June 24: MKO Abiola’s worst day ever

MKOAbiola, the Man who wanted to Rule Nigeria

The die had been
cast. The lines had been drawn. Moshood looked calm outwardly but
deep down, he was a volcano that was about to erupt. To make matters worse,
despite his previous claims of being unstoppable once he had a legitimate claim
to power, he now doubted whether he had the courage to battle the Nigerian
military. Regardless of the divisions and confusion that had split the army, it
was still West Africa’s most powerful institution, which made him feel that his
success in regaining his mandate would largely depend on luck.

Later on that
night, after his few guests had left, he stood in front of the mirror, staring
at himself attentively as if he was bidding farewell to an old image that was
about to evolve into something else unrecognizable. As usual, Kudirat
was with him. It was she who broke the long silence when she said, referring to
General
Babangida
, Nigeria’s leader, “Now
if that man, general, or whatever he calls himself was ever a friend then the
word enemy should be erased
from every dictionary in the world … God will judge and teach him a bitter
lesson”

The Author of The Book & The GDA in a rare pose with the book, The President Who Never Ruled

Moshood agreed. “You are right, God will certainly judge. To
defend himself, I hear he is saying that his actions were taken in defense of
‘Nigeria’s unity’ because he has once fought for ‘Nigeria’s unity’ and is still
willing to make sacrifices for ‘Nigeria’s unity,’ as if it is not his actions
that threaten to destroy Nigeria’s unity”
Since then he
always mockingly referred to General Babangida as “the
man who believes in
Nigeria’s unity” whenever he made
fun of him to Kudirat. Moshood had never been so bitter in
his life. After a long pause, he concluded, “I
blame myself for getting involved in this phantom transition program … But
never mind. I will be the one who laughs last. Just wait and see”
His voice
lowered but the threat in it was clear. Hoping that her husband was not
planning to violently overthrow the government, Kudirat uttered, “The only language that works with soldiers
is force, but I hope that is not your plan”

“Who am I doing all this for, if not my children?
why should they grow up in a country where things as precious as presidential
mandates are shamelessly stolen in broad daylight?” He looked at her sharply as
if he expected her to say something. Not done, he added aggressively, “Aside
from that, I would never have come this close to water if I was afraid of
getting wet”

MKO Abiola; The Star Child

Moshood shook his head.
“Of course not; you know that I have
never believed in violence. What I meant is that I am the elected president of
this country and that in itself is a powerful fact that carries enormous
weight. Let’s not forget that the results are out on the streets and that
international observers have declared that the process was free and fair. Let’s
just take it that he and his enemies of progress are living in denial as they
always have. The masses will help me to reclaim my mandate”
Kudirat was on one hand
relieved and on the other apprehensive. “It
is like things are about to really get bad. These kinds of struggles are not
easy because one puts in so much and never knows what will come out of one’s
efforts. It might be too costly a gamble for someone like you who has so many
children and so many …”
Moshood cut her off,
but his words were not assertive. He sounded like he was trying to convince
himself about what he was saying. “Who am
I doing all this for, if not my children?; why should they grow up in a country
where things as precious as presidential mandates are shamelessly stolen in
broad daylight?”
He looked at her sharply as if he expected her to say
something. Not done, he added aggressively, “Aside
from that, I would never have come this close to water if I was afraid of
getting wet”

The Author, Jamiu Abiola & The GDA after an Encounter

There was
silence. She knew that he was not pleased about her remark. The air was tense.
After what seemed like eternity, she softly consoled him. “I am here whenever you need me. I look forward to playing a completely
supportive role for my mother once said that a wife who is scared of helping
her husband in need has the heart of a woman who can abandon her own child
indeed”
 She held his hand. “Wherever this quest takes you is where it
will take me”
To her dismay,
Moshood
disapproved. “What are
you saying? Do you think this is a picnic? Listen, even if I ever need you in
this struggle, ignore me unless it is only advice that I seek. There will be no
active role for you to play in this struggle. It is meant only for men”
.  She wanted to object but he carried on. “I remember that you warned me against
politics and even one of your sons cautioned me from the onset. I will sort
myself out, is that clear?”
He sounded like a father scolding his daughter.
“I know these people and what they are capable
of doing. Don’t think you will be spared because you are a woman”

MKO & Kudi Abiola

His words hurt
her deeply. The support that she had offered was advisory and no more. She had
no intention of getting directly involved in his plans. “I never planned on giving you more than advice but even if I did
want to give you more than advice, what is the big deal? Is that not what Khadija, the prophet’s wife, did for
him to spread Islam? Is that not what Winnie
Mandela
did for her husband?”
The room became
tense. A sudden apologetic look appeared on Moshood’s face as he
defended himself. “Don’t get me wrong. I
deeply appreciate your concern. It is just that encouraging your direct
involvement, which is what I thought you meant, would not only have made me an
irresponsible husband but an inconsiderate father as well”
She nodded her
head gently and remained silent. The age gap of fifteen years between them had
instilled a lot of respect in her toward him. It sometimes seemed as if she was
afraid of him. She quietly bid him farewell and retired to her own room. Once
she was gone, Moshood began making phone calls. That was how he spent most of
his time recently whenever he was alone. He wanted to woo world leaders,
Nigerian kings, allies in the Nigerian army, diplomats and foreign journalists
to his side. He had been warned that his lines were bugged but he did not care.
He was desperate and frustrated.

IBB

After a couple
of days, he shocked Kudirat when he asked her to accompany him on a trip to Abuja. They had an appointment to see Nigeria’s
military president for the first time since the crisis. Kudirat had found it
hard to believe that he was the same person who had wanted her to keep her
distance from the political scene just a couple of days ago. She rushed into
her room to get dressed and returned to him in less than five minutes. After a
short while, they were ready to go to the airport but some of their supporters
had their reservations. Addressing Moshood, one of them said, “The general should be the one coming to
your house and not the other way around.
After all, he is the past and you are the present
and future”.

Moshood laughed, “He who wants to take a sword from someone else will first approach
him in a friendly way in order to grab the sword from the handle. That way it ends
up in his hands and not his stomach”.

The Book which cleaned MKO’s Political blemishes

After a general
laughter, another man said. “Well, go if
you have to go, but no eating or drinking
allowed”. There was another general laughter and Moshood
and Kudirat
were off in the company of two other family members.
It was true that
General
Babangida
had been friends with Moshood for more than a decade but
things were different now. Moshood not only considered him as
an enemy but a bitter foe. If only the general had hinted to him that he had no
plans of leaving power, he would never have wasted so much time, money, and
energy. But it was too late to turn back the hands of time.
(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 Day MKO tongue lashed IBB inside Aso Rock
in
our next post on this blog)

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