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20th September, 2022
The APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Tuesday said he is bold to say that the spirit of June 12, 1993 will be upon him and his party in 2023.
Tinubu spoke at the launch of “Nigeria’s Aborted 3rd Republic and the June 12 Debacle: Reporters Account,” in Abuja on Tuesday.
The book was written and published by the National Association of Political Correspondents (NAPOC 90s).
According to Tinubu Nigerians must not just treat June 12 election as just another election.
“It truly represented a watershed in our history as it moved us closer to our Pan Nigeria dream, a nationhood we often speak about, where, for instance, a Yoruba-born politician could team up with a minority Kanuri man and still win the poll massively outside their regions.
“The military, in aborting June 12, killed this collective dream of building a nation in the true spirit of our old national anthem: though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.
“I believe the spirit of June 12 shall expand to become the spirit of Nigeria and our national greatness and destiny.
And I make bold to say once again that the spirit of 1993 will be upon us in 2023,” he said.
Tinubu said the Third Republic was not expected to last long, as it had remained the the shortest in the nation’s republics.
“It began in January 1992 following the election of state governors in December 1991. It ended on 17 November 1993 with the Abacha coup against the Interim Government of Ernest Shonekan. This happened some five months after the annulment of the 12 June, 1993 election, won clearly by Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.
“The entire transition programme of the military administration of the time, according to discerning critics, was designed to fail.
“It was, they said, meant to make then military president Ibrahim Babangida succeed himself as a civilian president.
The journey to the short-lived Republic began in 1986 when the military junta announced a transition programme, setting 1990 as the terminal date. New leaders at all levels of government were to be elected to usher in the Republic. But no sooner the programme was announced than government began to tinker with it, brewing accusations of hidden agenda.
“The transition programme was first extended by two years and then extended by another year to terminate in 1993.
During the seven-year transition, Nigerian politicians were turned into guinea pigs for political experimentation. First, the military government attempted to clone a new set of politicians known as the Newbreed. It introduced Option A4, a system of voting done by queuing behind candidates, a novelty in the making of democratic choices. It imposed a two-party system, with defined ideologies,” he explained.
Tinubu added that under the Third Republic, Nigerians also witnessed a form of government known as diarchy, with elected state governors being bossed by a military president.
“We had presidential primaries cancelled and participants banned. Then a year later, the most unexpected happened with the annulment of the June 12 election. I was an elected senator of the short Third Republic and thus a witness like all of you. I was also a staunch supporter of MKO Abiola and the struggle to restore his mandate.
“Though I have not written my memoirs of the period, I have given many interviews and speeches about my role in the struggle, kicked off by the annulment,” he stated.
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