Letter from Family members of Abiola to President Jonathan; Videos; Pictures: Nigerian Police Officers use force against protesters

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election held in Nigeria

Nigerian Police Officers reportedly fired gunshots and teargas in the vicinity of the dormitories of the University of Lagos now named Moshood Abiola University by President Goodluck Jonathan on the 29th of May, 2012; students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) resisting the name change have been protesting against this action by President Goodluck Jonathan since he made the pronouncement.

Pictures of students protesting against the name change from the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University

Below, is a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan from some members of the family of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola


Your Excellency,

We wish to publicly offer our profound appreciation for your unprecedented recognition of the late Chief MKO Abiola, the ideals he lived by and the noble cause he died for. As you honoured him, we honour you.

We have watched in dismay and bafflement, the futile efforts of previous governments to bury the uncommon heroism of MKO Abiola. While looking ahead to your plans to shepherd this nation, you looked behind to acknowledge those you paved the path you now tread. Many sing by rote, the words “the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” while you embody that principle. Your labour over our country will never be in vain, by the grace of the Almighty Allah.

As our leader, you chose the time and manner that you would honour this great Nigerian. It was without our input but with our full approval. His sacrifices and contributions across every sphere of public life are too numerous to list. There has never been a philanthropist on the scale of MKO Abiola in the history of Nigeria. His oft-repeated life’s ambition was to touch the life of every Nigerian one way or another. He may have succeeded in the area of education alone. In March 1990, he donated N1m (equivalent of N40 million in 2010) to each State University, N50,000 (N2 million in 2010) to each Federal University for student welfare, N20,000 (N800,000 in 2010) to the libraries of each Federal University and N25,000 (N1 million in 2010) to each Polytechnic and College of Education. He is credited with the construction of 63 secondary schools and 41 libraries. He established Abiola Bookshops to provide affordable, locally produced textbooks in the 1980s when imported textbooks became out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians when the Naira was devalued. He awarded over 1,000 scholarships to deserving students in tertiary institutions at home and abroad. In addition those awarded by the Federal Government, MKO Abiola awarded bursaries to every single student from Ogun State. For every N500 they received from the Federal government, they received N250 from MKO Abiola. To delve into his contributions in sports, culture and welfare would turn this letter into a thesis.

In politics as in philanthropy, he is unequalled. He broke tribal and religious barriers to a clear victory. He chose the path of valour and fought for the collective will of Nigerians from the four corners of this nation and everywhere in between. He willingly returned from exile, knowing the consequences of that action, prepared to pay with his life. The circumstances of his death shook the polity to its foundations and established the democracy we enjoy today, by far the longest period of rule by the people in our history. He lost his wife, the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, his businesses were decimated yet he voluntarily stayed in detention, rejecting conditional release. He died refusing to betray the mandate given to him by those who betray his memory today.

No honour is too great for one of the men and women who laid down their lives for the democracy we enjoy today, that enables some to take to the streets, uttering irresponsible, abhorrent nonsense. We take a leaf from your book and illustrate the line “help our youth the truth to know”. The government of Egypt named a school after him in appreciation of his contribution after a devastating earthquake. Egyptians did not take to the street yet to their eternal shame, some people in Lagos did. But as the great man would say, as one is crying one should still see. The machinations and motives of those sponsoring the protests are obvious. If thirteen years of deafening silence from the Federal Government built on the blood of this man could not diminish his legacy, the actions of a few hooligans and rascals with no sense of history will certainly not. All glory and honour reside in the hands of the Almighty Allah, a righteous judge. MKO Abiola will not be denied. We now turn to those groups who feel that their positions have been threatened by an unprecedented act of grace by Your Excellency and urge them to desist. The general elections are three years away. There is no need for blind panic or for using MKO Abiola’s name and the larger issue of June 12th to score cheap political points against the ruling party. We urge them to focus on the task of national and regional development.

We assure you of our support of any decision you take in this matter. We had no expectation of your gracious gesture and neither did MKO Abiola. He was driven by his love for Nigeria, not by the anticipation of honours. The few words you spoke provided justice and peace. No “masthead” can ever do that. We are satisfied and we are appreciative. You have acted as one who fears God and seeks to lead in justice and truth according to His will. In the final analysis and in view of the fickleness and short memory of some “students”, that is all that matters. We conclude with the assurance that your honouree would not be disturbed by this furore were he alive to witness it. When we would tell him we don’t like his nickname of Father Christmas and ask him why he gives so much, he would say that he is not doing it for the people but for Allah and that if he helps a thousand people and only one remembers that’s enough for him. It is enough for us too as is the certain fact that in due course, each of us will go where MKO Abiola has gone and leave children behind.

With profound gratitude,

Alhaji (Chief) Mubashiru Abiola, Chief (Mrs) Adebisi Abiola

Chief (Mrs.) Omolola Abiola – Edewor Alhaji Olalekan Abiola

Miss Ayobami Abiola, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola

Mrs Bolanle Akande, Mr Abdul Abiola”

What are you thinking?

13 Responses to “Letter from Family members of Abiola to President Jonathan; Videos; Pictures: Nigerian Police Officers use force against protesters”

  1. Joy is really a cologne it’s not possible to pour out in other companies without having applying for a variety of comes in you and your family.

  2. terry okundia says:

    what a general as a president never did is what a civilian is doing. what does GEJ take 9ja for,on the 1st of jan he removed fuel subsidy without consulting with us. now again the renaming of UNILAG without due consultation, let me ask him is nigeria his personal property. Havard and Oxford university has been for ages, does it mean the countries have no past heros. to show love for MKO let GEJ build a refinery to be named after him.

  3. Tesvand says:

    Na wa o. God no they slip. I confuse small after listening dis much, bt lets nt pay evil 4 evil, presido Jo a xtain don remember MKO, he was nice in some wayz sha. Lets pour oil on d trouble H2O & hold olive branch to one another. Let d new name reman & life goes on. One love to all.

  4. True says:

    Is it true that MKO repented and turned to Christianity in Jail? To God be the glory.

  5. Bobby says:

    It is sad that Abiola’s family can stoop so low. So the PDP has scored points because the president arbitrarily and unilaterally renamed a University founded by a legislative act? It is very sad. We do not accept the name change and we will never accept it. Never!!!!!!!

  6. tammy ubani says:

    What a sad one for MKO its too appauling to note, that it was his own kins men who are betraying and back stabbing him like brutus as in shake spear…the yorubas have shown the entire world how hypocrital and unpatrotic they are by smearing ,disdaining and debasing an international reknown hero of high repute….without mincing words, I’m quite convince that if MKO were to be given a second chance on planet earth to choose tribe and religion….i know he will choose to be an hausa or a niger delta fellow ,he will become a christain or an atheist because he’s own tribe and religion he fought for islamize nigeria and sank a ship load of bible all in the name of islam and allah . Finally, betrayed him ,but to the Glory of God a christain president had remebered is good works to immortalise him irrepective of some of his short comings as a mortal. I hope this will serve as a lesson to our present politicians that the evil one does with stil live after you. Lastly, to all Maulag students pls go hug a live transformer in case you’re still dreaming for a reversal…as an xyz of maulag ,I’m joining the majority of nigerians supporting mr president of his wise decision also, appealing that by next independence day he should add school uniforms to their present status to be compulsory

  7. mclanre says:

    but he sank a ship coming to nigeria loaded with bible some years ago and yet he broke religious barrier? na una know jo

  8. Sunkay Omotoso says:

    Nigerians, if we had attached any iota of importance to anything and believed that we had a stake in this country, the situation of this country wouldn’t have been this bastardized by those we chose to leave the country to.
    Imagine if everybody in the Niger-Delta had supported the dream of the great Ken Saro-Wiwa and his kinsmen did not turn against his struggle, what we are seeing today wouldn’t have been the case.
    Anyway, I quite understand the nature of man – people have different views and opinions based on information available to them and their perception which is always under the influence of their belief and level of exposure.
    Meanwhile, I wish to inform the general public that the apprehension of the entire household of the University of Lagos against the rechristening of our heritage is predicated on the importance we as a people attach to that citadel of learning. We have a stake in the institution and that is what drives our passion for it which we now believe is ours.
    UNILAG has become our name, our brand and our pride. Hence, the resolve to deface that name is considered a conspiracy against our success. This is how we view it and the reason for our loud protest.
    Long live Akokites!
    Long live Idi-Arabite!
    Long live University of Lagos!
    Long live Nigeria!

  9. KAYBANMS says:


  10. olumayowa says:

    The letter is in order. But, the family would had refrained from certain abusive and insultive wordings as carried in this letter, because people tend to see things in different ways and moreover majority of these UNILAG/MAULAG students were age bracket 3-5 years at the great man’s death who probably know little or nothing about him and who need to be educated about the issue at hand.Had the FG followed the due process of sending the name change bill to NA and engaged the School authority’s in consultation, all these controversies would have been avoided. Caution on All sides (FG, Abiola’s family and UNILAG’ community), is required at this period.

    • Keji says:

      OluMayowa,fnx alot fr dt,ds is exacly wat av been sayin too,its nt d action or decisn of d president dts causing all ds chaos,,,rather it is d APPROACH,at wich such noble actns were taken,,,it is d pure disregard fr due process n lack of respect fr a vital element of Democracy wich is SEPARATION OF POWER,wich d hero of democracy died fr,,,by d pres.dt daintd d good reasons bhind his actns…..ds act of MONOPLISTIC N HASTY DECISION making acts of d pres.of a supposes civilan nt military gvt,under a democratic dispensation,is fast bcomin incessant n rampant,,,first removal of fuel subsidy wtout due consultatn wt d pple,nw ds….are ds elements of DEMOCRACY OR MILITOCRACY?????

  11. nurudeen akorede says:

    It is very bad to see Nigerians that late chief M K O Abiola die for protesting his immortalisation, UNILAG is not greater than MKO, MKO is a national symbol and truly deserve more than just naming a university after him. but the president has done his bit, we should ask for more recognition for him not fighting the president first right decision, in doing this we are vindicating former president Obasanjo who refuse to mention MKO name for eight years.


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