IBB Wants MKO Abiola Immortalized
San Francisco, May 31, (THEWILL) - Nigeria’s former military leader, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on Monday urged the central government to immortalize Chief MKO Abiola by naming an institution of state after him.
Moshood Abiola was presumed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential election which coincidentally was annulled by General Babangida before he was forced out of office.
Babangida spoke to journalists at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, shortly after arriving Lagos from Minna.
He commended the President Goodluck Jonathan for recognizing the contributions and sacrifices Chief Abiola made in the enthronement of democracy in the country.
"I think it is good at long last somebody is trying to acknowledge the efforts of Chief MKO Abiola. We cannot deny him the fact that he fought for democracy and I am glad that the government is accepting it.
"Also, I want to see a situation whereby he will be immortalized as a person who fought for democracy in this country.
"I want to see, may be an institution named after him that talks only about democracy. That is the most enduring legacy we can give MKO."
Speaking on his presidential ambition, Babangida in his usual crafty style said, "The time has not come; when we get to the bridge we will cross it." But added that he prefers a limited number of political parties in the country as against the current multi-party system.
"I am not a believer of 51 parties; the smaller the better for democracy, then everybody will have a place to be accommodated. But you see, there are so many little ones that everybody move toward the winning party.
"So, you find, we are more or less running. I think it is better for this country to run a manageable party size of three, four or five."
Babangida made his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election at the Benin City airport some weeks ago and has been heavily criticized for daring to announce a bid for the highest office in the land.
The former military leader is credited for the institutionalization of corruption in the country and laying the foundation for the social and moral decay in the oil rich West African State.