JUNE 12 HONORS : ELITE HYPOCRISY
June 12 has been recognized for the wrong reasons. The real heroes of June 12 isn’t MKO Abiola. His ordeal was quite unfortunate but with due respect, Abiola was killed by his “friends in high places”. The heroes of June 12 are Nigerians who showed their profound desire for democracy. This was the first time in the history of Nigeria that the citizens rose against the military regime and asked them to go.
However a part of the history that was missing was that the military that killed Abiola was the same military Abiola funded and supported to destabilize the second republic (second democracy) .In an interview, Babangida admitted that Abiola’s media empire was used to campaign massively against the the newly found democracy and that the business mogul also funded the coup massively.
Recall that Shagari also accused an unnamed business mogul and politician as being complacent in the coup.
Abiola in his infinite love for democracy participated actively to truncated our newly restored democracy, barely 4years after Obasanjo handed over to Shehu Shagari largely because he wasn’t pleased with his party’s zoning arrangement.
His June 12th presidential bid might be significant in the history of Nigeria as a point where Nigerians showed great resolve to move past the military dictatorship in place but Abiola has no moral standing to be called a hero of democracy.
If not for his likes, we would have been practicing democracy since 1979. It’s important we remember our history, it will help us predict our future. Obasanjo was right, Abiola couldn’t have been the messiah.
Honoring Abiola would have actually mattered less to me if it was genuinely targeted at deepening our democracy but it’s totally unacceptable to use that very incident for cheap political points.
I’m not disappointed that the children of the late politician didn’t see anything wrong in using their late father’s memory for cheap political gains afterall it runs in the family. The Abiola family is a political family, not an activist family. They don’t necessarily need to stand on the path of the truth but on the path that puts food on their table.
When we talk about the likes of Mandela and other activists that fought vigorously for democracy, I don’t think Abiola would be on that list because Abiola wasn’t fighting for democracy, Abiola just wanted to be president. In his presidential bid, he made lots of friends in high places and those friends got rid of him when they had had enough of him.
I was greatly pained watching the blessed memory of one of the most upright man in history being ridiculed on the alter of politics. Gani should have been left out of this charade completely so we can identify it as “a political award”. Contrary to what Gani’s son said, Gani would never have wanted anything to do with this award.
The last time the revered lawyer rejected an award from the government, he sighted reasons such as poverty, corruption, insecurity, rights abuse and many more as an impeding factor forcing him to reject the award.
Today, those reasons Gani sighted are still very much in existence if not worse, yet his son matched up and picked up the very award his father rejected in his past life and in the next to come.
This write up is not aimed at shading the yorubas or anyone but to remind Nigerians of their pasts. No doubt we have had great men who laid down their lives for the greater good. Of which someone like Gani is one of them but please…. Abiola is not one of those people. Abiola was serving his ambition and not that of Nigerians.