June 12: Abiola Begged IBB To Be President- Tony Anenih


The former National chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Tony Anenih, claimed that the recognised winner of the June 12, 1993 election, MKO Abiola had begged the then military ruler of Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida to not cancel the results and let him be president.

According to the Vanguard, Anenih claimed he was repeatedly told by Abiola how the cancellation of the results was a bid to embarrass him and he pleaded with IBB to have a chance to rule the nation and do right by the people.

Anenih made these claims in a book titled, ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’, in which he said he had a conversation with Abiola running mate, Babagana Kingibe, over Babangida’s moves.

He said; “On the issue of June 12, Chief MKO Abiola had called me on the phone to come for an urgent meeting in Ikeja. I flew to Ikeja and met Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, Dr Dele Cole, and Kola, MKO’s son.”

“At the meeting, Chief MKO told us that his friend, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, planned to embarrass him. He kept repeating this without stating the type of embarrassment,” Anenih wrote.

Anenih continued; “He was terribly frightened and depressed. We all moved to Kola’s house in Maryland. Right from this time, Chief Abiola was trying to get President Babangida on the phone, but each time he tried (Halilu) Akilu (then director-general, National Intelligence Agency) received the call.

“We could hear Chief Abiola telling Akilu to tell his friend (IBB) that they were still friends, and that he should allow him to be president, even for one day, and he would resign thereafter; that all the photographs they took together were still all over his house, and that he should not forget the past, and that God would bless him,”

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