Akintunde Bello Sheriff
Bashorun MKO Abiola died in vain sadly. He was rigged and for daring to neutralize that high-tech rigging, The Husband of Atinuke Simbiat was picked up and detained with all his hugely status. He did not come out alive. After Abacha had died and rumours flied that MKO was going to be released to assume the office and benefit his long waited mandate as a President Elect, the unthinkable happened, and MKO was poisoned and he died instantly.
It must be stated that Baba Kola had the chance to live as a coward as envoys came to Nigeria to negotiate his freedom with him on account that he will forfeit his mandate. The Aare Ona Kankanfo instead preferred to die as a Hero and refused to surrender because he did not want to betray public trust and his dignity.
To begin to curse the assassins is to curse our race because the famous interview granted by our most eminent Yoruba royalties where Oko Kudirat was abandoned to his fate by his own Fathers remains evergreen in our hearts. We will therefore not lay a curse. The CSO to Abacha Almustapha has also buttressed the point that MKO was first killed from home. May the Yoruba Nation be rescued from this recurring plague as it was also witnessed when Afonja behaved like the Judas.
Today, it is save to say that the later Father of our democratic race after Awolowo before Obasanjo emerged died in vain. He died in vain because he died to state rigging and up till today, the rigging continues in our political experiences.
The lasting good we can do to the memory of the Giant is to forbid riggings in our democratic life in Nigeria and especially Southwest, going forward. Yesterday, drawing inspiration from the works of the erudite Onigege Ara, I tried to develop how Late President Shehu Shagari institutionalized rigging to our electoral parlance in Nigeria vide the political turmoil that happened in old Ondo State between Governor Adekunle Ajasin and his estranged former Deputy, Chief Omoboriowo. When will rigging stop in Nigeria and can somebody who was rigged to office stop the act of rigging? May God bless late President Umaru Yaradua’s soul for he admitted to be a beneficiary of rigging and he attempted to end it by his famous electoral reforms but death stopped the gentleman.
Today, the riggers see rigging as a normal way of life and they wish that rigging never stops. If indeed we want to truly celebrate the life and times of Chief MKO Abiola, we must say a permanent ending to rigging at all levels be it at the grassroots, state, or in the federal level.
I wish to greatly commend President Buhari for finally recognising MKO even in death as a former President and for adorning his posthumous stature with the GCFR title. Politics or not, that is worth some celebration if we think about where we were coming from.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, how I wish you can visit the monument site named after Chief Kasimawo Olawale Abiola in Ido – Osun vide Ede on this day, bush or no bush. It was meant to serve as a airport but human beings played a fast one on the vision and it is a sad reminder to the memory of the departed.
MKO Abiola had defeated his main rival Bashir Tofa in a resounding victory with 8, 341, 309 votes over 5, 952, 087 votes representing 58.36% in favour of the SDP against Tofa who polled 41.64% of the total votes cast. President MKO Abiola won in 19 States leaving Tofa to win in 11 States despite fielding a joint Muslim/Muslim ticket with Babagana Kingibe who later abandoned the mandate of his Boss to join hands with the military powers who annulled their election held on June 12th 1993.
Adieu President MKO Abiola, may Allah grant you aljanat firdaus.
Akintunde Bello Sheriff (ABS) writes from Osun State