IBB Falls from Power

21 YEARS AGO: Following the widespread discontent generated by the annulment of the presidential election held in Nigeria on June 12, 1993, and which was won by SDP candidate Moshood Abiola and his running mate Babagana Kingibe, military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida resigned on August 26, 1993. Bashir Tofa and Sylvester Ugoh of the NRC lost. The annulment was announced on June 23.

The IBB regime had failed to fulfil several promises to hand over. It had qualified and disqualified several politicians. It refused to register the parties they formed and imposed on the nation two parties – the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC) – and asked everyone to make his choice.

The results of the June 12 election were being announced when NEC chairman Professor Humphrey Nwosu was stopped and literally kidnapped. Many states especially in the south-west erupted in turmoil. Chief of army staff Gen. Sani Abacha moved soldiers to the streets of Lagos where they murdered 105 people on July 5.

IBB offered to conduct another election that would exclude Abiola. The people said no, and he announced that he would “step aside”. He fled on August 26 after handing over to an interim national government headed by Ernest Shonekan.

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