June 12: Abiola and a Posthumous Presidency!

by Tunde Ali

Unlike the desert storm that riotously blew all and vanished into oblivion, June 12, 1993 remain visible and relevant. Its memory is indelible in the history of our nation. It was a day the Thunder, the Lightning, and the Rain hallowed their strength and allowed the evil of man to prevail. A sad day for a struggling nation that was trying everything possible to rewrite its history, and reposition itself among the committee of credible and civilized nations of the world. A day that Bashorun Abiola, the Aare Ona-Kakanfo of Yoruba Land fell to the debacle of a visionless military despot -General Sanni Abacha.

Moshood kashimawo Olawale Abiloa, a.k.a. (MKO), a business mogul, unparallel philanthropist, and politician died in prison in mysterious circumstances. He was believed to have been poisoned through a cup of tea by the government of the treacherous late General Sanni Abacha.

Chief Abiola is dead, but the ideals which he lived and died for continue to thrive. Chief Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the first and only free and fair election ever conducted to date in Nigeria; understood his mandate and refused to surrender or compromise the legitimate authority trusted in him by the Nigerian electorates; even at the instance of threat to his life and destruction of his business empire.

General Ibrahim Babangida, a Napoleonic- anarchist. Then the Military President of Nigeria nullified the June 12 election that vested the right to Nigeria Presidency to Chief Abiola. His reason then was that Abiola was not popular among the military top brats. What a dummy excuse! As if Nigeria is a possession of the so-called Military brats. IBB ignobly down played the nation’s wish and consequently opened a chapter of political unrest in Nigeria. He willingly murdered sleep, and has not slept ever since. His ambition to retain power by transitioning from Military President to Civilian President was met with stiff opposition which was championed by the coalition of the Progressives and Democratic forces within and outside Nigeria.

The collective resistance of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Campaign for Democracy (CD), Human Rights Project, Campaign for Democracy and Human Rights (CDHR), Movement for Social and Economic Justice (MOSEJ), PENGASSAN etc will forever go down in history as formidable fronts in the battle for and restoration of human rights and democratic government in Nigeria. With these unyielding fronts, IBB “stepped aside” from the presidency but enthroned the erstwhile UAC Chairman-Earnest Shonekan. Another failed effort by IBB to brake and fraction the support base of the struggle.

Barely 90 days in office as the President of the Interim Government. General Sanni Abacha, the only Military Head of State in Nigeria history that failed Psc; (Military Course at Staff College, Jaji); usurped the Interim Government of Shonekan and proclaimed himself the new military Head of States. Like IBB, Sanni Abacha refused to recognize and relinquish power to Chief Abiola – the acclaimed winner of the June 12 election. It was under his watch that Chief MKO Abiola died. Genaral Sanni Abacha did everything monstrously possible to consolidate himself in power. He descended mightily on all pro-democracy and progressives forces. His regime killed umpteen through the use of state apparatus and target assassination.

One year after the death of Chief Abiola, General Sanni Abacha died. Though his death was unexpected and sudden, it was a welcome relief to the people who have for several years been gagged, coerced and silenced by a regime headed by an empty headed drunk. He was reported to have eaten a poisoned apple while romanticizing with his set of imported prostitutes from Arabian nation.

General Abdulsalam inherited the throne, appeared to have learnt from the mistakes of his predecessors, and announced the return of the country to a democratic rule. It was the consequence of this decision that translated to what was celebrated on May 29, 2009 (Democracy Anniversary). But the fact of the matter is yet to be addressed. Nigerians still eagerly awaits explanations from all the June 12 Players and Actors. For instance, Nigerians have the right to know:

Why June 12 election was nullified by Babangida?

Who are the party (ies) to the decision of annulment?

What role did the Military (especially the serving chiefs) play?

Who are the Military top brats that IBB referred to in his ludicrous reason?

What role did Northern Arewa Association played?

To what extent was the U.S.A or other governments of the West involved?

What was the role of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) under Prof. Nwosu?

To what extent did Babagana Kingibe compromised the trust of his boss (MKO), dittos the electorates, and became complacent with Abaca’s carrot?

What was the role of Dr. Hammed Kusamotu (NRC National Chairman) and Alhaj Tofa (NRC Presidential Candidate)?

What was the role of the SDP National Chairman?

What role did the Interim National Government played that sustained the annulment status quo?

Lies never last, even the secret of the owl sometimes get revealed in the day light. Until the principal actors of June 12 come out of their cocoon and tell the nation exactly how, when, who, where, and what happened about the annulled June 12 election; The ghosts of Abiola, Musa Yar’Adua, Pa Rilwane, Kudrat Abiola, Suliat Adedeji and others who paid supreme price will continue to haunt them all. Since their action plundered the nation into catastrophe and undesired agony, they will know no peace all their life and the breeze of agony will not cease from their territory. Their stolen wealth will stress life out of them, and the history of their lives will become heresy to the generations yet unborn.

A nation that upholds the Rule of Law must hold its leaders accountable. Accountability is the key to democratic growth; therefore nobody should be above the law or treated as a sacred cow. In the Western or developed nations of the world, individual economic or political status is irrelevant when it comes to the laws of the land or constitutional matters. Theirs is the Rule of Law, not of men. For instance; General Abdulsalam, former Nigeria Head of States was arraigned and prosecuted in the United States Court by some Nigerian U.S. based Attorneys for Human Rights abuse and his involvement in the death of Chief MKO Abiola, the celebrated June 12 election winner.

Recently, Professor Nwosu, the NEC chairman that conducted the June 12 election confirmed the obvious when he stated that Chief Abiola won the election. What the coward professor did not say was his reason for delaying the announcement of the result for 16 years. He should have been arrested and prosecuted for perjury. He sworn as the NEC chairman to conduct a free and fair election with utmost honesty.

Babangida continue to parade himself as a force to be reckoned with in Nigeria Political Arena, even with multitude of unanswered questions. He thinks he is invincible. He has forgotten that none of God’s creations is beyond His catch. Those who tread the shore of self invincibility historically end up as an object of mockery to the people they have once oppressed. IBB has on occasions flagrantly disobeyed the court order confirming that the evil genius is invincible and above the Nigerian Laws.

While the nation continue to awaits the missing link from the actors, the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Nigeria, or is it Federal Republic of Nigeria should enact a Bill that would post humously recognize, approve and treat Chief M.K.O. Abiola as one of the Nigeria past Presidents. All honors that bequit such office should be allotted and accorded his name. Until this is done, the nation’s journey to the much desired healing process will not begin.

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1 comment

Jude Arijaje June 23, 2009 - 11:01 am

You got some pertinent facts wrong. General Sani Abacha died before MKO Abiola. General Abdusalami suceeded Abacha and it was under his watch that MKO died while meeting with US undersecretary, Pickering


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