Africa

Pro Group asking for forgiveness for Ibrahim Babangida

Ibrahim_babangidaA pro-IBB Group yesterday in Lagos, urged Nigerians to forgive former military President Ibrahim Babangida for his role in the annulment of the June 12, 1993, Presidential Poll. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group, under the aegis of the Nigeria Renaissance Group (NRG), joined other Nigerians in observing June 12 in Lagos.

Babangida annulled the election adjudged to be the freest and fairest ever held in the country.
NAN recalls that after the annulment, the acclaimed winner of the election, the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, was arrested and detained for declaring himself president. 

He later died on July 7, 1998, while in custody in Abuja.
Speaking at a symposium organised by the group, the Chairman of Vision 2011, Alhaji Hameed Makama, said: “To err is human, but to forgive is divine. If Nigeria could forgive Chief Emeka Ojukwu for his role in the civil war, it should also forgive IBB.
“Atonement has been made for the June 12 `error’ with the emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. We must learn to forgive as a nation so that the country can move forward.”
Meanwhile, the Citizens Popular Party (CPP) has reiterated its call on the Federal Government to immortalise Abiola.

In a statement made available to NAN, the CPP’s National Chairman, Chief Maxi Okwu, said Abiola remained the hero of Nigeria’s democratic struggle.
“We pay tribute to our compatriots who died in our collective efforts to actualise the June 12 presidential mandate for a sustainable democracy in Nigeria,” he said.

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Presidential Candidate in the 1999 General Election, Chief Olu Falae yesterday expressed doubt over the possibility of conducting 2011 general election without a valid voters register.

Falae, who spoke during a special programme organised by the Ondo State Government to mark the June 12 Anniversary in the state,  said  the coast was not clear for the next election despite the nomination of Professor Attahiru Jega as the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to Falae, there could be no meaningful election when the voters’ register, which is an important ingredient of credible election, is faulty.  The elder statement, who is one of the people rooting for the formation of a mega party, said a situation where the voters’ register is full of errors would not guarantee a free and fair election.

He noted that there were signs pointing to the fact that some people are working towards prolongation of the 2011 General Election next year.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ondo State Governor,  Dr Olusegun Mimiko also faulted the present voters’ register which he noted consist of fictitious names making reference to the voters’ register used in the state during the 2007 General Election.
“A voters’ register for Ondo State which consists of names of the likes of Mike Tyson, late Ayo Joseph Babalola, Sam Omatseye, among others, cannot guarantee a free and fair election in this country. So, we must have a credible voters’ list against what INEC used in 2007,” he said.

Mimiko also stressed the need to ensure that internal democracy is allowed in the choosing of candidates in different political parties in the country saying conducting free and fair primaries in different political parties is one of the pre- requisites of a free and fair election.
He also advocated for the use of two- party system in future elections in the country, stressing that two -party system would ensure a virile democracy.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the Nation newspaper Editorial Board, Mr. Sam Omotsaye, urged Nigerians to be ready to sacrifice for the sustenance of democracy like the late MKO Abiola did during the struggle for the actualisation of his mandate.

Meanwhile, the Citizens Popular Party (CPP) has reiterated its call on the Federal Government to immortalise Abiola.
In a statement made available to NAN, the CPP’s National Chairman, Chief Maxi Okwu, said Abiola remained the hero of Nigeria’s democratic struggle.

“We pay tribute to our compatriots who died in our collective efforts to actualise the June 12 presidential mandate for a sustainable democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
Okwu, however, expressed dismay that Babangida, who nullified what he described as the freest, most peaceful and credible election ever conducted in Nigeria, had indicated interest to contest the 2011 poll.

 

 

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
https://www.codewit.com

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