The oldest son of Late Chief MKO Abiola, Kola Abiola, has revealed he made three attempts to make former President Goodluck Jonathan bestow the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic title on his late father.
Kola Abiola made the disclosure during a programme titled, ‘Question Time’ on Channels Television.
He said he first approached the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), to honour his father during the Centenary celebration in January 2014 but a gold award was given to the deceased, which was rejected by the family.
“For political reasons, it just could not be done,” he said
On his second attempt, Kola wrote a letter to Jonathan through the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, during the build-up to the 2015 elections but nothing was done.
He added that after Jonathan had lost and was preparing to leave office, he made the third attempt to get him to honour MKO but it failed again.
“Towards the election, I approached them again, this time in writing, and solicited the help of Pastor Bakare and told them that even if it was for selfish political reasons, this was something you could do to help your chances of winning elections,” he said.
“I really didn’t mind how he got it done. But we couldn’t get President Jonathan to get it done so we left that.
“After he lost the election, I approached him a second time also through the same Pastor Bakare to try to get him to do this as a legacy of his Presidency, something that Nigerians would never forget about him. Last minute, we couldn’t get it to happen.”
He further said after President Muhammadu Buhari took office, he sent a letter through Pastor Bakare again to take to the President who was in Kaduna at the time.
He said Buhari bought into the idea and exceeded the expectations of the Abiola family as he did not only honour the deceased with the highest title in the land but also issued an apology to his family on behalf of the Federal Government.
Buhari, in a landmark move on June 6, conferred MKO Abiola with the title of GCFR and declared June 12 – the date of the election presumably won by Abiola –the country’s Democracy Day going forward.