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Late MKO Abiola’s family disowns late patriarch’s widow championing Yoruba Nation cause

Jamiu Abiola described those agitating for the secession of the Yoruba race from Nigeria as inconsequential in the scheme of things.

The family of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly known as MKO, has distanced itself from the agitation for the Yoruba Nation being championed by the widow of the late patriarch, Modupe Onitiri-Abiola.

Jamiu Abiola, one of MKO’s sons who declared the family’s position on the matter, said the family does not recognise Modupe as Abiola’s widow.

Jamiu, a Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties in the Office of the Vice-President, stated this in a recent interview with The Punch.

Modupe caused a national ruckus last week when she declared that the South-West region had become a sovereign nation independent of Nigeria.

In a viral video on social media, the middle-aged woman proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Yoruba, noting that the region had seceded from Nigeria effective Friday, April 12, 2024.

“We are Indigenous people, we’re sovereign people, we’re ethnic nationalists. We’ve decided to secede from Nigeria on November 20, 2022. And today, April 12, 2024, we decided to finally leave Nigeria.

“I, Modupe Onitiri-Abiola, proclaimed the sovereignty of the democratic republic of Yoruba today, Friday, April 12, 2024. From today henceforth, Yorubaland has commenced its own republic. By that virtue, it’s now become the newest nation in the world,” she said in the clip.

Suspected Yoruba nation agitators invade Oyo govt secretariat in army uniform [Twitter:@HQNigerianArmy]

Onitiri-Abiola’s video surfaced minutes after security operatives arrested some Yoruba Nation agitators, who invaded the Oyo State House of Assembly and Governor’s Office in Ibadan, the state capital, on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

The irredentists later claimed that they were acting on the order of Modupe, who instructed them to effect the secession of Yoruba from Nigeria by seizing the Oyo seat of power.

The secessionist leads a group known as ‘Ominira Yoruba’ and she has vowed not to rest until the region pulled out of the Nigerian federation.

The development sent shockwaves across the country with many citizens, especially the people of the South-West, calling for urgent action by the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, Jamiu said though secessionist agitations are not uncommon in countries as big and diverse as Nigeria, those calling for the secession of the Yoruba race are negligible and, therefore, inconsequential in the scheme of things.

He said he didn’t take Modupe’s controversial declaration seriously, stressing that he doesn’t consider her as his stepmom.

“Even though I don’t consider the woman to be my stepmom, she is bearing my father’s name, which in itself, is a tragedy given the action she has taken.

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“My father would have been devastated about this incident if he were alive. He loved the unity of this country so much and he would have even sacrificed his presidential mandate to preserve it if he felt that he needed to do that.”

Jamiu reiterated that the Abiola family can’t support the division of a country like Nigeria, given the sacrifices their late patriarch and his wife, Kudirat Abiola, made in the struggle for her democracy.

He emphasised that the family is committed to Nigeria’s unity as that’s the only way the country can achieve its divine purpose.


“As earlier said, the family cannot be supportive of her declaration in any way. No right-thinking Abiola can support the division of a country like Nigeria. Two prominent members of our family; my father and mother laid down their lives for its unity and progress.

‘In this family, we believe that Nigeria has a divine purpose, and that purpose can only be achieved when it is united. There is nobody related to my father who would not view Nigeria’s unity as sacrosanct,” he added.