Defining Democracy beyond Abiola

Bashorun M.K.O Abiola

Today made it 19 years that Nigeria was plunged into a political quagmire following the conduct and subsequent annulment of the 1993 presidential elections which produced Bashorun M.K.O Abiola as the acclaimed winner. Nigeria’s democratic future was darkened and had to take about 6 years to clear out. Abiola had so many apostles who moved round the world calling for the annihilation of the evil regime in Nigeria. There was terrible political brouhaha which could not be controlled by the lame ING. Abacha too could not salvage the political imbroglio that Nigeria was enmeshed in. However, with the appointment of Ebenezer Babatope and Lateef Jakande as ministers in his cabinet, Abacha cleverly perforated Abiola’s camp,incarcerated Abiola,bought some of his apostles over and intimidated others into exile. Abiola died under Gen. Abubakars regime. While it cannot be taken away from him that he stood for democracy and the right thing, Abiola obviously had some
shortcomings in his strategies for reclaiming his mandate. While Abiola is today honoured across south-west Nigeria and even a university renamed after him by federal government recently, i think it is time we locate democracy among the people not just around an individual,as with all sense of responsibility, we can’t even say what Abiolas government would have looked like.


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