“I know every detail of what happened and there is no way that one can tell the truth about June 12 without perhaps diminishing some people’s own; without taking away from the significance and the solemnity of that day.
“I have actually recorded my recollections of those days and those events. I hope that I will have the opportunity to air my recording one day. It is in video recording, not audio recording.”
Kingibe, who opened up on the controversial June 12 election for the first time since 1993 when he appeared on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme last night (June 12), confirmed: “this is the first time that I am addressing the issue. Sometimes, I am bemused; I am saddened, perhaps sometimes I am not surprised about the comments that people were making about June 12; the claims on June 12, those who stood on June 12 and so on.”
Abiola’s running mate, who was also honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari, said that Buhari’s position on the June 12 election was very clear over the years that the annulment was unjustified.
“In the aftermath of the annulment, one of the architects of the annulment, former President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to get some elder statesmen (former presidents and so on); I think at the African Leadership Forum to see how the aftermath of the annulment could be addressed or to see how the problems arising from the annulment could be addressed.
“And I think President Muhammadu Buhari did attend the meeting once, the inaugural meeting. I understood that when he (Buhari) saw the direction of the meeting, he decided not to attend again.
“Every time the issue of the annulment came up over the years, his position was very clear; it was very firm that the election was free, fair and there was a clear winner. And that the annulment was unjustified.
“So, having had the opportunity, perhaps, to right the wrong, I won’t be surprised he did so because it is in his character to try and do justice, however, belated and under whatever the circumstances.”
Asked if he was surprised by the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, Kingibe said: “In a way, yes. I was surprised more by the timing of it than that it happened.
“I was actually on lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia when the announcement was made. I was not surprised that it was made because I knew President Buhari felt strongly about June 12.”
He paid glowing tributes to Abiola for being the arrowhead of the campaign for the actualisation of the June 12, 1993 mandate.
“You know, June 12 was the creation of all Nigerians. All Nigerians were the architects of June 12.
“Like all collective endeavours, there is always a leader, and one can never diminish the role of MKO Abiola in the final stages of this political journey to democracy in giving the leadership; in being the arrowhead and the symbol of that struggle for democracy.”