I am not impressed with the democracy that we are in today- MKO Abiola’s first son
In order to further compensate the family of the Late Moshood Abiola, a highly placed government source disclosed at the weekend that his widows and his running mate Ambassador Babagana Kingibe are likely to be put on Pension.
Recall that Abiola, a billionaire businessman, won the annulled June 12 election believed to be the freest and fairest in Nigeria history. He died in custody on July 8, 1998.
He was however honoured recently with the declaration of June 12 as Democracy day and conferred with the highest national honour – Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) by President Muhammadu Buhari while Kingibe was awarded the second national honour, The Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
The source said “The honours bring them (the late Abiola and his running mate at par with all past heads of state and their deputies.”
“There has been no concomitant benefit to them since that recognition because the law did not foresee this kind of situation.
“You know there is no monetary attachment to national honours. But, there is a thinking that this must be reviewed because wives of former heads of state who had passed on get quarterly allowances, which are overseen by the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).
“Those (past heads of state) who are living get their entitlement and when they are dead, their next of kin get certain benefits from the government. But, for Abiola and Kingibe, this requires legislation.
“There is a thinking that the Abiola family (next of kin) deserves attention. The same thing goes for Kingibe,” the source said.
The idea will be proposed as an Executive Bill to National Assembly for passage.
Meanwhile, Kola Abiola, the first son son of Late MKO said at the weekend that the democracy practiced today is not what his father died for.
“I am not impressed with the democracy that we are in today, because it is not what my father and others died for. It’s not what they put their lives on the line for.
“And I want to make sure we get what they will be proud of in their graves. The challenge is now for me to make sure it happens,” Abiola said.
He kicked against secession saying “My father didn’t run for President for a divided Nigeria. Yar ‘Adua didn’t start this thing for a divided Nigeria. I don’t want to see a divided Nigeria, because I don’t know any other place than Nigeria.
“To get it right, the media and other stakeholders have to get involved. You don’t appreciate the power you have. If you come together and put that power to use, we will see.
“The number is there and all we are looking for is leadership and good governance. We have to have leadership from the ward to the top. It’s about that.
“If we change it progressively and we give you the things to make it happen progressively, then, you will see the difference. It’s not about the head. If the head is so good and we don’t have anybody down the line, what are you going to govern?
“If I’m President today and I have the best of ideas and I don’t have people in the right places, of what use is that? That is what I keep saying. It is about making sure that we can develop something that makes a team with a lasting impact in this country. We need to turn the narrative and I am hoping that with Tribe Niger, we will do that”.