Former Personal Assistant to the late Chief MKO Abiola, Lisa Olu Akerele, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the family of the acclaimed winner of June 12 presidential election is financially compensated for the loss and pains it suffered.
Referring specifically to MKO’s crumbled business empire, including Concord Press of Nigeria, Radio Communication Nig Ltd, Abiola Bookshops, Abiola Bakeries, Abiola Farms, Concord Airlines and Summit Oils, Akerele said the family should be compensated to enable some of the companies to return on-stream.
Hailing Buhari for granting deserved post-humous honour to Abiola, Akerele noted that those who suffered incarceration and other economic losses must be compensated to ameliorate the pains they suffered in the wake of the 1993 political crisis, which followed the annulment of the June 12 presidential election. He noted that the clamp down on activists during the Sani Abacha jack-boot reign strangulated them both politically and economically, leading to the death of many leading lights in the struggle for democracy.
The veteran journalist, who was also a victim of the Abacha junta, which incarcerated him for two years, was on hand to convey Abiola’s corpse back to Lagos after his death in detention in Abuja.
Akerele had sustained an underground campaign after Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar returned the mantle of leadership to civilians for the Federal Government to reverse the June 12 annulment and honour Abiola with the nation’s highest award. The campaign has come to fruition with Buhari’s recent honour.He lauded the pillar of the June 12 struggle, Asiwaju Bolaji Tinubu, for sustaining the campaign for Abiola’s post-humous award.
Akerele noted that on March 1, 2016, he and Abiola’s son Mr. Kola Abiola met with Tinubu in his Lagos home, where they brainstormed on the Abiola issue. The outcome of the conference was another letter to the Presidency, which, he said, culminated in the honour for Abiola. For annulling June 12 presidential election, he said Gen. Ibrahim Babangida had dragged the nation backwards by decades of uncertainty and economic loss.