Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has revealed that Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s military administration designed the Third Republic’s transition programme to fail.
Tinubu, who was represented by the APC Presidential Campaign Council’s Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, stated this yesterday in Abuja at a public presentation of the book: Nigeria’s aborted Third Republic and the June 12 debacle: reporters account, by the National Association of Political Correspondents (NAPOC 90s).
He stated unequivocally that the Babangida regime was never willing to cede power to civilians.
Tinubu bemoaned the fact that the IBB transition turned the entire political class into guinea pigs for political experimentation.
He stated: “The Third Republic was not expected to last long. Indeed, of all our nation’s republics, it was the shortest: it began in January 1992 following the election of state governors in December 1991.
“It came to an end on November 17, 1993, with the Abacha coup against Ernest Shonekan’s Interim Government.” This occurred about five months after the annulment of the 12 June 1993 election, which Moshood Kashimawo Abiola clearly won.
“According to discerning critics, the entire transition programme of the time’s military administration was designed to fail.”
“It was intended, they said, to allow then-military President Babangida to succeed himself as a civilian president.”
Tinubu went on to say that the military government tried to clone a new breed of politicians known as the ‘Newbreed.’
He stated that the military administration later implemented Option A4, a system of voting by queuing behind candidates, describing it as a novelty in democratic decision-making, and then imposed a two-party system with defined ideologies.
“During the Third Republic, Nigerians witnessed a form of government known as diarchy, with elected state governors being bossed by a military president,” Tinubu said.
“The presidential primaries were cancelled, and participants were barred.” Then, a year later, the most unexpected happened: the June 12 election was cancelled.”
Tinubu lamented the annulment of the nation’s adjudged freest election, calling it a major political setback.
“However, the spirit of June 12 will grow to become the spirit of Nigeria, as well as our national greatness and destiny.” “And I dare to say that the spirit of 1993 will be with us in 2023,” he said.