Annulment of June 12 1993 Presidential Election and the Elusive Question for Democracy in Nigeria
Keywords:Primodial, vote buying, vote-selling, annulment, treasonable felony, democratic heresy
Elections in Nigeria since her independence in 1960, have not been free, fair nor devoid of violence, primodialism and the undue influence of government. The combination of those factors result to the delegitimization of the democratic process and the resultant democratic heresy. However, the June 12 presidential election, of 1993 perceived to be won by Chief Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) against the Presidential candidate of the National Republican Conventional (NRC) Alhaji Bashir Tofa, is accepted to be free, fair and credible by local and international observers. Thus the annulment of the election, by General Babangida, generated a lot of controversy and almost threatened the continued existence of country (Kehinde, 1993:11). This work examined all the determinant variables, their interplay and the resultant death of Abiola. These include the recent conferment on him, the title of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic (GCOR) posthumously, the renaming of the Abuja National Stadium, to Moshood Abiola National Stadium, and the declaration of June 12 1993 retrospectively and prospectively as Democracy Day, and a public holiday, throughout the federation. This paper argues that the actions of the federal government, is neither here nor there. This is so, because the controversy that bedevilled the annulment has not been unravelled. Also, the alleged winner of the election, died in detention, of the offence of treasonable felony, hanging on his neck. We adopted secondary sources of data generation. The group theory propounded by Bentley in 1908, was used in this work. It is recommended that the federal government should first quash the charges levelled against the late Chief Abiola, grant a pardon to him and validate the election results; thereby posthumously declaring Chief Moshood Abiola, the winner of the election. In addition, his estate should be paid all the salaries and benefits inherent in the four years tenure, as the president of this country. This is a condition precedent for the rational and legal basis of the recent award and pronouncements by the federal government. Such an exponential act of magnanimity is also important to reconcile all Nigerians, particularly, the numerous victims, who died in the struggle for the actualization of a genuine democratic legitimacy in the country, as demonstrated by the outcome of that election, that favored Chief Moshood Abiola, as the conceivable winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential poll.