Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola is one of Nigeria’s most historic, high-potential, very wealthy legends. Nigerian citizens believed strongly in his capabilities to lead the country as president; a position he won in 1994 but was later thrown into jail by then-dictator, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. He was one of Nigeria’s richest men with a net worth of over $5 Billion before he passed away mysteriously in jail in 1998, aged 60. MKO Abiola had over 10 wives, the most notable being first wife Simbiat Abiola, second wife Kudirat Abiola and sixth wife Remi Abiola. He also had several children, estimated at 40; the most notable are first born Kola Abdulateef Abiola, AbdulMumuni Abiola, Dupsy Abiola, Hafsat Abiola, Khafila Abiola and Rinsola Abiola.
Hafsat Abiola, civil rights leaders and founder of Kudirate Initiatives in honor of her late mother, is one of the few of MKO’s children that progressed personally and politically. Many of the others are undergoing economic stress despite their father’s prior massive wealth. A lot of MKO Abiola’s companies are now defunct and his children are in and out of court cases in Ogun state.
During the 2018 remembrance on June 12 (the day MKO won the presidential elections for which he was unjustly sent to jail) former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, said “I talked with one of Abiola’s children sometime ago and felt so sad. I am sad because Nigerians just do symbolic remembrance. After annual celebration, we just go there and forget. The family has been abandoned. MKO Abiola awarded scholarships to so many people and created professorial chairs. But nobody has bothered to ask how Abiola children are coping with realities of their father’s death. It is a sad thing for me on a personal note. I have virtually attended the weddings of many of his children. I have equally acted as a father in few cases. They are all shadows of the children of MKO Abiola that I used to know. I feel sad on that note.”
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