Jamiu Abiola, a son of late Chief MKO Abiola and his late wife, Kudirat, on Saturday said the late former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), allegedly refused to release his father from incarceration when his health was failing.
He also said some Nigerians would have made a hero out of Abdulsalami’s predecessor, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, who incarcerated Abiola till his (Abacha’s) death, if he was alive today.
Abiola’s son said this during the 20th anniversary of Kudirat’s death, organised by the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy and the Campaign for Democracy.
Jamiu also described the assassination of his father and mother as a turning point in Nigeria’s history, adding
Abiola had won the June 12, 1993, presidential election but the country’s military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), annulled the election rated as the most credible in the political history of the country.
Kudirat was assassinated on June 4, 1996, by suspected state officials under the Abacha regime, while her husband died in incarceration on July 7, 1998, in a controversial circumstance under the Abdulsamali regime.
Speaking at the remembrance ceremony on Saturday, the younger Abiola noted that people who worked against the enthronement of democracy during the post-June 12 struggle had become ‘heroes’ in the country.
These people, he said, included “somebody like the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who refused to release the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Abiola) or saw to it that the president died in detention.”
He added, “A day before he (Abiola) died, he complained that he had malaria for more than a month and the government did not attend to him. The president (Abdulsalami) knew he was very sick but he did not do anything (to salvage the situation). At the end of the day, the country’s president-elect – my father – died.”
According to Jamiu, it is hypocritical on the part of any Nigerian government to see Abdulsalami as a hero and an adviser to the Federal Government.
Among those present at the anniversary were a leader of National Democratic Coalition, Admiral Kanu Ndubuisi (retd.); President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; Abdulmumini Abiola and Mrs. Dupe Akin-Ajayi.