Former Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has once again explained the reason he annulled the June 12 1993 presidential election won by the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Speaking on Friday during a special interview on Arise TV to commemorate his 80th birthday anniversary, the former military ruler cited the high possibility of a coup d’etat breaking out and pressures from the civilian leaders as reasons he truncated the election.
Babaginda said he did what he did to prevent “a deadly coup” that would have further destabilized the country.
However, the annulment election led to widespread protests and political unrest across Nigeria, which claimed many lives, and led to the eventual resignation of Babangida, giving way for an interim civilian administration.
When asked why he annulled the election, widely considered to be the best in the country’s history, Babangida responded: “Do you want me to be honest with you? If it materialized (if the election had gone through], there would have been a coup d’etat which could have been violent. That is all I can confirm.
“It didn’t happen, thank God for the Maradonic way we handled you guys in the society.”
He added that the election “could have given room for more instability in the country.”
Asked further if he was pressured by the military or civilians to annul the election, Babangida said: “Both.”
“Both, the military, they can do it because they have the weapons to do it. The other is social agitation.”