Dark Revelations of MKO Abiola's Final Days

As we mark the memory of June 12, I remember way back then in 1993, I was a freshman at the Obafemi Awolowo University when Nigeria was on edge of achieving greater things; it was the period when many were hopeful that Nigeria would begin to change for sure and that was because renown philanthropist and man of the people, Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO) was on the verge of winning the presidential elections which would usher Nigeria back into civilian regime and put an end to dictatorship.

Sadly, this was not to be as the election which was eventually won by MKO Abiola was annulled on the 12th of June by General Ibrahim Babangida, then head of state on so-called grounds of corruption.

There was anger and rage among Nigerians. Everybody smelled a rat and there were insinuations that the North wanted to keep holding onto power or that the military was bent on still ruling. The suspicions were endless. What many never knew as days passed and Abiola got arrested and detained for 'treason' (after he declared himself the lawful president of the nation) was that there was international involvement in the circumstances that led to his death.

MKO Abiola & His Doctor Ore Falomo

MKO's personal Physician, Dr. Ore Falomo spilled the beans in an interview. He recalled his last meeting with MKO Abiola and the harrowing events that followed.

It was about two weeks before he died. But the visit before the last was more remarkable. It was arranged by the military government to dispel the rumour that Abiola had died in detention. They quickly arranged a meeting for me to go and see him.
They sent one captain from Aso Rock to me to tell me that I was needed urgently in Aso Rock. This was the penultimate meeting to the last meeting with him. I found the message strange because my previous meetings were arranged by the commissioner of police in Abuja, under whom Abiola was supposed to be. Whenever I visited him, I usually returned to Lagos by 6pm, but that day, it was not possible because immediately I got into the car, they started driving round Abuja to waste time so that it would be dark and I won’t recognise where they were taking me to.

When we got to the place, Abiola was there. It was a new place; I had not seen him there before. It was a bungalow. As soon as they opened the door and Abiola saw me, he came towards me and we hugged. We sat and unlike before, none of the guards waited to listen to our discussion. We spoke Yoruba all the time. They objected to it at first, later on they agreed. That day he was behaving like he was in the spirit. I told him there was a rumour that he had been killed. He said, ‘I know that I’m dead. They have dug the grave. They have put me in the grave except that they have not close me up.’ I asked, ‘What happened? Have they injured you or injected you?’ He said no, but that he just knew.

As he was talking, his mood changed. He told me he had forgiven those who caused his incarceration; that it was left for them to ask for forgiveness from God. He said he forgave them because he wants God to forgive him his sins. All these were strange, because in my previous visits, he was always asking about the things that were happening in the country. Then he started singing, ‘Nearer my God to thee, nearer to thee.’ He used to sing Christian songs. After signing the song in English, he started singing it in Yoruba. Then he got up; hugged me and we began to cry. It was very emotional. I tried to calm him down, because I didn’t know what he had seen. All through this period, the guards did not come to say time was up. I told him I will tell the story to the people, which was normal after every visit.

About two weeks to Abiola’s death, Abdulsalami Abubakar had started to send out word that Abiola might be released. So, the whole town started to rejoice. I don’t know how that one was done. They even got to me and said my trips to Abuja would soon end. I knew the government was not going to try him. Chief Rotimi Williams had already told us that they did not have any evidence against him. There was no point going to court. As far as I knew, Abiola knew that they would not allow him to come out just like that since they would not take him to court. Every time, they were asking him to denounce his mandate and prepare himself for another election, but he refused. During my last visit, I told him I had the rumour that Abubakar will release him but I did not want him to believe the rumour until there was concrete evidence.

Some said Abiola was beaten to death, others said he was poisoned. Abiola was not beaten. He died shortly after the American delegation got to Aguda House by 3pm. According to the written press conference given by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the American delegation, Abiola died between 3:20 and 3:40pm that day. Nobody told Abiola that he was going to have visitors that day. So, they woke him up and he just brushed his teeth and came out to meet with them. He had not had his lunch. These were facts borne out of the autopsy. His intestine was clear. They exchanged banters, he told Susan Rice, who was part of the delegation, what she wore the first day he met her. Pickering said Abiola’s brain must be sharp to remember all that. 

Babangida, Abacha & Abubakar - pawns in the plot

According to them, their mission was to convince Abiola to denounce his mandate and go for another election. By then Abacha had gone, one of their problems had been solved. Abiola was left.

They had brought that suggestion before and Abiola rejected it. So, their mission was unnecessary because they were not going to get him to say yes. It must have been for another purpose. When they came in, the chief guard that usually stayed with Abiola was not there because they didn’t tell him some people would be visiting. Abiola came unaccompanied to that meeting. Of course, they had been told he was a tea drinker. They brought a special flask, which Hamza Al-Mustapha described as multi-dimensional. They poured themselves tea and poured tea for Abiola. There was no precedence of a visitor bringing tea for the host. It is unconventional. It is not done anywhere in the world. Not only did they bring it, they offered someone in detention tea, with no guard around. 

And Ambassador Pickering said in his press conference that shortly after he had taken the tea, he complained of pain in the chest and grabbed his chest. And later, he felt uncomfortable and then, he went to the convenience to ease himself, but he did not come back as expected. They called on him and he told them he was coming. By then, he had started feeling weak. They asked him if they should call the doctor but he said they should ask the guard to get his pain tablet. But he died before the pain tablet arrived. By the time the doctor came, Abiola had already died. They took him to Aso Rock clinic, where they tried to jerk his heart back to life, but he was gone. That was how he died.

Thomas Pickering - delegate of death?

It is necessary to note that death followed Pickering’s missions. A notable personality usually dies after his mission to any country. You can go and read about him. The question was: Why did he come? We know him as Central Intelligence Agency man and he was not the serving ambassador in the country then. 

Abubakar was the one who gave them the appointment. During a cocktail to celebrate the US National Day, I asked the US Ambassador why they brought Pickering and others. I told him that Abacha, who was occupying Abiola’s position had died and why did they bring another military? We should also note that after Abiola died, Abubakar went to White House to visit the sitting American President and he went in military uniform. Can you recollect anybody who entered White House in military uniform? It is not done. He was given that exception. Up till now, nobody has repeated the precedence. What did he do? How long had he been on the throne here that he was received by the American President? Abacha was gone, Abiola was gone and they thought Nigeria’s problem was solved. But here we are. 

Another question to ask was where did Pickering type his press statement? Abiola died around 3:40pm and by 4pm, Pickering read his typed-written press statement and said he must have died of heart attack. The doctor that took Abiola’s body to Aso Rock clinic had not come when Pickering addressed the press. Could something have triggered the heart attack? The answer is yes. We also know that there are drugs that can affect the rhythm of the heart. Such drugs can disturb the rhythm of the heart to an extent that the heart can stop pumping blood. If you give it to anyone to drink in tablet or liquid form, it can make the heart to stop within minutes. 

This revelation by Dr. Falomo is quite unnerving. Was MKO going to initiate programs and campaigns that would turn Nigeria around for the best? Was he a threat to some sinister plan by the international community which seemed to be benefiting covertly from Nigeria's problems? Abiola had a huge foillowing and the heart of Nigerians were with him. There's nothing as threatening as a wealthy man that had the backing of the masses.

I have never believed that the international community cared for any African nation; they'd love Africa to remain a hub of crisis, unrests and chaos. Afterall it suits the agenda of the dark elite of the western world...order out of chaos - create a problem then offer a solution so the world would see you as a saviour.

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