Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly called MKO was a true hero, businessman, philanthropist, and politician, he was voted president in what has
unarguably turned out to be the freest and fairest presidential election in the
history of Nigeria. Today marks the 19th year after his demise. We bring you 19 things you should know about MKO…Read below
His name, Kashimawo, means “Let us wait and see”. Moshood
Abiola was his father’s twenty-third child but the first of his father’s
children to survive infancy, hence the name ‘Kashimawo’.
It was not until he was 15 years old that he was
properly named Moshood, by his parents.
very wealthy man with business tentacles in several pies and several
continents, he, nevertheless appealed to the majority of the poor who saw his
philanthropic gestures as an unusual outreach from the bourgeoisie.
Moshood Abiola married many wives; notable among
them are Kudirat Olayinka Adeyemi in 1973 and Remi Abiola.
He also fathered many children.
Moshood Abiola was conferred with 197
traditional titles by 68 different communities in Nigeria from 1972 until his
His financial assistance resulted in the
construction of 63 secondary schools, 121 mosques and churches, 41 libraries,
21 water projects in 24 states of Nigeria, and was grand patron to 149
societies or associations in Nigeria.
Chief Abiola, personally rallied every African
head of state, and every head of state in the black diaspora to ensure that
Africans would speak with one voice on the issues.
He was made the Aare Ona
Kakanfo of Yorubaland, which is the highest chieftaincy title
available to commoners amongst the Yoruba,
and has only been conferred by the tribe 14 times in its history.
campaign theme: Hope 93 had a subtheme, Farewell to poverty.
by his memorable campaign jingles.
mate, Baba Gana Kingibe,
he, however, won the vote of the many Christians who defied religious
slant of his ticket.
1994 Moshood Abiola declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria in the
Epetedo area of Lagos island, an area mainly populated by (Yoruba) Lagos
accountant, Abiola was at that time set to become the first university graduate
to preside over the fate of Nigeria.
declaring himself president he was declared wanted and was accused of treason
and arrested on the orders of military President General Sani Abacha,
who sent 200 police vehicles to bring him into custody.
Mandela had visited Nigeria in 1994 and engaged General Abacha on the matter of
the release of Mr Abiola.
Abiola died on the day that he was due to be released, on 7 July 1998.
the point of his release from detention, after the usurper, Gen. Sanni Abacha
who detained him died a month earlier.
was awarded the third highest national honour, the Commander of the Federal
Republic posthumously in 1998.