By Hrm Oba AbdulAzeez Olatunbosun
Akire of Ikire-Ile Kingdom
June 12, 1993 election which Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was presumed to have won was adjudged and remains the freest and fairest in the history of the giant of Africa, Nigeria. Prof. Humphrey Nwosu who conducted the elections introduced the novel Option A4 Voting System and Open Ballot System.
Though Chief M.K.O Abiola was a friend of the military, ahead the elections there were insinuations that the leadership of the military felt uneasy about the emergence of Abiola as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and so would not accept the result if he won. Consequently, and true to the rumor making the rounds, the election was brutally annulled by the military administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
Chief M.K.O Abiola in his bid to reclaim his mandate was held in custody after the famous ‘Epetedo Declaration’ and eventually lost his life while in detention. The following are few of the numerous lessons to draw from the annulment:
* Moshood Kashimawo Olawale ABIOLA, the winner of the June 12,1993 Presidential elections was a victim of complex conspiracy!
* Facts and figures have no version.
* Friends who hate you secretly are worse than the enemies that you know. May God save us from such friends.
* Be careful! You can carry the hatred for a fellow or group of persons to the level that you get diminishing, and eventually demean yourself to nothingness.
* In whatever we do, courage is crucial. Nigerians had the courage to vote in the best candidate, Babangida lacked the courage to respect the results of the elections but Abiola had the courage to stand by his mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.
* It is good to be good in whatever we do. Abiola was a ditribalised, cheerful philanthropist, and a great helper who helped whoever comes his way whether Muslim or Christians, Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa. The whole Nigerians voted for him in spite of being a Muslim presidential candidate running alongside a Muslim vice-presidential candidate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe. This shows that whatever good we sow we shall reap.
* Nigerians can come together to elect strong leadership if our leaders would stop playing the divisive ethnic and religious cards.
*The consequences of betrayal is always sad and ignominious. Babangida promised to respect the results of the June 12 elections but he went back on his promises. Today Abiola is celebrated even though he is no more while those who betrayed him are not even though they are alive.
* There is always a price to pay no matter how small for a vision or dream that one believes in. Abiola was not distracted by this reality even when his wife, Kudrat Abiola was shot dead by Abacha’s killers.
* Although Abiola is dead, his democratic spirit lives on. This is possible because of his selfless sacrifice. He is the foundation of the democracy that Nigerians enjoy today.
May the Almighty Allâh continue to forgive his shortcomings and admit him and his wives Simbiat and Kudrat Abiola to aljanna firdauz. Aamiin.
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