By Edward Adamidenyo, Deputy Editor
Kola Abiola, the eldest son of the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, who is presumed to have won the June 12, 1993, presidential election, has joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) to run for the presidency in 2023.
Abiola was formally accepted into the party on Thursday at its national secretariat in Abuja by Falalu Bello, the National Chairman of the party.
While receiving Abiola, Bello said: “I formally welcome you into our fold. Your antecedents speak volumes.”
Earlier, Abiola said: “Today makes my formal inroad after 27 years, back into politics. I particularly picked to come back into politics through the PRP for some good reasons.
“I have gone back to the history of Nigeria to look at the party that truly represents Nigeria. I have gone back and I have found out that the oldest living party is the PRP; it still holds those ideals of what Nigeria and democratic practice should be like.”
According to him, “the PRP is a party that was started by the people and truly for the people. It is a party that has shown first, as its priority, internal democracy.
“I have come back to PRP to show Nigerians that not too long ago, we did things in the right way and the new entities that have come together nowadays forget that there was a Nigeria that did things right.
“I am one that believes in an equal opportunity be it employment, be it business, equally in politics and I believe this party represents all of these.
“Everybody should have equal opportunity, irrespective of age, religion and ethnicity and that is represented here,” Abiola said.
While raising concern over the low participation of youths in politics, he said: “We have a youth population that has been caught out of the system, the political process, The Trumpet gathered.
“The first thing I want to do is to disrupt the political process, to disabuse the minds of the youth about godfatherism.
“The way to do this is to give the true owners of Nigeria, that is, the 18 to 36 years age group that makes up over 75 per cent of the population, an opportunity for their voices to be heard and their numbers to count.”
He said PRP is the only party that could give youths such an opportunity to make their numbers count.
His father, MKO Abiola was an influential politician who took the political landscape by storm in 1993 when he ran for the presidency under the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
In what many thought was a political blitz, Abiola won on the first ballot securing popular votes in the North and South of Nigeria after promising to banish poverty by driving down the cost of food, goods and services.
He was however arrested and imprisoned after the military junta at the time headed by General Ibrahim Babangida annuled the elections.
Abiola later died while still in custody in controversial circumstances. The entrance of Kola in the Presidential race could rekindle old memories among Nigerians who still believe the family was unjustly denied the opportunity to rule Africa’s most populous country.