Kola Abiola, first son of late Chief M.K.O Abiola, has revealed that his mother Alhaja Simbiat Atinuke Abiola, advised her husband not to contest for the presidency until General Ibrahim Babangida finished his term. “Contrary to what is out there, my mother never told my father not to run or get into politics,” Kola Abiola, said in a live interview programme “Political Stew” on Television Continental, in Lagos.
“My mother was only concerned about the timing and not his father`s ambition at the time. She told my father to drop his ambition until Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Nigerian Army General who was President from August 27, 1985 to August 26, 1993 finished his tenure before contesting for Presidency,” Kola said.
Kola quoted Simbiat as saying “look, the way it`s been played now she is not sure it`s going anywhere,” apparently a reference to the way Babangida was carrying out the transition to civilian rule programme.
“When he went out to pick the form (nomination for president) in Abeokuta back then, he didn`t tell me because he knew what the agreement was, so I equally acted as if I didn`t know he did but obviously it was all over the news,” Kola said.
He added “my father had his own way of doing things, he didn`t wait for that, (IBB finishing his tenure) the rest is history now,”
Responding to a question on whether he would be going into active politics, he said: “I would only go into active politics when my father`s election comes to conclusive end and he is given his rightful place. Well like I said, I started at the top. I retired because it was unfinished, I commit a lot of energies to things I put my mind in doing,”
“Now that it is done for me I am definitely coming out of retirement for sure, I have never stopped studying it. I have never stopped looking at it but I have refused to be active.
He said he had had chances of being minister time and time over again, adding “like I said till my father`s election comes to a conclusive end and he is given his rightful place, I will not take part in anything political. I could not explain this to people in the past but this is why I have shied away from politics for the past 25 years,”
President Muhammadu Buhari on June 12, 2018, the 25th anniversary of the 1993 presidential election, apologised to the family of the late M.K.O. Abiola, who he said got the highest votes in the election, and conferred the highest honour of GCFR on him.
The election, adjudged the most credible in Nigeria`s history, was widely believed to have been won by the late philanthropist, but was annulled by the then president, Ibrahim Babangida.
Chief Abiola was arrested and detained by former military Head of State General Sanni Abacha after he declared himself the winner of the election at a rally in Lagos. He died in detention.