A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, approached the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, and begged him for a commissioner appointment in Lagos State after the annulment of 1993 elections.
George was reacting to a statement credited to Kola Abiola, the son of the late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the Jun 12 1993 election, who said Tinubu only joined the National Democratic Coalition to fight for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate after losing his chances with Abacha
The former military administrator said, “It is true that Tinubu went to beg for a commissioner position. He was in the Villa and Gen. Oladipo Diya is a witness. He (Tinubu) said he wanted to be a deputy to a military administrator and when all that didn’t work, he went into his activism.”
He said, “Most of what Kola said is true. He spoke from the heart and he was trying to set the records straight in the face of the many narratives. He had been looking for who would help to recognise the June 12 saga so that his father wouldn’t have died in vain.
“In the course of this, he had bottled up so much. He went through a lot, having lost his mother and family businesses during the struggle. So, he was setting the records straight so that people would not rewrite history.”
The PDP chieftain, however, said Nigeria had yet to learn from the June 12 saga, noting that the lessons of June 12 go beyond declaring a holiday or immortalising MKO.
George said, “Now, June 12 has been adopted as a national holiday but have we learnt any serious lesson from it? Have we done anything to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated?
“Yes, people are pontificating and trying to use it as a political tool but believe we have not learnt anything.”
The PDP chieftain said Nigerians were more united during the June 12 struggle than today and argued that more emphasis should be placed on uniting the nation through the legacy of June 12.