Ex Nigerian head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, has explained why he annulled the June 12, 1993 election, widely believed to have been won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale, M.K.O Abiola
The former military ruler cited the possibility of a deadly coup and pressure from both the military and civilians.
It would be recalled that the annulment led to political unrest across Nigeria, including the resignation of Babangida, paving way for an interim civilian government led by Earnest Shonekan
Three months later, General Sani Abacha came to power through a bloodless coup later in the year.
Babangida, in an interview with Arise TV on Friday, was asked why he annulled the election, he responded, “Do you want me to be honest with you?”
He continued: “If it materialized [If the election had gone through], there would have been a coup d’etat which could have been violent. That is all I can confirm.
“It didn’t happen, thank God for the Maradonic way we handled you guys in the society.”
He said that the election “could have given room for more instability in the country.”
When asked if he was pressured by the military or civilians to annul the election, Babangida said: “Both.”
“Both, the Military, they can do it because they have the weapons to do it. The other is the social agitation.”