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June 12: Why I Stood Behind Chief MKO Abiola On This Day In 1993—Activist, Sowore




Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore has narrated his first private encounter with Chief Moshood Abiola, popularly referred to as MKO Abiola, and why he selected on August 29, 1993 to face by the politician following the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election by the Ibrahim Babangida-led navy junta. 

Sowore, who was a scholar chief in the course of the political wrestle that adopted the annulment, on Sunday, recalled how he bravely inspired Abiola precisely 28 years in the past, telling him to disregard politicians urging him to desert the June 12 mandate regardless of obviously successful the election. 

He mentioned, “The true story: Inside his expansive front room on Toyin Avenue in Ikeja, we have been ushered right into a gathering of politicians holding a ‘technique session’ to ask MKO Abiola to tone down his problem in opposition to Common Ibrahim Babangida and his navy cohorts after they annulled Nigeria’s freest election held on June 12, 1993. I used to be clearly the ‘poorest’ particular person within the room on that fateful day (I had on toilet slippers). 

“It was my first time assembly Chief Abiola in particular person however he recognised me and mentioned ‘oh Scholar chief, welcome to our assembly, what ought to we do now as my mates have annulled the Folks’s mandate?

“I shortly took the chance to lambast the politicians seated. I informed Chief Abiola his actual enemies are proper there within the room with him and that they have been simply busy amassing his cash however not combating for the restoration of his mandate. Chief Abiola was uncomfortable and tried altering the subject by praising my organising efforts in combating for the restoration of his June 12 mandate. He shortly dragged a large bag containing money and proceeded to provide our workforce N800,000, saying it was a token for our ‘transportation’. 

“I politely rejected the money haul telling him, jocularly, that first, we didn’t come to go to him in a jumbo jet so the difficulty of a jumbo transportation fund gained’t come up, actually, I doubt that the SUG (College students’ Union Authorities) bus we took there was value N300,000 in these days, I used to be agency in telling him our wrestle wasn’t for his sake and that our struggle was not for him however the way forward for Nigeria. 

“The Nationwide Affiliation of Nigerian College students (NANS) didn’t even consider in Babangida’s transition programme however our place concerning democratic rule although was sacrosanct therefore our place on the legal annulment of the June 12 elections. 

“Having performed my little harm to the grasping politicians in Abiola’s front room (don’t neglect so a lot of them have been clutching to money hauls collected from Abiola proper there), our workforce determined to go away however one thing uncommon occurred, Chief Anthony Enahoro who was additionally in attendance angrily acquired up and informed Chief Abiola he too was leaving that he shared the place of the scholars. In a break up second, Abiola stood up and determined he would escort us to our bus, a choice that left his visitors bewildered. 

“Once we acquired outdoors, ChannelsTV proprietor, John Momoh and one among his reporters, Kingsley Uranta have been outdoors ready for an interview. Abiola requested that I dangle round and listen to what he needs to say and I mentioned, “that’s good Chief, in the event you’re now able to struggle, I’ll stand behind you!”

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