By Uche Mbah
Palpable controversy arose over the decision of President Buhari to name the National Stadium Abuja after the late business mogul, Moshood Abiola, as part of the activities to mark the newly minted democracy day.
Abiola was the widely acclaimed winner of the June 12 1993 elections, annulled by former maximum ruler, Ibrahim Babangida.
Buhari has, in a ceremony boycotted by former Nigerian leaders-Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Ernest Shonekan-announced the renaming the stadium after Abiola.
The Stadium has not been used for years and have been over grown with weeds. It has been taken over by herdsmen as unofficial grazing reserve.
This is the second stadium being named after Abiola. The first was in Abeokuta.
During the tenure of Goodluck Jonathan, he renamed University of Lagos after Abiola, and all hell was let lose. “Today, all those that fought against UNILAG are the one rejoicing over Abuja stadium. Sad,” said Jimo Wilson, a youth corps member that this Magazine talked to.
A few African leaders were at the ceremony.
But so much knocks are coming from the Social media over naming of Babagana Kingigbe, who was Abiola’s running mate, as a co-hero of June 12. Kingigbe is on record as having abandoned the June 12 cause at the critical time. And no mention was made of Humphry Nwosu, who was the electoral umpire that instituted Option A4, the electoral process that made the election adjudged as the freest and fairest elections in the country. It was however, annulled by Ibrahim Babangida.
Various reasons have been adduced as why the election was annulled. But this Magazine was told by insiders during the unfortunate annulment that the main reason it was annulled was never mentioned. “It borders on the population myth in the country”, said the source. “Everywhere, as you move from the coastal lines to the desert, the population decreases. It was the British that foisted the population fraud we have in Nigeria today, where there is an anomaly of increased population from coastal lines to the desert. Since then, there has been no authentic population census in the country. When Festus Odimegwu came and voiced out that he will do an authentic census, the Northern elites pressured former President Jonathan to fire him,” the source said.
The June 12 elections, which used option A4, showed that the population of voters in the North was about half of those from the south. This is because people queued behind their candidates, and the results were uploaded directly to an electronic billboard.
“When the pattern was observed, Babangida came under intense pressure to annul the elections, even though he had his own tenure elongation ambition. That is also why Humphry Nwosu will never be honored in this June 12 Charade”, the source concluded.