Kunle Afolayan To Produce MKO Abiola’s Biopic

Afoloyan at the unveiling of MKO Abiola’s statue on Tuesday in Lagos

Kunle Afolayan, a Nigerian actor and movie maker, on Tuesday, said that he will produce the biopic of late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 elections.

Afolayan said this at the unveiling of Abiola’s statue in the Alapere area of Lagos state.

“I will do a film on the biography of MKO Abiola and what he stands for,” he said.

He said that Abiola was a martyr of democracy, who deserves to be immortalized. The biography, according to Afolayan, will be produced when “we have the budget to do so.”

Present at the unveiling were Governor Akinwunmi Ambode;  Idiat Adebule, deputy Governor of the state; and Bolanle Ambode, wife of the Governor;

Also at the event were Doyinsola Abiola, one of Abiola’s wives; Abdulmumuni Abiola, a son of late MKO Abiola; and other family members of the Abiola family.

Femi Pedro, a former deputy Governor of the state;  Abimbola Jakande, wife of former Governor of Lagos state, Lateef Jakande, also joined dignitaries at the event.

Also present were Desmond Elliot, a member representing Surulere Constituency in the Lagos state House of Assembly, Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Segun Olulade, a member representing Epe constituency II in the Lagos state House of Assembly.

MKO Abiola was a Nigerian business mogul, politician and philanthropist. He contested the June 12, 1993 presidential election and overwhelmingly defeated his rival, Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention. The election was declared Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election by national and international observers, with Abiola winning in his Northern opponent’s home state. However, the election was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, causing a political crisis which led to General Sani Abacha seizing power later that year.

In 1994, Abiola declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria in the Epetedo area of Lagos Island, an area mainly populated by the Yorubas. He was accused of treason and arrested on the orders of former military president Sani Abacha. Abiola spent four years in prison custody. He died in suspicious circumstanceson the day that he was due to be released on July 7, 1998.

President Muhammadu Buhari has however honoured Abiola posthumously with the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, the highest award in the country.

 

Raphael Adenaike

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