Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:10 pm
A former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido said he was told by the military that the 1993 presidential out of fears that the winner, late MKO Abiola will pay himself the sum N45 billion he is being owed by the Federal Government and thereby bankrupt the country if he was allowed to assume office.
Lamido who was the National Secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party on which platform the late Abiola won the election said this while speaking in an interview with Punch newspaper on the recent award of Nigeria’s highest honour by President Muhammadu Buhari to Abiola over the election.
The former governor said contrary to claims in some quarters, he did not abandon the struggle for revalidation of June 12 presidential election while revealing that he ad indeed approached the military government in power at the time to get the reasons for the annulment.
When he was asked what the then military rulers told him, Lamido said, “Depending on whom you are talking to. When (General) Murtala (Muhammed) died, Abiola came in with a claim that he was owed, I think, about N45bn for contracts executed by International Telephone and Telecommunication for the Ministry of Communications.
“The military high command at that time said no. He went round the Emirs in the North to lobby and the emirs asked that they (military) should please pay the money.
“They (military) said they cancelled the June 12 elections because if they made him President, he would take his money and the country will become bankrupt.
“Those who were close to Abacha should know this, because Abacha was then one of the big shots; they were all aware.
Lamido who is one of those eyeing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential ticket was also asked what he will do about June 12 presidential election if he becomes Nigeria’s president.
The former governor said, “If I become the President, I will put it (June 12) in proper perspective. I will go into the archive and bring out the genuine results and if Abiola is the winner, I will call INEC to announce the results and I will then go through the process and make sure we pay the N45bn he was owed because that was the main thing they said led to the annulment.
“I will withdraw the honour given to Babagana Kingibe, because he doesn’t deserve it. He betrayed June 12 and followed his kinsman (Abacha), going by the tribal bond, to undermine June 12. They picked Abiola and locked him up. I will put in place processes and procedure and see how best to properly honour Abiola through due process.