As a Nigerian, there are few names one imagine when they think of the word: patriotism. We haven’t had much people in power who are willing to put the welfare of the people above all else. Once upon a time, there was such a man who made Nigerians hopeful for a better future, and that man was Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly known as MKO.
Who is Abiola?
Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, also known as MKO Abiola GCFR (24 August 1937 – 7 July 1998) was a Nigerian Yoruba businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Egba clan. He was the Aare Ona Kankafo XIV of Yorubaland…. pic.twitter.com/M6DSmgELm5
— Adams Omoniyi (@adams_omoniyi) June 9, 2020
Most people at the time and till date have nothing but admiration for him. With MKO, they saw a man who could truly change the fortunes of the country to a better one. His vision ‘Hope 93’ entailed eliminating poverty in Nigeria. He was a businessman and politician who advocated for democracy, equality, and human rights.
— Ọláwálé ?? (@walecoker65) June 12, 2020
He died in July 1998 under controversial circumstances, after supposedly winning the presidential elections, and his death to many only buttressed the fact that he was a man who threatened the Nigerian political structure. He was the people’s man and to date, people still celebrate his legacy.
When MKO Abiola was asked about how he feels about being Africa's Richest Man then (1989), he replied:
"I don't want to be remembered for how much money I have, but for how many lives I impacted. How many people I helped".
He was the biggest African Philanthropist of his time pic.twitter.com/NJkOr62M6S
— Everything FCM (@FcMglobal) June 12, 2020
Today, Nigerians took to social media remembering the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 elections and all that could have been, if he were allowed to rule.
What is fascinating is that 27 years after this 93 MKO Abiola Campaign, this ad is still very relatable till today.
— Being Human is not Enough (@realdanielemeka) June 11, 2020
There was also discussion about the timeline since his death, and what has happened since then, and most people alluded to the fact that not much has changed in government since his demise. “The same people that ruled us then are the same people ruling us now.”
27yrs after, we are still stuck with same men who saw MKO Abiola’s suffering & death. Same Tinubu & Buhari’s faces since 1993.
A 27yo man MUST have left his father’s house.
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) June 12, 2020
A lot of people also discussed how symbolic his words on the day of arrest was to the attainment of democracy in Nigeria. By advocating a peaceful demonstration, he implored people to desist from the violent approach in which the military used to gain power.
MKO Abiola told the BBC during his arrest, that he has begged his supporters to stay calm, that by their calmness they will achieve the real democracy they are all vying for.
— TallJohn? (@JohnFanimokun) June 12, 2020
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.