3rd June, 2010
The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress has described the statement credited to former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, calling for the immortalization of Chief MKO Abiola, as a self-serving attempt to curry electoral favour.
The party says it is ironic for Babangida who defied all wise counsel to annul a free and fair presidential election Abiola won in 1993, and the struggle for which validation led to the death of Abiola, to now turn round several years later and while nursing a despicable presidential election, to acknowledge Abiolaâ€™s monumental contribution to democracy.
In a release in Lagos , signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress, Joe Igbokwe, Lagos AC says that it is obvious that Babangida is desperate to curry the political favour of Nigerians and this accounts for why he has suddenly realized that Abiola, whom he indirectly murdered, deserves immortalization. It advises Babangida to get creative with his campaign ideas instead of consistently indulging in such discredited tactics as he indulged in his call for Abiolaâ€™s immortalization.
â€œBut for Babangidaâ€™s selfish ambition to stay in power for life, Abiola would have been alive today, a contented former president. But Babangida threw caution to the wind by annulling Abiolaâ€™s victory in what was adjudged the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria . it was not that Babangida was not availed of enough reasons why he should not indulge in such dangerous exercise that launched a protracted political crisis, from which the country is yet to pull through. While that moment of contrived madness lasted, Babangida relished even as his action was plunging Nigeria into an era of national darkness.
â€œLagos AC notes that even when he was forced to step aside, Babangida ensured the system were made vulnerable to the antics of his partner in despoliation, Sani Abacha and were offering enough support for Abachaâ€™s clampdown on Abiola and his supporters, from which Abiola never survived. Till date, we note that Abiolaâ€™s death is still shrouded on deep suspicion of intrigues, of which Babangida is a central player. We want to ask Babangida why he has suddenly woken up to the reality that Abiola deserves immortalization.â€