Jamiu Abiola, one of the sons of the late Chief MKO Abiola, has opened up on how family intrigues contributed to the assassination of his mother by the military junta led by the Late Gen Sani Abacha.
Jamiu said in an interview with Daily Trust that wished that his late mother didn’t get involved in the fight to actualise the June 12 mandate.
He said: “Yes, there was a family feud, but it wasn’t the cause of her death, although it paved the way for her to be killed. You see, my dad’s trial had been ongoing for over one year, with a prominent lawyer, G. O. K. Ajayi, defending him. However, my father’s first son, Kola, from his late wife, Simbiat (May her soul rest in peace), decided that another lawyer, Chief Rotimi Williams, should be allowed to take over the case. My mother had her reservations about Rotimi Williams because she felt he was too close to the federal government against which my father was in court.
“The ideal thing for Kola was to wait for my father to decide on his own about who he wanted to represent him, but he went public with criticism against my mother and the federal government got wind of the rift. Things got tenser when the government decided to keep my father in solitary confinement so that he would not choose a lawyer, which worsened the feud.
“It was at the height of all of this that the government sent a killer squad to assassinate my mother. The next thing was for Kola and some of my uncles to be arrested to give the public the impression that they were responsible for her death. The whole thing was a conspiracy, but my siblings and I have accepted it as her destiny”.
The younger Abiola who campaigned for President Ahmed Tinubu said the President is one of those who never regretted playing a role in the struggle for June 12.
When asked for those who backed his family without looking back: “Many of them have passed away. People like Chief Bola Ige, Chief Anthony Enahoro and Pa Ajasin. But some are alive, like the current President, Bola Tinubu. He has been reaching out to us and was the first to immortalise my mother in Nigeria. Even back then during the struggle when the chances of success were bleak, he was a pillar of support. It is during hard times that you know those who really care.
“I remember what a friend told me when we were in exile in the US. His father had lost so much money and businesses because of the struggle and had been forced to relocate to America like us. My friend told me that he wished his dad had betrayed my father so that things would not be so hard for them. Senator Tinubu never had such regrets, and I believe that this is partly why God has allowed him to become president. People do reap what they sow”.