The daughter of the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, has said that her father and former president Olusegun Obasanjo were classmates and that he (Abiola) used to help the former president with the payment of school fees.
She said the former president, however, was “the first person to say that MKO was not the Messiah”.
Speaking at the emotion-laden event where Abiola was honoured with the GCFR award on Tuesday, June 12, Hafsat said some people they considered as close friends of their father abandoned them when the June 12 controversy began, only to start calling the family’s phone lines when President Muhammadu Buhari proclaimed June 12 as Democracy Day and conferred a posthumous award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic GCFR on the late democrat. The Nation reports.
Her words: “MKO had friends who seemed like friends, but they disappeared when the problems started and only started calling us when this award thing came last week. The phones have been ringing, but 25 years is enough to know your friends. I want to thank Femi Falana, Prof. Pat Utomi and a few others for standing by us in the past 25 years.
“There is another story. MKO had this classmate whom he used to assist even to pay his fees in school. But after June 12, he was the first person to say that MKO was not the Messiah. And he was president for eight years and couldn’t even mention MKO for once. He couldn’t honour him.
“We thank Buhari for this. He does things differently from the way the average Nigerian elite does things. If there is anything that means a lot to me, it is because MKO was true to the Nigerian people. If he had betrayed that mandate, he would have died a broken man and no amount of wealth would have made him happy.
“I have just been thinking about MKO. To have known him was to know greatness in the body of a Nigerian. MKO came from a very poor family. He used to be a singer, a drummer and boxer. People just gave him money not because this voice was good, but perhaps they just took pity on him, a destitute singer”.
Also speaking at the event, Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s son, Mohammed said: “I am overwhelmed by this event organized in honour of my late father. It has made me recognise that we should not always think of ourselves but of our neighbours. My father was a very unusual man”.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that a former personal assistant to the late Moshood Abiola, Lisa Akerele, on Tuesday, June 12, said the annulment of the June 12 election will forever haunt the then military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida.
Commending President Buhari for declaring June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day, Akerele called for financial compensation for the family of the 1993 president-elect, for the loss and pains they suffered as a result of the June 12 saga.
Speaking on Abiola’s crumbled business empire including the Concord Press of Nigeria, Radio Communication Nigeria Limited, Abiola Bookshops, Abiola Bakeries, Abiola Farms, Concord Airlines and Summit Oils, Akerele said the compensation would help the family to revive the companies.