Keyamo, Ibe In “War Of Words” Over Atiku, Tinubu’s Roles In The June 12 Struggle

Keyamo, Ibe In “War Of Words” Over Atiku, Tinubu’s Roles In The June 12 Struggle

Earlier today, Festus Keyamo SAN had taken a swipe at other aspirants, insisting that the APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu was instrumental to the foundation of democracy in the Country, by virtue of his role during the June 12 struggle.

No Presidential candidate today had ANYTHING to do with the June 12 struggle (which is the foundation of democracy we are enjoying today) except BAT & (to be honest) Sowore as a student leader, but BAT was more pivotal from exile. Atiku was one of the first to abandon June 12

After the June 12 struggle, ‘strangers’ emerged from nowhere and hijacked the democratic train at the center; OBJ who opposed June 12 became the greatest beneficiary of the struggle. The election of BAT in 2023, a true hero of June 12, will largely address this anomaly of 1999

Some feel the Yorubas weren’t compensated by the election of OBJ in 1999; he wasn’t the choice of the Yorubas because he betrayed the cause of June 12, hence they rejected him at the polls in 1999. The election of BAT in 2023, a June 12 hero, will largely assuage that feeling

I can speak on these because, apart from defending NADECO leaders in court with my late boss Gani Fawehinmi, on Oct. 1, 1994 we launched the National Conscience movement to fight for June 12 & on June 11, 1995, I along with other comrades were arrested by the DSS and detained

When I left Gani Fawehinmi late in 1995, I started a youth movement to prevent the self-succession bid of Abacha & to oppose Kanu who was promoting that bid. We were collecting signatures on the streets to petition the UN when we were picked up by the military junta & detained.

The PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, himself a 1992 SDP Presidential Candidate, through his media aide, Paul Ibe replied:

2023: Atiku, June 12 And Keyamo’s Attempt To Rewrite History

The events of the June 12 crisis are too well documented for anyone to seek to distort it. Keyamo told a blatant lie when he said Atiku “abandon(ed) June 12″. Atiku never abandoned June 12.

The truth is that the former VP was marked for assassination because of his strident opposition to military rule. Indeed, Abacha actually appropriated his INTELS company, tried to kill him in Kaduna & he managed to escape only after some of his security aides had been killed.

Flash back to the events leading up to the SDP primaries that threw up Abiola as its presidential candidate. What Keyamo will not say is that it was Atiku’s sacrifice of historic stepping down for Abiola that metamorphosed into his victory in June 12, 1993 election.

I wish to remind Festus that the same Atiku that he is in a hurry to malign was approached to serve as the Head of the ING while he was in London. And it may interest him to know what Atiku’s response was: “(I said) I am not going to be part of a brief administration”.

We know those who participated in the Abacha govt which dealt a death knell to the revalidation of the June 12 mandate. Some are late, some are still alive. Atiku was one of those who didn’t want to have anything to do with the Abacha military rule, not even with a long spoon.

“We decided not to participate in Abacha’s government because we did not want any more military rule”, Atiku was quoted on page 237 of his biography by the late Dr Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba

Even after prominent members of the political class among them those close to Abiola were picked to serve in Abacha’s government no member of the Yar’Adua group among them Atiku wanted to serve in the Abacha regime ostensibly because of their commitment to democracy.

Consequently, leaders like Yar’Adua and Atiku were marked down. And in continuation of its struggle to restore democratic rule, the PDM, the group that Atiku belonged to, addressed a press conference in Lagos on January 12, 1994

and asked the military to exit from the governance of the country by December 31, 1994. The aftermath of that was the arrest and detention of Yar’Adua in February 1994. Atiku and other PDM leaders challenged the detention in court.

Atiku, it was, who was worried about the protracted political crisis and decided to do something about it by sending an open letter to Abacha in 1994 in which he proposed a 7-point solution to the crisis, the highpoint was the hand over on January 1, 1995 to a democratically

elected government. Atiku’s position was eventually adopted by a resolution of the 1994 Constitutional Conference to set an exit date for the military.

Abacha did not find this move funny. He caused the detention of Yar’Adua and sought to separate him from Atiku.

12. Abacha wooed Atiku to dump Yar’Adua & pave the way for him (Abacha) to work with Atiku. But Atiku is not one to sell anyone for a mere porridge. He didn’t return to Abacha after he was asked to go think over the proposal to dump d man who helped him cut his teeth in politics.

13. Even though Abacha was determined to neutralize Yar’Adua and his PDM, Atiku was not going to be a willing tool. Abacha eventually hatched a plot that implicated Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and others in a coup.

14. Shortly after his mentor’s arrest in the phantom coup plot, Atiku narrowly escaped an assassination plot in his Kaduna home in which seven lives were lost in the bid to foil the plot to kill him because of his opposition to his government and military dictatorship.

15. But Abacha was not satisfied with the imprisonment of Yar’Adua & the intimidation of Atiku. His next move was to seize his lucrative business, NICOTES, renamed it INTELS and appropriated Atiku’s and Yar’Adua’s shares in the logistics company he co-founded with Gabriel Volpi.

16. Following the bloody attack in Kaduna, Atiku was persuaded to proceed to exile. The import of this thread is to put a lie to Keyamo’s baseless claim that Atiku abandoned June 12 and was not consequential in the struggle to enthrone the democratic rule of today.

17. Atiku was instrumental in birthing June 12 following his stepping down for MKO Abiola, and worked assiduously for the exit of the military and enthronement of the democracy that he is still actively involved in deepening. History is stubborn, it cannot be erased.

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