What my mother told MKO about Babangida – Kola Abiola



Kola Abiola, the first son of the late politician, Moshood Abiola, has revealed that his mother, Simbiat Atinuke Abiola, did not want his father to contest the presidential election while military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, was still in the saddle.

According to him, it was Mrs Abiola’s wish that MKO, as he was fondly called, waited until the political maze of the then military was over before venturing into the foray to contest the presidential election. Mr Abiola, who spoke while featuring on the programme, Political Stew, on TVC, in Lagos, said it was however not true that his mother told his father not to run for president as widely reported.

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MKO is the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. The election was cancelled by the Babangida administration even before the electoral body concluded the announcement of the results.

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He was later arrested by the Abacha dictatorship when he declared himself as president. His sudden death occurred shortly after the passing of Sani Abacha in 1998, just when it seemed his release was imminent.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently recognised his sacrifice, declaring June 12 Democracy Day and conferring on him the national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic(GCFR). “Contrary to what is out there, my mother never told my father not to run or get into politics,” Mr Abiola said during the interview.

He said his mother was concerned about the “timing” and was not particularly against his ambition to become president. “She told my father to drop his ambition until Ibrahim Babangida finished his tenure before contesting for the Presidency,” he said.

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According to him, his mother was not comfortable with political situation at that time, and rightly predicted that the transition programme was not “going anywhere.”

“When he went out to pick the form (nomination for president) in Abeokuta back then, he didn`t tell me because he knew what the agreement was, so I equally acted as if I didn`t know he did but obviously it was all over the news,” he said.

“My father had his own way of doing things, he didn`t wait for that, (IBB finishing his tenure) the rest is history now.”

Mr. Abiola further noted that the late MKO after getting his ambition underway, sent people to get him to be involved and even wrote him a letter, which he still had, inviting him to join his organisation to become president.

He added that he had no choice but to put his energy into the course to actualise his late father’s dreams of becoming the president, which did not materialise. He said he had no regrets regarding to outcome of the events of the June 12, 1993 elections.

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