MKO Abiola’s Son Reveals Untold Story About His Father, June 12
THE office of the president of any country is not a post people get at easily, especially a country like Nigeria, the giant of Africa, little wonder many do all sorts of things in order to be there.
But what becomes the fate of a person who was freely elected by the entire country to be there and all of a sudden , somebody who felt that he was powerful came up and declared the election annulled.
This was the case of late business mogul, Bashorun MKO Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, declared by international observers as the fairest and freest election ever conducted on the Nigerian soil. And of course, he did not give up, though his struggle to reclaim his mandate eventually claimed his life and that of one of his wives, Kudirat Abiola.
Who is this man called MKO, What was his growing up like, how did he surmount the obstacles surrounding his poor background to become one of the wealthiest man in Nigeria. How did he enter into the presidential race and how did his friends and even the international community react to his ordeal when the election was annulled.
These and other untold informations are what Alhaji Abdul Jamiu Abiodun Abiola, one of his sons has come out with in what can be described as the first family account of the birth-to-death biography of the late presidential aspirant of SDP whose election was annulled by the military junta of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in his new book titled “The President Who Never Ruled”.
In his usual way, -Jamiu Abiola, a multi-linguist and businessman who has authored two other books in the 197 pages book published by Arab Scientific Contractors Inc, Lebanon disclosed that the reasons for writing the book was to correct some terrible insinuations about his late father whom he described as a ‘valuable vessel of democracy in Nigeria’ and also as his own way of immortalizing a man who meant a lot to him.
Did he actually achieve these, yes as Jamiu Abiola in the 44 chapters book divided into three parts rightly corrects the wrongs or half-truths and assumptions by many about his late father.
Self made billionaires
In the first part, which covers from chapters one to 16, Jamiu chronicles the birth and rise to grace of one of Africa’s self made billionaires and Are Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Bashorun MKO Abiola. In it, he takes the reader to the background of the the late Chief MKO Abiola, the circumstances before his birth, his foray into business at an early age, how he fared in his firewood business, before going into music where he formed the band known as Kashy Mambo Orchestra which took over the music business in the town.
One important attribute of Abiola, the author revealed, was that he combined the business with his education and still come up with good grades. In this part, the author narrates the various stages in his father’s life, how he graduated as an accountant and he finally secured a job at ITT, a job that later changed the fortunes of his life.
The author here also tried to clear the air on people’s perception about his late father and the ITT job. The late MKO Abiola according the author, really worked hard and long as a trained accountant and as an astute businessman, to attain the height he reached and made the money in ITT and he never stole any money from it.
From ITT, the man formed other businesses like the Wonder Loaf, Abiola farms, Abiola Airlines, Concord Newspaper, Abiola Bookshops and many others.
Part two also examines the presidential aspiration of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 general election. How he suffered a crushing defeat at the party’s convention in Benue while under the banner of NPN, but he did not give up. How he later got the nod from his friend IBB to contest and finally won the presidential convention of SDP held on March 27, 1993.
The schemings that followed on who to be his running mate and how he finally picked Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, against Atiku Abubakar, who was the choice of Yar’Adua team and Pascal Bafyau, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, who the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida wanted to be Abiola’s running mate. Here also, the author who was an insider gives step by step analyses of how Abiola won the election, and how Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election.
The protest that forced IBB to step aside, the coming in of the interim government led by Chief Ernest Shonekan, the take over of government by Abacha, the betrayals by his close friends and other, are also documented. The reign of late General Sani Abacha, the assassination of Kudirat Abiola, the great Epetedo declaration and incarceration of Abiola were also captured. The dogged and unforgettable role played the woman of valour, Late Kudirat Abiola for the actualisation of her husband’s mandate were also captured.
Written in very simple English for easy understanding, apart from some technical errors noticed, the author has through this work brought to the fore again, the June 12 incident that nearly teared the country apart. A good novel for every home, especially younger ones who need to know about the man MKO and the June 12 which form part of Nigeria’s history.