By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Kola Abiola, the eldest son of late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of June 12,1993 presidents election, has said he will not react publicly to the recent comment by his half-sister, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, comparing their father to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Bello had recently declared his intention to run for president on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and appointed Abiola-Costello, one of Kudirat Abiola’s daughters, as the Director-General of his campaign organisation.
The Kogi governor’s campaign slogan is ‘Hope 2023’, which is similar to the slogan used by Abiola during the 1993 presidential election campaign.
Speaking on her appointment, Hafsat had said she accepted it because Bello shares some qualities with that of her father.
Reacting to the development, Tundun Abiola, another daughter of the late businessman, said Hafsat does not have the right to “exploit” their father’s name for Bello’s benefit.
But speaking on Friday while featuring on ‘One on One,’ an ARISE TV programme, Kola said he would rather not speak on the matter in public, adding that he doesn’t know the Bello “well enough” to comment on if he deserves the comparison.
“My late father, MKO, is a national brand that belongs to all Nigerians. We’re the custodians of that brand and for me, as the head of the family, my response is a lot more mature. I’d rather not discuss family issues publicly. That’s my role. It’s to protect that, and not just to protect that, but to protect what MKO himself stands for.
“So, I won’t comment publicly on that. If I have my comments, when I see Hafsat, I’ll make them directly to her or any family member that wants my comments. But publicly, I’d never do that.
“They’ve come to me to ask and I’ve told them what I think and that’s it. It’s family. I won’t go public. I have to play the mature one here and that’s always been my role even at my own expense, detriment, because that’s the role I’m meant to play.
“I think I’ve met Yahaya Bello once or twice. I don’t know him to talk about him. I don’t know him well enough. Also, he’s a lot younger than I am anyway. I’m not so old either, but that’s that,” he said.