“If it materialised, there would’ve been a coup d’etat — which could have been violent.”
Nigeria’s former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) (Retd) has disclosed why his junta annulled the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
The historic election was adjudged across the world as the nation’s freest and fairest in its democratic experience.
The election was contested between Chief Moshood Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC).
Babangida, in a live interview with Arise TV on Friday, explained if he had not annulled the election, a violent coup d’etat would have happened.
He said: “If it materialised, there would’ve been a coup d’etat — which could have been violent. That’s all I can confirm.
“It didn’t happen thanks to the engineering and the ‘maradonic’ way we handled you guys in the society. But that could’ve given room for more instability in the country.”
Babangida said there was pressure on his junta within and outside the military to nullify the election for that reason.
“Both. The military can do it because they have the weapons to do it, and others (civil society groups) can use agitation,” he added.