Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, first son and present head of the extended Abiola family, Kola Abiola, has said his father was a victim of complex conspiracy in his struggle to win the June 12, 1993, presidential election and reclaim his mandate after the results were cancelled.
Abiola in an interview with The Sun revealed roles played by different persons of influence before, during and after the annulled 1993 election
He said, contrary to widely held beliefs, Abiola never nominated anybody into the regime of the late General Sani Abacha, and explained that some of his father’s former allies who chose to serve the late dictator had already decided to be part of his regime and his father could not stop them.
Speaking on roles Asiwaju Tinubu played during Abacha regime, Abiola said “At the very beginning, Tinunu was part of the Yar’Adua PF group from Jos. He was a senator then, and as far as the group went, we related. The crisis started post-election. When Abacha came, one of the things he wanted to do was to be the administrator for Lagos.
“Tinubu was close to my dad. I am sure you have seen pictures of him and my dad. He was hoping that there would be civilian administrators like we had under IBB but Abacha said no, that he was going to have military administrators. So he (Tinubu) said okay, in that case, can I be a deputy administrator? But Abacha said that there wouldn’t be deputies. Then he wanted the post of a commissioner.
“Then it was a choice between him and someone very close to Jakande, who has passed on now. I can’t remember his name, but because Babagana was already in the government, that guy was picked as commissioner. But really, Senator Tinubu had lost out already.
“Tinubu was very close to MKO, he and Adeniyi Adele, a very good guy, were close to my father. In fact, Adeniyi was closer to my father and more dedicated to the process than anyone of them. When my documentary comes out, you will see Tinubu’s take on issues. So once he lost out, automatically, he became a NADECO member and Adeniyi was incarcerated.
He further added that he dealt with Arthur Nzeribe and Late Oluwole Saraki back then as they were part of governors group who went to court to stop adjournment of election.
“Nzeribe wasn’t a Governor but he and the late Olusola Saraki were part of the core of the governors’ group.
“When they went to court and got that adjournment to stop the election, I found a way to get the information across through the system that we were going to lose the election and that was how I truncated their move to stop the election.”
On role Diya player, Abiola added, “I also interviewed Diya for the documentary to give him the chance to state his own side.
“When Abacha passed on and he was released from prison, I went and welcomed him and I told him that it was good he went through that process, because if he had stayed with Abacha till he died, he may not have been alive today. Or he may not be able to come back to the South West without being lynched. And he looked at me and said he thought he could come in quietly to Lagos but that he was shocked at the reception he received.
“It was the imprisonment process that cleansed Diya but God has a way of showing his power. I said what I said from what I know.”