Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, GCFR (24 August 1937 – 7 July 1998) was a Nigerian Yoruba businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Yoruba Egba clan. MKO Abiola ran for the presidency in 1993, for which the election results were annulled by the preceding military president Ibrahim Babangida because of allegations that they were corrupt and unfair.

 He was awarded the GCFR posthumously on 6th June, 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s democracy day was changed to June 12.

His most popular sayings are:

TOWARDS PROGRESS, AND EARN HER THE RESPECT SHE DESERVES FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.”

“…THERE IS NO HUMILIATION I HAVE NOT ENDURED, NO SNARE THAT HAS NOT BEEN PUT IN MY PATH, NO “SET-UP” THAT HAS NOT BEEN DESIGNED FOR ME IN MY ENDEAVOUR TO USE THE PATH OF PEACE TO ENFORCE THE MANDATE THAT YOU BESTOWED ON ME ONE YEAR AGO. IT HAS BEEN A LONG NIGHT. BUT THE DAWN IS HERE. TODAY, PEOPLE OF NIGERIA, I JOIN YOU ALL IN SAYING, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

” MILITARY RULE HAS LED TO OUR NATION FIGHTING A CIVIL WAR WITH ITSELF”

“WE ARE SICKENED TO SEE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SHOWN LITTLE OR NO PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT, EITHER IN BUILDING UP PRIVATE BUSINESSES, OR MAKING SUCCESS OF ANY TANGIBLE THING, BEING PLACED IN CHARGE OF THE MANAGEMENT OF OUR NATION’S ECONOMY, BY RULERS WHO ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE.”

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” OUR YOUTHS, IN PARTICULAR, CAN SEE NO HOPE ON THE HORIZON, AND MANY CAN ONLY DREAM OF ESCAPING FROM OUR SHORES TO JOIN THE BRAIN DRAIN.”

“WE ARE PLAGUED ALSO BY PERIODIC BALANCE OF PAYMENTS CRISES, WHICH HAVE LED TO A PERENNIAL SHORTAGE OF ESSENTIAL DRUGS THAT HAS TURNED OUR HOSPITALS AND CLINICS INTO MORTUARIES.”

“A SCARCITY OF BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT HAS RENDERED OUR SCHOOLS INTO DESOLATE DESERTS OF IGNORANCE.”

“PEOPLE OF NIGERIA, OUR TIME IS NOW. YOU ARE THE REPOSITORY OF POWER IN THE LAND. NO ONE CAN GIVE YOU POWER. IT IS YOURS. TAKE IT! FROM THIS DAY, SHOW TO THE WORLD THAT ANYONE WHO TAKES THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA FOR FOOLS IS DECEIVING HIMSELF AND WILL HAVE THE PEOPLE TO ANSWER TO

Below are some of his other famous sayings:

  1. Accept what God has given you and make the best use of it

2. If you go borrowing, you will go a sorrowing

3. It should not take the extreme measure of killing a new born child just because the midwife is a bad woman.

4. No one can give you power. It is yours. Take it!

5. From this day, show to the world that anyone who takes the people of Nigeria for fools is deceiving himself and will have the people to answer to.

6. People of Nigeria, our time is now. You are the repository of power in the land.

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7. There is no humiliation I have not endured, no snare that has not been put in my path, no “setup” that has not been designed for me in my endeavour to use the path of peace to enforce the mandate that you bestowed on me.

8.You cannot shave the head in the absence of the owner

9. A scarcity of books and equipment has rendered our schools into desolate deserts of ignorance

10. We are sickened to see people who have shown little or no personal achievement, either in building up private businesses, or making success of any tangible thing, being placed in charge of the management of our nation’s economy, by rulers who are not accountable to anyone.

11. Our youths, in particular, can see no hope on the horizon, and many can only dream of escaping from our shores to join the brain drain.”

12. We are plagued also by periodic balance of payments crises, which have led to a perennial shortage of essential drugs that has turned our hospitals and clinics into mortuaries.”