‘Let’s Be Friends Again’, Abiola Wrote IBB After June 12 – Dele Momodu
Former presidential candidate and publisher of Ovation International magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, has revealed that the late winner of the annulled June 12 Presidential poll, Chief Moshood Abiola wrote a letter to then Military President Ibrahim Babangida seeking for renewed friendship.
Momodu in an interview with Vanguard said he aims to initiate a true reconciliation process between families of key players of the June 12 saga and the Abiola family.
The veteran journalist and a close associate to the late Moshood Abiola also revealed his discussion with the daughter of the late Gen Sani Abacha about the latest development. According to Momodu, he intends to advice the Abacha familiy to apologise to the Abiola’s and Nigerians as a whole.
He said: “I am reaching out to everybody because that is what Abiola would have done. He was not a vindictive person. Abiola was my adopted father. My father-in-law handed my wife over to Abiola during my wedding in December 1992.”
“I know Abiola well enough. Even after the annulment, Abiola wrote a letter to Babangida saying let us be friends again. He said IBB was his friend that he did not know why he annulled the election. That is statesmanship. The Abacha family, Obasanjo family and Abacha family should raise up their hands and beg God and Nigerians for forgiveness and it will be over. I was speaking to Abacha’s daughter, Gumsu, a few days ago and I asked her views about these things happening now. He said the Abacha children and Abiola’s children were friends before. She was mentioning names of the Abiola children, saying that they attended the same school and were very close. She said the Abiolas used to drive Volvo at that time, saying that anytime they saw a Volvo they would conclude it was the Abiolas.
“She said there was a time she saw of one Abiola’s daughters in Abuja and wanted to take her to go and meet her father(Abacha). But she said the girl was feeling uncomfortable and refused to go. She said if the girl had gone with her, Abacha would have allowed her to see her father in detention. And she said she felt bad that Abiola’s children lost their father in the process, adding that she also lost her father.
“She said her father (Abacha) also had human side. I was so touched that I wondered what could have made Nigerians to act like that towards themselves. Now the children are the ones suffering for it. When Abacha’s name is mentioned, nobody wants to hear. How do they close these gaps? How do we reconcile these Nigerian families because some of the children were so young and they didn’t know anything about June 12? We had the first closure but the reconciliation of these Nigerian families is also another form of closure. Nigerians should learn to forgive themselves. The only way to forgive is to admit wrongdoing. Let these families come out to admit that they were wrong,” Momodu said.
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