All Progressive Congress’ chieftain Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the immediate past governor of Edo State has stated clearly the efforts made by the Nigeria Labour Congress to seek Late MKO Abiola’s freedom while in detention which was later declined by Abiola.
He nevertheless regretted that a sincere move by labour leaders to free Abiola from the military’s detention, did not work out as planned because the late politician declined the offer.
He said, “When Abiola was in prison, we made several efforts to see him but the military were blocking it. But finally one day, we went there and (a former NLC President), Paschal (Bafyau) who led us to him, said, ‘sir, we want you to accept the bail with all the conditions attached to it.”
“We told him that these guys are ready to keep him in prison for a long time and ensure that he will not be able to come out alive.
“The late head of State, (Sani) Abacha has asked Abiola to go and make a national broadcast withdraw his earlier statement of pronouncing himself president. But Abiola said, ‘I will remain here in prison; I will not do their bidding.
“Abacha eventually died and Abiola also died. Today, Abiola’s children can go anywhere and say I am Abiola and they will be respected.”
He also cited an instance when Bafyau led labour leaders, including a young activist, who he simply identified as Muhammed, on a visit to the late Abiola.
He added that Paschal, after the meeting, introduced Muhammed to Abiola as a young Nigerian who wished to go for further studies in the United Kingdom.
“Abiola said, ‘Waoh’ and asked Paschal, who was sponsoring him. Paschal said we were still looking for resources to help him.