KOLA Abiola, son of the late Moshood Abiola, says the posthumous national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) conferred on his father by President Muhammadu Buhari, was “very political”.
“I think it is very political,” he said, but added that it was the right thing to do.
The younger Abiola said this during an interview with Channels Television, adding that he had lobbied both the Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan administrations to honour his father, but they refused.
“I have been through this before and I have seen the roles different people play when it’s about to be done,” he said. “They come up with issues like, ‘it’s posthumous, it can’t be done. It can’t be given to dead people’… And so on.”
Abiola also said that successive administrations had tried to rundown many of his late father’s businesses in the hope that if the family no longer has the means, they would quit the agitation.
On why the failed attempt by ex-President Jonathan to rename the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after his father, he said the government at the time “did not go about it the right way”.
“At the point they made the announcement, it blew back at their faces. That was a mistake, they were trying to regionalise MKO, which is wrong because he (MKO) was voted across the region irrespective of tribe or religion,” Kola Abiola said.
“I told them. I said if it’s just for political reasons, this is the thing to do to help your government and your chances at the election. But we couldn’t get Jonathan to get it done,” he added.
Abiola said the entire Abiola family are happy and satisfied with President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said granted them even more than they requested for.
“I went for national recognition, I got that. We got the title – GCFR, we got the public holiday and also an apology. For me, I’m compensated,” he said.