Chief Ayo Adebanjo a chieftain of defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has on Wednesday; berated former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to late General Sani Abacha, General Ishaya Bamaiyi, over his comments on the June 12, 1993 election, saying his report was an attempt to falsify history.
Adebanjo, in his reaction to the book written by Bamaiyi, entitled “Vindication of A General,” said the former army chief was in no way telling the true story of what transpired and how Abiola was denied the mandate given him by Nigerians on June 12, 1993.
Adebanjo, who is also an Afenifere leader, a pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, maintained that what Bamaiyi put in his book and what he wanted Nigerians to believe as the truth was what was in the minds of reactionarists who wanted Abiola to renounce June 12 mandate.
This was just as Adebanjo contended that the former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, owed it a duty to tell Nigerians more about how Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the poll died, adding that Abiola never died a natural death
“He (Bamaiyi) is not telling the true story. He is telling the minds of the reactionarists who wanted Abiola to renounce June 12, but Abiola said no, that he must claim his mandate and we (NADECO) stood by him.
“They wanted him to sell out and the man said no way. That is why we say May 29 is not Democracy Day, June 12 is our Democracy Day. That was the day he won the election and he maintained the principle of one man one vote until he died, he did this even at the risk of his life
“Definitely, Abiola didn’t die a natural death. Those in whose custody he died should tell us how he died. He died while he was reclaiming his mandate,” Adebanjo said.
Another NADECO chieftain, Senator Remi Okurinboye, said the allegations coming from Bamaiyi against NADECO members were not only untrue but complete falsehood.
Okunriboye, who was the acting secretary of the organisation, said members of the group never abandoned the adjudged winner of June 12 election during the struggle for actualisation of his mandate.
“Members of the group may not have done enough but we did not for once betray Abiola, because we strongly believe in the struggle from the beginning to the end.
“We only prevented the struggle to degenerate into crisis where the good people we are fighting for will be killed, even when they are killing and harassing some members of the group,” he said.