CHIEF Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola dominated Nigeria’s political landscape for almost quarter of a century at the threshold of the millennium. No Nigerian, living or dead has been talked about, gossiped about, discussed and written about than this political icon affectionately called MKO. He bestrode the murky terrain of Nigerian politics like a colossus. No single Nigerian has been in the news, featured in newspaper interviews, articles, radio and television both local and foreign in the last two decades of the 20 th century than this great man. To his traducers, he was a wily politician who could not be trusted but to his teeming admirers, Abiola was a hero, a nationalist, a patriotic fighter and a martyr whose blood heralded participatory democracy n Africa’s most populous nation. Such was the larger-than-life personality of this great African that he was different things to different people.
MKO Abiola’s humble beginning is a tale told in many Nigerian homes. His open-handedness and philanthropic gestures are known to most Nigerians; cherished by some, admired by many and envied by his enemies. His love for women and the good things of life also are open secrets in Nigeria and beyond. An accountant, industrialist, international financier, educationist, a Pan-Africanist, a billionaire by world standard, a flamboyant politician and a prisoner of conscience; Abiola had money, plenty of it albeit most of it illegally acquired but he was also a cheerful giver and supporter of worthy causes.
MKO Abiola entered Nigerian politics in grand style. He brought dash, élan and panache into Nigerian politics. The June 12, 1993 presidential election which many believed he won and has now been acknowledged by Professor Humphrey Nwosu; the Electoral Officer who headed Nigeria’s election body in 1993 but was annulled by the military was unarguably Nigeria’s first free, fair and most peaceful election. Abiola demolished primordial loyalties and viviparous forces holding Nigeria hostage as a united, hate-free and religiously harmonious nation. In Abiola, Nigerians did away with moth eaten factors of ethnic chauvinism, religious parochialism, tribal jingoistic tendencies and voted for a truly completely detribalized national leader. Abiola shattered old myths and emerged as a unifying force for all Nigerians. He garnered the support of Muslims, Christians and animists. In Nigeria’s first freest and fairest presidential election, Yorubas, Ibos, Hausas and the rest 250 ethnic “tongues” that make up Nigeria voted for MKO. Abiola’s historic victory transcended generational and gender barriers; the young and old, males and females, indeed every segment of the Nigerian society voted for Kasimawo. MKO Abiola was the democratically-elected President of Nigeria on June 12, 1993.
MKO ABIOLA is the biography of this illustrious son of Nigeria nay Africa. It is about his birth, parentage, kindergarten years, childhood days to schooling and his growing to maturity. This book recounts the odyssey of Nigeria’s most flamboyant billionaire, traces the genesis of his stupendous wealth, his entry into Nigeria’s politics, confrontation with the military, his “cause celebre” and finally his mysterious death in the hands of his jailers. This book is much more. It answers such puzzling posers: Why did MKO join the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Second Republic. Why did he attack the venerable Awo? Why was he compelled to quit the NPN? Did NKO sponsor the Buhari-Idiagbon coup? Was he the one who bankrolled the Ibrahim Babngida coup? How did he pull the magic of June 12, 1993? Why was his victory voided? Who brought Sani Abacha to power? What transpired between Abiola and Abacha in 1993? Who betrayed the other? What was the game plan of Abiola when he swore himself in as President in 1994 and what went wrong? How did Sani Abacha die? Who killed MKO? Questions, Puzzles and Posers.
MKO ABIOLA is a must read for every Nigerian indeed African interested in the dynamics, risks, intrigues and manipulations that characterize Third World politics. This book is also a good library resource for any one interested in World Politics in general.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Moshood Ademola Fayemiwo is the author of three published books and recipient of Ohio-based Writer’s Digest Merit Book Award for 2000. A graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, (BA) University of South Florida, Tampa,(MA) and the State University of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY, US(MS,MA). He is a former newspaper publisher and editor in Nigeria. A recipient of several local, academic and international awards and co-author of articles in scholarly journals on media ethics, media convergence and Information Science and Public Policy, he is a member of Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, The Burke Society, National Scholars Honor Society, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and Association of American University Professors among several others. He is currently a PhD Student and lives in Chicago, IL with his wife Dr. Margie Neal and his son, Fola.
WHAT THE WORLD PRESS REPORTED ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Moshood Fayemiwo (Detained since February 14, 1997) Moshood Fayemiwo, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Razor magazine, was abducted on February 14 by Nigerian security agents from Benin Republic, Nigeria’s western neighbors, while in the care of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Fayemiwo, who was legally registered with the UNHCR with Reference Number 652 Nusa/PC/CNCR, was kidnapped on February 14 while returning from a Bible study course in Cotonou , the Beninois capital. He was forcibly brought to Nigeria where he has since been detained by the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). Fayemiwo was previously detained for seven months in 1996 from February 26 to September 20 by the Nigerian government before he escaped from Nigeria with his family and went to Benin Republic where he applied for refugees’ status.
---- Source: Media Rights Monitor, September 1998. Vol. 3, No. 8. [www.mediarightsagenda.org]
Nigerian security agents faced no impediments in February 1997, when they kidnapped Razor magazine publisher Moshood Fayemiwo in broad daylight in neighboring Benin and transported him across the border to Nigeria. There he was detained, chained to a pipe, and tortured until his release in September 1998.
---- Source Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) Nov/Dec, 1998 Journalism Building, 2950 Broadway, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA (http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/98/6/nigeria.asp)
Moshood Fayemiwo, Razor Imprisoned: February 1, 1997 Fayemiwo, publisher of the now-defunct weekly Razor, was arrested and detained at the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) in Lagos. Fayemiwo, who had been temporarily living in exile in Cotonou, Benin, was kidnapped by Nigerian security agents and returned to Lagos. Fayemiwo was reportedly tortured and his already poor health was deteriorating when he was imprisoned.
---- Source: Committee to Protect Journalist, 330 7 th Avenue, 11 th Floor, New York, NY, USA (http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/1997/confirmed/Nigeria_imprisoned.html
Moshood Fayemiwo, publisher of Razor magazine, was allegedly abducted by Nigerian agents in Cotonou, Benin Republic in February 1997, and has since been held in Apapa military camp in Lagos
---- Source Human Rights Watch 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA (http://www.hrw.org/reports/1997/nigeria/Nigeria-05.htm)
Moshood Fayemiwo the publisher and the editor-in-chief of the defunct weekly tabloid RAZOR - detained at the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) Apapa, Lagos since February 14, 1997 - was released on September 2, 1998.Fayemiwo had been kidnapped by Nigerian government agents in Cotonou, Benin’s capital, where he had sought temporary asylum. No reason was ever given for his abduction
--- ---- Source International Press Institute, IPI Headquarters, Spiegelgasse, 2 A-1010, Vienna, Austria(http://www.freemedia.at/cms/ipi/freedom_detail.html?country=/KW0001/KW0006/KW0171/&year=1998
Disappearance Government detention practices cause many persons to be "missing" for extended periods. The only known case of a politically motivated disappearance was that of former Razor newspaper editor Moshood Fayemiwo, who spent 7 months in detention before escaping to neighboring Benin in September 1996. On February 14, Fayemiwo disappeared from the United Nations refugee camp where he had been living with his family. Mrs. Fayemiwo reported that her husband had been kidnapped by "unknown security agents," but reliable sources claim that he is being held incommunicado by Nigerian security services. The Government was asked repeatedly about the case by the media, but did not acknowledge any involvement.
--- ---- Source United States Department , Nigeria Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, January 30, 1998, Washington D.C. USA (http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/1997_hrp_report/nigeria.html)
Moshood Fayemiwo, publisher of the now-defunct weekly Razor, who was living in exile in Cotonou, Benin, when Nigerian security agents kidnapped him in 1997 in broad daylight and secretly transported him to Lagos. Fayemiwo reportedly has been tortured and chained to a pipe in solitary confinement. Colleagues confirm he is in very poor health…. Specifically, CPJ calls upon Nigeria's military regime to immediately release Moshood Fayemiwo.
--- ---- Source Committee to Protect Journalists 330 7th Avenue, 12th Floor New York, NY 10001, USA (http://www.cpj.org/news/1998/ghanaconf.html)
Moshood Fayemiwo, publisher of Razor news magazine, was reportedly abducted by Nigerian security agents from the neighbouring Republic of Benin on 14 February 1997 and since detained in an underground cell at the Directorate of Military Intelligence (dmi) detention facility in Apapa, Lagos
-------- Source Amnesty International USA, 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY, USA 10001
NIGERIA The release of Moshood Fayemiwo, publisher and editor-in-chief of the defunct weekly tabloid "Razor", detained since 14 February 1997 has been confirmed. He was released on 2 September 1998. (IFEX, Canada, 11-13 September 1998) ------- Source ANB-BIA - Av. Charles Woeste 184 - 1090 Bruxelles – Belg (http://22.214.171.124/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=moshood+fayemiwo&xa=64l.qRjnONqMyTdWNJ1JQg--%2C1220653946&fr=yfp101&u=ospiti.peacelink.it/anbbia/week_98/980917&w=moshood+fayemiwo&d=JGigORg5RJRl&icp=1&.intl=us
) MOSHOOD FAYEMIWO RELEASED, RECOUNTS ORDEALS: Moshood-Fayemiwo, publisher of defunct Razor
magazine who has been in detention since February last year was released 2 September from the underground cell of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) Lagos. He recounted his ordeal right from the Republic of Benin where he was abducted to Lagos last year
-------- Source Saturday Punch, September 12, 1998, Lagos Nigeria ( http://www.derechos.net/ijc/monitor/0337.html)
It was concluded by human rights organizations that the Razor newspaper editor Moshood Fayemiwo, missing in 1997, fell victim to armed robbers while traveling
-------- Source: Human Rights Practice In Nigeria, 1998, U.S. Department of State, Nigeria Country Report on Human Rights Practice for 1998 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 26, 1999
Journalists detained for long periods without charge or trial include. Moshood Fayemiwo, publisher of Razor news magazine, was reportedly abducted by Nigerian security agents from the neighbouring Republic of Benin on 14 February 1997 and since detained in an underground cell at the Directorate of Military Intelligence (dmi) detention facility in Apapa, Lagos
-------- Source AI Index: AFR 44/020/1997, 22 September 1997 1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW, UK (http://archive.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR440201997?open&of=ENG-398)
A story was once told by the same Moshood Fayemiwo in his national best seller, The Authorized Biography of M.K.O. Abiola I just mentioned in my last paragraph…The Moshood Fayemiwo book is a must read for all Nigerians. Once I started reading it, I just could not let go until I finished the book. It has answered for me, as it will answer for you all, the questions you may have been looking for all these years
-------- Source Dr.Wumi Akintide, New York, NY, USA Nigeriaworld, Wednesday, April 30, 2003 ( http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/akintide/043003.html)
I had wanted to write the epic story of Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, the Bashorun of Ibadanland, the Aare Onakankanfo of Yoruba land and the President-elect of Nigeria as far back as 1993 immediately after the June 12, 1993 Presidential election which he won but was annulled by the military government of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd). But the unfolding turmoil and the mayhem that engulfed Nigeria immediately after the criminal annulment made it impossible for me to gather resources and data on the billionaire politician. Besides, no one could predict how the political brouhaha would end as events were unfolding as astonishing speed making it difficult to write a conclusive story on the life and times of one of Nigeria’s most colorful, flamboyant and popular politician cum businessman. In addition, the ordeal I myself was going through in the hands of Gen. Sani Abacha’s security agents afforded me little time to sit down and write the Abiola story. The whole idea was suspended albeit temporarily. However, as the political topsy-turvy continued and I was forced into exile, first to the Republic of Ghana from Benin Republic, the need for Nigerians to know the real MKO Abiola, the man who symbolized Nigeria’s democratic struggle emboldened my desire to unearth this political icon and great African.
It was in Ghana in 1996 that I began to collect materials for this book. I was able to meet prominent leaders of the opposition to compare notes and obtain some information. The following year when I moved to Cotonou in neighboring Republic of Benin, the project was on stream and I also spoke to a lot of prominent Nigerians involved in the democratic struggle who were forced into exile by the bestial Abacha regime. By February 1997 when the goons of Gen. Sani Abacha succeeded in kidnapping me to the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) cell, Apapa, Lagos, an ample opportunity was widely opened for me to resume the Moshood Abiola story. The two years that I was in DMI, I must confess, were the most rewarding period of my life. It was inside the dungeon that relevant materials were sourced for this book. The DMI officials thought they were clever but didn’t know they were clever-by-half, because unknown to them, majority of their subordinates who they took their loyalty for granted were sympathetic to our democratic struggle. After all, these junior military officers are also Nigerians and wanted the best for their country. These patriotic and sympathetic security operatives supplied me with writing materials and newspapers to keep me abreast of developments outside prison till the day I was released in September 1998.
The Abiola story was abandoned again after my release because at that time I was making preparations to leave Nigeria for the United States of America with my family. By this time, Chief Moshood Abiola had been killed, to use the words of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha “by the powers that be.” His death had caused consternation in Nigeria and abroad and again, no one could predict with absolute certainty the course of events in Nigeria following the extenuating reasons given for Abiola’s death thus fueling suspicions on his tragic demise.
It was when I arrived here in the United States that a veritable opportunity presented itself again on this book. It is unbelievable that there are more materials and facts about Chief Abiola and indeed Nigeria as a country than could be found within Nigeria. It is a monumental irony that American security agencies; from the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA), Federal Bureau of Intelligence, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of Intelligence, National Geopatial Intelligence to such think tanks as the Brooking Institutes, American Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institute, Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute, Council on Foreign Relations and many more have facts, materials and other sensitive information about Nigerian leaders and the Nigerian nation. These are sensitive information and facts that border on the security and future of Nigeria and Africa which lamentably Nigerians and Africans are unaware and such information are inaccessible to Nigerian and African leaders. Such sensitive information as to Nigeria’s oil deposits, the country’s fissiparous forces, the level of Nigeria’s mineral deposits, how much the country earns from petrol dollars daily and the future of Nigeria as a nation. Every cent stolen by Nigerian leaders kept either in Zurich, Geneva, London or New York bank accounts are known to American security agents. Some of these information have been declassified of recent by the CIA many are still inaccessible while tons are available to top echelons of American security agencies.
This book you are holding in your hands is a compendium of the life history of Chief MKO Abiola one of the greatest Nigerians who had ever lived-In writing this biography, I have endeavored to present facts as they are not to present Chief Abiola as a saint. Some of the accounts of MKO’s life you may be reading in this book may be unbelievable but some of the characters involved are still alive to deny or confirm some of these stories. I have tried to be objective as much as possible even though I myself was (and still is) an advocate of June 12, 1993 Presidential election victory of Chief MKO Abiola. Whether I have written this book out of bias is for the reader to judge but I want to state categorically that I was a direct witness of some of the stories about Chief Abiola presented in this book.
I hope this book will be an invaluable addition to other books that have been written or will be written about Chief Moshood Abiola, his historic June 12, 1993 Presidential mandate and the future of Nigeria
Moshood Ademola Fayemiwo, BA, MA, MS, PhD (Candidate)
Chicago, IL, USA.
August 25, 2008
To set out to write the biography of Chief MKO Abiola is a monumental task. Chief Abiola’s life was full of activities, he was a multi-dimensional personality. He loomed large in many aspects of Nigerian life: economic, business, journalism, education, music, entertainment, sports and finally politics. Thus, to chronicle all aspects of this popular and flamboyant billionaire would take several pages of books because; Abiola’s story is the story of Nigeria. The sixty years that he lived on earth were filed with different events and activities that if I were to evaluate and narrate them all would seem like a man who lived for a century. The truth is; Chief Abiola was an event personality every minute of his life.
I have embarked on this work for two main reasons: first; to enrich our history as a people on landmark events that had place in Nigeria which may be susceptible to manipulations and distortions in the future. The successive military regimes that had ruined Nigeria foisted a culture of fear on the nation that activities of people in government which should ordinarily be known to the citizenry were shrouded in secrecy. Open transparency was substituted for cult personality. And closely allied to the above was the culture of philistine which killed scholarship and rigorous intellectual works, promoted and aided by the military rascals that misgoverned Nigeria for two decades. In the words of Malcolm X America Civil Rights activist: “Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and thereby increase self respect. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for today.” I hope the civilian government will begin to repair the damage done to our education by the khaki men. Secondly, Chief Abiola deserves a prominent mention in Nigerian archives for future generation.
In presenting MKO, I did not deliberately set out to eulogize him. No, I have presented facts about the man’s life as they are.
A work of this nature could not have been possible without hidden facts made available to the writer. Albeit, I witnessed some of the events in this book, there were some that I had to contact the participants to flesh me with details.
First, I want to thank posthumously the venerable Papa Michael Adekunle Ajasin for those rare moments he engaged me in serious political discussions at his countryside home in Owo, Ondo State. Papa was a repository of Nigerian political history and I used to laugh how he would point to a chair and say; “your late father Ademola would sit there, then Olanusi would join him,” when narrating the tempestuous politics of our home town Owo. At his old age, he seemed to remember everything and dates. I remember vividly an incident when the late Sir Olateru-Olagbegi, the Olowo of Owo was still alive. I had just left the private residence of the late monarch in company of his son the late Prince Adeyanju Olateru-Olagbegi II who incidentally was a member of Board of Directors of my company; Stoics Communications Limited the parent company of Razor weekly magazine and Evening News between 1993 and 1998 in Nigeria. I had informed Sir Olateru-Olagbegi II that he and Chief Ajasin should bury the hatchet so peace would reign in Owo. I relayed to him what Chief Ajasin told me about him and he told me his own version. I then told Kabiyesi to pick the phone and talk to Chief Ajasin, he refused. I had earlier told Chief Ajasin to do the same, he too had refused. I pray their souls will rest in peace.
I wish to also honor posthumously the contributions of the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola (nee Adeyemi) to the democratic evolution of this country. In particular, the rare interviews he granted me when I was Publisher and Editor of Razor weekly magazine. An Amazon; very fearless, courageous, outspoken and articulate. I remember the day she was narrating an incident to me in the company of my former wife in the Abiola’s living room at the late politician’s palatial home in Ikeja, Lagos. After narrating the details of the incident, she chirped in “Razor, don’t publish that o.” We all laughed. I thank her for the information she shared with me while we were both detained together in Alagbon FIIB Detention Facility Ikoyi, Lagos in early 1996. She was coming down from the female wing of the detention facility when she sighted me. “Ha, Moshood, is this where they put you? Since when? Why didn’t you send Deola (my former wife) to me?” I replied “Auntie, I don’t want to disturb you.” Some of her information made up for the lacunas that would have affected this biography.’
I thank Prof. Adesegun Banjo and his wife Ngozika of the People Liberation Army of Nigeria (PLAN) for those rare moments we engaged in robust intellectual discourse on the fate of Nigeria in Cotonou, Benin Republic. Thank you Mrs. Alice Ukoko-Ugono of London for your support and understanding. I also wish to express my profound gratitude to Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Ilemakin Soyinka of former Radio Kudirat International, London who had to travel to Cotonou, Benin Republic in 1997 when they heard I had been kidnapped by Abacha’s security agents. Thanks for your assistance to my former wife and my two boys in those giddy days. I thank all those who phoned from London, Austria, Canada, USA and other places to express their solidarity and support during my wilderness days. I thank my elder brother Michael Sikiru Fayemiwo in Maryland and Bayo Aladesuru in California, USA and many others too numerous to mention for their support. This is not the forum to mention everybody who assisted one way or the other during my trying times because this is Abiola’s book but my own autobiography is on the way and very soon Nigerians and the whole world would know what really happened in Nigeria between 1993 and 1999. A lot has been written and disclosures have been made at the Justice Chukwudiffu Oputa Panel on major issues in Nigeria but many more are yet to be revealed. I am coming out very soon with some of these behind-the-scene events in Nigeria.
Thank you very much General Ishaya Bamaiyi for paying me a personal visit during the months of my incarceration at the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Apapa, Lagos between 1997 and 1998. I thank God Almighty for your release.
The Catholic Pontiff, late Pole John Paul II, the man of God who was a voice for the voiceless during his Papacy had to travel to Nigeria in summer 1998 to plead with the Madman of Nigeria, late Gen. Sani Abacha to release me and other political prisoners held by that bestial regime. Thank you. I also wish to thank all concerned Christians who prayed for the banishment of the Evil man holding Nigerians hostage in the 1990s. We now know there is indeed power in prayers. Thank you Nike Ransome-Kuti for your assistance.
What would have become of Nigeria today if not for the principled and patriotic people like Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Barrister Femi Falana, Olisa Agbakoba and the rest nationalistically-committed Nigerians who sacrificed their comforts, endured all kinds of deprivations, hardships and inconveniences to rescue our fatherland from the fangs of military dictatorship. These are great Nigerians whose sacrifices will remain as long as Nigeria endures. Equally important are the good people in Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers during this period: Nnaemeka Amaechina, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, Ms. Funke Dada, Ayo Olanrewaju and lastly Chief’s loving and wonderful wife; Mrs. Ganiat Fawehinmi Thanks Festus Keyamo for your support and assistance.
These patriotic, brave and courageous members of the Nigerian Press will individually and collectively have their names written in gold when the history of Nigerians’ struggle against military repression will be written. From Tell magazine; Nosa Igiebor, Dele Omotunde, Onome Osifo-Whiskey, Kolawole Ilori, Dare Babarinsa, Dayo Ajigbotoso, Dele Agakemah, Johnson Ayantunji, Lucky Fiakpa, Louisa Ayonote (nee Aguiyi-Ironsi), Idowu Awoyinfa of the Library Department, George Mba and others too numerous to mention who risked their lives to chase away Nigerian military oppressors. From The News and Tempo and their sister publications; A.M. and P.M; Bayo Onanuga, Dapo Olorunyomi, Kunle Ajibade, Babafemi Ojudu and my good friend Seye Kehinde. Also Tokunbo Fakeye, thank you for your concern and assistance at the DMI Cell during those days. We pray such days will never be witnessed again in the history of our nation. Thank you John Momoh and your vivacious wife Sola and the rest crews at Channels Television, especially my good friend late Saka Ashimi for your support and solidarity. Thanks to my buddy Tony Tor in New York and other members of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledun Mite, Dr. Owens Wiwa and others who stood solidly behind my family while I was away. From The Fame magazine stable; Niyi Akinsiju, Mayor Akinpelu,; from Today’s Choice, Coker Onita and the rest guys; from Encomium; Femi Akintunde-Johnson, Kunle Bakare, Michael Effiong and co. Thanks Dele Momodu of Ovation, London.
I want to use this opportunity to thank all my colleagues in the Punch Group; Ademola Osinubi, the big man, Azubiuke Ishiekwene, Sister Funke Egbemode, Sanya Onayoade, Francis Famoroti and many others. Thank you very much Mrs. Wale Sokunbi (nee Abiri). Words will be inadequate for me to thank these special people; Dr. Ladun Ibidapo, Mr. Tunji Fagboyegun, late Prince Yanju Olateru-Olagbegi, Ganiyu Ogunsiji, Niran Sule-Akinsuyi, Kunle Fadipe, Chief Femi Ajudua and his wife, Princess, Mr. Wole Olaoye, Dr. Wale Babalakin, Justice Solomon Adeloye, Mr. Abioye, Kola Ayelabola, Ambassador Godson Echegile, Mr. Ralph Osayemeh, Chief (Mrs.) Aduni Bankole, Major-General David Jemibewon (Rtd), Mr. Chris Mammah, Mr. Femi Amokeodo, Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Aisida (nee Fayemiwo), Barrister Olutayo Fayemiwo; to my in-laws: Mrs. Janet Adefeso, Mrs. Oluwasola Fayemiwo, Mrs. Oluwasola Sasanya, Mr. S.O Odunlami, Tunde Adefeso, Funke Adefeso, Oluwafemi Adefeso. I thank you all individually and collectively. To my friends and colleagues at the Razor family, to those who stood solidly behind me and did not betray our nationalist cause: Fred Moni, my News Editor, Dare Anako, Mathew Aramunde, Elvis Iruh, my editor at the Evening News, my private secretary, Augustine Ekpo, my driver, Ajah, Production Editor, Stephen Ayo Igah, Entertainment Editor, Tony Orilade who went to detention with me, Edna Ude, Woman Editor, our eagle-eyed security man, Mohammed Usman, company delivery driver, Sagiri Mohammed and the rest guys for your loyalty and dedication. Thank you; Ms. Orewere, Mr. Andy Orewere, Gbolahan Gbadamosi, Olayiwola Adeniji and Kunle Sanyaolu.
I will never forget my co-detainees at various detention facilities in Nigeria: Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye, Mrs. Ladi Olorunyomi, the Iluyomades, Prof. (Ambassador) Jide Oshuntokun, Ms. Halimah Asukun, Ibrahim Taiwo, Machan Zoaka, Mr. Okotie, Asuquo, Mr. Allwel Brown, George Onah, Col. Banjo and others just too numerous to list here. Thank you for your care, concern and compassion.
To members of the human rights groups who showed concern and offered assistance: Mrs. Ayo Obe, Richard Akinola, Abdul Oroh, Clement Nwankwo, Moshood Erubami, and many others Thank you Messrs Lanre Arogundade, Uthman Shodipe, Owei Lakenfa, Nwobodo Onyekwere and Chief Arthur Nwankwo. To my colleagues in New York: Bunmi Aborisade and Dele Ajaja
Nigerians owe debts of gratitude also to these fearless and courageous journalists and human rights activist who paid with their freedom the fruits of democracy or dividends of democracy as Nigerian now call their new-found freedom- and civil rule Nigerians are enjoying today: Soji Omotunde, Uwagheren Iyobosa, Gbenga Alaketu, Henry Ogbolue, Ademola Abimboye, Jenkins Alumona, Rafiu Salawu, Niran Malaolu, Ben Charles-Obi, Okinna Deesor, Chris Anyanwu, Panaf Olakanmi, Chinedu Offoaro, Femi Aborisade, Segun Maiyegun, Dr. Sylvester Odion-Akhaine, Nnimmo Bassey, late Chuba Ubani, Isaac Agbo, Danlami Nmodu, Ofonime Umanah, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Ike Okonta, Chukwudi Kwabuiko, Robert Kajomi, Kola Oshinyemi, Emmanuel Ogunyale, Joshua Ogbonna, late Godwin Agbroko, and many others numerous to mention.
To members of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Nigerians salute you both individually and collectively: Papa Anthony Enahoro, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, latte Papa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, Hon. Wale Oshun, ex-Gov. Bola Tinubu, Senator Tokumbo Afikuyomi, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (Rtd), Gov. Jonah Jang, Chief Segun Osoba, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Gen. Alani Akinrinade(Rtd), Dr. Nathaniel Aina, Col. Abubakar Umar (Rtd), His Royal Highness Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu land, Oba Oyefusi, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo, Prince Bola Ajibola, Mr. Adesuyi Haastrup, Chief Rafiu Jafojo, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Mr. Shehu Sani, Rear Admiral Ndubusi Kanu, former CGS, Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Reuben Fasonranti, late Alao Aka-Bashorun, Mr. Polycarp Nwite, Chief Remi Okunrinboye, Mr. Ademola Adeniji-Adele, Mr. Dele Alake, Chief Ralph Obioha, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prof. Chinua Achebe, Dr. Gbolade Osinowo, Mr. Olu Akerele, Otumba Tade Ismail, Prince Adeseye Ogunlewe, Mr. Folarin Coker, Dr. Olatunji Dare, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Dr. Frederick Fasheun, Chief G.OK. Ajayi, Professor Kasunmu, Dr. Ore Falomo, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olanihun Ajayi, Lam Adesina, Hon. Femi Okunrounmu, Udenta-Udenta, Gen. Ishola Williams (Rtd), Dr. Adebayo Williams, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, late Bala Usman, Chief Ayo Fasanmi, late Chief Bola Ige, Dr. Edwin Madunagu, late Bade Onimode, Dr. Festus Iyayi, Comrade Ola Oni, Dr. Omotayo Olorode, Dr. Lai Olurode, late Dr. Claude Ake, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu, Comrade Abdurrahman Black, late Oba Festus Adesanoye of Ondo, Chief Eric Aso, Prof. Nurudeen Alao, Rashidi Ladoja,, Alhaji Muhammed Arzika, Dr. Jonathan Zwingina, Ambassador Barry Adeyemi, Senator Adefuye, Lt. Gen Yakubu Danjuma (Rtd), Chief Olu Falae, Chief Omowale Kuye, Alhaji Lateef Okunnu, late Justice Muri Okunola, Chief Alabi Fabunmi, Chief Debo Akande, Dr. Mrs. Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike, Chief Kolapo Ishola, Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, Mr. Goodie Ibru, Olorogun Michael Ibru, Felix Ibru, Alex Ibru, Alhaji Yakubu Abdulaziz, Fred Eno ,Mark Adesina and many others
We must not fail to thank our spiritual “gate-keepers” who fought the Evil Man of Nigeria and are still fighting the battle to save our beleaguered nation. Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, WF Kumuyi, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, David Oyedepo, Umar Ukpai, Ayo Oritsejafo, Obadare, Jatau, Sunday Mbang, Abiodun Adetiloye, Alaba Job, Rev. Adebiyi, Chris Okotie, Onaiyekan, Abiara, Olukoya, Adefarasin, Bolanle Gbonigi, Olubunmi Okogie and other men and women of God still keeping the faith. Thumps up for Concerned Professionals for their incisive write-ups and patriotic re-awakening: Dr. Pat Utomi, Wale Edun, Atedo-Peterside, and Kudos to other militant labor leaders who refused to kow-tow: Chief Frank Kokori, Agunene, Adams Oshiomole and the rest. We pray for the repose of the souls of Papa Alfred Rewane, Alhaja Suliat Adedeji, Elegbede, Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni martyrs, Dr. Omatshola and countless defenseless youths whose innocent blood earned Nigerian democracy. To Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (Rtd) with love and we must not also fail to mention Nigerian activists here in the United States, Canada, England, and other parts of the world who have not abandoned their native land but continue to crusade for a better Nigeria we can all be proud of one day. The efforts of these patriotic Nigerians even on the outside and their pro-democracy campaigns to rid out land of megalomaniac dictatorship shall be individually and collectively chronicled in the annals of Nigerian history. They are just too numerous to mention.
Now to members of the international community, who spearheaded the campaign for my release; from the Republic of Benin, thank you Mr. Leon Brathier, President, Beninoise Journalists Association and top editors of Le Matin and La Nation Newspapers for embarrassing late Gen. Sani Abacha about my whereabouts when he paid a state visit to Benin Republic in 1998.Kudos to Messrs Amihere Kabral, Publisher, The Independent newspaper, Ghana; Blea Bright and the entire Exeo of West African Journalist Association (WAJA), Accra, Ghana for mounting pressure on the Abacha dictatorship to release those of us detained by the bestial regime. I deeply appreciate your efforts. Thanks Claire Lauder and the rest wonderful people at Amnesty International London for your concern, publicity and demonstration during our trying times as a nation. And to my wonderful secretary and assistant Ms. Rose Morgan for typing this manuscripts
I ask for forgiveness if there is any one I have forgotten to mention his or her name; it is not deliberate but for space constrains.
Once again thank you all and God Bless.
Moshood Ademola Fayemwio
Tampa, Florida, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
NEXT WEEK: SEPT. 15, 2008
“LET’S SEE IF THIS ONE WILL SURVIVE”