MKO CRUCIFIXION AND THE RISEN JUNE 12
Written By Dr Sam Aruleba, PhD Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes, we are disturbed by unsavoury events such that courage, valour, and mettle quickly melt away and we find ourselves at the mercy of defeat, tears, sorrow, and fear. At other times, the story that sent us into wailing and pandemonium would later turn to songs of rejoice and celebration. At the time of that rare breakthrough, enemies that sent you to Coventry would lead the chorus of praise worship. “Free at last” was the song of Madiba Nelson Mandela after he regained his freedom from incarceration at the maximum prison of Robin Ireland in Pretoria, South Africa for 27years. The white supremacists at the time only thought of one Mandela dying in prison and never to come out again a rebranded leader of
substance. But what evil people do not think and understand remains the fact that, when there is life, there is hope. It was Mandela’s body that was in chains and not his voice that constantly shook to its foundation the iron barricades of the prison. Its effect transforms into unabated social unrest that eventually saw a bright light after a long tunnel. Suddenly, the vuvuzila sounded and robin Ireland broke its chains. Out into unconditional freedom was the world’s most celebrated prisoner.
The glory of Mandela radiated across the length and breadth of the universe as he swapped his prisoner robe for his new presidential shirt.
Without a doubt, MKO Abiola is not Madiba Mandela, but the two African political titans shared some similar travail in the course of their struggle against minority domination over the majority. When Mandela was sent to life jail by the white minority in South Africa but gained his freedom alive after 27years, MKO Abiola was not all that lucky. The heavyweight politician, who also was a business mogul, was crucified by the Hausa/Fulani minority tribes, using their restive soldiers to perpetrate such heinous evil. The death of MKO opened a new chapter to the debate of whether Nigeria should still remain a united nation or the amalgamated tribes should go solo and form own countries. The fear of perpetual oppression by the Hausa/Fulani over other tribes especially the Igbo in the South East and Yoruba in the
South West became multiplied soon after the North came with a comic relief slogan of “Born to rule” saga. It is from the abundance of mind that the mouth speaketh, says the Holy Scripture.
Up MKO! Let the righteous stand on mountaintop and salute a great man in his eternal palace under the mother earth. During his lifetime, and after his death, Abiola’s voice of genuine democracy was never drowned in the sea. Democracy day was always observed by the federal government on May 29 each year but the South West governors refuse to slow down on their campaign to recognise June 12 as the authentic democracy day. As for Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, Abiola’s aspiration was never his concern. The old General was the volcanic eruption, forming the furnace of lava with Badamosi Babangida, and the duo seen as that nemesis of influence, which put the final nail into the political coffin of the business mogul.
The agitations of the South West majority clamouring for the recognition of Abiola as the winner of the June 12 election was just music to Obasanjo, and their voice taken for a barking bulldog. Obasanjo ‘a minority voice’ in the South West politics has held on for too long as a winner until now that President Buhari officially recognised Abiola as the winner and wielded in his authority to pay all his dues to him posthumously as a one-time president of Nigeria. To the Democrats, never say never again is the tune of joy. But with much conviction, never again would the ‘Cray twins’ of Nigeria “Babangida and Obasanjo” usurp our hope when our Moses has spoken.
Phew! Hossanah we shout, Alleluyah we sing. Abiola has risen, and June 12 is alive and shall die no more. Too late as some would say, but lateness is better than never. In all, the questions begin to crawl in, and many struggling to find a shelter in our psyche. What does Buhari want? Could his proclamation rest on political rhetoric? Why now and not within his first year in office? Could it be to spike Obasanjo who he now regards as his political tormentor and an ardent foe if only to dent his May 29 freedom day legacy? Perhaps, Buhari could want to reference Josef Sterlin “a one-time Russian President” who wickedly subjected a chicken to hurtful pains by plucking its feathers without anaesthetic, and after which he gave the follow-follow chicken her feeds that temporarily cooled down the body-blow pains,
and once again, sings the praise of Sterlin.
To cap all the concerns, the former CJN ‘Belgore’ faulted Buhari’s teething powder, dubbing it as illegal, and strange to the Nigerian law that the dead were posthumously adorned with any kind of national honour. The legal luminary has spoken and such that further compounds the limbo at which Buhari could contemplate.
Oh Dear! Buhari never seizes amazing me with all his old tricks to lure the seagulls into the trawler hoping to find fish. You can fool many at times but you cannot fool everyone at all times. Will Abiola’s after-death recognition for the topmost honour in the land make the Yoruba people forget easily the ridiculous neglect of their sons and daughters in national assignments under Buhari’s watch? At the moment, the entire top security personnel in the land (Army, Navy, Airforce, Police, Customs, Education, Judiciary, Internal Ministry, etc.) are all preserve of Hausa/Fulani extractions. Nowhere in he present political dispensation under Buhari could one claim to be a Yoruba arrowhead. Yes, recognising June 12 as Democracy Day is welcome but too late and too little to heal the wounds of political assassinations and relegations to the backseat the Yoruba race continue to suffer under the
restive regimes of the Hausa/Fulani partnership in the marriage of convenience we find ourselves. It is of this writer’s candid opinion that Buhari has started smelling the stinking aroma of a political defeat in the next general election knowing that the North alone cannot return him to the office. And without any doubt, the next cabinet reshuffle would see some Yoruba apologists holding important posts under the Buhari regime in a hide and seek game.
Until then, let us hail the resurrection of June 12 after 25years in the grave.