Ex-Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State who was the then National Secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), alleges that the reason why late Chief MKO Abiola was not allowed to become president by the government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) was because the Federal Government was owing him N45billion.
According to Lamido, when Gen. Murtala Muhammed died, MKO came up with a claim that he (Murtala) who was the Head of State owed him about N45billion for contracts he (Abiola) executed. The contracts were reportedly executed by International Telephone and Telecommunication for the Ministry of Communications.
The military however said no, in vehement denial. Consequently, Abiola went around the Emirs in the North, lobbying them to influence the military to pay him his money.
He added that the military said that the June 12, 1993 election was deliberately canceled because if Abiola was made President, he would take his money and the country will become bankrupt.
Lamido in his own reaction to the recent award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) bestowed on Abiola by President Muhammadu Buhari said that it was more of an opportunistic move by the current administration.
He noted that Prof. Wole Soyinka captured it very succinctly that when Gen. Sani Abacha was in power, Buhari never said anything about June 12. Soyinka had told Buhari that when he was with Abacha, he never said anything about Abiola, asking how he honoured Abiola and then praise his tormentor (Abacha)?.
Lamido said it was a case of opportunism. “Noboby was consulted. Who were the key players at that time? Call them Prof. Humprey Nwosu, call Tony Anenih, Call Tofa, and ask what happened on June 12. He noted that that is the only way you can base a genuine premise and instigate the process to be more credible than opportunistic.