On this day in history (1998), Chief M.K.O. Abiola died unexpectedly in detention on the day that he was due to be released. While meeting a group of American diplomats including Thomas Pickering and Susan Rice at a government guesthouse in Abuja, Abiola fell ill and died. Rice had served tea to Abiola shortly before his collapse.
Independent autopsy carried out and witnessed by physicians and pathologists from the Nigerian government, Nigerian Medical Association, Canada, UK and the US found substantial evidence of longstanding heart disease.
M.K.O. Abiola ran for the presidency in 1993 under SDP, after defeating Kingibe and Atiku in the presidential primaries. The presidential election was annulled by the military president Ibrahim Babangida.
Abiola’s support in the June 1993 presidential election cut across geo-political zones and religious divisions, among a few politicians to accomplish such a spread during his time. By the time of his death, he had become an unexpected symbol of democracy.
Abiola was awarded the GCFR posthumously on 6 June 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s democracy day was changed to June 12.
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Created by Okey Obiabunmo