A previously unpublicised mystery, albeit spiritual, may be responsible for why the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola did not mount the saddle of presidential leadership before his death, the North-East chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) claimed on Monday.
The umbrella body for Christians, therefore, urged the All Progressives Congress and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to learn from what it says was a mistake by the late billionaire.
Vice Chairman of the chapter, Rev (Dr) Innocent Rubiruka Solomon, noted that though Abiola was a successful grassroots politician who won in 1993, in an election adjudged to be the most credible in Nigeria’s history, one of the greatest mistakes that unfortunately befell him while alive and active in pursuit of his presidential ambition was his decision to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the election.
Solomon said: “Have we asked why the election adjudged to be the most credible in the Democratic history of Nigeria and yet its government was not to be? Have we ever cared to know the mystery behind the annulment?
“Could it just be that the former military leader, General Ibrahim Babangida, just on his own decided to do the impossible? Was it not something beyond his control, a mystery no mortal could explain?
“Nigeria as a result of that annulment passed through one of its most critical and difficult period in history which eventually led to the death of one of Nigeria’s illustrious leader, a remarkable personality who died in custody in an attempt to recover the mandate.
“Our political leaders must learn from our mistake of the past or we will further the nation away from peace stability and progress. God forbid.”
CAN said that no party can win the presidential poll without the Christians in the North, cautioning the APC against finalising the tentative Muslim-Muslim combination of Tinubu as its presidential candidate and Ibrahim Masari as his running mate.
The religious body added, “Any party for that matter must avoid the pitfall of setting Nigeria’s religious communities into political blocks that may result to the greatest religious disharmony in the Country.
“Any such decision is precarious. No political party should try it, I passionately appeal. Religion is to guide the people and the nation and not to set the people against each other.
“Political decisions must be fair and just. Democracy must be all inclusive. Christians, Muslims and people of all faiths must be duly recognized and carried along. Christian -Christian ticket or Muslim-Muslim ticket is not in the interest of a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.”