Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday attributed annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election presumably won by late philanthropist, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola by former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida on “bad belle.”
Obasanjo said the annulment robbed Egbaland and Ogun State the rare privilege of having three of its prominent sons occupying the No. 1 leadership position in the country at different times till date, since Independence.
Obasanjo spoke at the 46th President Party of Abeokuta Club, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The elder statesman, who was referring to former Head of Interim National Government, ING, Ernest Shonekan, himself (Obasanjo), who governed the country first as a military head of states and a civilian president, noted that Abiola would have become the third, if 1993 poll was not annulled.
Obasanjo was honoured as Trustee of the Club, while MKO Abiola was awarded a posthumous Vice-Patron of the club.
Obasanjo’s claim is, however, arguable. Without June 12 annulment, Shonekan would not have been appointed head of the Interim National Government, ING. That would have left Obasanjo and Abiola as heads of state from Ogun State.
The former President, who recalled that Abiola was his classmate at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, said Abiola richly deserved the award bestowed on him by the Abeokuta Club.
He said: “When Abeokuta Club was in the process of being birthed, things in Abeokuta were not as rosy as they are today. And the sons of Abeokuta who were in Lagos put their heads together in late Chief Sobo Sowemimo’s house to think of what they could do to improve the development of Abeokuta as a city. I pay tributes to all those founding members, those who have departed this world and those who are still here”.
“I want to thank the club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my school mate, MKO Abiola, which he richly deserved.
“Kabiyesi, the Alake of Egbaland alluded to it. Normally, when you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle, Abeokuta would have produced President of Nigeria three times, in which case, we should have kept it permanently.”
Obasanjo then pledged to continue to contribute his quota to the continued growth and development of Egbaland, Ogun State and Nigeria in general. The Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo while presenting the plague to Obasanjo, described Obasanjo and MKO Abiola as proud sons of Abeokuta, adding that some “bad blood” didn’t allow Abiola become President.