Former governor of Ogun State and a chieftain of the APC, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has disclosed that the children and wives of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola, suffered outright neglect following his death, as none of the late politician’s associates bothered to assist the Abiolas.
Noting that Abiola awarded scholarships to many students irrespective of tribes and religion and created professorial chairs in different tertiary institutions across the federation, he expressed disappointment at the way the late philanthropist were abandoned, regretting that nobody ever set up foundation for the children and wives left behind by Abiola.
Newsworth recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday posthumously bestowed the nation’s highest honour of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR, and apologised to the family on behalf of the federal government over the treatment meted out to their patriarch.
But speaking in a interview with ThisDay, Osoba said, “I talked with one of Abiola’s children sometime ago and felt so sad. I am sad because Nigerians just do symbolic remembrance. After annual celebration, we just go there and forget.”
He stressed that the Abiola family “has been abandoned. MKO Abiola awarded scholarships to so many people and created professorial chairs. But nobody has bothered to ask how Abiola children are coping with realities of their father’s death?
“It is a sad thing for me on a personal note. I have virtually attended the weddings of many of his children. I have equally acted as a father in few cases. They are all shadows of the children of MKO Abiola that I used to know. I feel sad on that note.”
With the annual celebration of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Osoba called for the establishment of a foundation in memory of the late philanthropist and should be structured as special intervention for all his immediate family members.
According to him, “we mark June 12 annually. Why is it that nobody has thought of setting up a foundation for the immediate family members of Bashorun MKO Abiola. The man had many children but they have all been left to themselves!”