As I lay me on my bed one morning reflecting on happenings around the world, with particular reference to Nigeria, I could not but recall the official flagging off of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s campaign in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 30 years after another Yoruba son and icon, MKO Abiola, had dramatically also flagged off his own campaign for the country’s top job on the platform of his party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in the same tin city. Abiola ran a very popular and robust campaign and it was no surprise that he won by a landslide in all parts of Nigeria, except in Igbo land, whose people voted for Abiola’s opponent, Bashir Tofa from Kano State but whose running mate, Sylvester Ugoh, was Igbo from Imo state. True, then, is the saying that blood is thicker than water! That most unfortunate tribalism of the Igbo, however, took no shine off Abiola’s triumph as the 1993 presidential election remains a watershed, as historians would call it, in the history of elections in Nigeria. It was the freest and fairest as well as the most peaceful ever. Abiola’s mandate was pan-Nigerian in that, even in Igboland, he met the constitutional requirement of at least 25 percent of the lawful votes cast in most, if not all, of the eastern states. Abiola’s election was also unique in the sense that it was a Muslim-Muslim (MM) ticket; his running mate, Babagana Kingibe, from Borno State, being also a Muslim. Notwithstanding, Abiola won handsomely in many Christian-dominated areas.
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