POSTHUMOUS AWARD: MURDERING ABIOLA THE SECOND TIME



When Abacha died in 2008, Gani Fawehinmi was quoted to have wished him to suffer in the hottest part of hell. The pain Abacha inflicted on the nation and the relief his death brought to the nation notwithstanding, almost every Nigerian berated Gani for speaking ill of the dead. In the African world of which Nigeria is an integral part, we revere our dead. We do not speak ill of our dead. Politicking with our dead is unheard of. We always wish and pray that our dead rests in peace. So let it be with MKO Abiola.

If the dead see and feel, MKO Abiola must be in serious pain and agony of being humiliated, betrayed and mocked once again even in death by the same forces that fast-forwarded his terminus. Our leaders are so daft that they think we are daft. Our riches and resources may have been stolen from us but our senses are still very much intact. We know our history, and we know who did what.

On the 31st of December, 1983, a certain tall, lanky and bespectacled Buhari, an army officer murdered democracy. That particular ill-conceived misadventure spiraled series of military dictatorships which eventually culminated to the annulment of June 12 presidential election, and Abacha’s coup of 1993. Abacha arrested and detained Abiola, the winner of the annulled presidential election. Abiola was paraded in cuffs and Black Maria like a common criminal for the offense of winning a free and fair election. They robbed him of his mandate. They robbed him of his freedom. They robbed him of his wife, Kudirat. They robbed him of his businesses. They robbed him of his wealth. They robbed him of his honor. They robbed him of his humanity. They robbed him of his life.

As Gen. Abacha, the robber in chief, perpetrated all these robberies that a certain Buhari that murdered democracy on the 31st of December, 1983, served him and enjoyed his confidence. Buhari wined and dined with Abacha as the Chairman of PTF. It is not on record that Buhari sought for the revalidation of Abiola’s mandate. I am yet to be shown where Buhari condemned the haunting and hounding of pro-democracy activists. I am yet to see where Buhari condemned the gruesome murder of Alfred Rewane or Kudirat Abiola. Let those clapping and hailing Buhari show me where he called for Abiola’s release or condemned his murder. The very last time I checked, there’s nothing like neutrality in the fight between good and evil; it is either you are for or against. Again, silence in the face of evil is an endorsement of the same.

Today, that certain tall, lanky and bespectacled Buhari that murdered democracy in 1983 is an elected president. Ever since his election, President Buhari has repeatedly hailed Abacha, Abiola’s jailer and killer, as a saint and patriot. The same Abiola whose jailer and murderer is being hailed as a patriot by Buhari is being decorated in shinning armor as the best elected president that never ruled. What a mockery!

This reminds me of the satire of humoring Papa Awolowo as the best president Nigeria never had. What unforgivable sin did the Yorubas commit that they must be politely insulted over their pains?

Demographic power positions Yoruba in a strategic position in Nigeria’s political arithmetic. And another election is around the corner. It is not for me to say that the mission this time is not to honor Abiola but suffice it to say that it is not out of the baker’s kindness that the Yorubas are getting this bread. If I am to call a spade by it’s name, I would write off this so-called honor as a mockery of the person of Abiola, his monumental sacrifice and the great ideals he lived and died for. The so-called honor is a slap in the face of the Yoruba nation, their recent history, their memory and their civilization. President Buhari is opening their healed wound by politicking on the grave of the Aare Ona Kakanfo.

By humiliating Basheroun MKO Abiola even in death, President Buhari thinks it is only his Fulani people that have a long memory but let’s see if the Yorubas, with their rich history, can become so forgetful all of a sudden.