Human rights activist and co-founder, National Intervention Movement, NIM, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) has said that Babagana Kingibe does not deserve national honours, faulting the conferment on him the GCON title by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that Buhari had recently honoured Mr. Kingibe as MKO Abiola’s running mate after he recognised the late Abiola as the winner of the historic June 12 presidential election, which was annulled by former military president, Ibrahim Babangida.
But Mr. Agbakoba said Kingibe was a traitor who abandoned his mandate even when Abiola was still alive and so does not deserve to be given national honours in relation to June 12.
He told the Punch, “I would say Kinigbe should not have been given national honours because he didn’t believe in June 12 and why would I give somebody who didn’t believe in June 12 an honour? For me, it is an irony. He is hypocritical.
“He is a traitor; he is a big-time traitor. I warned Abiola. Abiola didn’t listen to us, that was the problem. If he had listened to us, he would have been the president. We said this guy, we were not sure about him.”
The human rights lawyer said that Kingibe benefitted from something he never for once supported or fought for.
He regretted that Abiola did not become president because he failed to listen to the advice of the pro-democracy community.
“But Abiola is also at fault because he was so driven to become president that he lost sight of some very fundamental points. Then, he made a mistake of not following the advice of the pro-democracy community, Rather, he was listening to the politicians who wanted to be ministers. That was all they wanted. So having failed to follow advice, he very quickly fell into many errors, the first being that he now kowtowed to Abacha.
” It was Kudirat who had a great sense of decency; Abiola was a bit a too ambitious in wanting to become president. He went to Aso Rock to meet with Babangida in the course of which Babangida’s wife and Kudirat started fighting. It led to a fight. Babangida and other people had to rush out to separate them.
“My point is that Abiola really failed to see some of the pitfalls. I had meetings with Kingibe to say ‘don’t you think that being appointed foreign minister under Abacha’s government when the mandate was still alive and being pushed for, betrayed the mandate?’ He tried to justify it by saying it was Abiola who caused it.
“He said Abiola was not communicating with him, strategy, what to do, blah blah blah. So (he) said okay, ‘if Abiola himself has virtually rubbished the mandate, then why would he be fighting for it?’ Those are the circumstances under which he took the appointment.
“I said ‘I don’t think anything justifies it, I think you should have stood by the mandate notwithstanding what Abiola did. But you see, the irony today is that he is benefitting from something he did not fight for even for one day.
“That is the irony of life. He didn’t fight for it for one day, but well, he is entitled since he was Abiola’s running mate,” Agbakoba added.