Day MKO tongue lashed IBB inside Aso Rock

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Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola

The plane landed in Abuja that evening. It had rained briefly during the day. The weather was dull and cold. But Moshood had other things on his mind. He had heard before his flight had taken off that some members of his party, who wanted to trade his presidential mandate away, were having meetings behind his back. Moshood had never expected loyalty from politicians during tough times but he had also never expected their treachery to come so soon. This trip was very important, he told himself, in order to confront the military president, whom he held solely responsible for the crisis. He wanted to stop things from getting completely out of hand by negotiating with him and assuring him that his incoming government had no plans to investigate him.


Babangida and Abiola

The drive from the airport to Aso Rock, Nigeria’s presidential villa was very long. It took Moshood and his entourage more than two hours to reach their destination. They were not boring hours, though, because Moshood was deep in thought. He was analyzing the personality of his future host, Nigeria’s charismatic military leader whom many admired and many despised. His nickname was Maradona because, just like the legendary Argentinian soccer player on the field, the military president possessed great skills in twisting people around.

IBB

“The military government had sent some of its loyalists in Northern Nigeria to spread tales that Moshood was going to divide Nigeria because he hated the North. Among the Christians, rumors were also spread about how Moshood had intercepted a ship that was carrying bibles to Nigeria and caused it to sink”.

Moshood was now convinced that his foray into the presidential race was a big mistake. He had made up his mind to pursue his mandate but he was still afraid of the consequences. He dreaded the possibility of another miscalculated move, and since this was the first time that a presidential election had been annulled in Nigeria or any other African country, he had nothing to compare to his predicament or to learn from.


The Author Jamiu Abiola & The GDA

So many things had happened since the election was annulled. The military government had sent some of its loyalists in Northern Nigeria to spread tales that Moshood was going to divide Nigeria because he hated the North. Among the Christians, rumors were also spread about how Moshood had intercepted a ship that was carrying bibles to Nigeria and caused it to sink. The plot against him was thickening by the day and its aim was to give people the impression that he had deceived them into voting for him, and that the government’s action against his victory was necessary and justifiable.

By the time Moshood finally arrived at the presidential villa, all those thoughts had geared him up. He was agitated and ready to be confrontational. His cars were given immediate access into the compound and after a few minutes, he and his entourage were at the president’s personal residence. The place was practically empty. But that was not the only surprise awaiting them. The military president suddenly appeared to receive him by himself. After greeting Moshood and referred to him as “Sir,” he led him one way while Maryam, his wife, led Kudirat in another direction.


Jamiu Abiola with the GDA

 Kudirat walked behind her reluctantly because she had wanted to be with her husband.
In the midst of warm gestures, there was anger and bitterness in the air from the onset. Kudirat had known Maryam, the first lady, for a long time. She had always admired her for her efforts on behalf of rural women in Nigeria through her Better Life initiative. But since the crisis had broken out, the first lady had come in for some of her own share of image-bashing. Many people had alleged that she had acquired controlling stakes in the Nigerian subsidiary of a multinational oil company, among other damaging accusations.
Kudirat, for her own part, never listened to rumors but her anger with the first lady stemmed from her belief that she was supportive of her husband’s actions. During their discussions, she watched and listened in disbelief as her hostess told her that it was the military as an institution, and not her husband as a person, that stood in the way of Moshood’s presidency.


Jamiu Abiola; The Author of the book, 'The President Who Never Ruled'

Coincidentally that was the same point adopted by her husband during his talks with Moshood. But to his dismay, Moshood dismissed it. He even explained to his host that the army, according to the election results at his disposal, voted overwhelmingly for him. After that, their meeting hit a stumbling block. Suddenly there were no more grounds for a truce. After a while the meeting ended and Moshood returned to Lagos. Nothing was achieved.


MKO Abiola; The Star Boy

Some political stakeholders became aware of the meeting and the deadlock and swung into action. Some of them told Moshood not to give up, and at the same time encouraged the military president not to give in. They played both sides and caused the crisis to escalate in order to exploit both men. The SDP, Moshood’s political party, stood firmly by him at first. It rejected pressure from the government to either accept new elections or an interim government. But the resistance was short-lived because the SDP eventually abandoned Moshood and accepted the idea of an interim government.


The Book that Cleaned the Band,  MKO

There were tales of how some of its influential members were promised ministerial appointments. There was a strong rumor that the military government had paid the foreign debts of one of the party’s big shots. Then there was also talk of how one of the party’s influential members was helped by the government to repurchase a castle that he had lost in the United Kingdom after he had fallen on hard times. The two political parties, SDP and NRC, accepted an interim government. Moshood spoke against it and in a bid to stop it he traveled to Europe and the United States in search of support. It was during his absence that the Nigerian military president handed over power to an interim government.
(Excerpts from the book, The President Who Never Ruled by Jamiu Abiola; get copies in any book shop across the world or write Jamiu Abiola through jamiulinguist@yahoo.com. Read Reason why MKO Abiola loves women in our next post on this blog)

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