To this question, my answer is no. While we bask in the euphoria of the aftermath of the June 12, 1993 election, it is good to note that the much celebrated contraption was soaked in series of anomalies that can neither make its conduct pass for free nor fair. The election that was perceived to have been won by the late business mogul was nothing but a charade and a visible mockery of the basic tenets of all known genuine democratic process.
To start with, the then military government, led by General Ibrahim Babangida, by his body languages, was not in a hurry to leave government. Even as global condemnation of military rule at that time was already gaining audible volume, Babangida chose to play games with his self-tailored transition-to-civilian rule programme. The dictator disallowed groups, movements and those he perceived to be in opposition to his evil rule from registering political parties and as such crippled opposition.
So what can be democratic about the muffled June 12, 1993 election?
First, the two available political parties, the SDP and the NRC, at that time were creations of the then military government. These political parties were designed, formed and ran by the Babangida administration. The right of association was as such stunted as only those that the agenda of the government of the day could accommodate, had field days. At that time, Abiola became the preferred candidate for majority of voters because the only alternative to him was a relatively unknown Bashir Tofa, who got the presidential ticket for the rival NRC.
In a situation like this, the people were faced with the presidential choice of either a Hausa or a Yoruba man. Sadly too, the much talked about Muslim/Muslim ticket of Abiola and his vice, Babagana Kingibe was a Hobson’s choice as the other alternative for president in the alternate party, the NRC, is also a Muslim.
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