Third Republic Was Designed to Fail, Says Tinubu

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The  presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has revealed that the military administration of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida  designed the transition programme of the Third Republic to fail.

Tinubu, who was represented by the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, stated this yesterday 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) in Abuja.

He  stated categorically  that the Babangida regime was never ready to hand over power 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.

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