Suprising Facts You Must Know About M.K.O Abiola And June 12

June 12, 1993 to this moment seem just like yesterday, but it is not just
another calendar day in Nigeria; because in progressive ideological
circles, today is regarded as the authentic ‘Democracy Day’ as against
the ‘May 29′ popularly celebrated by the federal government.

Here are twelve important facts you need to know about this date.

1. The date is celebrated in honour of an annulled presidential election in
June 12, 1993.
Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, often referred to as M. K. O.
Abiola, ran for the presidency in 1993, and is widely regarded as the
presumed winner of the inconclusive election since no official final results
were announced till date.
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2. The election was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, because of alleged
evidence that they were corrupt and unfair, a development that ushered in a
political crisis that led to General Sani Abacha seizing power later that

3. In 1994, Abiola declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria in the
Epetedo area of Lagos island, an area mainly dominated by Lagos
Indigenes, after he returned from a trip to solicit the support of the
international community for his mandate. After declaring himself president
he was declared wanted and was accused of treason and arrested on the
orders of military President General Sani Abacha, who sent 200 police
vehicles to bring him into custody.
Moshood Abiola
leaving a Black Maria
van under heavy
armed guard

4. Moshood Abiola was detained for four years, largely in solitary
confinement with a Bible, Qur'an, and fourteen guards as companions.

5. Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua is said to have predicted the annulment to
Abiola and warned him against contesting.
READ ALSO: MKO Abiola Is A Living Icon – Kalu

6. Abiola's involvement in politics started at a young age. He was 19-years-
old when he joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons
(NCNC) in 1979.

7. For the June 12, 1993 presidential elections, Abiola's running mate was
Baba Gana Kingibe. He overwhelmingly defeated his rival, Bashir Tofa of
the National Republican Convention.

8. Abiola died on July 7, 1998 on the day he was due to be released from
incarceration under suspicious circumstances shortly after the death of
General Abacha. The official autopsy stated that Abiola died of natural
causes, but Abacha's chief security officer, Al-Mustapha alleged he was
beaten to death.

9. MKO Abiola used a ‘Hope’ campaign which President Barrack Obama
also used.

Many people may have paid attention to the word ‘Hope’ being used to
convey a message of possibility during Obama’s 2008 election in America,
but 15 years before then in Africa’s most populous nation, MKO Abiola
became a rallying figure for many Nigerians with his ‘Hope’ campaign.

10. MKO Abiola died for the June 12 mandate but he was not the only June
12 casualty as General Sani Abacha also died in mysterious circumstances
on June 8, 1998.

11. Chief MKO Abiola's memory is celebrated in Nigeria and
internationally. June 12, remains a public holiday in Lagos and Ogun states
and other All progressive Congress party states. MKO Abiola Stadium was
named in his honour.

12. The election was declared Nigeria's freest and fairest presidential
election by national and international observers, with Abiola even winning
in his Northern opponent's home state.
June 12 is thus a day to remember chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale
Abiola as well as other democracy martyrs.