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.
Abiola is the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.
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.
Kingibe was criticised as undeserving of a similar honour because he allegedly abandoned Abiola when it mattered most.
But in a chat with The Interview, Kingibe’s ex-wife said it was Abiola who left her former husband in the cold.
Ireti said a lot of people did not know what Kingibe went through and he also has not made it public.
“It’s not a view. I know that Kingibe did not betray Abiola because I was there. I am not just saying this. I think I am one of his most vocal critics. But that aspect of criticism is not fair, and it is not true,” she said.
“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.
“Maybe a lot of people didn’t see what he went through himself. He also did not care to make it public. Everybody says Kingibe betrayed Abiola, how? Nobody tells us. At least I haven’t been told.”
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.”
“They were under the misguided notion that Abacha was going to hand over to them. And really, as I have said over and over again, Kingibe is no longer my husband and I am under no obligation to say anything good about him,” Ireti said.