Thursday, 21 July 2016

Rise of MKO’s hegemony & the distraction of IBB’s Dogs

By on 13:50
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MKO Abiola launches his HOPE 93 Campaign amidst pomp and promises
“How can you say that the military government is behind the Association for a Better Nigeria? It is highly irresponsible to make claims without facts”
After this stem response, Moshood moved away from the journalist who had approached him at the local airport in Lagos. The presidential elections were just three weeks away. The Association for a Better Nigeria, a group headed by a man called Arthur Nzeribe, had been touring the country and claiming that it was gathering signatures of millions of Nigerians who did not want the presidential election to hold. One of Moshood’s confidants, who had witnessed this brief encounter with the journalist, waited for them to enter the car before he solemnly declared. “I think the journalist has a point. Who else, apart from the military government, can be behind the mischief being perpetrated by the Association for a Better Nigeria?” He added with an angrier tone. “If the government was not involved, these people would have been stopped by now. You have to take a stand and issue a public condemnation”

Moshood smiled and after a short silence, he asked quietly, “Who should I condemn?; the puppets or their master?” His voice was faint. “My enemies want me to be distracted from my campaign by a war with faceless individuals. Trust me, I know exactly what I am doing” He was getting angry. “Besides, any condemnation from me at this critical stage will be interpreted to mean that I don’t believe in this transition program, which will wipe its credibility away”
There was a long silence. His temper was still rising. His confidant had another idea. “Since you agree that members of that group are mere puppets in the hands of the military, don’t you think it would be a good idea to reach out to lower, but still influential soldiers in the army? Making them offers worth their while in your government will ensure that they stand by you in case their superiors move against you in the future”

Dignatories @ the Launching of 'The President who Never Ruled'

His statement made Moshood want to laugh despite the seriousness of the atmosphere. He sighed then uttered. “You are asking me to put the cart before the horse. Now let me ask you a question. If somebody sets a trap for you, will you be foolish enough to deliberately fall inside it?” He paused. The other man seemed puzzled. “I know many junior officers in the army but I will not reach out to any of them before the election. I don’t want to give their mischievous superiors a chance to accuse me of trying to overthrow the military government. The election will be held, don’t worry, and by the time I win, no one, or group of people, can stand in my way”

“He pursued his ambition aggressively and relentlessly. He ignoring the Association for a Better Nigeria but one day he received alarming news that made him distraught. A man named Abimbola Davis, on behalf of the Association for a Better Nigeria, had gone to a court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, with signatures of some Nigerians to file a case for the court to stop the presidential elections”.

MKO Abiola; The Enigma

In the next few days Moshood increased the tempo of his campaign. His main focus was on the practical steps that he would take to transform Nigeria. He still had a lot of faith in privatization and wanted it to play a central role. Speaking on this topic, he once declared, “Government will no longer have to fund the survival of dying national enterprises with monies needed to rehabilitate old infrastructure and build new ones. Companies that are better managed by the private sector will be sold instantly”. He knew that workers in these companies would panic, so he assured them. “But no sale of these companies will happen without considering the interest of the workers ... After all they have toiled for these companies and their labor must not be allowed to go in vain”
His plan to implement a progressive form of taxation, though, was unsettling to the rich. During the latter part of his campaign, he had pledged to ensure a strict adherence to taxation based on income. He knew that being an accountant would make it easier for him to implement this plan. Elaborating on this matter, he once explained passionately, “The rich have to give to the poor what is due to them for a society like ours to flourish. But since most of them are unwilling to give on their own, my government will tax them effectively to give the poor their dues by using these funds to provide and preserve badly needed infrastructure”

The Author and The GDA in a rare pose with the book 'The President Who Who Never Ruled'

In reaction to fears from some people that such a policy would lead to capital flight, Moshood snapped, “Let them fly their capital away. By the times we set things right and foreign direct investment flows into Nigeria, they will see foreigners reap enormously from the opportunity that they left behind” He smiled then cracked a joke. “You see, once democracy is firmly on ground, our country will not only be an investment haven, it will also be like a place from where an investment is made in heaven”.

MKO Abiola; The Star boy from Abeokuta

Another set of fundamental plans that Moshood had for Nigeria was in the agriculture sector. Describing the importance of agriculture, he once declared with a warning tone, “A nation that lacks the capacity to feed itself can neither enjoy internal stability nor full independence from other countries”
To support that statement, he went further to say that Thomas Jefferson, a former American president, once described cultivators of the earth as the most important people in the world. But Moshood, unlike numerous agricultural experts then, did not believe that the best way to improve the productivity of Nigerian farmers was by forcing them to use tractors. He believed that some of the soils in Nigeria were too weak to bear the load of tractors. According to him, the best strategy was to encourage foreign investors to participate in Nigeria’s agriculture, using their capital, and most importantly, their knowledge of fertilizer and chemical utilization with the aim of boosting output. The campaign was intense and exhausting. Moshood remained healthy most of the time as he toured many parts of the country as he had planned from the onset.

The Author, Abdul Jamiu Abiodun Abiola tells the GDA the Story of Dad's rise from nothing to something

But there was always a shadow that cast fear into his heart. It was the activities of the Association for a Better Nigeria. Upon his arrival in some states, he was told that some of the association’s members had just left. He would be taken aback at first but after a short while, the effect of such bad news transformed into more determination for his campaign. It was as if he wanted people to buy more into his nationalistic idea of transformation so that he would be able to rely on them in the future to defend him against the military regime.

He pursued his ambition aggressively and relentlessly. He ignoring the Association for a Better Nigeria but one day he received alarming news that made him distraught. A man named Abimbola Davis, on behalf of the Association for a Better Nigeria, had gone to a court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, with signatures of some Nigerians to file a case for the court to stop the presidential elections.

The Book of MKO Abiola by Jamiu Abiola

 (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 Read MKO Abiola’s 5 un-used Economic Theories in our next post on this blog)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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