Edugist

Africa's Education News Source

June 12: Who is Moshood Kashimawo Abiola?

MKO Abiola ran for the presidency in 1993, for which the election results were annulled by the preceding military president Ibrahim Babangida because of allegations that they were corrupt and unfair.
Get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox.

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, also known as MKO Abiola GCFR (24 August 1937 – 7 July 1998) was a Nigerian Yoruba businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Egba clan. He was the Aare Ona Kankafo XIV of Yorubaland.

MKO Abiola ran for the presidency in 1993, for which the election results were annulled by the preceding military president Ibrahim Babangida because of allegations that they were corrupt and unfair.

Abiola was awarded the GCFR posthumously on 6 June 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s democracy day was changed to June 12.

Abiola was a personal friend of Babangida and he is believed to have supported Babangida’s coming to power.

Abiola’s support in the June 1993 presidential election cut across geo-political zones and religious divisions, among a few politicians to accomplish such a spread during his time. By the time of his death, he had become an unexpected symbol of democracy.

M. K. O. Abiola was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State to the family of Salawu and Suliat Wuraola Abiola. His father was a produce trader who primarily traded cocoa, and his mother traded in kola nuts. His name, Kashimawo, means “Let us wait and see”. Moshood Abiola was his father’s twenty-third child, but the first of them to survive infancy, hence the name ‘Kashimawo’. It was not until he was fifteen that he was properly named Moshood by his parents.

Abiola attended African Central School, Abeokuta for his primary education. As a young boy, he assisted his father in the cocoa trade, but by the end of 1946, his father’s business venture was failing precipitated by the destruction of a cocoa consignment declared by a produce inspector to be of poor quality grade and unworthy for export and to be destroyed immediately.

At the age of nine he started his first business selling firewood gathered in the forest at dawn before school, to support his father and siblings. Abiola founded a band at the age of fifteen and would perform at various ceremonies in exchange for food.

At the age of 19 he joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons apparently as a result of its container Africanist office, inclining toward it to the Obafemi Awolowo-led Action Group’s keep focus on investment and educational advancement for the Western Region of Nigeria, where the Yoruba were in the majority.

In 1956 Moshood Abiola started his professional life as bank clerk with Barclays Bank plc in Ibadan, South-West Nigeria. After two years he joined the Western Region Finance Corporation as an executive accounts officer before leaving for Glasgow, Scotland to pursue his higher education. In Glasgow he received 1st class in political economy, commercial law and management accountancy. He also received a distinction from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. On his return to Nigeria, he worked as a senior accountant at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, then went onto Pfizer, before joining the ITT Corporation, where he later rose to the position of Vice President, Africa and Middle-East of the whole partnership, which was head-quartered in the United States. Therefore Moshood Abiola invested a considerable measure of his time and money in the United States, whilst holding the post of executive of the corporation’s Nigerian Subsidiary.

Abiola invested heavily in Nigeria and West AfricaHe set up Abiola Farms, Abiola bookshops, Radio Communications Nigeria, Wonder bakeries, Concord Press, Concord Airlines, Summit oil international ltd, Africa Ocean lines, Habib Bank, Decca W.A. ltd, and Abiola football club. In addition to these, he also managed to perform his duties as Chairman of the G15 business council, President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Patron of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation.

Moshood Abiola sprang to national and global prominence as a consequence of his humanitarian exercises. The Congressional Black Caucus of the United States of America issued the following tribute to Moshood Abiola

“Because of this man, there is both cause for hope and certainty that the agony and protests of those who suffer injustice shall give way to peace and human dignity. The children of the world shall know the great work of this extraordinary leader and his fervent mission to right wrong, to do justice, and to serve mankind. The enemies which imperil the future of generations to come: poverty, ignorance, disease, hunger, and racism have each seen effects of the valiant work of Chief Abiola. Through him and others like him, never again will freedom rest in the domain of the few. We, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus salute him this day as a hero in the global pursuit to preserve the history and the legacy of the African diaspora”

From 1972 until his death Moshood Abiola had been conferred with 197 traditional titles by 68 different communities in Nigeria, in response to the fact that his financial assistance resulted in the construction of 63 secondary schools, 121 mosques and churches, 41 libraries, 21 water projects in 24 states of Nigeria, and was grand patron to 149 societies or associations in Nigeria.

Moshood Abiola was twice voted worldwide businessman of the year, and gained various honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. In 1987 he was given the golden key to the city of Washington D.c., and he was bestowed with an award from the NAACP and the King center in the USA, and also the International Committee on Education for Teaching in Paris, around numerous others. In Nigeria, the Oloye Abiola was made the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.

Share this article

All right reserved. You may not reproduce or republish Edugist content in whole or part without express written permission. Only use the share buttons.

Support Edugist’s goal of giving education a voice

Even a small donation will make a difference.

Related Content

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
???? Hi, how can I help?
Scroll to Top

Fill the form below to download the WASSCE 2024 Timetable

Be the First to Know When we Publish new Contents

“Stay ahead of the educational curve! Subscribe to Edugist’s newsletter for the latest insights, trends, and updates in the world of education. Join our community today and never miss out on valuable content. Sign up now!”