June 12 and the real heroes of democracy.

The Democracy is 20 years old but has any thing really changed politically? We are still in pursuit of “power” and not “freedom” or “development”

6 min readJun 12, 2019

Time heals wounds, autocrats and fascists become heroes if they are persistent.

It is very sad that MKO Abiola is the hero today…

Tinubu & MKO sponsored the General Sanni Abacha Palace coup with the hope that he will oust Shonekan and handover to MKO and Uncle Bola Tinubu will become Senate President..

Abacha became a tyrant and a monster they couldn’t control. They suddenly became the heroes of democracy.

The June 12 heroes are the students, activists and CROs that protested and died for democracy not the ones that did it for their selfish interests.

In case you need evidences, go to National Library Archives in Lagos or Abuja… there’s the old dailies section, read all the newspapers from 1992 to 1999. Then, you will be fine!

In case you dont know, Awolowo and MKO Abiola were sworn enemies divided along their selfish interests and ambitions.

Shehu Yaradua is a military man that died for democracy!

Abacha is brutal and conducted plenty public executions but he didn’t become who he was all by himself

When IBB was leaving, he announced an initial Minister’s list which had prominent people like MKO Abiola as Vice President, Jerry Gana as Agric minister, Uche Chuwumerije as Information Minister, Dapo Sarumi as Communications (this is another story for another day) but sadly another list was later announced🤣🤣 (remind me of this gist after Saturday)

IBB handed over power to Shonekan. But having known that he may be weak, he made Abacha as the Defense Secretary, retained Jerry Gana and a host of others from the initial list. He even added more people from SDP 🤣🤣

That’s where it all started

The House had people like Tinubu (here’s where he earned the title “Senator”) and a lot of Awo apologists. It would have been the best government we ever had across the three arms.

Selfishness and greed are big killers🤦‍♀

MKO Abiola and IBB had a rift and Abiola wont settle for less (VP) as that would bring Awo’s prophecy into existence. Awo had warned him not to trust anyone especially from the North or in military uniform. Awo learnt the hard way too (thread for another day)

When Shonekan started his government, he was constantly reminded by Abacha that he is weak so Abacha was having meetings on his behalf. Shonekan was not even allowed to use Aso rock 🤣🤣 Man was just a figure head🤦‍♀

MKO Abiola and a few of his friends including Uncle Bola saw the weakness at the centre and thought if they can meet with Abacha for an arrangement to topple Shonekan, he will agree to restore the National Assembly which will then restore MKOs candidacy and recognise him as the President

This was because they saw Abacha as an outsider. He is not a core Hausa man so he didn’t enjoy so much support from his own people even as an officer.

They didn’t know Abacha had his eyes too on the big chair

Abiola had traveled August 1993 only for the resignation of Shonekan to shake the news later November, 1993. Abacha was next in power so he announced himself and he moved into Aso Rock last occupied by IBB.

The gentle guy saw power and became a tyrant and canvassed for support for his government.

Brig. David Mark (later became Senate President for many years) announced in April 1994 that the govt wasnt ready for handover but wants to rule till 1999.

Hell was let loose, our uncles saw that they’ve lost everything.

NADECO was formed by largely Afeniferes Abraham Adesanya and others. They want to validate the 1993 elections and announce MKO has winner.

(PS: Abraham Adesanya wasnt a Senator in 1993 but 1979)

Abacha started legalising his rule with a constitutional conference that was largely boycotted. He became more tensed!

Police IG, Coomasie (pardon my spelling🤔) announced that NADECO is illegal and declared the members wanted.

His basis was a bit legal

A interim court order had barred NEC from announcing the results earlier in June 15 1993 and NADECO hadn’t appeal the case (there were no longer legal to fight the case due to the fact that government own the autonomy of legality and a decree had banned all activities of activism

Tinubu and a few other NADECO members encouraged MKO Abiola to declare himself as President with the hope that Abacha will remember their agreements earlier (As confessed by his aide and Chief of Staff).

Abacha saw it as threat instead and ordered that MKO be arrested

He was arrested and that gave the activists, NADECO and other strategists the “ginger” to fight against the government.

The fight was a bit brutal, killings, hangings etc. The special squad was created and they were made to believe they were fighting for the government.

It was very very brutal.

The journey didn’t end there, I will skip some part.

In 1997, MKO and his allies sought to use another Yoruba man to overthrow Abacha with the hope he wont sly them. That man was Dipo Diya

In 1997, Diya (Abacha’s Chief of Staff) and some other soldiers allegedly planned to overthrow Abacha’s government. Unknowingly, it was revealed to Abacha and they were arrested and detained. However, he was released after he managed to prove himself innocent. Abacha made several attempts on his life home and abroad after that. He could have died if not for the sudden death of Abacha.

Back to the arrest of MKO. After he was arrested, riot started and Abacha almost lost control of the Southwest as violence was everywhere.

There was no income as oil workers went on strike, no aide from any foreign organisation. Abacha needed more money to strengthen his position and also care for his future as it was becoming glaring that the world were fast getting behind him.

Senior military officers were not in peace with his govt. Although PMB was the Head of PTF which later became Abacha’s SPV for movement of funds😜

He became the first Khalessi; if I dont have the love of my people, I will rather rule the ashes…. He was using CBN and Federal Reserves as his personal bank while he was killing anyone he deemed as a threat

Abiola was granted bail in August 1994 but the judge, Adullahi later withdrew from the case.

Wole Soyinka went to court to seek for the illegality of Abacha’s govt. It was greeted with a crackdown (one of the reasons you’ll hardly see any of Abiola’s business alive). Abacha later lifted ban on political parties.

He arrested Anthony Enahoro and a host of other NADECO members, detained and tortured them but later released them after he was assured of noninterference.

Abacha empowered himself with Decrees (legality can be linked to past military rules; Muritala/Obasanjo and Buhari/Idiagbon). He became more powerful than the court of law.

Afenifere asked all Yoruba ministers and appointees to resign but some of them campaigned against MKO and his folks

Notable mention is Olu Onagoruwa; he fought for democracy and was removed as Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Abacha included more military officers into his cabinet and excluded civilians

It went on and on with Arisekola Alao and a couple of other Yoruba folks campaigning against the release of Abiola. (That one said it’s because of Abiola’s enmity with AWO)

Many drama🤣🤣🤣

Lamidi Adedibu was also one of thr supporters of Abacha’s govt. He even organized rallies and campaigns🤣

Abacha died due to cardiac arrest. There was revolution and the world taught that was the end

General Abdulsalami Abubakar became Head of State June 1998. He planned to return power October 1, 1998 to civilians (but which one, MKO?)

He released Bola Ige, OBJ, Diya, Beko Ransome Kuti, Chris Anyawu and many others from detention.

He was seen as a saint but the question remains, what about MKOs release?

MKO died suddenly of the same thing that had killed his greatest antagonist (Abacha) — “cardiac arrest”.

Abacha didn’t kill MKO Abiola…

Till morrow, no one can explain why MKO died when Abdulsalam Abubakar was President.

Was it natural or planned?

Learn other things you dont know about June 12 here; https://twitter.com/afroconomist/status/1138721632229437440?s=19

The Democracy is 20 years old but has any thing really changed politically? We are still in pursuit of “power” and not “freedom” or “development”

This was inspired from a memory from my High school days while representing my LG at a State impromptu debate competition, I involuntarily made a speech titled; “Abacha, my kind of role model”.

That was d beginning of several of such speech seeing things beyond the public brand.


PS: Pardon my few grammatical errors 😭😭




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