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When justice finally found a voice, the MKO Abiola case

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By Babatunde Afolabi

Over 1000 years ago, a greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus posrtulated that “ The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small” This was further translated in a 17th  century poem as thus “ Though the mills of God grinds slowly , yet they grind exceeding small, though with patience he stands waiting with exactness grinds he all.

Late MKO Abiola

The above truly represents the mystery behind the manifestation of justice. Justice, in most cases seems to lose its voice and bite. Justice has never been in a hurry to manifest. For 25yrs, Justice seems evasive over the travails of Aare Ona kakanfo of Yoruba land, Basorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

June 12, 1993 remains the day Nigeria will never forget in a hurry. This was the day a divine hand of unity fell on the nation. Nigerians of all religious and ethnic divides voted for the first time without ethnic and religious sentiments. Nigerians Voted for a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket of Chief MKO Abiola and Ambassador Babagana Kingigbe in an election many described as the freest in the history of the largest populace black nation.    Birds and leaves on the tree all sang melodious lyrics to the emerging mood of the nation. It was a moment of the standing up of compatriots and Nigeria call, many obeyed.

Sadly, the joy was short lived and the election was suddenly annulled. The annulment gave birth to the darkest moments in the history of the country. Basorun MKO Abiola stood tall and refused to be cowed, he was arrested, incarcerated for about   five years and he lost his life in the fight for democracy and most importantly the preservation of the exemplary unity of purpose Nigerians across the divide displayed.

His unfortunate death gave birth to the democratic dispensation we are enjoying now. Chief MKO Abiola sacrificed his comfort, business, family and the precious life of his wife and himself towards the enthronement of democracy..

For   25yrs many Nigerians have called for the recognition of this great man. Justice seems lost on the case of Basorun MKO Abiola. Even the hype of celebration that usually follows the date June 12 by the south western states has dimmed over the years. Many could no longer keep faith with the ultimate search for Justice for Basorun MKO Abiola. Every form of rays of light dimmed down on June 12.

Suddenly, in the twinkle of an eye, Nigerians suddenly saw a roaring voice of Justice like the biblical coming of Christ. President Muhammadu Buhari shocked many with the executive order recognizing June 12 as the official Democracy date and the conferment of the highest honour on Chief MKO. President Buhari inscribed him name in history with this executive order. Definitely this kind of sensitivity on his can never go unrewarded. Mark this! June 12, 1993 lives forever and it is no mere coincidence that when you take a look at your clock, the “12” above and “6” below shows June 12 while the middle band of “9” and “3” shows 93. This is more than a coincidence .

Though Justice may grind slowly, Though Justice may be delayed and denied but when Justice found his voice, Justice comes alive and comes to stay for life.   May we all found divine justice over the troubles of our lives..

  • Afolabi, an accountant, who runs an engineering firm, lives in Lagos
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