yar’Adua and so he saw an opportunity to enter the race. As former Chairman of the party, he entered the race with Abiola.
“Meanwhile, Yar’Adua was so bitter with Babagana (Kingibe). Don’t forget that Babagana was Yar’Adua’s invention; he was Yar’Adua’s creation, because he was unknown politically and unnoticed. Because Yar’Adua was bitter with him, he announced at the convention that we should support Abiola. And the governors too ganged up to say they would only support Abiola if he took Kingibe as running mate.
” Again, when Abiola became the candidate, Olu Falae who saw his space taken over by Abiola was unhappy. Abiola emerged as a national symbol; he was not the choice of the Yoruba because of the role he played in NPN against Papa Awolowo by using his newspaper to demonise him (Awolowo) particularly by exposing his ownership of the Dideolu Estate.