It is no longer news that Kola Abiola, son of late MKO Abiola, the winner of the 1993 June 12 elections, is back in politics, after staying away for over 2 decades. A few weeks back he joined the PRP and he is hoping to continue the struggle where his father stopped, when he died.
Kola who is the eldest son of late MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election, has joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP). He formally declared for the PRP a few days back at the party’s National Secretariat, in Abuja. He said, “Today makes my formal inroad after, 27 years, back into politics. I particularly picked to come back into politics through the PRP for some good reasons. I have gone back to the history of Nigeria to look at the party that truly represents Nigeria. I have gone back and I have found out that the oldest living party is the PRP; it still holds those ideals of what Nigeria and democratic practice should be like.”
According to him, it is a party that was started by the People and truly for the People. “It is a party that has shown first, as its priority, internal democracy. I have come back to PRP to show Nigerians that not too long ago, we did things in the right way and the new entities that have come together nowadays forget that there was Nigeria that did things right. I am one that believes in equal opportunity be it employment, be it business, equally in politics And I believe this party represents all of these. “Everybody should have equal opportunity, irrespective of age, religion and ethnicity and that is represented here”, he said, adding that PRP is the only party that could give youths such an opportunity to make their numbers count. While raising concern over the low participation of youths in politics, he said: “We have a youth population that has been caught out of the system, the political process. The first thing I want to do is to disrupt the political process, to disabuse the minds of the youth on godfatherism.”
“The way to do this is to give the true owners of Nigeria, that is, the 18 to 36 years age group that makes up over 75 per cent of the population, an opportunity for their voices to be heard and their numbers to count.”
Welcoming Kola into the party, National Chairman of PRP, Falalu Bello, said: “I formally welcome you into our fold. Your antecedents speak volumes.”
He was recently the Guest of Channels TV’s Politics Today anchored by Seun Okinbaloye. On the programme, he revealed why he is back in politics.
Kola said he has been in politics since the 1993 June 12 elections. I fought so hard to bring to a conclusion, the results of the 1993 elections.”
“I started with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and I continued with President Jonathan and eventually concluded with President Buhari to give my late father, Bashorun MKO Abiola, the recognition he deserves for winning the 1993 June 12 elections. That was done as he was even given GCFR, the highest title you can give a Nigerian And it is only reserved for Presidents and that put closure to my sojourn which I started in 1993.”
“A year or two after that it dawned on me now that we have June 12 as the official swearing-in date and next year, June 12, 2023 will be exactly 30 years of the struggle.”
“It now occured to me that I need to make the difference. I need to build on and hopefully get back what we achieved in 1993. It was a perfect election then. It was the one election that was ever held across Nigeria and seeing how involved I was with that election, I believe I can influence and tilt things for a change in that direction.”
“I have been speaking to a lot of people and youths from ages of 22 to 46 in that demography all over Nigeria. We must make a difference. We need to let the Youths make a difference. Let’s take that bold step. That is why I am here today. I looked at all the political parties out there and I joined the PRP because ot its pedigree. It is the oldest party in Nigeria today. It has been consistent in its ideology. But more importantly, because it is one place where anybody can freely come into. They believe in people’s parties, everything is for the people. That is why I am back there”.
He was also asked why he didn’t join the SDP, the platform his dad used to win the June 12 elections then? Why not SDP? Why PRP? “One of the cardinal points I brought to the table is I want to disrupt the political space and by doing that I want to lower the barriers as much as possible. I don’t want to go through godfatherism, money bags in politics.”
“We wanted to avoid the role big money bags play in politics.”
“One thing I learnt back in my days in the old SDP, led by late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua, is that it is not about the names you hear, but about the people that can deliver in their constituencies. There were so many people in that group that didn’t have the name, they only have newspaper names, but they can’t win elections. Going back to that theory, politically, the SDP of today is still doing the same. It is still the same old names coming together under that umbrella and still playing politics as they know-how. I am looking at a system that allows us to really disrupt and change the mindset. In most of the parties, there is still the mindset of that is how we do it here. We need to change that mindset. And to the youths, that we are appealing to, you must give them that option to free-fall into it, and actually go and find their feet. I don’t see many of the existing parties doing that”.
He was also asked if he plans to build or ride on his father’s strong pedigree and name. Is it helpful in any way for him? “This issue happened 30 years. I approach the youth of today like they have never heard about Abiola. That is the truth. I have always been an Equal-Opportunity person.”
“I doubt if you ask them, whether they will know that name exists. What I am bringing to the table is my pedigree, my experience, my transparency, my commitment to Nigeria, morality are what I think will help, and the pedigree from MKO will emerge subsequently.”
“But I don’t approach the youths telling them all these. We are talking of 30 years ago, many of them were not born then and those born were too young to even know what was going on. All some of them remember was the jingle of Hope 93 song, MKO Is Our Man ooo! That is only what they recall in many ways”.
He was also asked how active he was on June 12, when his father was running for President. Did he contribute in any way at the time? He smiled.
“That is locked in the past. If you go back to any of my interviews you will see it there. I still got asked that Question last Friday on ARISE. I don’t want to rehash all I did in the past. Anyone who is clear today, politically, will testify with no doubts to the role I played. But I want to move on from there. That is all I can tell you for now. One of our guidelines is to deal with the issues facing us now.”
“I have made an impact, I have learnt from that and I want to bridge that gap, from protesting and being aggrieved, to helping you, showing the young people the way and how they can make an impact and making sure that their votes count, not just your voice.
Let’s tell you more about Abdul-Lateef Kola Abiola who was born into the family of late MKO Abiola and Alhaja Simbiat Abiola. He describes himself as being humbled by events of life which make him who he is today. He was born and raised in Abeokuta, Ogun State where he hails from. He grew up alongside his siblings under the watch of his parents.
He had his elementary and secondary education in Ogun State before proceeding to a higher institution. He attended Baptist High School where he lived with the principal then; before he went to Ibadan Grammar School. During the holidays, he had severe Jaundice so he couldn’t return to school and ended up spending over 6 months at home recuperating.
Kola Abiola later did a term at Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School before his mother transferred him to Aiyetoro where he completed his secondary school education.
After his secondary education, Kola Abiola went to Berkeley and then Colorado State University where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and MBA in Business Administration
Kola Abiola returned from England and started at the University Staff School, Akoka. During that time, his mother was a lecturer at YabaTech while the father was an Accountant.
Kola Abiola’s father was the co-owner of ITT and also the owner of RCN, Radio Communications Nigeria, Bakery (Wonderloaf), Concord Press, Abiola farms, Concorde Airlines and African Concord.
After his service year in Zaria, he restructured and reorganized some of the entities. MKO Abiola’s company were one of the first indigenous companies to drill and find oil, after it was launched. It created a lot of excitement, not just for their family, but for the industry as a whole because it was fully indigenous.
Abiola ran for the presidency in 1993, for which the election results were annulled by the preceding military president, Ibrahim Babangida. However, Abiola was awarded the GCFR (posthumously) on June 6, 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s Democracy day was changed to June 12.
On April 14, 2022, Kola declared his intention to contest the 2023 presidential race under the platform of the People’s Redemption Party, PRP. Kola Abiola was married to Olayinka Abiola who slumped and died in Los Angeles, California on the night of Saturday, October 16, 2010. She was in her mid-40s and the daughter of Chief (Mrs.) Bose Onilere, the late prominent businesswoman. She was the second wife of Kola Abiola, with the first being Victoria Arafat.
READ ALSO: ALAWE OF ILAWE-EKITI CELEBRATES 10TH CORONATION IN STYLE
Send Us News, Gist, more... to email@example.com | Twitter: @CitypeopleMagz