Welcome to our Women In History series, where we share stories about women in the history of Nigeria
Alhaja Kudirat Abiola will always be remembered for how she fought fearlessly for Nigeria’s democracy.
Born in 1951 in Zaria, she attended Muslims Girls High School, Ijebu Ode and married late Chief Moshood Abiola at the age of 18. She was the second of his four wives.
Although Kudirat never attended university, she used her bride price to help to pay for the education of her two sisters.
Her journey into politics began when her husband declared his intentions to contest as the president of Nigeria. She supported her husband through advocacy and activism.
Shortly after her husband won the 1993 election, which was annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda, he was detained by the Nigerian Government.
Alhaja Kudirat led the fight for her husband’s release and the restoration of his mandate.
Alhaja Kudirat mobilised market women, students, activists and other human rights community to fight for the struggle of democracy.
On the 4th of June, 1996, Alhaja Kudirat was attacked in her car by unknown gunmen, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, allegedly on the orders of the military government of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
Sadly, prior to her death, she had complained of receiving death threats from unknown people.
Radio Democracy which was launched to campaign against the military rule and fight for democracy was renamed Radio Kudirat in her honour. The radio was said to have been backed by the American, British, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian governments.
Kudirat Abiola’s murder case is said to be one of the longest criminal trial in the Nigeria’s history, the duration in prison calendar is equivalent to 20 years.