TODAY in Nigerian history (Re: June 12, 1993)

On June 12, 1993, Presidential elections were held in Nigerien ten years after Gen Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) took over through a military coup in 1983. The two political parties that contested the Presidential elections were the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC) in which two heavyweight business moguls, Chief Moshood Abiola and Alhaji Bashir Tofa flew their respective party’s flag.

The June 12 Presidential election is very remarkable in two ways. First it was adjudged by both local and international observers as the most peaceful, freest, and fairest election conducted in the country at that point. Secondly, the election was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida led military government despite its widely applauded credibility with the General citing widespread irregularities and malpractices at the polling boots as reason for the cancellation.

The crisis that trailed the annulment of the June 12 Presidential election especially after the purported winner Chief Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) declared himself President, saw the exit of General Babangida and the ascension to power of another General, Sani Abacha.

With the advent of now enduring democracy in Nigeria, many have commemorated June 12 as a very significant turning point in the nation’s journey to achieving true democracy.