What I told MKO about Power while on Visit to USA — Jamiu Abiola

The Author Jamiu Abiola tells the GDA more story of how his father fell for Abacha’s dirty deal
 I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. I knew this was
going to happen from the very beginning. I had just returned to Nigeria
thirty-nine days after my mother, Kudirat Abiola, had been killed. I
was not alone, thank God. My immediate elder brother was with me. His name is Lekan.
That day the dilapidated international airport in Lagos and its
lifeless-looking officials were a reflection of my mood. I was depressed and
did not bother hiding it. To make matters worse, it was extremely hot and the
entire airport was in total disarray. By the time I left, I was relieved.

MKO Abiola the Enigma

On the drive
back home, I could not help but recall the day my father had told me and my
brother of his presidential ambition. Coincidentally I was also in a car with Lekan
when it happened. But unlike now, we were not leaving an airport; we were going
to one. On that day, just over three years ago, my father had come to the United
States
. He came often so his trip was not a big deal. It was the fact
that he was leaving that same day that was a big deal. “I have to be in London in
the next eleven hours. Something has just come up so I have to leave”

MKO Abiola…The Star Boy from Egba Land

 He realized that I was not happy he was
leaving. He looked at my brother then made a suggestion. “Why don’t you drive me to the airport? We can talk on the way.
Besides, I have something important to say and I would also like you both to
see my new plane”.
My brother and I
stood up, eager to go. In less than five minutes we were in the car. My father
was looking very excited
that day. He must really like his new plane, I had said to myself,
but once we were headed to the airport, he said the last thing I had expected
to hear. “I am joining the presidential
race and this is not a wild goose chase. General
Babangida
is serious about leaving power this time … This time the coast
is unmistakably clear”.

Mama
Alhaja…Alhaja Kudirat Abiola’s mother. She was disturbed and tried
advising MKO against picking a fight with government over his mandate

The
way he had said “this time” the second time gave me the impression that he was
trying to convince himself of the truth of what he was saying. I immediately
reacted without thinking. “Sir, I doubt
that General Babangida will hand over power. 
… I really doubt it because power is something that no one wants to
give away”.
Till today I
don’t know why I made that statement or from where I got the courage to make
it. All I know is that I regretted it shortly afterwards. It was insensitive
because I should have known that it would spoil his mood. By the time he spoke,
it was clear that he was upset. “What do
you know about power? Your knowledge of it and of politics is limited because
you are still a child. Maybe if I was your age, I would have made such a
careless remark”


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“It was the same house I had grown up in but it
seemed very different. It did not take me long to discover why. It had been
abandoned. It was hard to believe that this was the same house that people had
struggled to enter, some even threatening to jump across its walls whenever
they felt that they had unjustly been denied access. Where was the crowd now?
Would all this have happened if my father had taken
my words more seriously and pulled out of the presidential race?”

I did not know
how to respond or if I should. I was scared because the last thing that I
wanted was to say something that would make things worse. “On second thought, sir, since
General
Babangida
has been in
power for so long, he might be tired of it by now. He might indeed be willing
to hand over power to someone else”

General Abacha’s 2nd in command, Genere Oladipupo Diya (His Hands were tight on MKO Abiola’s Case)

I knew that my
words sounded clumsy. But then I felt that even if I had composed a better
reply, it would not have changed the fact that I had ruined my father’s mood.
He did not say a word after that till we arrived at the airport. He was about
to get out of the car when he said, “All I know is that nothing will help
Babangida enter heaven. Not money and not power”
He stepped out of the
car then added, “Let’s walk to my new
plane so that you can both tell me what you think of it”
My thoughts
returned to the present as the car pulled into my father’s house in Lagos. It
was the same house I had grown up in but it seemed very different. It did not
take me long to discover why. It had been abandoned. It was hard to believe
that this was the same house that people had struggled to enter, some even
threatening to jump across its walls whenever they felt that they had unjustly
been denied access. Where was the crowd now?

General Sani Abacha…Played 419 on MKO Abiola

Would all this
have happened if my father had taken my words more seriously and pulled out of
the presidential race?
I suddenly
remembered that he was still alive, something that was hard to believe since no
one had seen him for more than a year. I consoled myself by thinking that this
tragedy could still have a better ending since he was still alive-and when
there is life, there is hope. As I was thinking and walking, I realized that I
had gotten to my mother’s grave subconsciously.

Jamiu Abiola wants the World to read about the true story of his dad

All of a sudden,
a stern-looking uncle came out from the house. He was wearing a traditional
Nigerian cap and a kaftan. He saw me
praying so he waited for me to finish. Afterward I smiled at him and greeted
him warmly but his response jolted me. “What
is the purpose of this trip?”
I flared up. “What is the purpose of that question? And
who gave you the right to ask it?”
It did not take
him long to realize that things were about to get out of hand so he quickly
softened his tone. “I am worried about
you and your brother. Your mother’s enemies are still around and if we take
chances, they might just end up-”
I cut him off. “They might end up doing what? What can they
do that they have not done already? Those foolish people who only know how to
hit in the dark; I am not afraid of them and I never will be”

MKO & Kudirat Abiola; First Nigerian Couple to die for Democracy

He paused for a
while then hugged me, which was what I had expected him to do when I saw him.
That was when I cried for the first time since I arrived. I went to my room
immediately after and in less than two hours, I was fast asleep. The following
day I woke up at 4:30 a.m. I was surprised that the first thing that I asked
myself was my uncle’s question: what was the purpose of my trip?
(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
[email protected]. Read How MKO’s Kids searched for him inside
Abacha’s gulag
in
our next post on this blog)

The Book of MKO according to Jamiu Abiola

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