Connect with us

Nigeria News

Abacha Was Very Smart, Cunny About 1993 Coup – IBB




Why Two-Party System Is Best For Nigeria – Babangida

Former military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has said former military dictator, late Sani Abacha, was smart and cunny about the 1993 coup.

The 1993 election which was expected to transit Nigeria from military rule to democratic rule was suddenly cancelled by Babangida before the then National Electoral Commission (NEC) could fully announce the results.

Naija News reports that MKO Abiola was set to become president before the election was annulled by the former military president, which led to a national protest.

Following the annulment, Ernest Shonekan took over the affairs of the country on August 27, 1993, as the head of an Interim National Government. But was overthrown by the late Abacha after spending 82 days in office.


In an interview with Trust TV, Babangida stated that Abacha and his cronies deceived some Nigerians who were vocal about June 12 election, coup, and other national issues.

He disclosed that Abacha encouraged Abiola supporters to get rid of the interim government by promising to return Nigeria to a civilian government which he later failed to do.

Babangida, infamously called Maradona, however, said he knew Abacha would not relinquish power after he took over in a coup.


He said: “When we came up with the idea of an interim government, Nigerians said they were tired of anything or the media phrase was ‘that contraption called interim government’.

“What we did, the interim government, we gave it life, we gave it tenure, we had a date for another election but we were told “forget it, no election; Nigerians are wary of the election, just pack and go”.

“We managed to set it up, we gave it six months so that by February of 199…I can’t remember now, we could have held another election so that we can hand over to a democratically elected government.


“Now one of the fears is that we couldn’t come openly and tell you, people, that this is what we fear or this is what we are going to do, somebody is going to do A,B,C,D,E,F. The life of that interim government was cut short by coup d’etat, change of government.

“And the Abacha’s government was very smart. They knew who were the most vociferous discussants about the election, about coup, about June 12 and so on, they started talking to them and sold a dummy to them, they encourage them to get rid of the interim government; “when we get rid of the interim government we will bring you back to come and take over your democracy so that a civilian government would be installed”.

“They sold that dummy to the public and to some prominent persons within the society and when Abacha stepped in, there were drumming and sighs; “Good thing! Next thing is going to be a democratically elected government”.

“I knew, we knew, that it wouldn’t be because the argument was: “Why should I risk my life only to come and hand over power to you?”, that was what happened.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.

close button