Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was a business man who hailed from Abeokuta in Ogun state. He was not only a business man, but also a publisher and a politician. He was awarded the title of the Aare Ona Kankaofo XIV of Yorubaland and a noble man.
M.K.O Abiola is well known and recognised for the feat he achieved during the 1993 presidential elections. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida was making effort to hand over the leadership of Nigerian government to civilians and as a result of this, elections were conducted.
MKO Abiola represented the Social Democratic People's Party (SDP) as against his opponent Bashir Tofa who represented National Republican Convention. Although the results of the election was not officially disclosed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), it was nevertheless a victory for Abiola.
It was reported that Abiola won 19 out of 30 states, and the Federal Capital Territory. He won all the states of the south-west, three of the seven states in the south-east, five of the nine northern states including Kano, Tofa's state; and four out of the seven states in the central middle belt. Out of the 6.6 million votes that had been announced, Abiola had received 4.3 million and Tofa 2.3 million.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida annulled the election claiming that there were irregularities in the election. As a result of the annulment, there were protests and political unrest. IBB had to resign and an interim government came into power which was later deposed by the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
M.K.O Abiola in 1994 declared himself as the president of Nigeria in Epetedo area, Lagos. He was arrested by General Sani Abacha on the account of treason and imprisoned. He spent 4 years in solitary confinement, and on July 7, 1998 when he was supposed to be released, he died.
In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari declared June 12 which was the day of Abiola's annuled election as the new democracy day. The former democracy day was May 29, the date which Nigeria returned to civilian rule after the regime of General Sani Abacha.
Chief Moshood Abiola still remains a symbol of democracy in Nigeria. The current democracy day in Nigeria is an attestation of that.
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