Yoruba’s socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has lambasted former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, saying he lived in eternal regrets and lost an opportunity in 1993 to become Nigeria’s hero of democracy.
Afenifere added that the reason the former military dictator gave for annulling the June 12 election was an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.
The election, which was keenly contested by the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, the late MKO Abiola; and the Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention, and said to have been won by Abiola, was adjudged as the most transparent election in Nigeria’s political history.
But the poll was declared a nullity by the military regime led by Babangida.
In an interview on Friday, IBB had said he annulled the election to prevent a violent coup d’etat.
But reacting, Sola Ebiseni, Secretary-General of Afenifere, described Babangida’s comment as “a sour taste in the mouth.”
“Babangida has not said a new thing worthy of any reaction in respect of his treasonable acts of the annulment of the adjudged freest and fairest election in the country’s political history,” he said.
“Nigerians are not interested in any excuse being given by IBB. It is even most preposterous that IBB will only now be insulting the intelligence of Nigerians that he annulled their mandate to forestall a violent coup, which, by reasonable inference, he was aware of.
“He lost the opportunity of being the hero of democracy and father of a new Nigeria, an eternal regret that no whitewashing on television can redeem.
“However, it is no gain saying the fact that the present administration has made saints of all previous administrations in every aspect of governance.”
He also said the President Muhammadu Buhari government has failed in the areas of his promises to Nigerians on security, economy and anti-corruption.