Still from Bashorun Dele Momodu’s book launch, billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, also recalled the humiliating experience he had while begging the Abachas to let MKO go, at the home of one of the Igbinedions.
Hear him again:
‘My late father felt Chief Abiola would make a great President because of his deep wisdom, expansive heart and pan-Nigerian outlook.
A sad reminder of his arrest in 1994 was the picture of him alighting from a Black Maria. Upon seeing this, I called Ibrahim Abacha and requested to see him and we met at the South-West Ikoyi residence of Mr. Peter Igbinedion, the then MD of FAAN.
I told Ibrahim to tell his dad to release MKO as it was not fair for a man who was being denied his mandate to be so humiliated by being put in a black maria to which our host, Peter, interjected by saying “who is this?” and he swiftly walked to the door holding it open and walked me out of his residence.
I later ran into Mr. Igbinedion at Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s London residence in 2013 and he was begging for my number. How the tables have turned.
We witnessed a man who abandoned the worldly comforts his wealth assured and was transformed in the fight for his mandate, believed in it and died for it.
I have studied Chief Abiola’s life in politics, philanthropy and most importantly building people and his doggedness, fairness, wisdom and good heart are traits that should be emulated. He was a man for all seasons.
I wonder what it would have been like if Chief Abiola was sworn-in as President. Did we lose the opportunity to become the Dubai of Africa? Would Nigeria have surmounted the developmental challenges we face in health, education and industrialization?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Once again, my dear brother, accept my congratulations and thank you for the opportunity to speak about Chief M. K. O. Abiola.
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