President Muhammadu Buhari and Bashir Tofa

The candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) in the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashir Tofa, has sent a coded message on the recognition of his rival by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Asked by TheCable to comment on Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day and the posthumous award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) to MKO Abiola, the presumed winner, Tofa replied: “May God help Nigeria.”

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Although his response gives nothing away, one of his associates told TheCable that Tofa is still studying the situation and would not want to comment “until the dust settles”.

“It’s too early for him to comment. Let’s wait a few more days or weeks while the wind blows where it should,” the associate told TheCable, indicating that Tofa, who contested the election at the age of 45, might release a press statement.

When the election was annulled, the NRC said Tofa won it in what was a counterclaim to SDP’s position.

According to unofficial results, Tofa got a total of 5,952,087 (41.64%) of votes nationwide while Abiola, running on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), scored 8,341,309 (58.36%).

The total vote case was 14,293,396.

Abiola won 19 of the 30 states: Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Yobe, plus the federal capital territory.

Tofa won in 11 states: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Enugu, Imo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Rivers and Sokoto.

The Kano-based politician is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), having joined from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) when opposition parties merged in 2013.