Home News 6 Outstanding Nigerians with near-death ordeals over June 12 struggle

6 Outstanding Nigerians with near-death ordeals over June 12 struggle

The June 12, 1993 struggle in Nigeria marked a significant chapter in the nation's history, a pivotal moment in the fight for democracy and civil rights.

Some of the Jun 12, 1993 agitators who cheated death. [Facebook/Getty Images/Guardian]

The military regime of General Sani Abacha was brutal towards prominent activists.

This date commemorates the annulled presidential election, widely regarded as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history.
The fallout from the annulment led to widespread unrest, political turmoil, and a series of events that brought many individuals perilously close to losing their lives.

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Among those who narrowly escaped death during this turbulent period were key political figures, activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens who bravely stood against the military regime.

Olusegun Obasanjo [Getty Images]

Obasanjo’s journey to becoming Nigeria’s president in the democratic era after his stint in the second republic can be tied to the historic June 12, 1993 struggle for democracy.

After General Sani Abacha‘s successful coup in 1993, Obasanjo became a vocal critic of his policies and tyrannic style of governance.

In 1995, Abacha ordered Obasanjo’s arrest on charges of plotting a coup against the government, a charge widely regarded as politically motivated and aimed at silencing his opposition.

Obasanjo was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment, which was later commuted to 15 years. During his incarceration, he endured harsh conditions and the constant threat of death.

His imprisonment and eventual release in 1998, following the death of Abacha, underscored the intense risks he faced during this tumultuous period as he went on to become Nigeria’s second democratically elected president in the fourth republic.

Anthony Enahoro [Getty Images]

The man whose motion gave room for Nigeria’s independence at the London Conference in 1993 was also a victim of the June 12 struggle.

Chief Enahoro, one of the foremost anti-colonial and pro-democracy activists, was also a strong critic of Abacha’s dictatorial regime.

Under Enahoro’s leadership, his activism led to the formation of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), a coalition of like-minded activists, with Enahoro serving as its chairman.

He was subjected to constant surveillance, harassment, and threats. The military government viewed him as a major threat due to his influence in the pro-democracy movement. Despite these dangers, Enahoro remained steadfast in his commitment to the cause, continuing to rally support for the reinstatement of the annulled election and establishing a democratic government.

Senator Shehu Sani [Facebook]