Monday, 14th June 2021: The Nigerian government may have concluded plans to fully compensate the presumed winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election, Bashorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, GCFR, by including his next of kin among those of former heads of state/government and presidents benefiting from government package quarterly.
Also to benefit from the plan, according to dependable Aso Villa sources, is Bashorun Abiola’s running mate in the historic election, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, GCON.
The idea, mooted by the Federal Government will, however, be proposed as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage, CEOAFRICA learnt.
Abiola, a billionaire businessman, won the election believed to be the freest and fairest in Nigeria history, with a pan-Nigerian mandate. But, the military government of Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida annulled the results.
Abiola was incarcerated when he stood up to fight for the reclamation of his mandate. He died in custody on July 8, 1998.
The military returned to the barracks after the then regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar conducting the election that ushered in the Fourth Republic in 1999.
Both Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as well as immediate former President Goodluck Jonathan, all of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) looks the other way by acknowledging the handover day of May 29 as Democracy Day without taken cognizance of the price paid by MKO Abiola.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari decided to honour the late Abiola by declaring June 12 Democracy Day in place of May 29; gave Abiola the highest national honour – Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) – posthumous and officially recognize his victory in that election. Kingibe was awarded the second national honour, The Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
On the plan to compensate the Abiola family, the highly-placed government official said last night: “The honours bring them (the late Abiola and his running mate at par with all past heads of state and their deputies.”
The source added: “There has been no concomitant benefit to them since that recognition because the law did not foresee this kind of situation.
“You know there is no monetary attachment to national honours. But, there is thinking that this must be reviewed because wives of former heads of state who had passed on get quarterly allowances, which are overseen by the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).
“Those (past heads of state) who are living get their entitlement and when they are dead, their next of kin get certain benefits from the government. But, for Abiola and Kingibe, this requires legislation.
“There is thinking that the Abiola family (next of kin) deserves attention. The same thing goes for Kingibe,” the source said.
CEOAFRICA reports that the family of late MKO Abiola had Friday last week complained that the federal government did not remember them apart from the granting of highest honour in the land, GCFR to late Abiola two year ago by President Buhari