Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday, declared that June 12, 1993, presidential election said to have been won by late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, was annulled on ‘bad belle’.
He said this shortly after his investiture as a Trustee and the conferment of Late Abiola as Vice President of the Club posthumously, at the 46th President party of the prestigious Abeokuta Club, founded in 1972.
The octogenarian opined that if the election was not annulled, Egbaland would have gotten the opportunity of producing three prominent sons as number one citizens at different times.
Recall that Obasanjo was military Head of State and later a democratically elected president, with Chief Ernest Shonekan as Head of Interim National Government while Abiola would have become the third Egba indigene to administer the country if not for the annulment.
He appreciated the leadership of the Club for honouring Abiola, saying the late politician deserved the award.
The former president assured the Club of his readiness to support its programmes towards promoting the development of not only Abeokuta, Ogun State and the global world.
“When Abeokuta Club was in the process of being birthed, things in Abeokuta were not as rosy as they are today. And the sons of Abeokuta who were in Lagos put their heads together in late Chief Sobo Sowemimo’s House to think of what they could do to improve the development of Abeokuta as a city. I pay tributes to all those founding members, those who have departed this world and those who are still here.
“I want to thank the club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my school mate MKO Abiola which he richly deserved.
“Kabiyesi, the Alake (of Egbaland) alluded to it. Normally when you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle, Abeokuta would have produced President of Nigeria three times, in which case we should have kept it permanently.
“But be that as it may, we have a great heritage. And we should be proud of our heritage. On this note, I will say on this occasion, I thank the President, the patron and grand patron, members of the Board of Trustees, the executive; I want to say this, I will continue to contribute my quota to the development and growth of this club and by extension, the development and growth of Abeokuta, of Ogun State, of Nigeria, of African and indeed the of world in whichever way I could.”
The Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu, who presented the plaque to Obasanjo, also submitted that some “bad blood’ did not allow Abiola to become the nation’s president.
He acknowledged the leadership qualities of both Abiola and Obasanjo, describing them as worthy sons of Egbaland .
The President of the Club, Engr Tokunbo Odebunmi, acknowledged the unquantifiable contributions of Obasanjo and late Abiola to the development of Nigeria.
He admonished prominent sons and daughters of Egbaland, to contribute their quota to the development of Egbaland, nay Ogun State.
Odebunmi highlighted various interventions of the Club in promoting the socio-economic and educational advancement of the land.