A former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), on Friday refused to comment on allegations made by a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, that the former knew about the death of the winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
Abubakar, who was at the book launch of Olusegun Adeniyi’s ‘Against the Run of Play’ in Lagos, ignored questions from journalists about the allegations made by Bamaiyi in his book, “Vindication of a General.”
In his book, Bamaiyi said that Abiola could not have died of natural causes on July 7, 1998 because he had been healthy when they met.
The 1993 presidential election was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military junta and Abiola was in 1994 arrested by the late Gen. Sani Abacha-led government after he pronounced himself winner of the election.
Among other allegations, Bamaiyi said Abubakar knew more about the cause of Abiola’s death, urging him to tell Nigerians the truth.
He said, “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.”
However, when asked to defend the allegations, Abubakar said, “I have no comments,” walking out on the journalists.
Earlier, Abubakar, who was the Chairman of the occasion, had described Adeniyi’s book as a “good book” that was well-researched.
He said, “The book is coming at the right time to further deepen our understanding of what happened in Nigeria during the March 2015 general elections which many believe, and quite rightly too, as one of the most defining moments of our political history.”
He, therefore, urged journalists to do more than traditional reporting by writing books about “some of the momentous events that have helped to shape our country.”