Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Femi Falana have vowed to reopen the cause of death of Late Chief MKO Abiola.
Both men and other activists were in MKO Abiola’s home at a Wreath Laying Ceremony to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the death of the late business mogul.
It was the first gathering in honour of Abiola after the formal recognition by APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Chief Abiola was the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election. The poll was annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida who was the military president at the time.
On June 11, 1994 when Late Gen. Sani Abacha was the head of state, MKO Abiola at Epetedo, Lagos, addressed a mammoth crowd where he declared himself a duly elected Nigeria’s president.
He was arrested a few hours after his declaration and charged for treason, jailed till he died on July 7, a month after Abacha died.
Political analyst had expected the military head of state at the time Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar to release him when he assumed office. But it was later gathered the government was making plans to set him free the day he died in detention.
His cause of death remained worrisome. His Wikipedia page reads, “assassinated” but the government and Mr Kola Abiola, his eldest son once said the postmortem showed that there wasn’t any foul play.
But speaking at his graveyard in Lagos, Soyinka and Falana said a team of lawyers was being constituted to re-open the cause of death of late business mogul at the International Court.
The Nobel Laureate stated that the closure over the death of Chief MKO Abiola will be achieved when some of the challenges faced in the country are confronted and eliminated.
On his own part, Falana said the plan is to ensure that justice is served.
Falana, who decried the high rate of poverty in the country, said “MKO Abiola’s campaign was anchored on farewell to poverty, today a 100 million Nigerians live in abject poverty.
The remembrance event was organised by Women Arise for Change Initiative. President of the group Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, said Abiola would continually be celebrated as a great son of Africa.
She also urged the Bhari-led government to constitute a judicial commission of inquiry to unravel how Abiola died in custody.
Also present at the event is the former military administrator of Lagos state retired Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu.
He was quoted by PM News as saying, “We are having so many problems today. 21 years after the death of MKO, we are still struggling to enthrone true federalism where every Nigerian will have a sense of belonging as a citizen.