WOMAN WARRIOR ON WEDNESDAY; KUDIRAT ABIOLA
•Late wife and lead champion of the late Chief MKO Abiola, businessman, philanthropist, and the acclaimed winner of Nigeria’s freest and fairest election on June 12, 1993.
•Stood at the forefront of the fight and struggle to end military dictatorship in Nigeria. She was actively involved in moving and sustaining the oil workers’ 12-week strike action against the military government; which succeeded in isolating and weakening the government in 1994.
•Strived for excellence in her deeds. Establishing three successful companies, one of which was a pharmaceutical supply company which meant a lot to her because she had wanted to study pharmacy but hadn’t been able attend university due to financial constraints, even though she was a top student in secondary school, even becoming the school’s senior prefect.
•She was new to politics but learned quickly and on her feet. Her multi-lingual ability was an asset to her husband during his campaign. Having been born and raised in the Northern region by a migrant family from the southern region of Nigeria, Kudirat spoke and understood both Hausa and Yoruba languages fluently, and used these to help her husband’s campaign and struggle to claim his stolen mandate.
•She was assassinated on June 4, 1996 on the orders of the military government of the late Gen. Sani Abacha who was a dictator and Nigeria’s 10th Head of State.
•Kudirat didn’t only leave behind an unforgettable legacy through her work, she also left 7 children who have carried on her work in various forms, and continue to make huge impact.
•One of her children is Hafsat Abiola, the first African President of Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative. The New York City Council named a street in front of the Nigerian consulate after her in 1998.