How MKO’s Kids, Jamiu & Lekan searched for Dad inside Abacha’s Gulag

The Author Jamiu Abiola tells the GDA more story of how his father fell for Abacha’s dirty deal
I was ready to
return to the United States. I had decided not to try to see my father. All of
a sudden, trying to see him seemed like going against the odds since those who
were holding him captive felt like gods. By now I had been in Nigeria long
enough to understand why it had been so hard for my mother to have triggered a
sustainable popular revolt against the government. The government was totally
autocratic. Nigeria was under siege.

MKO Abiola the Enigma
Two days before
my departure, an old man came to see me. He smiled and shook my hand. “You are just as you were the last time I
saw you. Nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, has changed”
I was sure that
I had never seen him before but I smiled back at him warmly. When he mentioned
his name, it sounded familiar, which put me at ease. But there was something
about his tone that I found strange. It was too cheerful for someone who was
paying a condolence call. I decided to wait patiently for him to tell me what
he had come for. After the regular formalities, he went straight to the point. “Someone told me that you will soon be
leaving Nigeria. I hope that is not true”
I nodded my head, wondering who
had revealed my plans to him. “Knowing
that I will not be able to see my dad, I have nothing else to do here. My
further presence will be a waste of time. Besides I want to get back to New
York as soon as possible and register for some summer courses”
He stood up at
once with an alarmed look on his face. “You
mean that you have given up so easily on seeing your father? Now that he needs
to see you more than anything else. Only God knows what he is going through
this very minute and here you are, talking about summer courses. What a
disappointment you are!”
MKO Abiola…The Star Boy from Egba Land
I felt very
guilty but defended myself immediately. “I
am sure you know how hard my mother tried to see him and how she did not
succeed. The whole world knows, yet you think I stand a chance”
He sat down once
more and a cunning smile spread over his face. It was as if he knew from my
tone that his words had had an impact on me and that I was beginning to have
second thoughts. “You are more than you
think you are, young man. The sad thing is that you don’t even know it”
seemed so confident. “Can you just
imagine a newspaper with the following headline: ‘Government prevents the sons
of Kudirat Abiola from seeing their father after her death”.
He waited a
while for the words to sink before raising his voice. “The government cannot afford that kind of negative publicity,
especially now when it is trying to absolve itself from your mother’s murder”.
“You mean that you have given up so easily on seeing
your father? Now that he needs to see you more than anything else. Only God
knows what he is going through this very minute and here you are, talking about
summer courses. What a disappointment you are!”

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General Sani Abacha…Played 419 on MKO Abiola

That was it. He
had convinced me with just a few words. I was now suddenly ready to give seeing
my father a shot but I had some reservations. “Well, I guess it’s worth a try. But so far, all that you have just
said is theoretical. The practical side of things will certainly be much more
complicated. For example, what should my first steps be? And through whom?”

The Book of MKO according to Jamiu Abiola
It was not hard
for me to figure out that only people who were close to the military ruler
could convince him to let anyone see my father. How do I get someone who was
close to such a wicked man, and probably one of his cronies, to help me see my
father without trying to use me and my brother to score cheap political points
for the government? It was as if my visitor had read my mind because his reply
addressed my fears.
Jamiu Abiola wants the World to read about the true story of his dad
“You have things all twisted up, young man. It is
the theoretical part that is complicated. The practical side is the easy part”.
His voice
almost turned into a whisper. “There is a
powerful man in the government who is from my village. Once he snaps his
finger, things happen. You will see your father and because he is a gentleman,
no one would ever know how you were able to see him”

MKO & Kudirat Abiola; First Nigerian Couple to die for Democracy
I became pensive
indeed. If his words were true, where was this finger-snapping gentleman when
my mother was spending sleepless nights, worrying about my father? I made up my
mind to go ahead with his plan before suggesting hurriedly, “In that case, should we get tickets and leave for Abuja this week?”
Kudirat Abiola…Very disturbed with events in her husband’s political career
The man shook
his head instantly. “No way! With all due
respect, I will never enter a plane with you and your brother. What if the
government decides to blow it up?”
He burst out laughing but when he saw
that I was frowning, he added, “On a more
serious note, what I meant to say was that going to Abuja by plane will be most
unwise. We would spend a lot of money on hiring cars. It is better for us to go
with one of your cars, so that we have a car to drive around town while we are
His suggestion
made sense although I was still pained by his expensive joke. “Okay then. If my brother agrees, we can
go by road. I will talk to him now and get back to you shortly”
I rushed to my
older brother’s room and told him everything. I knew he would agree but was not
sure if he would like the idea of traveling by road. He was excited and said
that he did not mind. I went back to the old man who smiled as he saw me. Before
I could utter a word, he asked aggressively,
“When are we leaving?”

General Abacha’s 2nd in command, Genere Oladipupo Diya (His Hands were tight on MKO Abiola’s Case)
I had hardly met
anyone as confident as this man but there was something else about him that
made me feel uncomfortable. “Exactly
three days from now will be perfect”.
He stood up to leave. We shook hands
then off he went. That same day I visited one my uncles and informed him of our
plans. He was worried and said that he would follow us to wherever we were
going. That was a big relief. A day before the trip, however, he came to our
house very early in the morning. He said that he had some family issues and
could no longer come with us. He promised to keep us in his prayers. It was a
big shock to me but I concealed my emotions from him. I did not want him to
feel bad because I knew that he had really wanted to come. I escorted him to
his car afterward and watched him drive away till his car was out of sight.
Dignatories @ the Launching of ‘The President who Never Ruled’
 (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 Why Abiola’s son broke Abacha’s clock Gift
our next post on this blog)


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