Former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), may have stirred the hornet’s nest when he said the death of the acclaimed winner of the June 12 election, late business mogul Bashorun MKO Abiola, was fortuitous.
“I believe it was a matter of God’s time. It’s unfortunate that some people are blaming our government for not releasing Abiola early from incarceration,” he said.
General Abubakar was answering questions on an interview segment of ARISE Television on Thursday morning. He spoke through Zoom from Minna, Niger State.
He was asked by Arise News Morning Show Anchor Reuben Abati to respond to the accusations that the failure of his government to quickly release MKO from incarceration paved the way for his death.
Abubakar who said such a claim was unfortunate added that the matter of life and death was in God’s hand. He said his government was on the verge of releasing Abiola when he suddenly died.
MKO died in June 1998 in controversial circumstances while in detention.
Speaking on the 1999 Constitution handed over to the country by his military administration, which is said to be defective, General Abubakar said his government did all that was possible within its powers.
“The Justice Nikky Tobi panel went round to sample the opinions of Nigerians. It was the decision of Nigerians that they wanted the version of the 1979 Constitution, which was adopted with few modifications.
In any case, if the people did n’t want it, what has the various assemblies (National and State) done on it 21 years after we handed over power,” he said.
General Abubakar also said serving in the brutal Abacha government was in furtherance of his military duty and that he had not done anything wrong.
He reiterated his position that unless something was done urgently, Nigeria was on the brink of disintegration with the spate of banditry and kidnappings across the country.