MKO’s Hope versus IBB’s Confusion

IBB and MKO

Moshood’s main objective
from April 19 to June 11, 1993, the period designated by the National
Electoral
Commission
for campaigns, was to relate his message of change, under
the slogan of Farewell to Poverty, to
Nigeria’s 39,123,492 potential
voters. He knew that he could not tour all the country’s 589 local governments,
spread across thirty states, but he was determined to cover as much territory
as possible. He soon compared his newly acquired aircraft to an overused taxi
because he sometimes used it to reach as many as three states in a single day.

His opponent, Bashir
Tofa
of the National Republican Convention, who was from a prominent family
in northern Nigeria, was a relatively unknown businessman. Moshood, who was unaware
of how he had emerged as his party’s presidential candidate, nursed fears that
he might have the backing of the military president. He decided, as a result,
to double his efforts, and not to take anything for granted, in order to hand Tofa
a crushing defeat. Toward this aim, before putting his machinery in full
motion, Moshood set up his campaign office and named it Hope
93
. He appointed Jonathan Silas Zwingina, an
experienced man in electoral campaigns, as his Director General.
The Book that Cleared Bashorun MKO Abiola of all political blemishes
Hope, Moshood’s
main theme, formed the basis of his campaign pledges. His primary goal as
president, in a nutshell, was to provide solutions to people’s hopes for a
bunch of things that included a better standard of living, more security, and
better education. His mission would be to bring about change by making these
hopes come true.

“His campaign, because of his generosity, had
gradually turned into a big charity program and many of those he met, who were
aware of his kind-hearted nature, saw his campaign as a chance to make all
sorts of requests from him with reckless abandon. And they always got what they
wanted. Before Moshood knew it, he
had spent over $250 million dollars”.

MKO Abiola; The Enigma
That was his
message. And he spent a fortune-much more than his initial budget of $50
million-
spreading it. The reasons that he spent so much were two. His
campaign, because of his generosity, had gradually turned into a big charity
program and many of those he met, who were aware of his kind-hearted nature,
saw his campaign as a chance to make all sorts of requests from him with
reckless abandon. And they always got what they wanted. Before Moshood
knew it, he had spent over $250 million dollars.
The Author of the book ‘The President Who Never Ruled, Jamiu Abiola & The GDA duringan interview session
There were also occasions,
in which he received information that monies budgeted and distributed for
campaign-related initiatives had been stolen, forcing him to have to provide
additional funds immediately, depending on the importance of those initiatives.
His rising
expenses, however, were not his only concern. He did not have a firm grip on
his political party and this bothered him a lot. What made it more painful was
that he held himself responsible for this development. He was desperate for
allies after he had won the presidential primaries, and thus he allowed Yar’adua
to nominate Tony Anenih, one of his close allies, as the chairman of the Social
Democratic Party
(SDP). Moshood should never have let that
happen and would probably never have if he had had more experience in politics.
The major consequence of this blunder was that he soon found himself alienated
from his own party.
As his campaign
started, Moshood reinforced his security apparatus. A professional
company known as Corporate Guards, along with his ITT security guards of
many years, beefed up security in his mansion. Aside from that, agents from the
state security service, at the direction of the military government, were sent
to guard him as well. Moshood never trusted them. He
feared that they were spies.
IBB
From the onset, Moshood
involved some of his wives in the campaign. He gave three of them strategic
humanitarian roles to play. His hope was for them to reach out to women in
rural areas and they did. Kudirat was in charge of northern
Nigeria: Adebisi covered the west, while Doyin was to handle the
east.
MKO Abiola; The Star Child
They all did a
thoroughly comprehensive job and Moshood was very proud of them.
As the campaigns
advanced, it became clear that Moshood with over 250 traditional
titles, hardly needed to be introduced wherever he went. Once he arrived at a
rally, or any function everywhere in Nigeria, his presence was announced by his
title before his name. This always automatically rekindled a bond that Moshood
had previously shared with the host community when he was given the title many
years ago. In most cases that further increased his credibility and gave him a
strong edge over his opponent.
MKO & Kudi Abiola
The campaign,
which was officially meant to last fifty-five days, was going smoothly until
signs of uncertainty suddenly appeared .And to make matters worse, the military
president, who was in a position to clarify things, became inaccessible.
(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 Rise of MKO’s hegemony & the
distraction of IBB’s Dogs
in our next post on this blog)

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