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Kingibe: My Role In Abacha’s Government Was For National Interest |The Republican News

Former running mate to late Moshood Abiola in the 1993 Presidential election, Babagana Kingibe has explained that his decision to take a role in the late military leader, General Sani Abachas regime, was for the national interest which he put above his personal feelings.

Kingibe made this known to journalists in Maiduguri, Borno State, during a solidarity visit to Governor Babagana Umara on Sunday.

He said that his actions were in line with the teachings of the Muslim faith, which he professed that leadership comes from God which he accepted in good fate.

When we think of the collective good there are times when we have to sacrifice personal interest and join hands in rebuilding society and bringing peace and harmony to our people: I have addressed this issue of why did I join Abachas government and so on.

I know we won the elections on June 12, 1993, I know that injustice was done when those elections were annulled but there is always one guiding principle in my public life which is that the national interest supersedes any other consideration and all my actions have been informed by this consciousness of what is best in the national interest.

The former minister who is from Borno state said he was particularly happy with the magnitude of celebration that took place in his home state to mark the new democracy day, which signifies love and solidarity towards him as a son of the soil and a key player in the events of that year.

I dont think the celebration on the actual 12th of June 1993 was any greater than the celebration of the first democracy day on June 12; And for that I have to thank the Governor who gave the leadership, thank the people of Borno not only for celebrating June 12 as democracy day per se, but I know that they also had in mind that one of their own, their own son was also a critical player, I appreciate the confidence and love. (DailyPost)

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Buhari Plans To Kill Atiku The Way Abiola Was Eliminated — Timi Frank|The Republican News

Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar

In a press release, the former national deputy publicity secretary of APC, Mr Timi Frank has revealed a shocking details of a secret desperate plan to kill Atiku like Abiola was killed while in detention.

Find the press statement is below:

Press Statement
11/4/19

Frank Accuses Buhari, APC of Plan to Give Atiku, Abiola’s Treatment

Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC of plotting to arrest former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on trumped up charges of treasonable felony.

Frank in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, said that according to authoritative sources in the Villa, how to kill Atiku – who is currently challenging the victory of General Buhari in the last elections – has been the subject of series of hushed-up security meetings by the Aso Rock Cabal in the past few weeks.

He disclosed that the sinister plot against Atiku has commenced with the planting and spreading of fake news by members of the cabal purporting that Atiku has paid lobbyist in the United States of America the sum of $30,000 to lobby the U.S. Congress not to recognise the fraudulent re-election of Buhari for a second term.

He said that the grand plot is to arrest Atiku on arrival from his vacation abroad and clamp him into jail for alleged treason.

He stated that “as part of the overall design to liquidate the former Vice President, the Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has already called on the nation’s security agencies to “probe Atiku” – a euphemism for arrest and kangaroo trial – for allegedly seeking the ‘Venezuelan option’ by lobbying the U.S. Congress not to recognize the re-election of General Buhari.”

He said that after the planned arrest and detention of Atiku, the Presidential Candidate of the PDP would suddenly be pronounced dead in prison just like the winner of the June 12 Presidential Election, Chief Moshood Abiola, who died in questionable circumstances in prison while seeking to reclaim his stolen mandate during the General Sani Abacha’s Junta.

He disclosed that the sole aim of wanting Atiku out of the way at all cost is borne out of desperation, “the cabal having realized that Buhari’s purported victory during the last presidential election cannot withstand forensic judicial scrutiny, which the former Vice President is now poised to unravel before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.”

He disclosed that information available to him further show that the presidency has ordered all APC state governors to pull down all Atiku’s Billboards in their states and in their place erect others with inciting and incendiary messages just like they have started to execute with the “PUKKA Posters” bearing the name and photograph of Atiku now placed at strategic positions at the Central Business District in Abuja.

The Bayelsa-born political activist however warned Buhari and his evil plotters to desist from acts capable of eclipsing democracy in the country and with untold consequences for all Nigerians.

He stated that any attempt to frustrate and foreclose the judgement of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal by arresting Atiku and sending him to jail, preparatory to his murder will ignite the anger of Nigerians and bring cataclysmic tragedies never before witnessed in the history of the country.

He called on patriotic Nigerians and members of the international community, especially the General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s Peace Committee and the United States and United Kingdom respectively not to gloss over events of monumental proportions currently being incubated by General Buhari and his men, in the interest of peace and democratic sustainability in the country.

Comrade Timi Frank
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC

 

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2019 Election Will End Inconclusive, Kingibe Plans To Replace Buhari – Mohammed, Ex Spy Chief

Abdulrahman-Mohammed-ex-spy-chief
  • Reveals how Kingibe plans to succeed Buhari

Alhaji Abdulrahman Mohammed is a former National Security Organisation, NSO (Now DSS) Chief and close ally of ex-military leaders: late Generals Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Sani Abacha and former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida. In this interview, he reveals deadly plots going on within the inner circle of President Buhari’s government, which will ultimately lead a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Gingibe to succeed the President after the 2019 polls, which he claims will end inconclusively.

He spoke more on this and more in this interview conducted by KENNY ASHAKA in Kaduna.

Let’s talk about June 12. I know that some of you worked with former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida…
(Cuts in) And Abacha. I was very close to Abacha.

Okay, but what I know is that some of you were in the transition programme of Babangida…
(Cuts in) Definitely, definitely. I was the Adviser on Politics, Economy and Security to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, the late Wazirin Jema’a.

Yes, and what happened that you couldn’t stop the annulment of a transition that was almost coming to an end at that time? Was it something that was beyond your powers?
It had already been…if you observed from what happened in the Jos SDP primary, it was something that has to do with Babagana Kingibe, Abiola and Atiku that brought about all the issues. You remember Pascal Bafyau, the NLC President who became a politician. He played a lot of Babangida’s game during that time, used NLC…you know it was an elongated transition programme that was designed if possible to make Babangida till the time he was going to…

(Cuts in) I don’t understand.
Now you know NLC has a lot of roles to play in supporting a government? Pascal Bafyau played the game for Babangida at that time just like Oshiomhole did. Pascal Bafyau was a pro-Babangida man. So Babangida tried to pay him back by insisting that he should be the presidential running mate of Abiola. So it was because Abiola refused to announce Pascal Bafyau as his running mate and chose Babagana Kingibe instead that caused the annulment of June 12. Abiola had been told by Babangida in my presence that if he did not take Pascal Bafyau…anyway we were following what was happening in Jos during the SDP primary on our satellite programme. We knew every move that was taken, everything that happened there because my boss, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was in SDP. You know he was my former boss. I worked with Yar’Adua as Security Detail in charge of International Security Surveillance. You know our predicament in Nigeria today is because they think that Nigeria is one local government that anybody can be president and manipulate the way you like. We are in the world. At the time America and Israel said they were going to deal with Buhari on certain issues that were happening to Christians in Nigeria I warned Buhari. I was on Facebook and Whatsapp. I warned some of the service chiefs that I know that the American and Israeli consortium will ensure they break Buhari’s government until Buhari will leave the place.
Let’s go back to the real subject matter of the June 12. Why was it impossible for those of you who were civilians working with Babangida to stop the annulment; I mean you were Adviser to a key figure in the government?

It was an agenda already promised that just happened like that because Babangida had already promised Abiola that if you don’t pick Bafyau…Babangida was not on our team. We have a record of everybody. You know that was where my section is. I was a security chief and now having served the defunct NSO as a Director in terms of security surveillance, in terms of interrogation I have to be involved in logistics. I made sure I had to advise them on logistics to make sure that there was no black sheep in the entire arrangement and it was necessary for me to be able to say what is right and what is wrong. It was necessary for us to have information on every human being that was a player in the national scene at that time.

So it was easily conceivable that I had to put on General Babangida’s table everything that was happening in Nigeria. I had to put a tab on Babagana Kingibe as an NSO director and I had to put a tab on Abiola because part of the Abiola’s successes in the North was because of me actually because I talked to the people in Kano to make sure that Abiola…because Babangida actually wanted Abiola to be president; I must tell you honestly. You know the reason why I played a very strong role in the June 12 issue…at least you were one of the reporters that got close to me at that time. Henry Ugbolue and Ojudu were always reporting me at that time. They were reporters close to me reporting everything I was doing at that time.
I am very interested in this next question because you have just said Babangida was interested in Abiola becoming the president.

Why did he annul the election that he (Abiola) was winning?
This is because Abiola refused to make Pascal Bafyau his running mate. But your answer now is contrary to what made the rounds then that some military chiefs were those who instigated Babangida to annul the election because they didn’t want Abiola.

That one came later. Don’t believe that. Are you talking of this Benue man who was in Minna, David Mark? Those were the people who were doing that. I was in charge of security. I and General Akilu were in charge of security; I as NSO chief and Akilu in charge of Intelligence. Don’t believe all these things. People try to say what they want to say because they have stepped out. That is why Babangida has told us that anything we can do to save Nigeria while in retirement we should please do it. I went to Yar’Adua straight and told him to support Babangida’s action that was about to come out because they had betrayed our cause because Babagana Kingibe can never be a Vice-President any day in Nigeria because he has betrayed Nigeria too much.

How did he betray Nigeria?
Because…everything he did was to break Nigeria for his own purpose. We knew this. We had this in our security file. I was in charge of Special Survey because you know like in America the CIA was in charge of Special Survey. That is the word I can use for it because we do not have it in Nigeria but we have it in Washington, in the Pentagon.

What did you find wrong with Babagana Kingibe?
Listen to me. This interview will not take too long. There is one interview that someone gave last week – the betrayal of Kingibe, how Kingibe betrayed Nigeria by Ray Ekpu. He had a full interview on the betrayal of Nigeria by Babagana Kingibe. Everything I can tell you now is there. I read it in the night because I got a phone call from Minna. I read it and made sure that it was alright. You remember Ayu, the Senate President and Ameh Ebute? These were people who were handling the National Assembly because we had a dual government. We had a Military President and a legislature that was operating like…It was when Babangida left that he told me to please guide Abacha very well. That was why the first thing I told Abacha was to dissolve the National Assembly. That’s why all Generals in Nigeria will tell you that Mohammed Abdulrahman was with Abacha when all these things happened. So we had to dissolve the National Assembly because it served no good.

I talked to Shonekan and Kuforiji Olubi. Kuforiji Olubi was my friend. You know the role she played; didn’t you?

What role did she play?
The Interim National Government. It was Shonekan who was president. Kuforiji Olubi was Minister for Interior, actually, Minister for Commerce and National Economy just like Okonjo Iweala was Minister in charge of the economy even though she was Minister for Finance. In our own time, it was Kuforiji that I called and I told her to get ready to make sure that the Interim National Government survived. That is why we decided with Aliyu Jem’a the Secretary to the Government to have a transition committee which was headed by this Jurist, Mamman Nasir from Katsina.

He headed the Transition Implementation Committee. Then, my foster father, Abdulrahman Okene headed the committee in charge of Devolution of Powers between Federal, States and Local Government. You remember that? So when we did all that and gave them their letters of appointment Aliyu Mohammed reported back to Babangida that we had already executed the issue and Kuforiji Olubi was doing our bidding. But when within the military hierarchy it was discovered that there were people who feel they had a dream to be president of Nigeria, Danjuma and Abacha were the only ones that were left out because Obasanjo, Babangida, all these people were in the same group and the same thing. I served all of them as the NSO component of the military regime. So, internally they had a plan that Abacha should become Head of State. We had no control over that plan because you can see that the coup that brought in Abacha was a quiet one, not even one that qualified to be called a coup. Abacha told me to keep faith with him.

That is why I was the closest security chief to him. All the messages…you know when Abacha almost died and he was very ill he sent me personally to Buhari. I went to Buhari, we sat down. He said we should eat, I said no. If the C-in-C sends me I don’t eat in people’s houses. But I made sure the NSO…sorry no more NSO because I wrote the document in which it was transited to SSS and other things to water it down for the civilian dispensation.

So I called the SSS chief in Kaduna to accompany me to Buhari’s house. He received me quite okay. I gave him the document with which Abacha was going to read the Vision 2010 national address because he was very ill. That Vision 2010 address was to make Buhari the Chairman of Vision 2010 so that if he made him the chairman at his best he could easily announce an Interim National Government and make Buhari the president.

Was that the plan?
That was the plan. Mohammed Abdulrahman is telling you today. I am the only one in Nigeria who can tell you that because I was in charge. So that was what we did and I told Abacha that Buhari gave me one week to come back that he was going to look into it. I cannot tell Buhari that we wanted to make him Interim National President. You know the reason we wanted to do that? We wanted Buhari to clean up Nigeria for us with his own handle because his presidency was truncated.

So we wanted to give him another chance. If it is true that he was actually going to deny it, he should leave the PTF and handle the Interim National Government. But I will tell you what happened. My operatives came up with results and findings that they were planning to make Buhari a president through this entire route of the CPC and…

I don’t understand that? Can you come again?

Okay, let me break it down for you. You remember that Ashwey became the Managing Director of Continental Merchant Bank at that time; the bank that was opposite Leventis? Because it was a strategic location Abacha had shown an intention to purchase the building. But Ashwey sold it to Salihijo Ahmad of PTF because they wanted to use it for Buhari for President Campaign Organisation. That is why Abacha told me to move against them.

That is why we interviewed Salihijo. We called him in and investigated PTF. After leaving our place for debriefing, Salihijo went to his office and said he was going home because he had a headache and the wife told him to go to the hospital and see the doctor. He was waiting to see the doctor when he slumped and died.

When I investigated and got my facts right, we first of all detained Ashwey and we debriefed Salihijo. That is why he died. We don’t debrief anybody and he stays alive. I am telling you this because we had enough spiritual powers to back our official power to make sure that anybody who lies to us or lies about us does not live in this world again because we wanted to deliver Nigeria properly. And the ritualists and liars were too many. We had to even invite some of the Israeli security to help us plan what we were going to do at a certain stage. I am sure you heard at that time that Abacha had already forgiven Israel and started a relationship with the Israeli government. I was the one who went to Tel Aviv with a group of top military officers and some civilians to negotiate our recognizing Israel. We felt that was good for Christians and we recognized OIC at the same time. That was what we did to balance it.

We did for Christians and did for Muslims. So the issue is this. I called Ray Ekpu for releasing the betrayal of Nigeria by Babagana Kingibe; that he should never have been in the list of this June 12 thing that Buhari did. Whether it is wrong now or not, I am not going to say it.

Posterity will judge that and Nigerians will react to it. There is the excitement of course because Abiola was badly treated. And Abiola talked to me. You know I was the intermediary between Abiola and Aliyu Mohammed, Wazirin Jema’a, the Secretary to the Government and Wazirin Jema’a, the Secretary to the Government was the intermediary between Abiola and Babangida. What I deliver to Aliyu is what he discusses with Babangida on Abiola because we didn’t want a direct link that the media will look into concerning the relationship and communication between IBB my boss and Abiola. You understand. I hope you are getting it now? So the issue is very simple. We did not expect Babagana Kingibe to be running mate to Abiola because…and of course he betrayed him. Have you read some of the things that happened between the June 12 annulment and now from Babagana Kingibe?

He stood by Abacha. I was there with Abacha.

Babagana was there with us with Abacha. Buhari was there with us with Abacha. After they had refused to work with the document that I delivered to him from Abacha when I came back the following week with the SSS director of Kaduna, he escorted me, he gave me back the document and said he was not interested.

Who?
Buhari who we wanted to make the Interim President. He was waiting for us maybe we will tell him we wanted to make him Interim President. My style is not like that. That was why you heard what happened that he jumped over his fence into the valley around his house and escaped in the night when security took over his house and disarmed all the SSS people that were serving him and broke into his sitting room. By that time he had already jumped over his fence into the valley there. You didn’t hear that?

Who jumped over the fence?
Buhari. Yes in his house on Sultan road.

Why would he do that and why were they after him?
Because he had refused Abacha’s proposal to be president. Nobody refuses Abacha. Even when Buhari was in power nobody refuses him. Hakimi Sokoto died because Buhari refused to allow him to have access to medical attention when Buhari was in power. I am talking of Wazirin Sokoto then. That was why when Buhari was in detention and his mother got sick and died they refused to allow him to go.

But when the mother died they released him. Now, what are your thoughts about this recognition given to Abiola by Buhari?

It was ultimately going to happen, my brother. All the presidents that have passed… Goodluck Jonathan asked for my opinion on this when he was president. I told him to call Abiola’s son and discuss with him. Then he called Kola Abiola. You know I was in retirement and was not a member of Goodluck Jonathan’s government. Was it not your paper that treated about five pages of what happened with ACF and Northern Traditional Leaders on my exposition on the paradigm shift that we profiled to make sure that Goodluck Jonathan becomes president? Didn’t you interview me at that time? The issue is very simple. If Buhari doesn’t play ball in his own government he shouldn’t expect anybody to play ball in their own government. Now, the June 12 issue. There are legal and constitutional procedures, which he has flouted. My old colleague because he is much older than me, himself, Pius Okigbo, Rotimi Williams, all of them we were together. I was the youngest on the Committee of Concerned Citizens. You have the list of the committee members with Yadudu, Hamza Zayyad. Justice Bello, former Chief Justice was once the Chairman, Rotimi Williams, Akintola Williams were all in the 32-member team that they said was going to save Nigeria. I was the youngest of them all.

So how illegal is what Buhari has just done?
After this interview, I will search my IT library what this man, that legal luminary, Ben Nwabueze who was also a member of the Concerned Citizens Committee said. Nwabueze gave a treatise on Buhari’s mistake.

I have it. You must have read it too.

So what is the mistake?
I will send it to you in the next one hour.

Read it and incorporate it into this interview if you want to because there are procedures on all these issues. Look the first problem that Buhari has in dealing with the issue of June 12 is that when Buhari came to power he was excited. He rolled out decrees to make sure that even Journalists that even reported the truth was going to face a death sentence. Do you remember that? In that decree, there were some that had to do with making sure that all actions taken by his military regime cannot be undone.

Buhari is the one who promulgated that decree and I had the privilege of seeing Idiagbon tell him to be careful and that what Buhari has done was going to catch up with him.

Alhaji please address this issue squarely, particularly the one that touches on the illegality of his action. What has this decree got to do with the issue of June 12?

I said he has offended the constitution and his own decree. That is why I am saying there are procedures. There are certain things that cannot be undone and he cannot amend that decree today. He has no right to do so.

But that decree is no longer in force
Ah! No. It is. If you read the decree again you will see it. It is in force forever. The only possibility of changing that Decree is if there is another military coup, certainly not a civilian government. These are the things. And Babagana Kingibe who is now the official cabal that is controlling Buhari through the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, they intentionally did it to make Buhari unpopular. That is what Ray Ekpu is saying.

How would that make Buhari unpopular?
By doing the wrong thing for the right reason. You can do the right thing for the wrong reason. So Babagana Kingibe’s style of betrayal is this; only intellectual and intelligent people can see it because it cannot fly. You think the recognition of changing Democracy Day to June 12 is going to show? There is nothing in the world that says he has powers over Decrees and constitutions and out of excitement we must all lose our heads. Why I am not going to say more is that some things are likely to happen in Nigeria in due course and I don’t want anybody to say that I knew beforehand that it was going to happen. So if you are really my brother let’s leave that aside I cannot tell you more.

Is what Buhari has done on this issue of June 12 positive as far as you are concerned especially when you think of the 2019 election?
The issue is very simple. It’s a good thing in terms of jubilation, but Ayo Opadokun phoned me and asked what does Babangida and now Abacha is dead, I am the voice of Abacha, that what do we think about this issue of Buhari and this June 12? And he said that he smelt a rat. So I told him yes Babagana Kingibe is the rat and that the agenda of Babagana Kingibe is that he wants Buhari to mess up so that he would fail woefully in 2019 election. If post-election violence and anything takes place in Nigeria, Babagana Kingibe wants the money they have thrown on service chiefs and all that to make it possible for an Interim Government to be put on June 12 because there will be no election. The election will be inconclusive so that Babagana Kingibe can be Acting President. For God’s sake, look at that. So I told Opadokun to tell my people because my wife is from Abeokuta…

How would the advice by Babagana Kingibe cause post-election violence?
Put this off record. I am also recording (divulges information to this reporter) That is why I said we should put this information off record.

I asked you how the action taken by Buhari about the June 12 will affect him in the 2019 election. Will it be positive?
It will dislocate Buhari because he is not going to win the 2019 election.

What did you see? What are the indices?
The Yoruba and everybody have decided to ditch Buhari in the election. They called Abiola’s daughter to write a big issue about Buhari. She sent it to me yesterday, but not that I believe in Buhari. I have had cause to help Buhari many times, but he is on his own now. How can a 78-year-old man want to continue to be president of Nigeria when there are younger people?

Is that the reason Opadokun and others will not want him to continue?
No, June 12 is not enough. They know Buhari’s antecedent. They have worked on him. They have known him since his government; they have known him since his machinations in PTF. I am sure you have read the PTF story?

In all sincerity where do you think the southwest will be in the 2019 election? I want you to use your experience as someone who is a former security expert. Some people have said his action is a masterstroke from a master strategist.
It is not a masterstroke anything. He did it for himself. He did it to increase his popularity because his popularity and acceptance have waned. It has gone down terribly. We measured it. America measured it. My Israeli friends measured it and told me about it. So he is trying to beef up his acceptance. Babagana Kingibe is very intelligent. In all the forces in Nigeria, there are not up to three that are the best hands insecurity. Babagana Kingibe was an operative in the NIA.

Do you have any problem with the GCFR and GCON given to Abiola and his running mate, Kingibe respectively?
No, what he gave to Abiola is just fine but it is not done. There are procedures to be maintained, please. You don’t just do things as if it is akara (beans cake) that they are frying on the way. The constitution is our guide. That is why there is no anarchy on our streets. Buhari must obey that constitution because he is an employee of the taxpayers. He is not a president for life. He is not our God. He is a human being. So the positioning and grandstanding of his supporters are meant to destroy him. So, southwest will not vote for Buhari in 2019.

Understand that; they will not and whatever southwest does is what the Igbo will do. Have you not started noticing the body language in the eastern region about what is going on in the present Buhari government? Some of them have started calling on each other not to be sympathetic to Buhari’s 2019 positioning.

And some people have told them Buhari can never be the kind of person in the world that will make it possible for an Igbo presidency in 2023. I am checking all the documents every day even though I am in retirement so that the day anybody thinks he can tell me nonsense if my spirituality is not enough to destroy them I have enough documents to make sure they are caught off guard. Buhari is deceiving them. Please understand that. And let me say this before you call off this interview; you see anything you call anti-corruption actually started from Abacha. During Abacha, PTF was our first call. Immediately Buhari refused to accede to that document that Abacha asked me to take to him we broke down PTF. We wanted PTF to have eastern, south-south, south-west and northern desks because a lot of people started complaining that the PTF was mismanaged. That is why the documents I raised at that time, Buhari’s PTF and the great betrayal that happened under Buhari was put on Facebook recently. I have it. The issue is this. After finishing with PTF our next call was Nigerian Railways. Nigerian Railways was a strong money guzzler. At that time the Yeriman Zazzau, Muniru Ja’afaru was the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railways and General Gumel was the Chairman. So he came to me and told me about the $30million bribe money that the Chinese people gave railway officials. So Muniru Ja’afaru came to me and reported to me. So Abacha said we should debrief Gumel. Unknown to him, Muniru had already told me everything about it. When he finished then I told him what I knew. Then he broke down crying. He went home, had a heart failure and died. So Buhari is not doing a new thing.  (The Sun)

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2019: June 12 Recognition Will Boost Buhari’s Chance In S’West – Ogunyale

Buhari-honours-Abiola

 

Brown Chimezie

Shina Ogunyale is a lawyer and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).  He speaks on the posthumous awards bestowed on the winner of June 12 election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and others.

 President Muhammadu Buhari has honoured late Abiola and others in recognition of their role in nurturing the country’s democracy, how would you describe this development?

In my own view, it is a welcome idea. It is long overdue. It is a very good initiative in a good direction. This reminds me of the words of my late mentor; Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) that June 12 is symbolic. May 29 is not symbolic because May 29 is just like October 1st; May 29 is just a mere hand-over day from military to civilian and nothing more.

What made June 12 symbolic was because that was the only day that we had a free and fair election, well-conducted with over 40 million Nigerians across tribe and ethnic divide, went out to elect Abiola as their president. You will agree with me that we have never witnessed that type of election before and even now, an election where Abiola won across all the geopolitical zones. He even won in the hometown of his major contender, Alhaji Bashir Tofa of National Republican Convention (NRC).

The step to recognise June 12 as Democracy Day ought to have been taken since, but Chief Obasanjo may have refused to do this out of petty jealousy for the person of Abiola. Imagine a Yoruba man from the same state as Abiola failing to recognise him, but a Fulani man from Katsina has done it.

But some Nigerians have insinuated that President Buhari took this step for political reason to get the votes from South-West and spite Obasanjo. Do you agree?

I agree with them. In politics, you must be smart to outwit your opponent. That means the opposition is not smart enough to take the right step at the right time. With this, every average Nigerian will vote Buhari for removing shame from their faces. It is a thing of pride to us that our late son has joined the league of past head of state, a thing Obasanjo would have done but couldn’t out of hatred and jealousy.

Come to think of it, (Goodluck) Jonathan tried to immortalise Abiola by naming Unilag after him, but enemies of democracy scuttled that arrangement. In fact, I commended President Buhari for using executive order instead of consultation. Consultation would have run into the same hurdle that ruined Jonathan’s initiative on Abiola. I can assure you that more political moves to lure the South-east, South-south and other geopolitical zone is underway.

Were you surprised that the Late Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) also got an award?

No. The award bestowed on Gani is a well-deserved one. Remember that the award was given to him by the late Yar’Adua and he rejected it. Why? If Abiola had been honoured by Yar’Adua, Gani would have followed suit. So in this case, President Buhari honoured Abiola, Gani and others who fought for democracy and I am sure if Gani was to be alive today, he would accept the award wholeheartedly.

Do you think Kingibe deserves that award?

Looking at his political antecedent, maybe he should not have been honoured but by the virtue of the fact that he was the vice president-elect to Abiola in that election, so automatically he should enjoy all the benefits that go with that office.

But the Southeast is saying, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, the then electoral umpire should not have been left out of the honour’s list, what’s your take on this matter?

Honestly speaking, Prof.  Nwosu is one of my mentors. Like I said when he was appointed NEC chairman then, I had confidence in his ability to deliver. He deserved to be honoured. We will continue to speak with President Buhari to see the reason why the former NEC boss should be honoured. He didn’t compromise. If he had compromised, he would have stopped the announcement of the result. But he stuck out his neck to announce all the results. For this singular reason, I think he deserves to be recognised. June 12 is symbolic just like Prof. Nwosu. So without him, Abiola’s mandate wouldn’t have been realised.

As the person who organised that election don’t you think IBB too deserves mention?

If there is anything IBB deserve, it is to retrieve the GCFR from him because of his act of cowardice. In many of his interview, he said he annulled the election because of fear of young officers in the military who threatened to kill him if Abiola becomes the president. So such person doesn’t deserve the honour of valour at tall.

Using Agbara Community in Agbara Igbesa LCDA, would you say APC has done well in the past three years?

In fact, I am ashamed to identify myself as APC member in my community because our people are disappointed in the leadership style of Senator Ibikunle Amosu for his gross negligence of Ogun West senatorial district. Today roads are in bad shape and economy of the people in the area has come to a halt.

Is Senator Olamilekan Adeola still in the governorship race?

As a member of APC and a member of Yayi forum, I am telling you that Senator Olamilekan Adeola is in the Ogun governorship race. Recently he addressed his supporters in Abeokuta where he reaffirmed his stance to run for the governorship race in 2019. The news that Yayi is no longer in the race is from detractors and come 2019, he will prove his worth at the poll.   (The Sun)

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Buhari Apologises To MKO Abiola Family |The Republican News

Buhari-honours-Abiola1

 

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, openly apologised to the late Chief MKO Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, for the injustice done to him by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida led military junta.

This is even as he assured that “Nigerians will no longer tolerate such perversion of Justice again.”

The election of June 12, 1993, poll said to be the freest and fairest election in the nation’s history was annulled by the military president, Gen. Babangida.

President Buhari tendered the apology at the investiture of Chief Abiola as Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) at the State House Conference Centre, the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

“On behalf of the Federal Government, I tender the nation’s apology to the family of late MKO Abiola, who got the highest vote (in the election) and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of the June 12 struggle,” President Buhari said before getting guests to observe a minute’s silence in honour of those who died.
He said the ceremony was not intended to open old wounds, but to right the wrongs of the past.

According to him, the decision to honour MKO Abiola and to declare June 12 Democracy Day followed years of clamour by the activists, statesmen, groups as well as the family, associates, and friends of the late businessman and politician should be accepted “in good faith” as this will help the nation move forward.

“We cannot rewind the past but we can at least assuage our feelings, recognise that a wrong has been committed and resolve to stand firm now and ease the future for the sanctity of free elections,” he said.

“Nigerians will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice. This retrospective and posthumous recognition is only a symbolic token of redress and recompense for the grievous injury done to the peace and unity of our country.”

Buhari added that by moving past the negatives of the struggle, Nigerians would be able to fully benefit from June 12.

“Our action today is to bury the negative side of June 12 – side of ill-feelings, hate, frustration, and agony. What we are doing today is celebrating the positive side of June 12,” he said.

“Nigerians, of their own free will, voted for Chief MKO Abiola, and Babagana Kingibe – the presidential flag bearer and running mate of the Social Democratic Party in the 1993 elections.”

He accused the government of the day of cancelling the elections when it was clear who was going to be the winners.

At the event, the late Chief Gani Fawenhinmi and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe were also conferred with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

Speaking on the Abiola family’s behalf, Hafsat Abiola, one of the daughters of the late icon, who said Buhari’s apology was “very touchy” said the gesture was unexpected considering the relationship that existed behind him and the late Abiola

Hafsat told the audience that Abiola was already rehearsing how to deliver his inauguration speech as the president before the election was annulled.
In an emotion-laden voice, she said her late mother told her how Abiola was standing before a mirror to rehearse his inauguration speech.

“He was born Yoruba but he loved Hausa people, Kanuri, Efik, Igbo people, he loved all, you just needed to be a Nigerian and MKO was your man. If he could help he would do.

There are so many things he already did to show and that was why the people of Nigeria rewarded him with the mandate of June 12, 1993. But we know that he was never able to deliver that speech but in many ways, the event that transpired later revealed to Nigerians the eloquence in his heart, the fidelity of his commitment and even his own deep abiding wish that if there was any way his own actions would in any way compromise the people of Nigeria, MKO preferred to die, he preferred to leave the earth rather than compromise on you, on your integrity as a people and your sovereignty as a nation, which was why even the day before he died when he was still being pressured, he asked the question, how do you shave the people’s heads in their absence? “…And when he died, we accepted his body and have watched in Nigeria as year after year till now, the 25th year, you the people have suffered and he was not recognized at all.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, Nelson Mandela it was who said, ‘It always seems impossible until it is down.’ Who would have ever believed given the relationship that you had with Chief MKO Abiola that you would be the instrument God will use to honour this man and to bring recognition and healing to the country.

“You apologised to my family and it touched my heart. You know that I also lost my mother in this struggle; so that apology meant so much. Let me use this opportunity, on behalf of the Chief MKO Abiola because I know what he would have done, I use this opportunity to apologise to you, to apologise to your family, anything that he might have done to harm you and to harm your family,” Hafsat said.

Also speaking, Kola Abiola, the first son of the business mogul said the Abiola family accepted both the award and the apology.

“We thank you for taking the decisive measures to strengthen our democracy and guarantee our future by reconciling our past,” he said.

Chief Abiola’s running mate, Kingibe, said by recognising June 12, Buhari has contributed the noblest chapter to the checkered history of Nigeria’s nationhood.
Kingibe recalled Abiola as a man of great wit and persuasive powers, full of energy and a great philanthropist truly committed to improving the lot of the poor masses.

Also responding, Muhammed, the son of Fawehinmi, human rights activist and legal icon described Buhari as the first sensitive and reasonable head of state to have listened to the people and acted accordingly. “Today is symbolic because it shows the entrenchment of unity all citizens of this country regardless of your tribe, ethnic background, religious beliefs because we are all Nigerians.”

Stop eulogising Abiola’s tormentors – Soyinka

Also, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka lauded President Buhari’s apology to the late Abiola as a bold step, saying he least expected the president to do so. He, however, admonished him to stop admiring and displaying loyalty to a man he tagged late MKO Abiola’s “Tormentor-in-Chief.”

Buhari had last month eulogised the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, who clamped the business mogul in jail for about five years, for working to provide roads, education and healthcare.

He wondered why President Buhari will continue to display loyalty to a man he described as “one of the worst dictators in the history of the country.”

“Mr President since we are honouring heroes of democracy today, I like to request that you manage to stop creating confusion in the minds of Nigerians. It is not possible to honour MKO Abiola in one breadth and admire his tormentor in another breadth. Loyalty is all very well but loyalty can become perverse if that loyalty is retained to an individual, who if he were alive today would be before the International Court of Crimes against humanity, the one who broke the laws of Nigeria, international laws, pauperised this nation. It is confusing if professional loyalty is carried so far as to be accorded such an individual.”

Soyinka also canvassed for the extension of recognition to others who took part in the June 12 struggle which culminated in the present civil rule.

“All that is left to me is to plead so that we do not forget the nameless, the unsung heroes and heroines of that struggle. A number of names have already been listed but I will like to include one of the pioneers, the instigators of the physical confrontations with that dictator, Comrade Ola Oni, who mobilised a number of people and fought the goons and slaves and surrogates of that dictator in that auspiciously named stadium in Ibadan, Liberty Stadium.  But above all, I want us always to remember that individual which we are principally celebrating today, the man who reappeared and represented himself, who did not understand the word surrender, saying my name is Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, I am back to reclaim my mandate.”  (The Sun)

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June 12: Stop Showing Loyalty To Abiola’s ‘Tormentor-in-Chief’, Soyinka Tells Buhari

Wole-Soyinka
                  Prof. Wole Soyinka

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to stop admiring and displaying loyalty to an unnamed individual whom he referred to late MKO Abiola’s “Tormentor-in-Chief.”

Some are of the opinion that he had referred to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, who clamped the business mogul to jail for about five years.

Abiola died in prison.

Although Soyinka did not mention Abacha’s name specifically, the Nobel laureate said it was confusing for Buhari to honour Chief Moshood Abiola on the one hand and be admiring the late politician’s “Tormentor-in-Chief” on the other.

He wondered why President Buhari will continue to display loyalty to a man he described as “one of the worst dictators in the history of the country” and who should be having his days in court for crime against humanity.

Soyinka said that in a private meeting with Buhari, he had also raised concerns over how the President could be saying his administration was fighting corruption, whereas a major road in the Federal Capital Territory is named after a “corrupt former leader.”

He said he was not satisfied with the response he got from Buhari.

He called on the President to consider establishing a Hall of Shame for those who have wronged the country, just as he puts up Hall of Fame for the nation’s heroes. (Punch)

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June 12: I’ll Work For Your Re-election, Tinubu Promises Buhari |RN

Tinubu-and-Buhari

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

A national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said President Muhammadu Buhari deserved a second term and that he would work for his victory in the 2019 presidential election.

While highlighting some of Buhari’s achievements, Tinubu claimed that Nigerians are no longer paying for darkness, giving an indication that electricity supply has become stable under the present administration.

He also lauded Buhari for the school feeding programme, a component of the government’s Social Investment Programme.  (Punch)

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Buhari Shifts Democracy Day To June 12, Honours Abiola,

• Confers GCFR on the presumed winner as Kingibe, late Fawehinmi get GCON

• Son: ‘Finally, it’s done, we’re happy’

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja; Chukwudi Nweje

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that effective from next year, Nigeria’s Democracy Day will now be celebrated on June 12, rather than the traditional May 29.

May 29 has been Nigeria’s Democracy Day for 19 years since the birth of the Fourth Republic.
Buhari will also confer a posthumous Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Nigeria’s highest honour, on the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential poll, late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.

His running mate in that election, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe will be awarded Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger GCON as well as a GCON on the late pro-democracy activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi.

The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Democracy Day shift is to honour “an illustrious son of Nigeria…who won a presidential election but was prevented from taking office when the results were annulled.

“The late Abiola died while struggling to actualise the mandate. Consequently, the late MKO Abiola will be conferred with nation’s highest honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, exclusively conferred on the holders of the highest office in the country, the president.

“In the same vein, Kingibe is to be conferred with the second highest honour, GCON. Also to receive a GCON is Fawehinmi.”

In a personal statement he signed yesterday evening, Buhari explained why his administration chose June 12.

“For the past 19 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29 as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government.

“The first time this happened was on October 1, 1979. But, in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this administration, June 12, 1993, was far more symbolic of democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29 or even October 1.

“June 12, 1993, was the day when Nigerians, in millions, expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military government does not detract from the democratic credentials of that process.

“Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day.

“Therefore, the government has decided to award posthumously, the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to Abiola… His running mate, as vice president, Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualisation of the June 12 elections and, indeed, for democracy, in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) is to be awarded the GCON.

“The investiture will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, a date which, in future years, will replace May 29 as a national public holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.”

MKO was born on August 24, 1937, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He was the 23rd child of his father but the first to survive infancy.

He delved into business at nine years old, selling firewood before school. By age 15, he founded a band and would perform at various ceremonies in exchange for food.

He was eventually able to require payment for his performances and used the money to support his family and his secondary education at the Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta.
Quite politically conscious, MKO joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) at the age of 19, because of its stronger pan-Nigerian origin.

A business mogul, Abiola set up Abiola Farms, Abiola Bookshops, Radio Communications Nigeria, Wonder Bakeries, Concord Press, Concord Airlines, Summit Oil International Ltd, Africa Ocean Lines, Habib Bank, Decca W.A. Ltd, and Abiola football club. He was also chairman of the G15 business council, President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, among others.

He joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP), one of the two political parties registered by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration.

At the June 12, 1993, presidential election, Abiola and his running-mate, Kingibe defeated the National Republican Convention candidates of Alhaji Bashir Uthman Tofa and his running-mate, Dr Sylvester Ugoh.

The election was eventually annulled by Babangida, causing a political crisis which led to General Sani Abacha seizing power later that year.

In 1994 Abiola declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria.
Abacha thereafter arrested and detained Abiola on treason charges.
He was detained for four years.

Abiola died in suspicious circumstances shortly after Abacha’s death, on the day he was due to be released; July 7, 1998.

In his reaction to government’s declaration, Abiola’s eldest son, Kola Abiola, told Daily Sun last night: “Finally, it is done. It’s been a lot of hard work. We are happy.”
Kola also said the family will issue a comprehensive statement on the development.         (The Sun)

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Abacha Killed Yar’Adua With Lethal Viral Injection, He Wanted Me, Abiola Dead -Obasanjo

 obasanjo
                            Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

ARUKAINO UMUKORO

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, revealed on Saturday that the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha wanted him, the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and the June 12 hero, the late Moshood Abiola, died while in prison.

He stated this at a dinner programme organised by an inter-denominational Christian organisation, Christ The Redeemer’s Friends International of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 39 Chapter.

The former president alleged that Yar’Adua was poisoned by Abacha’s killer squad, adding that he was to be next victim, but that he was saved by God’s divine grace.

Obasanjo said, “Two people had earlier told me Abacha promised that three of us would not come out of prison or detention alive; myself. Shehu Yar Adua and MKO Abiola. And two of them did not come out alive. So, that I came out alive, maybe God has a purpose. And therefore if the purpose is for me to serve the people and by so doing,  serve God, then so be it.

“Abacha claimed that I was plotting a coup. I wasn’t the first to be arrested. When Shehu (Yar’Adua) was arrested, I tried to plead for his release. When Abacha said he didn’t know about Shehu’s arrest, I said to him, ‘the number two man in this country cannot be arrested without you knowing.’ He then said he would go and find out.

“In Abacha’s plan, he left God out of it and because he left God out of his plan, it (his government) eventually failed. There is God’s hand in the life of each and every one of us and every institution. I believe that very well.

“When I was arrested, they took me to a house in Ikoyi (Lagos) and that became my abode (I was) in isolation, for three months.

“In the meantime, there were national and international pressures for my release, (former US) President Jimmy Carter was one of the world leaders that came to ask for my release. Some African leaders like Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe came. I believe it was because of those pressures that I was released from isolation in Ikoyi where I was under house arrest.”

Obasanjo described the day he was court-martialled and sentenced as one of the ‘worst days in his life.’

He said, “I must say that that day, in a split second, it felt like the worst day in my life. What flashed through my mind was that I was forever ruined. I asked myself, ‘What did I do to deserve this? Is this what I get for serving Nigeria?’ But then, I told myself again that this was not done to me by Nigeria, but that one man did it for me.”

Obasanjo said he and Yar’Adua were detained in Jos and Port Harcourt prisons because they were the best prisons in the country at the time.

He said, “I was to go to Jos (prison) and Yar’Adua was to go to Port Harcourt (prison). In Jos, I was visited by my colleagues, including Yakubu Danjuma, Joe Garba, Domkat Bali, many of our colleagues, and then family members and friends.

“Then a decision was made that I was becoming too popular in Jos prison and I had to be transferred to. Yola prison which is a native authority prison and I don’t need to tell you what life was there.

“In Jos prison, before I was transferred to Yola prison, they had decided that Shehu Yar’Adua and myself should be poisoned. So, they took him from Port Harcourt prison to Abakaliki. In the process, he was injected with the virus that killed him. The same was supposed to be done to me. The man who came took me from the prison to a guest house in the GRA in Jos,  said, ‘We know you have a problem with cholesterol so I have to take your blood for a test.’ Then I said, ‘Not on your life, I don’t have any problem with cholesterol.’

“I was slightly diabetic. But God had taken care of it because I was checking my blood sugar almost on a daily basis and it had become better than normal. So, I refused him (the man) touching me with anything. So, they took me to Yola and he said, ‘when you get to where you are going, we will come again.’”

The former president said he was saved from being poisoned by a doctor and specialist in the prison.

“The doctor was a professional man in charge of the General Hospital in Yola. He listened to my case that I needed special food because I was diabetic. He said the specialist would come to see me. The specialist turned out to be somebody from Okeogun in Oyo State. Two, he was a Baptist, and three, he had heard about me and knew me. So, he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t let anybody touch you with anything.’

“Within three weeks the man that came to me earlier returned again and said he wanted to take my blood. I said, ‘No, you have to get my doctor to come and take my blood for you.’ That was the arrangement between me and the doctor. And my doctor came and he brought a syringe and he took my blood and gave it to him. He now asked the man, ‘When would we have the result? ’The man said, ‘Within 24 hours of my getting to Abuja.’I haven’t heard the result until today.”

Obasanjo said after his release from prison, he gave into pressure to contest for the presidency and he ended up becoming president for two terms by the grace of God. “Nigeria that was a pariah state became a darling (of the world).

“What is the lesson for me? I developed in prison but unfortunately, I was not able to sustain it. Maybe because there was nothing else to do in prison except to pray and fast. I used to fast a lot. On three occasions, I fasted for seven days, no water, no food… a unique power was given to me by God.

“In all these, God did not leave me alone, and I know that.  I say to people that God has never let me alone nor disappointed me in spite of all. I am a sinner. It is not because of my goodness, but because of the grace of God, and the grace of God continues to abound.”  (Punchng.com)

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Bamaiyi Is An Evil Liar, He Tortured MKO Before His Death, Says Col. Ajayi

Col-Ajayi

Col. Gabriel Ajayi

Col. Gabriel Ajayi, one of the military officers roped in by former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, in the 1995 phantom coup tells BAYO AKINLOYE that Bamaiyi is a snake in the grass

When did you join the Nigerian Army?

I joined the Nigerian Army on June 27, 1971. I was part of the Regular Course Number 10 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

What was the first brush you had with the military authorities as a soldier?

Let me state that before I went to the NDA, I had already made up my mind – because I had two and a half years experience in the newspaper industry and I undertook a lot of things knowing that I was academically better than my colleagues. I was far ahead of them in perception and in understanding of everything that was going on in Nigeria and beyond. In Kaduna, there was a time we went for a road march, and we were singing that we were Kaduna soldiers – that was in 1971. So, when we came back, I and two other cadets wondered whether we were actually Kaduna soldiers. We were supposed to be cadets for the Nigerian Defence Academy. We sought audience with the then Lt. Col. Solomon Omojoku, who was an instructor in the academy. But he was busy. We therefore went ahead to see the chief instructor, Lt. Col. Pius Eromobo. In response to our observation, he sent us away regarding us as unserious fellows who had nothing to do. Something else happened while I was in Ibadan – the heartland of Yorubaland. During a conference, soldiers began speaking Hausa. Then, I queried the switch from English to Hausa. My punishment was 15 days in detention.

In Nigeria, we have two armies: the army of the North and the army of the South. The army of the North was peaceful, friendly and was like a family  and there were no intrigues or scheming. We had a great relationship with civilians unlike what obtained down South where soldiers will get into public transport without paying, harass the public and even brutalise them. It is only in Lagos that all the coup plotters are settled. There was such a wide difference between us (soldiers) who were serving in the North and soldiers serving in the South. I do not know if things have changed now. Ninety-five per cent of my career was spent in the North. I can only remember a clash between civilians and soldiers in Kano; and the soldiers were punished by the military authorities for that – everybody in the brigade in Kano, including the commander.

How will you describe Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi?

It is not in my character to impugn the sanctity of senior military officers because we worship people like that in the military. Unfortunately, when a senior officer descends into the sewage tank, the officer cannot expect to smell of perfume. I am not obliged to speak derogatorily about Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi but he is a devious person. He is a fraud. For example, see how he bit the fingers that fed him; that is, Gen. Oladipo Diya. It was Diya that single-handedly appointed him as Chief of Army Staff during the Gen. Sani Abacha regime. Bamaiyi is slippery and treacherous; he had no permanent friends and had no sense of loyalty. He lived by the day. Everybody was his enemy and everybody was his friend as the need arose. He was clever by half. This is a man who wrote a perfect confidential report about me and two weeks later, he put my name on the list of officers planning to overthrow the government of Abacha.

I still have a copy of the report he wrote concerning me, describing me as a distinguished Nigerian;   worthy officer and two weeks later, he  withdrew the letter from where it was kept. He is not a dependable master. He is an unprofitable master. He is very clever and mean. If I tell you the bad comments that Bamaiyi used to make about the Yoruba, you’ll be shocked, but I do not want to offend my friends in the North. He did not deserve to be given a commission in the Army; giving him such was a misnomer. This is someone whom I attended church service with regularly and we ate Holy Communion together. He was supposed to pray for me. He lied in his book that he didn’t know about plan to arrest me but two days to the arrest, he changed the guards in my house.

He would send officers to me, to speak ill of him, trying to entrap me. Instead of condemning him, I would implore them to respect Bamaiyi, that the commander is always right. I knew what he could be up to. He also knew my stance as far as June 12, 1993 presidential election was concerned; he knew my stance as far as discipline in the army was concerned; and he knew my stance as far as military involvement in political issues was concerned. He knew my stance on God. I have never wavered in all that. I am a book freak; I have one of the largest libraries in the Nigerian Army  and I have kept a library since 1971. They looted that library. Bamaiyi is an unreliable character. He is very evil. He never read the Bible until he was sent to prison. This is somebody who said there was no God.

How did you become so close to a man you didn’t fancy that much?

I was the President of St. Luke Military Church. He was my church member but he was also my commander. A soldier would still obey his superior and he asked for my opinion about things. Being the president of the church did not affect my work. He wanted to remove me but couldn’t because of the way I conducted myself. Other soldiers warned me to be careful of my association with him, that he could spoil my career. He told me himself that he is a snake in the grass. Bamaiyi said he is more terrible than his brother contrary to what people think. And, he is right; I have known his brother since 1974. He taught me in Nigeria Military College. I was second-lieutenant, he was a lieutenant. He taught me again in Nigerian Army Infantry; I was a captain, he was a major. Then, he was my deputy commandant and I was a training commandant in Zaria. So, I know the older brother very well. I extended the love I had for the senior brother to Ishaya Bamaiyi while serving under him.

What can you say about Gen. Bamaiyi’s book?

His published book is a comedy of errors. I will call it a fictional thriller. It should be titled, ‘The platform of Mallam Bamaiyi’. Just look at him: he spoilt the name of his government and the name of his superiors. He blackmailed as many people as possible. A true general should be dispassionate and diplomatic. He damaged the career of so many fine military officers. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju replied him that he was lying in his book. Everybody knows he is a liar. The military knew he was a liar. How he was made to become Chief of Army Staff was a mystery to all the officers – it was Gen. Diya, a distinguished military officer, who chose Bamaiyi; even Abacha didn’t want him. I guess Diya didn’t know him very well. I had thought that Bamaiyi would apologise to Nigerians on behalf of the Abacha regime and ask for forgiveness rather than spew falsehood in his book. His book is full of lies.

What about his view as stated in the book that MKO Abiola died under controversial circumstances in the custody of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar?

Don’t mind him. At the Oputa Panel, Gen. Sabo alleged that when Abacha died Bamaiyi said the military should ‘equal the equation’. How could he claim that Gen. Abdulsalami should be held accountable for Abiola’s death when he was among those  who tortured Abiola before his death? Bamaiyi was behind many evils done under Abacha. Compared to Bamaiyi, Abacha was a nice man. Bamaiyi’s aim through his book is to pit the Yoruba against Gen. Abdulsalami. What love does Bamaiyi have for the Yoruba to be concerned about the death of Abiola? Don’t mind him; he’s a liar.

How were you involved in the alleged coup of 1995?

Let me tell you something about the 1995 phantom coup that I have not mentioned before. It had five groups of accused – that is, the coup was a compendium or amalgamation of so-called diverse crimes put under the generic title of coup plot. The groups were: one, we the so-called phantom coup victims led by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and others; two, those alleged to be organising guerrilla operations in Lagos with their base in Ojo, led by Major Akinyemi; three, accessories after the fact of treason allegedly led by Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti; four, those charged with leakage of our defence to the outside world under Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline led by Navy Commander Fabiyi and Col. Olu Craig; and five, illegal possession of firearms without Presidential Permit, led by Lt. Col. Izuorgu. No newspaper ever recorded this piece of information  that I have just given you. For that phantom coup, I was convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad.

Do you mean you were never part of the coup?

There was no coup at all – a coup that was created in the evil imagination of someone. The head of Army’s Legal Services was arrested; a man who had the law-book of Nigerian military; an adjutant of the Nigerian Defence Academy was arrested in Kaduna; Quartermaster Giwa was arrested and (Lawan) Gwadabe in Yola, Adamawa was arrested. How were we going to storm Aso Rock and remove Abacha? What force were we going to use to remove him? The coup allegation was laughable, incoherent and childish. The essence of the coup conspiracy was to knock down NADECO (National Democratic Coalition). Once the coup allegation was thrown up, the nation became divided and distracted from the issue of Chief MKO Abiola and that lasted for almost a year. Everybody was begging for leniency on our behalf. It was no longer June 12, it was a strategy; a deliberate attempt meant to distract the public from agitating for Abiola’s mandate.

Were you at any time sympathetic to the cause of Chief MKO Abiola and his efforts to regain his mandate?

Yes; in March 1994, I wrote a position paper through the Chief of Army Staff to the Head of State, Gen. Abacha, asking him in a humble and most humane way – with proper analysis and points – to de-annul the June 12 presidential election, call the winner and hand over power to him. I urged him to act like Gen. Fidel Ramos of the Philippines. Doing so, I argued, would put his name in the hearts of Nigerians forever as a general who handed over power to civilians; a general who stood on justice. And I said that the problem of the country largely was because of injustice. I stated that beneficiaries of injustice today would become its victims tomorrow. I pleaded that the agitation for the de-annulment of the election shouldn’t be seen as a Yoruba cause,it was a Nigerian issue.

I wrote that paper, produced one confidential copy, sent it to Abacha and made recommendations. That paper was brought before the tribunal that tried me for coup plot, stating that I was not happy with the military regime and that I was angry about the annulment of June 12 election.

But were you happy with the military back then?

I couldn’t have been happy with the way we were behaving – everything contradicted the norms with which I was raised up. I was raised up as a strict Christian. You know when I left the NDA in 1973, my first goal was to read the Holy Bible – to read and study what it says about the military. One of the things I learnt was that we were not supposed to shed the blood of the innocent again; and that rebellion (coup making) is like the sin of witchcraft; while stubbornness is like the sin of idolatry. In the New Testament, according to John the Baptist, soldiers were urged to neither do violence to no man, nor accuse anyone falsely. Following what the Bible encourages soldiers to do, I made sure that soldiers under my command followed strictly my precepts. There was no way I could have been acting the way many of them did.  I had a pedigree and a home but many of the soldiers had  no pedigree so they behaved anyhow.

Everybody knew me. I was a reference point. Senior officers would come to me to seek counsel on papers they were writing. They knew I was different and that I would never be part of a coup. I was a serious person. Every day, I was in the library reading except on Sundays. Everybody knew my stance and I could not see the reason June 12 should be annulled. How could someone say on behalf of the Armed Forces (an election was annulled) and we were not consulted?

If you had your way, knowing that the military junta was not ready to allow Abiola to exercise his mandate, would you have organised a coup?

No; at that time, coup was no longer fashionable. If not for the phantom coup used to distract the nation, the people would  have forced the military regime to accede to their demand – they could have brought down the government. I did not believe and did not see any need for a military coup. I believed the people have the power to force out any illegitimate government. Just imagine 10 million people sitting on the road from Lagos to Ibadan for five days without leaving the road; and from Ibadan to Ilorin, five million people sitting on the road, what would the military do? What would Abacha have done? With NUPENG going on strike and Nigerians enforcing a sit-at-home protest, the masses would give the military the sack. Democracy is a dictate of everybody; there was no need for a coup,the people could have brought down the government by themselves. That is the people’s power.

What do you know about the involvement of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua in the so-called coup?

When Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was the head of state, I was a captain; I wasn’t even qualified to be his aide-de-camp. He and Yar’Adua were far superior to us for me to begin to form an opinion about them. When we were told that Obasanjo and Yar’Adua were arrested, we concluded that Abacha had taken his madness beyond expectations. How could he arrest such men and accuse them of conspiring with us to overthrow his government? It was a misnomer. I only knew Obasanjo from distance.

Did you share same cell with him while in prison?

We were held hostage inside the demonic, outskirt prison located inside Ikoyi Cemetery. We were there together in the Inter Centre – a Department of State Services detention facility with  an underground dungeon tucked inside the cemetery. I think the name was an abbreviation for Interrogation Centre – until we were scattered and moved to various detention centres when the ruling junta said American marines were coming to rescue us.

You must have had a terrible experience while in detention. Can you tell us about it?

It was a terrible experience. I am still on medication since 1999 that I came out of prison. I am physically damaged by Bamaiyi and his cohorts that I can hardly hold a cup properly in my hand. I lost my manhood during the torture period. I was battered beyond human comprehension because they wanted to obtain a confession that would implicate me in the coup. They put fire in my anus and also in my private parts. I just came back from the hospital today (Friday). The Federal Government was never bothered about our medical predicament. They threw us out of prison naked with no care, claiming they gave us state pardon for a coup we knew nothing about – that’s wicked. I have been spending my hard-earned money on medical bills. My heart ran a marathon race between anger and frustration given what they made my eyes to see. Bamaiyi wanted me dead and he exacted the hatred he has for the Yoruba on me – transferred aggression.

If you meet Gen. Bamaiyi today, what will you tell him?

Because Christ had come to conquer, I am speaking as a matter of truth that I have nothing against him. If I meet today, I will greet him, though he was an unprofitable master. I was loyal to him. Even when he was eventually imprisoned and some people came to me for help concerning that, I did the best I could. Bamaiyi represents the ugliness of this country. He is a replica of what Nigerians are. Don’t blame him: it’s the system that produced Bamaiyi. We have to blame the system. If we don’t change the system, the country will continue to produce the likes of Bamaiyi. We have to restructure this illegal federal system. Nigeria should be attractive to everybody. This is the tragedy of Nigeria; we cannot eat our cake and have it. The system is bad and it can throw up so many Bamaiyis in the political arena; legal system; medical, educational and economic sectors of the country. We need to ensure that public office is not turned to personal possession – it should be something held in trust for the masses.

Did Obasanjo say anything about the coup, Abacha and Bamaiyi in your presence?

We never discussed any of them. Who were they? These people were not examples of sterling characters in the military. They were not people of distinction that you have to copy unlike fine senior officers like Gen. Akinrinade; not Abacha and co. Look, let me tell you, I was doing my Young Officer’s Course in Jaji in 1974, Eromobo was a colonel; he was a commandant and Abacha was a major and Chief Instructor in Nigeria Military Training College. Abacha was teaching us in the classroom and we were all laughing because he was goofing. The commandant knew our set in the NDA; he knew that we were very troublesome. He watched us laugh at Abacha, and then he came inside the classroom and ordered Abacha to get out and never to come back there again. Abacha and his ilk were not distinguished military officers. We couldn’t have sat down to talk about Gen. Abacha or Gen. Bamaiyi; what were we going to say about them? That they stole our money? Abacha pocketed all the military allocation under his command; he never released our allocation – officially appropriated allocation and nobody could ask him.

What do you know about Gen. Oladipo Diya’s $60,000 cash meant to execute the alleged 1997 coup?

I was already in prison as of that time. I don’t know exactly what transpired then. But I would rather believe Gen. Diya’s word  than Gen. Bamaiyi’s. Diya is not likely to lie but everyone knows Bamaiyi is a liar. It is sad that 22 years after I was roped in by Bamaiyi, he still continues to lie against me instead of tendering an apology. He owes me an apology.   (Punchng.com)

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