Brief Bio of Late Nigerian Businessman and Politician MKO Abiola.
Late MKO (Moshood Kashimawo Olawale) Abiola (GCFR)
Late Chief MKO Abiola was a businessman, publisher, politician, philanthropist, former Aare Ona Kankafo of Yorubaland as well as Baba Adinni of Yorubaland – August 24 1937 – July 7 1998.
The late politician was an Egba man from Abeokuta (Southwest Nigeria) He was a product of a humble background; reportedly his father’s 23rd child but first to survive infancy. His name Kasimawo: ‘Let’s wait and see’ attests to the experience)
First business: though he supported his father’s business it’s reported that his first personal business was selling firewood which he harvested in the woods, and through that he was augmenting his family’s income. He was a musician that led a band for food and later money and the proceeds thereof supported his family as well as his education at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta.
He didn’t become a publisher later in life just to fill a void in that he was an editor in the high school mentioned earlier. And yes he was a politician, in fact he forayed into politics as a teenager.
He started his professional life in 1956 as Bank Clerk at Barclays Bank, Ibadan he also worked at Western Region Finance Corporation before getting Government scholarship in 1960.
The late businessman was an alumnus of University of Glasgow, Scotland and he bagged First Class in Accountancy in the institution. After he returned to Nigeria he worked at Lagos State University Hospital as Senior Accountant and from there to Pfizer and finally ITT Corporation where he climbed the corporate ladder to a desirable position – Vice-President of the organization in Africa-cum-Middle East.
He had his certificates, used his skills smartly and providence smiled on his smartness. Certificates plus your skills will take you to the top of the corporate ladder where the feast is plenty and that’s fame and riches and also opportunity to execute your negotiating skills to advance your fortune.
If your career-environment allows it, ‘work with not just for’ in that don’t just work in a company, work to have equity to be part of the owners of the organization. The late businessman wanted equity at Pfizer but had no opportunity and so he applied for another job – ITT (International Telephone & Telegraph)
A company can be a creditor but if her customers don’t pay their debts it could be the inevitable death of the business. Late MKO was able to clear the debts owed ITT by the military at the time and that was (is) noteworthy. I saw industry, diligence and doggedness before the debts were cleared. He consolidated on the success to hold better, bigger position in the company. I see creativity and novelty behind the establishment of RCN (Radio Communication Nigeria) and smartness, advanced creativity in recognizing and attracting customized clients – Nigerian military. Late MKO used the success of his side business (RCN) to get equity he requested from ITT but wasn’t initially granted – as reported by the media.
The late business magnate had many investments and business interests – agriculture (Abiola Farms); Abiola Bookshops which make books available and affordable to the masses; telecoms (Radio Communications Nigeria) Food; (Wonder Bakeries) Media; (Concord Press) Transportation (Concord Airlines) Oil & gas (Summit Oil International Ltd) banking (Habib Bank) Sports (Abiola football club) and so on.
The late businessman married his first wife Simibiat Atinuke in 1960.
He married Kudirat Olayinka (who was martyred in the heat of the June 12 crisis) in 1973 and so on.
The politician won the 1993 Presidential Primaries of his political party SDP and later won the presidential election of June 12 1993 which was unfortunately annulled and fortunately the day is now DEMOCRACY DAY in Nigeria.
It’s June 12. Happy Democracy Day. Nigeria.
Photo credits: Channels TV/Facebook