Bola Tinubu: Third Republic was designed to fail
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC's presidential candidate, has stated that Gen. Ibrahim Babangida's military regime deliberately set up the Third Republic's transition plan to fail.
This was said by Bayo Onanuga, Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Presidential Campaign Council who represented Tinubu yesterday in Abuja at a public presentation of the book Nigeria's aborted Third Republic and the June 12 debacle: reporters account by the National Association of Political Correspondents (NAPOC 90s).
He made it crystal clear that the Babangida government was never prepared to cede control to civilians.
Tinubu lamented that the IBB transition subsequently turned the entire political class into guinea pigs for political experimentation.
He stated: “The Third Republic was not expected to last long. Indeed, of all our nation’s republics, it was the shortest: it began in January 1992 following the election of state governors in December 1991.
“It ended on 17 November 1993 with the Abacha coup against the Interim Government of Ernest Shonekan. This happened some five months after the annulment of the 12 June 1993 election, won clearly by Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.
“The entire transition programme of the military administration of the time, according to discerning critics, was designed to fail.
“It was, they said, meant to make then military President Babangida succeed himself as a civilian president.”
Tinubu added that the military government attempted to clone a new set of politicians known as the ‘Newbreed’.
He said the military administration later introduced Option A4, a system of voting done by queuing behind candidates, describing it as a novelty in the making of democratic choices and subsequently imposed a two-party system, with defined ideologies.
Tinubu said: “Under the Third Republic, Nigerians also witnessed a form of government known as diarchy, with elected state governors being bossed by a military president.
“We had presidential primaries cancelled and participants banned. Then a year later, the most unexpected happened with the annulment of the June 12 election.”
Tinubu expressed regret that the annulment of the nation’s adjudged freest election was a major political setback.
“But the spirit of June 12 shall expand to become the spirit of Nigeria and our national greatness and destiny. And I make bold to say once again that the spirit of 1993 will be upon us in 2023,” he said.