Crisis is brewing in the house of late Moshood Abiola, with one of his sons, Abdul Mumuni Abiola, calling on his brothers, Kola, Deji and Agboola to come clean on the properties of their late father and "stop playing god."
Abiola, the man widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential election, died in the custody of the federal government during General Abdulsalami Abubakar regime in 1998.
His wife, Kudirat, considered a heroine of modern democracy, was allegedly killed by state-sponsored assassins.
In a press statement released yesterday, supposedly on behalf of his 40 brothers and sisters, Abdul, who is the youngest child of the late Kudirat Abiola, also alleged that his life was in danger because of his efforts to revive the abandoned projects, investments and properties of their late father.
"I want my brothers, Kola, Deji, and Agboola to stop playing god with our father's properties, abandoned projects and investments. I, my brothers and sisters totaling 40 children of Abiola are not fighting with them. We don't have a bone to pick with them. But we need to step out of the past and out of our father's shadow. Kola, Deji and Agboola have been peddling lies in the media about my efforts to bring about changes to the dwindling fortunes of the Abiola family.
Abdul said: "I am ashamed, just like my other brothers and sister, to see that after MKO Abiola's death, many of his legacies appear to be in shambles. No, it shouldn't be like that. That is not what MKO Abiola stood for while he was alive. I want the good people of Nigeria to prevail on Kola and his cohorts to stop using the police to harass me or those who are working with me to restore the lost glory of the Abiola family.
"Let me cite an example: Recently, four men were allegedly arrested and arraigned before a magistrate's court for breaking into MKO's bookshop at Oshodi. They were accused of stealing equipment and other materials valued at N1 billion. That is a farce. Deliberately, Kola and Deji ensured that my name was not mentioned in the newspaper that carried the news report."
He said that every effort he had been making to renovate late MKO's properties was not self-driven.
Abdul said that it was for all his siblings and for the name of MKO Abiola not to be dragged through the mud.
He said: "Why should some people be sending thugs and miscreants after me and those working with me to renovate MKO Abiola's properties? Why should that be? Do we have to wash our dirty linen in the public? Why should only a select few of Abiola's children sit on our father's properties? I am not even asking them to give me and my other siblings a share of the money-spinning companies of my father that they sit on. Our humble request is that they should allow me and my other siblings, who are interested in renovating Abiola's derelict properties, (do so). They should allow us to revive MKO Abiola's abandoned projects.
"I have been painstakingly patient for 18 years. I have watched with long-suffering and regret how few of my siblings have arrogated to themselves what belong to all of us. MKO Abiola's properties don't belong to Kola, Deji and (their) cohorts alone. They belong to all his children. We have been put through enough ignominy by Kola. Enough is enough."
Abdul also alleged that his life and that of his siblings' were in danger.
"I am also informing the public that my life is in danger. I don't feel safe any longer. If anything untoward happens to me, Nigerians should know who to hold responsible. If anything should happen to me or my siblings, Kola and his cohorts should be held responsible. I love life but I will not sit down cowardly. It is time all of Abiola's children sat down and discuss what exactly we want to do with our father's properties and investments. We really don't want handouts from anybody. We're MKO Abiola's children. We must uphold the integrity, fame and humanity of Chief MKO Abiola."
In a telephone interview with THISDAY yesterday night, Abdul further alleged that some of the assets of his late father were generating money, and expressed disappointment that aside Kola, Agboola and Deji, other members of the family were not benefiting from them.
He listed the Abiola International School and the leased hangers of the defunct Concord Airline as some of the assets generating money.
Efforts to speak to Kola on Abdul's allegations proved abortive. Calls to his phone line were not answered. He also did not respond to a text message sent to him.