Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Shaking hands with Hafsat Abiola

I recently attended a production of Seven, the story of Seven inspirational women, from Afghanistan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, Russia and of Hafsat Abiola from Nigeria. You may remember the story of Mukhtar Mai, which became international news, she was gang raped as a child by another family as an “honour” punishment, and instead of committing suicide as society expected of her, she brought her rapists to justice and started building schools for women and girls, unfortunately her fight is not over.  The part of each woman was read by an actor, the stories are of pain, but of hope as each woman fought for her own rights and those of others.

Hafsat Abiola from Nigeria, was a student in America when she was asked to sign a petition to release the newly elected Nigerian president, Moshood Abiola from prison, the man was her father.

1993 – Ibrahim Babangida allows elections, but when civilian Moshood Abiola wins, he reneges, annuls the elections and throws Abiola into jail

1998 – Abacha dies suddenly and is succeeded by Major General Abdulsalam Abubakar. Chief Abiola is found dead in his prison cell a month later. (from Bradt Nigeria Guide)

After the production, Hafsat Abiola who was in the audience, spoke about the show, it was the first time she had seen it performed in Nigeria, and also spoke about the work she is doing to campaign for democracy. In April 2011, Nigeria’s 51st year, the next election will be held, Hafsat is part of a campaign called Enough is Enough encouraging people to RSVP, Register to Vote, Select, Vote, Protect your vote by calling for accountability.
 As Nigeria approaches these elections, if you are someone who prays then please pray, for a calm free fair peaceful election, with an outcome that is good for Nigeria and Nigerians.

And whatever happens don’t give up, Hafsat closed with this poem, by Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary General of the United Nations, who died in a plane crash during the time he was trying to bring peace to the Congo

And lonely,
So tired
The heart achesMeltwater trickles
Down the rocks,
The fingers are numb,
The knees tremble.
It is now,
Now that you must not give in.

On the path of the others
Are resting places,
Places in the sun
Where they can meet.
But this
Is your path,
And it is now,
Now that you must not fail.

If you can,
But do not complain.
The way chose you-
And you must be thankful.


  1. Hey.. i dint see you weep!! lol.. thanks for posting this poem. i am glad to recite it again!!
    Cheers and enjoy your touring.

  2. I wrote a poem too, iam not asking for a compesation only if you would provide opportunity in cargo currier, you know my email already ,okoyi3001@yahoo.com, there is no story without me i was part of the whole story, Right from the time Abacha was annauncing the coming back of Army to the political scane, i was in a village called yunusari Travelling to toshia,to me that was the begining of time, Later i was transfered to Askira \uba in Borno where i felt illness, i cannot say with word the sickness deformed me i know the alternative is to seek for organisation that care, vso though i have not heard of it before i meet with mr. Edumon toolan who was a mathmatic in Lassa, village he is a vso volunteer i just only told him about my experience with IAS cargo Airline, want to seek way of geting back to IAS, vso is what i shoud do now, with Robin, Graham, world this what of me to relocate to my state from dreded Borno state nobody believe that i could abadon the Police for a farming, i missed my children and took up my hoe. but nothing come as a reword untill i relocated to Abuja, When relocation of federal capital to Abuja was announced, and as i was entering Abuja for the first time tear ran through my eyes for joy of what i have not dream of a good thing to come, to relocate the sit of Federal Government from Lagos to Abuja . And now Do Know what can you do About Aboila Babangida case? it is very unfortnate then and that is what we hope to happen to void the election of Abiola And Babagana Kingibe. why becouse in aur part very deferent from IBB, term of annulment, there were no election in my area, and sundenly they announced MKO Abiola won the elction, te annulment was justified by the fact that election did not hold in many places before the colation and the subsquent annulmentt everybody was relieve of electoral malpractice. Thank God that have past and now here we are in 2011, may god bless Nigeria [Amin]

  3. The correct email is okoyi2001 and not 3001 please.