NOW THAT ABIOLA HAS BEEN HONOURED - BY TAYO DEMOLA

When I saw that certificate of honour signed by President Muhammadu
Buhari honouring Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the annulled June 12
1993 Presidential election, I was happy that it was a dream come true
for us as a nation. I was happy for the Abiola family. I was happy for
the masses of Nigeria who came out enmass on that fateful June 12 1993
and lined up in the rain and sun and voted for their own choice of a
leader. I was happy for the national leader of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as for the Lagos
State government and the entire South West for a dream come true
because despite it took a long long time to achieve this recognition,
it is better late than never. Finally after all these years MKO Abiola
has been given his rightful place in the Nigerian polity despite all
the irreparable injustices done to him and the entire masses of
Nigeria all these years.

Now Abiola will smile in his grave not only because he has been
honoured but if and only if he sees that the life of an average
Nigerian has improved and not deteriorated. Abiola will only be happy
if he sees that the current crop of leaders in Nigeria do better than
what he planned to do for Nigeria before his mandate was stolen by
some selfish cabals. But these people who stole Abiola's mandate, then
locked him up and eventually killed him thought they were doing evil
to Abiola but they never realized they were doing greater evil to the
entire Nigerian people and generations yet unborn. For several years
successive Nigerian governments have ignored talking about or
recognizing Abiola. But can we write the history of this country
without dedicating a special chapter to Abiola? Absolutely no! It is
now clear to even the uninformed that Abiola played a pivotal role in
the history of this country despite how successive governments refused
to recognize him. But for how long can they suppress the will of the
people? Can evil triumph over good? No way!

But where are all those who conspired against Abiola? Where are they
now? Do they think they will go scot free? Do they think they will
escape God's judgment? No way. But these people thought they were
conspiring against a single individual, but no, they actually
conspired against the corporate existence of Nigerian as an entity.
For over two decades since that coup against the Nigerian people, has
Nigeria recovered from that brazen theft of the will of the people?
Has Nigerian been able to make any meaningful headway? How have we
fared as a people? Have we not all suffered the inexplicable
consequences of the careless decision of a select few decision makers
whose indiscretion has plunged us into this avoidable cesspit of
inglory as a nation?

But really where are these people who put us into this backwardness?
Are they supposed to be smiling and enjoying themselves now when
Abiola who paid the ultimate price by laying down his own life for
Nigeria rots in the grave? These people who conspired and stole the
people's mandate from Abiola and ended up putting Nigeria through
several years of hardship should be shamed and made to face the public
condemnation and the law. They should be put in their rightful place
in history because the are thieves for stealing the people's mandate.
They should not be honoured because they don't deserve such honour
because they have put Nigeria and the masses of Nigeria to shame. They
should tender a public apology to Nigeria and be put in their rightful
place in the minds of the people.

For too long the will of the people has been subverted in Nigeria. For
too long the will of the people has been swept under the carpet but we
say enough is enough because power ultimately belongs to the people.
It is not enough to honour Abiola, what matters is how the people he
so much fought for are faring. If he were alive, would Nigeria be the
way it is now? If he were alive, would Nigeria still remain backward
the way it is now? If the people's mandate given to Abiola was not
aborted by these enemies of Nigeria and he was able to lead Nigeria
for at least a term in office, would Abiola not have transformed
Nigeria by now or at least laid a solid foundation for Nigeria? Would
he not have solved a lot of problems for us instead of these crop of
incompetent and clueless leaders foisted on Nigeria over the years and
who have ended up creating more problems for Nigeria?

It seemed like yesterday but no, twenty-five years have just passed
away since that people's mandate was given to Abiola. A child born
that year by now should have perhaps graduated from the university and
now working, yet it seems like yesterday and it still seems to me like
a dream that our popular will was stolen and our messiah killed to
suppress the wishes of the Nigerian people. But let's live with the
consolation that he has been recognized at last. Let us hope that as
he has been so recognized, the ideals he lived for would propel us to
greater heights as a nation. Let us hope that one day God will give us
a messiah greater than Abiola who would turn Nigeria around for good.
Let us not give up as a nation for if Abiola could make so much impact
on the Nigerian polity from his grave even when he never actually lead
Nigeria even for a day, then imagine what he would have done if he
were alive and if he were able to preside over the affairs of Nigeria?
This is a great lesson for us as a nation. Never again should we allow
a select few selfish and greedy individuals determine the affairs of
this country. Only the wish and the will of the people should prevail.

For me it is not enough to give honour to Abiola when the bulk of the
Nigerian masses live in abject poverty. It is not enough to honour him
when the lives of the people whom he so much fought for and died for
have not improved the way Abiola would have loved if he were alive.
Abiola was a man of the people. If he were alive he would have given
his last kobo to make sure a hungry man on the street does not go
hungry. He would not fold his arms and do nothing when he hears that
Nigerians are committing suicide for lack of food. He will rise to the
occasion. He will not fold his arms and watch when he hears that
Nigerians are throwing themselves into the third mainland bridge
because they can no longer feed themselves, no Abiola will do
something to help the people. He will not fold his arms and do nothing
when he hears that Nigerians are selling and exchanging their children
for a bag of rice, no I'm sure this will never happen if Abiola were
alive. It will be an abomination to him if he were alive and he would
never allow such to happen. In fact he will do something to stop it.

But come to think of it. Will Abiola allow Nigerians to buy fuel even
as an oil producing nation for N145 per litre even without any
commensurate improvements in the lives of the average Nigerian? Would
he have allowed this injustice to prevail? Would he have allowed
injustice, brutality and human rights abuses if he were alive and if
he were the president of Nigeria? Would the Nigerian economy be in
such a bad shape with many companies relocating out of Nigerian if
Abiola were the president of Nigeria? Would he allow such to happen?
Would he not have fixed the economy by now with his dexterity as a
successful business mogul an international business man? Would he not
have fixed the recurring problems of power by now? And lastly, would
Abiola not have by now laid a solid foundation for the nation and
generations yet unborn instead of the pillaging and daylight robbery
of Nigeria by successive governments? Abiola would have no doubt
performed the magic but the will of the people was subverted. Never
again should we allow the will of the people to be subverted in
Nigeria. Let your vote count. God bless Nigeria.

TAYO DEMOLA
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
LAGOS, NIGERIA
Email: tayodemola@gmail.com
Twitter: @TayoDemola

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