Former military president, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has explained the rationale behind the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Babangida inexplicably annulled the June 12, 1993 election, which was adjudged the freest and fairest election in the country’s history.
The election was contested between Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The SDP was leading in the vote count when Babangida annulled the election
But speaking with Arise Television on Friday, Babangida revealed what led to the sudden annulment of the election.
He said that if he had not annulled the election, a coup would have happened.
“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,” he said.
The former military ruler said the pressure was from both within the military and outside the military.
“Both. The military can do it because they have the weapons to do it, and others (civil society groups) can use agitation,” Babangida said.
Speaking on how he acquired the nicknames of “evil genius” and “Maradona,” the former head of state said the sobriquets were manufactured by the media because of his “deft political moves.”
“That’s the very good thing about the Nigerian media and Nigerian people, you have to anticipate them. If you anticipate them, then you live well with them. They call me ‘evil genius,’ I marvel at that. The contradiction — you can’t be evil and then a genius.
“The definition of Maradona I got from the media is because of deft political moves. That’s the way the media described it,” he said.