A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Ambassador Babagana Kingibe ,who was late MKO Abiola’s running mate on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) was, however, non-committal on whether or not he betrayed Abiola.
He said: “I think we are now going to celebrate the first of the June 12 being a Democracy Day. It is an opportunity to recall all the positive takeaways of the June 12 experience, what it represented and how we can learn lessons for the future.”
“I don’t think it as an occasion for recriminations, who betrayed who, abandoned what. The whole process leading to June 12 was a unique experience in Nigerian political journey towards democracy.”
“The facts of June 12, the elections that took place on that day, were unique. We have held many elections but the elections of June 12 were unique.”
“The annulment of the elections was unique in the life of all Nigerians and being unique and novel, I think everybody reacted accordingly to their understanding of what reaction was required.”
“I do not think that we have the time to go through who played what role, who did what on this occasion. All I said, let us celebrate the event of June 12.”
Kingibe said he did his best to ensure that the annulment did not stand.
His words: “Suffice it to say that there are many ways of pursuing a goal. To me, the immediate goal was to make sure that the annulment did not stand. That I had a very strong opinion about. Don’t forget, from the annulment and the enthronement of Interim National Government (ING), there were 82 to 84 days or so.”
“During those days, we all worked together to make sure the ING did not stand. And it did not stand.”
Thereafter, we all had our reflections collectively and individually as to the way forward, and we moved on.
Responding to a question on why he has never spoken, he said: “Indeed, I never.
“This is the first time that I am addressing the issue. Sometimes, I am bemused; I am saddened, perhaps sometimes I am not surprised about the comments that people were making about June 12; the claims on June 12, those who stood on June 12 and so on.”