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About the Show

We all grew up hearing about ‘June 12’, but how well do you know what really happened? You might think it was just an election, but June 12 explains so much more about the frustrations, excitement and contradictions that make Nigeria the complicated country it is. How so? Let’s find out together.

The Republic
is a narrative podcast series exploring pivotal Nigerian and broader African historical events and figures. In our first season, host Wale Lawal traces the significance of the June 12 1993 election, 30 years on. June 12, which marked the political rise of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale ‘M. K. O.’ Abiola and culminated in his arrest and death, no longer feels inanimate. Why was it such a pivotal moment? What did it feel like to experience it? And why has it remained engrained in Nigeria’s political consciousness?

Read our introduction to Season 1.

The Republic is now available, wherever you listen to podcasts.


Wale Lawal is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Republic.

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OCT 22 2023 × SEASON 1: EPISODE 1

IBB: The ‘Evil Genius’
Our six-episode miniseries launches with the story of the military president who promised democracy. 

OCT 29 2023 × SEASON 1: EPISODE 2

MKO: The Man Nigeria Waited to See
In our second episode, we’re asking, how did a poor, ‘nameless’ son of a cocoa trader born in the old Yoruba city of Abeokuta go on to become the almost-president of Nigeria? 

NOV 05 2023 × SEASON 1: EPISODE 3

SDP & NRC: Two Sides of the Same Coin
How do you control a democratic transition? You create the illusion of it. Our six-episode miniseries continues with a deep dive into the IBB regime’s two-party smokescreen.   

NOV 12 2023 × SEASON 1: EPISODE 4

June 12: Freest and Fairest of Them All
After eight years of anticipation, and eight years of promises from General Ibrahim Babangida’s junta, Nigerians were finally about to have their say at the ballot box. In this week’s episode, we head to the polls!

NOV 19 2023 × SEASON 1: EPISODE 5

June 12: Hope Deferred
On the 23rd of June 1993, just eleven days after June 12, the election that had inspired so much hope, Nigerians had their fears materialize when IBB announced he was annulling the election. How did Nigerians react to this?

NOV 26 2023 × SEASON 1: EPISODE 6

June 12: The Rest Is History
Buckle up as we enter the final stretch of MKO Abiola’s presidential journey.