By LIZZY OKOJI
ABUJA- The family of late Moshood Abiola (MKO) has chided journalist, David Hundeyin, for claiming that the democracy hero was involved in narcotics.
Hundeyin had in an article titled: “Bola Ahmed Tinubu: From Drug Lord To Presidential Candidate” alleged that Abiola traded in hard drugs while he was alive.
Reacting to the claim in a statement signed by Yushau Abiola, on behalf of Kudirat’s children, the late MKO’s family said Hundeyin’s unfounded allegation exposed him as a hack journalist who had engraved his name in the sand of fake news.
This is even as Abiola’s children maintained that the journalist was only rabble-rousing and intended to drag the legacy of the acclaimed winner of the June 12 presidential election in the mud.
They added that neither the late businessman nor his companies’ bank accounts were ever frozen as erroneously claimed by Hundeyin, adding that Abiola was so respected and dignified that he was the only Nigerian to have been so far allowed to enter the United States of America without his international passport.
“Our father, Chief M. K.O. Abiola, GCFR, died a hero 24 years ago, after being victimised by the military junta.
”He died confronting the military dictatorship, determined to secure the mandate of the Nigerian people given in the historic June 12 elections, so that Nigerians regardless of their backgrounds, could live and aspire freely!
“It is disheartening that his legacy is being dragged in the mud by David Hundeyin for his own ulterior motives.
“The completely unfounded narcotics related allegations by David Hundeyin in relation to our father not only raise questions about his motive for including these concocted facts but also expose Hundeyin as a hack journalist.
“Yet when it came to this grave allegation about our father he merely quoted an American tabloid, the only source he could find for his malicious purposes,” the family said.
They said when the Daily Beast took a stab at this story some years ago, a tantalising hint was mentioned in passing about an unimaginable parallel between 1993 and 2023.
“He gave the impression that the article in the Daily Beast was a recent article which drew a parallel between Bola Ahmed Tinubu and M.K.O. but this article was published in 2015.
“Strange is it not, that he provided no other evidence of same? Some research! An investigative journalist, indeed.
“Indeed, our family name ranks so high in the U.S. that a prominent corner in New York, right next to corners named after Nelson and Winnie Mandela and Yitzhak Rabin, was named after his wife, our mother, Kudirat Abiola,” they stated
The family in the statement noted that when this unfounded allegation first appeared in the said American tabloid in 2015, they confronted John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, who was alleged to have said that MKO was accused of narcotics trading.
They stated that Campbell said that he knew of nothing concrete but a rumour he had heard from the military leadership, which he presumed was being peddled by persons who sought a justification for the annulment of the June 12 election.
The family challenged Hundeyin to provide results of his “so-called” research showing involvement of MKO in narcotics other than the false allegations in the 2015 Daily Beast article. (NAN)