Ireti Kingibe, ex-wife of Baba Gana Kingibe, a former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says her husband did not betray the late Moshood Abiola.
In June, President Muhammadu Buhari confered Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on Abiola and Kingibe respectively.
Ireti said a lot of people did not know what Kingibe went through and he also has not made it public.
“Whether Kingibe deserves national honors or not, if you are giving it to June 12, then he was part of it. But saying that he betrayed Abiola (I have nothing to gain from telling the truth), was unfair.
She said her ex-husband’s decison to work for the Sani Abacha regime was made “collectively that not just Kingibe but remember they had Jakande and so many people from the Abiola/Kingibe camp in the government.”
“But I also do not believe in telling lies. And as I have said to many people in the past, they are all guilty of bad judgement and not bad will.”
“The truth is that Abiola needed Kingibe to win the elections but may not have been as comfortable with him as he should have been. When Abiola left Nigeria, I think it would be really strange to run away from the country and you are not going to say anything to your running mate,” Ireti said.
“So, when Baba came back, I said Abiola called and this is the message he left for you. Baba said to me, ‘did he call to apologize?’ I said no, he did not call to apologize. He just gave an explanation or a rationalization for his action and this is what he said. He ‘no, no! You didn’t understand his Yoruba well.’
She said her ex-husband had the option to either to work for the Abacha regime or be killed.