By Niyi Tabiti-When comes to riches and connection in Nigeria, Bashorun MKO Abiola will always be mentioned. Abiola, has just been given a post humous national honour known as Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR). This is the story of Bashorun MKO Abiola, the generalissimo of the Yoruba race who died in detention trying to reclaim his mandate following the annulment of his election by his friend,General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
M. K. O. Abiola was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State.His name, Kashimawo, means “Let us wait and see“.Moshood Abiola was his father’s 23rd child but the first of his father’s children to survive infancy, hence the name ‘Kashimawo’. It was not until he was 15 years old that he was properly named Moshood, by his parents.
At the age of nine he started his first business selling firewood gathered in the forest at dawn before school, to support his father and siblings. He founded a band at the age of fifteen and would perform at various ceremonies in exchange for food. He was eventually able to require payment for his performances, and used the money to support his family and his secondary education at the Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta. He was the editor of the school magazine The Trumpeter, Olusegun Obasanjo was deputy editor. At the age of 19 he joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons ostensibly because of its stronger pan-Nigerian origin compared with the Obafemi Awolowo-led Action Group.