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Moshood Abiola

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M.K.O Abiola in 1993

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola GCFR, popularly known as M.K.O Abiola (August 24, 1937 - July 7, 1998), was a Nigerian businessman, publisher, and politician. He was presumed the winner of the June 1993 presidential election, but the election was cancelled by then military government of Nigeria; even though it seemed to be the country's most transparent election.

When Abiola declared himself the winner, he was arrested and spent several years in jail; even until his death in 1998. By the time of his death, he had become an unexpected symbol of democracy.

However, over two decades after his death, his widow Modupe Onitiri-Abiola seemed to have reduced Abiola's legacy "when she broadcast a video of herself declaring the creation of a Democratic Republic of the Yoruba".[1][2] Modupe Onitiri-Abiola's secession declaration attracted several reactions, with her actions being called "foolishness",[1][2] or "delusion".[3] Other sources equally denounced Modupe Onitiri-Abiola, with the very act of declaring Yoruba independence being condemned as "clueless" and "asinine",[4] with her character being equated with "madness",[5] or being considered as "a display of lunacy".[6] Not only did Nigerians criticize her for declaring independence for a sovereign Yoruba nation,[7] but one of them also accused her of eroding the democratic legacy of her late husband.[8]

Based on what Modupe Onitiri-Abiola said in her 2007 book that "Equation of being richly blessed and being poor does not match",[9][8] Isaiah Ogedegbe noted that Modupe's secession declaration seemed to have revived discussions about the socio-economic problems, and the rising divisions in Nigeria today.[10]

A former presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati also noted that Modupe's secession declaration might be a result of the long-standing ethnic, socio-cultural challenges facing the country since 1966, which had witnessed the political interventions of some people like Isaac Adaka Boro, Kaduna Nzeogwu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Gideon Orkar and, most recently, Nnamdi Kanu.[11] According to him, Modupe's secession declaration also served as a reminder that "the bigger issue that we have to deal with perhaps is the increasing, creeping failure of the Nigerian state".[11]

References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Ogedegbe, Isaiah (21 April 2024). "Modupe Onitiri-Abiola: Traces of 'Mugubriosity' in a Nigeria Woman Who Challenged Constituted Authority". The Warri Times. Archived from the original on 21 April 2024. Retrieved 21 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Yoruba Nation: 'Mugubriosity' in Secession? -By Isaiah Ogedegbe". NGGOSSIPS.com. 21 April 2024. Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  3. Olaoye, Wole (21 April 2024). "Secession? Not A Laughing Matter!". Leadership Newspaper. Archived from the original on 21 April 2024. Retrieved 21 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. "Dupe and her clueless, asinine independence declaration". TheCable.ng. 16 April 2024. Archived from the original on 16 April 2024. Retrieved 22 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. "Onitiri-Abiola and the madness in Ibadan". Nigerian Tribune. 16 April 2024. Archived from the original on 17 April 2024. Retrieved 22 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. "Invasion of Oyo secretariat display of lunacy - Pro-democracy group". PM News. 21 April 2024. Archived from the original on 21 April 2024. Retrieved 22 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. "'Misguided alligators': Nigerians react as MKO Abiola's widow, Dupe, declares independence for Yoruba nation". BusinessDay Nigeria. 15 April 2024. Archived from the original on 23 April 2024. Retrieved 24 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ogedegbe, Isaiah (24 April 2024). "Modupe Onitiri-Abiola: MKO Abiola's Widow Who Eroded Late Husband's Legacy With Yoruba Secession Declaration". The Warri Times. Archived from the original on 24 April 2024. Retrieved 24 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. Abiola, M. O. (2007). Farewell to Poverty: Let There Be Light in Africa. Pittsburgh: Dorrance Publishing Company Inc. p. 3. ISBN 978-080-597-377-8. Equation of being richly blessed and being poor does not match
  10. "Modupe Onitiri-Abiola: MKO Abiola's Widow Who Eroded Late Husband's Legacy With Yoruba Secession Declaration". NGGOSSIPS.com. 24 April 2024.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Abati, Reuben (16 April 2024). "The Yoruba Nation "secessionists" of Ibadan, By Reuben Abati". Premium Times Nigeria. Archived from the original on 17 April 2024. Retrieved 25 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)