Story By Admin, June 18, 2021
As Nigeria recently celebrated the 2021 Democracy Day few days ago, some of the key players at the Jos Convention of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) continues to speak about their roles at the said convention.
While addressing journalists, the Osun State Presidential Candidate at the 1993 SDP Jos primary election, Chief Oladosu Oladipo said his experience at the exercise will forever remain indelible.
Chief Oladipo who is currently the National Coordinator, Yoruba Patriots Movement, YPM and also Convener, Next Level Consolidation Forum, the forum advocating for the emergence of former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President of Nigeria come 2023 expressed surprise to attitudes of many self acclaimed Yoruba leaders at the time which if not for his timely intervention alongside few others like Late Lamidi Adedibu, there would not had been anything to celebrate today.
“At the Jos Township Stadium, during the SDP primaries in 1993, Babagana Kingibe, who came very tightly close to Abiola, had the support of most SDP Governors like Odigie Oyegun of Edo, Bamidele Olumilua, Felix Ibru.
Also others like Emeka Ojukwu, Arthur Nzeribe, Olusola Saraki, Ben Obi, Ebenezer Babatope were all bitter haters of Late Chief MKO Abiola and great supporters of Babagana Kingibe and as delegates, they cast their votes for him in the first ballot and were ready to do same in the second ballot.
At the exercise, Chief MKO Abiola got support from the current National Coordinator, Yoruba Patriots Movement, Chief Oladosu Oladipo, Chief Segun Osoba, Chief Kolapo Ishola, Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Lateef Jakande, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Yohana Madaki, Tony Anenih, Ango Abdullahi among others.
The result of the first ballot was Abiola 3,617, Kingibe 3,255, Atiku 2,066
After the election, the three were the leading aspirants and a run off must be conducted among the trio to select the flagbearer.
Then, the Yoruba Leaders in Jos thought it may be over for MKO since Kingibe and Atiku polled 5,321 to MKO’s 3,617 and if Atiku merged with Kingibe, one of them will get the ticket.
In order to break any possible alliance between Atiku and Kingibe,Chief Oladosu Oladipo and Chief Lamidi Adedibu headed straight to Ambassador Kwande’s house where General Yar’adua was to have a chat him.
On getting to Kwande house, they approached Yar’adua personal assistant Inua Baba who told them that General was sleeping and shouldn’t be disturbed. The trio 0ignored him and went straight to General’s bedroom and banged his door!
The trio begged Yar’adua to stop Atiku. “Remember how we became Yoruba people enemies when we supported you and jettisoned Falae, help us too to regain our love back from our people. Tell Atiku to step down.”
Yar’adua agreed…..”For you good people, I agree to support MKO. Go and bring him. I can do anything for my friends” Yar’adua replied.
Immediately, Abiola joined the trio and Atiku also came in to join Yar’adua.
Yar’adua and Atiku spoke in Hausa at length and in the end, Atiku broke down in tears, wept when his boss asked him to step down. Yar’adua gave him handkerchief.
While he was weeping, Abiola went close to him, hugged him and told him “you will be my deputy..”
Atiku then spoke, facing Yar’adua “Since you’re the one who brought me into politics sir, I cannot disobey you…”
That was the statement that sealed Kingibe’s fate in Jos and by the time Atiku announced his withdrawal for MKO, the SDP ticket went to Bashorun Abiola.