Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly known as MKO Abiola, was a Nigerian businessman, philanthropist, and politician. He was born on August 24, 1937, in Abeokuta, Nigeria, and died on July 7, 1998, in Abuja, Nigeria. Abiola was a prominent figure in Nigeria’s political history and played a significant role in the struggle for democracy in the country.
Early Life and Education
Abiola was born into a wealthy family in Abeokuta, Nigeria. His father was a trader, and his mother was a textile merchant. Abiola attended Baptist Boys’ High School in Abeokuta and later went to Glasgow University in Scotland, where he studied accountancy. He also obtained a degree in economics from the University of London.
Abiola started his career as a bank clerk and later worked for the ITT Corporation in the United States. He returned to Nigeria in the 1970s and established his own business empire, which included publishing, oil, and telecommunications companies. He was also a philanthropist and donated generously to various causes, including education and healthcare.
Abiola’s political career began in 1979 when he contested for the presidency under the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Although he lost the election, he remained active in politics and was a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 1990s. In 1993, he contested for the presidency again and won the election, but the military government annulled the results.
Abiola’s fight for democracy and his refusal to accept the annulment of the election led to his arrest and imprisonment by the military government. He remained in prison until his death in 1998.
Political Records and Reputations
Abiola was a respected figure in Nigerian politics and was known for his commitment to democracy and good governance. He was a member of several political parties and held various positions, including the chairman of the G15, a group of prominent Nigerians who advocated for democratic reforms in the country.
Abiola’s reputation as a businessman was also impressive. He was the founder of the Abiola Group, a conglomerate that included companies in various sectors, including telecommunications, publishing, and oil. His business empire made him one of the wealthiest men in Nigeria.
Abiola was married to Simibiat Atinuke Shoaga, and they had seven children together. He was also a polygamist and had several other wives and children.
Abiola was known for his flamboyant lifestyle and was fond of luxury cars and houses. He owned several properties in Nigeria and abroad, including a mansion in Ikeja, Lagos, and a house in London.
Abiola’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be around $2.7 billion. In Nigerian naira, his net worth was approximately ₦1.2 trillion. In Canadian dollars, his net worth was around CAD 3.5 billion, and in Ghanaian cedi, it was approximately GHS 12.5 billion. In Kenyan shillings, his net worth was around KES 225 billion, and in South African rand, it was approximately ZAR 36 billion. In Ugandan shillings, his net worth was around UGX 9.8 trillion, and in Indian rupees, it was approximately INR 200 billion.
Nominations and Awards
Abiola was nominated for several awards during his lifetime, including the Nobel Peace Prize and the African Leadership Prize. He was also awarded the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) posthumously by the Nigerian government in 2018.
Social Media Accounts
Although Abiola died before the advent of social media, several accounts have been created in his honor on various platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. These accounts celebrate his legacy and promote his ideals of democracy and good governance.
Moshood Abiola was a remarkable figure in Nigerian politics and business. He was a champion of democracy and good governance and fought tirelessly for these ideals until his death. His legacy lives on, and he remains an inspiration to many Nigerians and Africans who aspire to a better future.
For more information about Moshood Abiola, please visit his Wikipedia page.