Former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar owes the nation more explanation on the death of the late politician.
A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, has said that the winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, could not have died of natural causes, The Nation reports.
Abiola whose election was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military administration in July 1993 was arrested by the late Gen. Sani Abacha-led junta in 1994 when he declared himself the winner of the election and his resolve to reclaim his mandate.
The business mogul turned politician later died in detention in controversial circumstances on July 7, 1998.
1) Abiola could not have died of natural causes
Bamaiyi, the Chief of Army Staff under the Abacha regime, has insisted in a book that was launched in Abuja on Thursday that former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar owes the nation more explanation on the death of the late politician.
“I believe only Gen. Abubakar and those he used to handle Abiola’s death can tell Nigerians how Chief M.K.O Abiola died. Abiola could not have died the way he reportedly died,” Bamaiyi declared in the book titled Vindication of a General.
Recalling the circumstances in which he learnt about Abiola’s death in the said book, Bamaiyi, who was also the Chief of Army Staff in the brief period Abdulsalami held sway as head of state, said: “One evening, the Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar called while I was in Lagos to tell me we had a problem.
“I asked him what was wrong and he told me Chief Abiola was dead.
“I was shocked and asked him what we were going to do about it. He told me he was handling the situation.
“I was disturbed because I expected problems in Lagos. But nothing happened.
“I was directed to lead a delegation to Abiola’s house to commiserate with the family and was told Abiola had some visitors, including some Americans.
“He had taken tea, which raised suspicion about his death.
Bamaiyi said the late business mogul never relinquished his mandate in spite of the pains of incarceration.
“At no time did Abiola relinquish his mandate. His death came as a surprise to me because he had been healthy when we met,” he added.