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Atiku trying to deceive youths by presenting himself as June 12 activist, says Keyamo

Atiku trying to deceive youths by presenting himself as June 12 activist, says Keyamo
July 08
22:34 2022

Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour, says Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is “trying to hoodwink youths” with his narrative on the June 12, 1993 election.

The June 12 election, said to have been won by MKO Abiola, was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, former military head of state — and this threw the country into a political crisis.

However, after being jailed for attempting to challenge the annulment, Abiola died in prison in 1998.

Although Nigeria had celebrated Democracy Day on May 29 since the return to civil rule in 1999, in 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari declared June 12 as a public holiday and the Democracy Day.


On  Thursday, Keyamo had said Abubakar “abandoned” the fight for democracy represented in the June 12 election, and that the only person who played a significant role was Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reacting, Paul Ibe, Abubakar’s media adviser, said Keyamo “lied” about his principal not being involved in the “June 12 struggle”, adding that the minister is “trying to distort history”.

But in a series of tweets on Friday, Keyomo said “Atiku is struggling to deodorise himself with the perfume of June 12 to hoodwink the majority of young voters who did not witness the struggle”.


The minister narrated events, which he said are “some details” of Abubakar’s “betrayal of the cause of June 12”.

“When IBB annulled the June 12 election on June 23, 1993 & proposed an Interim National Govt. (ING), the PDM group within the SDP made up of Shehu Yar’Adau, Tony Anenih, Atiku Abubakar et al, embraced the ING when MKO Abiola and the likes of Bola Tinubu within SDP rejected it,” the minister wrote.

“Atiku was part of the PDM that participated in the ING & some of them were appointed by Shonekan. When Justice Dolapo declared the ING illegal, Abacha took over on Nov. 17, 1993 & decided to buy time by setting up the 1994 Confab instead of de-annulling it & swearing in Abiola.

“Bola Tinubu and other democrats had formed the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) & rejected both Abacha & the Confab and insisted on respecting the wishes of Nigerians by de-annulling June 12. Meanwhile, Atiku and his PDM confederates took active part in Abacha’s CONFAB.


“In 1995, Abacha created a phantom coup plot & arrested Yar’Adua, who was the leader of PDM. As a result some PDM members decided to boycott Abacha’s transition & his 5 political parties which were a facade aimed at crowning Abacha as consensus candidate for civilian Presidency.

“But in desperation for power, Atiku joined one of Abacha’s party, the UNCP, and emerged as the favourite to clinch the Adamawa guber ticket before Abacha suddenly died on June 8, 1998. At this time, the NADECO leaders like Bola Tinubu had all been hounded into exile by Abacha.

“How could Atiku have opposed Abacha when he was part of one of Abacha’s parties (UNCP) that planned to adopt him as a consensus candidate? It is a fat lie that Atiku went into exile! Let’s see one publication of his time in exile; not pictures taken abroad while on business trips.

“Which platform of resistance against Abacha did Atiku join? We want answers. We had platforms like NADECO, National Conscience (of which I was a part), NALICON, JACON etc. Indeed, it was Atiku’s UNCP structures that eventually transmuted to the PDP structures in Adamawa State.


“The PDM & Atiku worked against June 12 because they were angry that Abiola picked Kingibe as the running-mate instead of Atiku which the group proposed. They sought to benefit from the annulment by partnering with IBB & later Abacha, thinking Abacha would hand over to one of them.

“Unknown to the PDM group, Abacha had a self-succession plan, hence Abacha moved against PDM at the CONFAB, not because the PDM wanted June 12, but because they sought to supplant Abacha. However, Atiku still went against his group’s interest to fulfil his own personal ambition.


“On the eve of the 2023 polls, Atiku has conveniently invented lies to burnish his grotesque democratic credentials in order to present himself as a ‘June 12 activist’ and to bring him at per with Bola Tinubu who, indeed, is one of the true heroes of our present democracy.”


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