The Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, has alleged that Atiku Abubakar was one of the first Nigerians to abandon the June 12 struggle.
Sharing his thoughts via a series of tweets, Keyamo insisted that no 2023 presidential candidate played an important role in the June 12 struggle except for Bola Tinubu and Omoyele Sowore as a student leader then.
He went on to state that Olusegun Obasanjo who was initially against the movement later benefitted from it.
He added that Obasanjo was not the choice of Yorubas in the 1999 polls because of the part he played in the June 12 struggles.
However, he praised Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the role he played in the movement while also claiming that if elected in 2023 it would assuage the feeling of betrayal Yorubas felt when Obasanjo took over power in 1999.
He wrote: “No Presidential candidate today had ANYTHING to do with the June 12 struggle (which is the foundation of democracy we are enjoying today) except BAT & (to be honest) Sowore as a student leader, but BAT was more pivotal from exile. Atiku was one of the first to abandon June 12.
“After the June 12 struggle, ‘strangers’ emerged from nowhere and hijacked the democratic train at the center; OBJ who opposed June 12 became the greatest beneficiary of the struggle. The election of BAT in 2023, a true hero of June 12, will largely address this anomaly of 1999.
“Some feel the Yorubas weren’t compensated by the election of OBJ in 1999; he wasn’t the choice of the Yorubas because he betrayed the cause of June 12, hence they rejected him at the polls in 1999. The election of BAT in 2023, a June 12 hero, will largely assuage that feeling.
“I can speak on these because, apart from defending NADECO leaders in court with my late boss Gani Fawehinmi, on Oct. 1, 1994 we launched the National Conscience movement to fight for June 12 & on June 11, 1995, I along with other comrades were arrested by the DSS and detained.
“When I left Gani Fawehinmi late in 1995, I started a youth movement to prevent the self-succession bid of Abacha & to oppose Kanu who was promoting that bid. We were collecting signatures on the streets to petition the UN when we were picked up by the military junta & detained.”