Democracy Day: 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About June 12
On June 12, 1993, the Presidential elections were held in Nigeria, which was the first since the 1983 military coup.
The election involved two parties, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC), with the SDP candidate Moshood Abiola defeating the NRC candidate Bashir Tofa.
The elections were later annulled by the then Head of State and Military Ruler Ibrahim Babangida, which led to a crisis that ended with Sani Abacha leading a coup later in the year.
Below Are Some Facts That May Have Been Forgotten About June 12
• Nigeria was running a two-party system in 1993.
• The parties were Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC).
• The SDP Candidate was Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) and NRC Bashir Tofa.
• The June 12, 1993 election was declared the freest and fairest by national and international observers.
• Despite that, the Head of State annulled it because of alleged security threats in the country.
• MKO contested for the election at the age of 56.
• His running mate was Baba Gana Kingibe while the running mate of the NRC candidate was Sylvester Ugoh.
• Both presidential candidates were Muslims and Abiola was said to have won the elections in 20 states including his opponents’ hometown, Kano.
• Tofa on the other hand won in 11 states.
• The electoral body at that time was called National Electoral Commission (NEC).
In 1993, about 31 states were created including the Federal Capital Territory, the states were Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe.