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June 12: How Tinubu, Beko Kuti, Ola Oni And Myself Were arrested, Detained- APC Chieftain Recounts



Former Commissioner for Political Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations in Osun State, Hon. Taiwo Akeju has recounted how he, President Bola Tinubu, Late Beko Ransome-Kuti and Comrade Ola Oni were arrested and detained by the military during the June 12 struggle.

Akeju, who had a chat with pressmen in Osogbo yesterday, recalled that the struggle to have democratic rule in Nigeria was big and many individuals including the winner of the June 12 elections made heavy sacrifices.

He revealed that the four of them were arrested for standing against the military and were detained for weeks at Alagbon prison before they were charged for treason.

He said, “After the annulment of the June 12 elections, there was agitation across the country and that made the Military Head, Ibrahim Babangida to relinquish the power to the interim government. But a Court judgement declared the interim government as illegal.

“So after that, Abacha (General Sanni Abacha) came in with a promise to return to civil rule. But soon after he got into power, he started playing politics with us. He declared that he had nothing to do with the June 12 elections. That was when eminent Nigerians came together to form NADECO in 1994.

“Abacha clamped down on NADECO members and it was then that myself, Bola Tinubu, Beko Ransome-Kuti and Comrade Ola Oni were arrested. We were detained at Alagbon but pressure from the international community made the then government to try us for treason at the Federal High Court in Lagos. We were granted bail later.

“It was later that Moshood Abiola was murdered in the prison.”

“This only showed that the struggle for democracy was big and many of us paid sacrifices to ensure we returned to civil rule in 1999.” The Ijesha politician said.

Speaking on the democratic rule in 25 years, Akeju joined voices calling for restructuring of the country, stating “for democracy to function optimally, the system must be adjusted.”

He said the present system gives too much power to the federal government and “leaving peanuts for States and Local Governments who are critical to the development of the country.”

“The country must be restructured. Let the States control their resources and be giving percentage to the federal government. The current system is not working, we must amend it via restructuring.

“More so, I don’t think we need two legislative houses. It’s unnecessary. We must reverse it. We must also amend the constitution to make the tenure president and governor one term. Maybe one-term of six years. Two terms are not necessary.”

Akeju slammed those calling for a coup, insisting that the only way out of the challenges facing Nigeria is to strengthen the present democracy.
June 12: How Tinubu, Beko Kuti, Ola Oni And Myself Were arrested, Detained- APC Chieftain Recounts