But for the antagonism of Chief Kola Abiola, first son of acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the defunct Concord Newspaper, owned by the late business mogul, would have been revived, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd) has declared.
He revealed that Kola frustrated efforts by the newspaper’s management led by Dr (Mrs.) Doyin Abiola, to secure a much-needed N25m to revitalise the media organisation.
Concord Newspaper was proscribed by Late General Sani Abacha to scuttle plans by the late Abiola to reclaim his stolen mandate.
The newspaper was later reopened by the General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s junta but couldn’t muster funds to commence operations.
Nyiam, who took Kola to the cleaners for discrediting pro-democracy figures in the struggle to revalidate the June 12 mandate, said his actions amounted for why Concord Newspaper remains moribund.
The respected retired colonel said National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was close to revitalizing the newspaper until Kola moved against it.
He explained: “I can tell you that Kola has always been reactionary and often acted in ways that undermined MKO’s cause. I tell you of a real life story pertaining to ‘The Concord’ owned by his father.
‘’I am aware that at some point in 1999 after the restoration of democracy on May 29 and Tinubu had assumed office as Lagos State governor, the Concord management, led by Dr. (Mrs.) Doyin Abiola, needed N25 million to fully recapitalise the operations of Concord Press after five years of subversion by the Abacha junta.
“As governor, I am aware that Tinubu was willing to help Concord back to its feet. He offered to buy a giant generator earlier bought by MKO for Concord Workers Housing Estate and lying idle for N35 million for the Water Corporation of Lagos State. Tinubu was willing to buy this and pass the generator to the Lagos State Water Corporation then.”
He went on: “The deal was almost concluded, only for the same Kola to come and place a caveat emptor in the newspapers suddenly against the sale of the generator by Concord management to the Lagos State Government, thereby leaving Concord to continue to suffer in serious financial difficulties.
“No surprise, it did not take long before Concord finally went under. These are historical facts.”
* The Nation