Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has criticised the flag bearer of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, for visiting Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), a former dictator and military Head of State. Sowore on Thursday night shared a photograph of Obi with the former dictator who is notorious for annulling the June 12, 1993 election – which was popularly won by the Late Chief MKO Abiola.
“Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Aliyu Gusau, Abubakar Abdusalam and Ango Abdullahi are Mr. Peter Obi’s “God fathers” the people that ruined Nigeria are the ones fronting for him. May it never happen that we will work with these criminals! #WeCantContinueLikeThis,” Sowore captioned the picture.
Babangida, known as the “evil genius” was the head of the Nigerian military government from 1985 to1993.History will remember him as the prime architect of the June 12, 1993 debacle. He came up with the two parties, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republic Convection (NRC). One, a little to the left and the other a little to the right were these platforms on which MKO Abiola and Bashir Tofa respectively contested. The former dictator annulled the June 12 election on June 21, 1993, when it was clear that the winner was the late MKO Abiola and he ordered a fresh election. Abiola refused to go to the polls again. Often called Maradona – after the rotund diminutive football genius from Argentina – for his political deftness, Babangida would later dribble the nation into a political cul de sac.
On August 26, 1993, Babangida announced his exit by saying he would “step aside” thus adding a new word to our ever increasing repertoire of political lexicons. By that singular action, he ushered in the Interim National Government(ING) headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan.
However, things used to be rosy between the self-avowed evil genius and Abiola before June 12 drove a wedge into their relationship.
In fact, MKO said, in his lifetime, that it was Babangida who first mooted the idea of running for the presidency to him.He raised the idea with him during the burial of his first wife, Simbiat, in Lagos in 1992. IBB had told MKO that he must contest election as the country could not wait to welcome him as their next president. Abiola would later regret trusting Babangida while in Abacha’s gulag by saying, “I believed in a friend. I trusted a friend and he betrayed me. IBB betrayed me.”
IBB had described June 12 debacle as “unfortunate.”