Mr. Osita Chidoka, a former minister of aviation, has claimed that former ministers Kudirat Abiola, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Alfred Rewane were all executed by the military.
Chidoka urged his countrymen to turn down the offer of military aid.
On Tuesday, during the 60th birthday National Dialogue celebrating Prof. Udenta O. Udenta, he urged Nigerians to work toward a more robust democracy.
Military action, the ex-minister emphasized, would be disastrous for the country.
The military “delivered death,” killing Kudirat Abiola, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Alfred Rewane, and many others, Chidoka was quoted as saying in a statement released by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Okafor. They silenced the media and tore down our governmental and religious institutions. Their track record in the economy was terrible, and their actions contributed to widespread poverty.
“The atmosphere in the country is very similar to that of 1993, when the democratic movements, labor, and leading political parties all called for military intervention to depose Ernest Shonekan and install MKO Abiola in his place,” the author writes. The rise to power of Gen. Abacha and the subsequent destruction, death, arrest, jail, and forced exile were all the result of this strategic blunder. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
When the question of whether or not to back a military intervention in 1993 was being discussed, I was there as a young student activist. There was widespread destruction of civil society and political figures after Abacha came to power and the fight to restore democracy began.
Months after his incarceration, I was able to track down Fred Eno, Abiola’s personal assistant, in Enugu Prison. Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, the former chancellor of Eastern Mandate University, and Professor Udenta were both in jail at the time of Gen. Abacha’s death. Those who voted for the military intervention in 1993 were severely punished.
“Democracy is the best system we have. Calls for military intervention should be rejected by the people of Nigeria.