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June 12 annulment: Hold IBB responsible, says Umar

Posted by From KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on 2008/06/19 | Views: 1951 |

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June 12 annulment: Hold IBB responsible, says Umar


Former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar said on Tuesday that former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida should be held responsible for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election whose results were announced recently by Prof. Humphrey Nwosu.

Former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar said on Tuesday that former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida should be held responsible for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election whose results were announced recently by Prof. Humphrey Nwosu.
Nwosu had said at the launch of his book in Abuja last week said that Chief MKO Abiola scored over 8 million votes to win the election which was later annulled, but he failed to say who voided the election and his comment had attracted widespread criticism.

In a two page press statement issued in Kaduna, Umar said that rather than vilify Prof. Nwosu, he and the commission he headed deserved the commendation of all Nigerians for conducting the freest election in Nigeria. According to him, rather than blaming the Prof. Humphrey Nwosu-led National Electoral Commission for the annulment of the election, the military authorities at that time actually committed the heinous act.

While pledging to write his own account of the events that led to the annulment soon, Umar said that the then military authorities "succumbed to its own internal contradictions" in annulling the result of the election considered to be the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria.

Describing Nwosu as a patriot who conducted the June 12 poll, the former governor stated that the defunct NEC boss should be absolved from any wrongdoing in the annulment of the election, adding that Nwosu was actually boxed into a corner in which he could neither stop the military authorities from canceling the result of the election nor resign his position.

Umar contended that Nwosu and the defunct NEC richly deserved the credit for the extraordinary feat of conducting the annulled June 12 election and denied reports that he disowned many of Nwosu’s submissions in his recent books and that he announced his intention to write his own account of the events leading up to the annulment of the election. He noted that such reports were clear misinterpretation of what he had said, adding that this was why he had so far refrained from talking about the events of June 12, 1993, because doing so would invoke painful memories, especially for those who lost dear relations and property during the crisis.

The ex-governor regretted that June 12 did not make the nation safer but rather it seemed to have made it more vulnerable to similar threats and attacks.

"The fact that the results of the election were cancelled cannot be blamed on the election commission but the military authorities which had succumbed to its own internal contradictions.
"It was hard to see anybody feeling more betrayed or more distraught than Prof. Humphrey Nwosu during the days leading up to the annulment of the election of 12th June, 1993. He was totally powerless to stop the annulment and yet was clearly unable to come to terms with it.

"He tried to resign his position which had become almost untenable, but was refused. Like others before him, Prof. Nwosu soon discovered that in those circumstances, there was no dismounting the tiger.

"It is fitting tribute to the professor’s patriotism and to his personal honour and integrity that he has now released the results of that election. His action was done not out of arrogance or cowardice but strong proof of his remorse and respect for a nation still suffering the pains of that wanton betrayal," Umar said.

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