Maybe one of Abiola’s biggest mistakes was being too vocal way too early. He should have taken notes from great African leaders eliminated for their big plans
From 1990, he had already started campaigning for the international communities to pay Africans reparations for slavery
Abiola sponsored The Abuja Proclamation programme, a pan African initiative demanding Africans be paid for the injustices of slave trade.see details below
He also said this…
Abiola’s companies was the first to use Nigerians on management level.
May Nigerian companies till date still use Pakistanis or Lebanese for top scale industrial work
Oh snap, he spoke to quickly.
But in Nigeria, everyone just loved him. not that he was a saint, but he had humanity and was compassionate about people
June 12 1993
“Daddy is winning, but something weird happened, they have stopped announcing the results…Tundun Abiola, Phone conversation with her sister June 12 1993
Inspite of the fact he went for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, Abiola was winning everywhere- In the North, in the south, in the east and even in the home town of his opponent Bashir Othman Tofa
June 23, 1993: The Nigeria head state Ibrahim Badamosi Babanginda annuls the results of the June 12 elections citing irregularities.
It was sudden and it was shocking. Everything was going just fine. Elections were holding as scheduled. and suddenly someone decided this man cannot be president.
IBB and MKO ABIOLA had been friends for over 20 years
And together they had been involved in many shady deals. MKO Abiola was a global business man, and like the Dangotes- they always need political power on their side.
Its alleged that MKO assisted Babaginda in overthrowing Buhari and Idiagbon’s military regime back in 1985
When it was time to hand over to a democratic government in 1993, There are allegations that IBB rigged the election primaries in favor of Abiola- statements from prominent Nigerians Chief Abimbola Moyosore Aboderin and Sule Lamido to allude to that.
So its shocking he nullified the elections – even more shocking it happened at the last minute. IBB would later confess it was a life or death situation. the military threatened to Kill IBB and Moshood Abiola if MKO was made president.
Was it just the military, or were outside forces involved?
The carnage from election cancellation was instant Riots,Killing and looting.
The tensions forced IBB to throw in the towel and resign
More strings of Betrayals followed almost immediately. Abiola’s running mate Babagana Gingibe, never seemed to have liked him to begin with, so he not fight for him. infact, he was the first to dump him.
As Babaginda resigned from the Chaos, he thrust in Earnest Shonkean as interim president
What’s interesting is that Shonekan is exactly from the same town as MKO Abiola- they were both natives of Abeokuta.
Shonekan was strategically chosen to split the support base of Abiola into two camps and his acceptance of Babaginda’s appointment was the ultimate betrayal.
Now Abiola was getting death threats from the military and his friend Babangida was unable to protect him.
With Betrayals and death threats on all sides on August 4, 1993 Abiola leaves Nigeria unannounced.
He fled to seek international support from the preachers of democracy- the west and UN. He went to Paris, the US and the UK.
The British government was so emphatic that he must not declare himself as President while in the UK and he must not form a government in exile or else he will be deported.
While Abiola was seeking international support, his hometown brother Earnest Shonekan was having a tough time managing the turmoil in Nigeria
Strikes, Riots and a basic economic shut down characterized Earnest Shonekan’s short termed presidency.
In the midst of the drama, Earnest Shonekan Strategically blocked Abiola’s return to Nigeria to avoid further chaos.
So Abiola was stuck outside the country, unable to return.
Abacha, Earnest Shonekan’s Defense minister became an unlikely ally of Abiola
It was Abacha that ensured that Abiola returned to Nigeria.
Abacha had to change the guards at the airport, replaced them with his own guards and asked them to fly Abiola in from Cotonou. ( Ask quoted by late Dr Ore falomo) who was friends with Abiola, Abacha and IBB)
The political scene was chaotic and uncertain at the time MKO Abiola returned to Nigeria
A federal high court seating in Lagos expelled IBB’s interim government and instantly sacked Earnest Shonekan. The court ordered Abiola to be sworn in as the president.On the other hand Abiola was still getting death threats to his life from the military.
So even though the judiciary and the people had his back, the military did not, infact it was rumored that junior officers were planning a possible bloody coup d’etat against anyone in power
Walking straight into the lion’s den
In the backdrop of all these uncertainty, Abiola and Abacha reached a strange agreement.
Abacha overthrew Earnest Shonekan’s Goverment , the idea was to clear the way for Abiola and remove all the death traps, Eliminate people trying to Kill Abiola. But we all know that did not happen
A few months after he discovered that Abacha had tricked him. Abiola formed a parallel government in a famous Epetedo speech declaring himself as president. That was the moment he got arrested for treason
Abiola was again betrayed by Abacha who sent him to jail
Almost all his SDP team were now working for Abacha, even Tinubu begged for the role of Lagos State commissioner, but was by passed for another candidate (according to Kola Abiola)
His family was putting pressure on the international community to secure Abiola’s release – But they were not quite on Abiola’s side
In September 1995, Abacha agreed with the US to return Nigeria to democracy in 18months.
In Jan 25 1996, A 15 man European Union commission agreed to a 3 year return to democracy calendar set by Abacha.
Effectively, the international community was not pushing for a democratically elected government to be reinstated – they betrayed the democracy they created, probably because it does not suit them?
History has been unforgiving to IBB for cancelling June 12 and Abacha for jailing Abiola…
But we really need to have a conversation with this man- Abdulsalami Abubakar
Side note- I just pressed fast forward to four years later
It was under the watch of Abdulsalami Abubakar that United States under-secretary Thomas Pickering and CIA agent Susan Rice served Abiola a fatal cup of tea, that caused him a heart attack.
A few months After Abiola died, Abubakar became the very first military head of State to visit the white house.
The death of Abiola is one of the greatest Conspiracies in Nigeria’s history. But thats a story for another day-x