In 1993, Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after, the election was annulled and a military coup brought General Sani Abacha into power. M.K.O Abiola was imprisoned and his wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement. She organized rallies and the longest oil workers strike in Nigerian history, winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle against human rights violations perpetrated by the military dictatorship. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996.
In The Supreme Price, director Joanna Lipper elegantly dovetails past and present as she tells this story through the eyes of eldest daughter, Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later. Determined not to let her parents’ ideals die with them, Hafsat has dedicated her adult life to continuing their fight for democracy. Returning to Nigeria after years abroad, she is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society.
An intimate rendering of the epic and tragic intergenerational Abiola family saga, The Supreme Price provides an unprecedented look inside Africa’s most populous nation from the perspective of women, exposing a deep history of political corruption and a culture where a tiny circle of political elites monopolize billions of dollars worth of oil revenue while the vast majority of the 165 million Nigerian people remain impoverished.
- Joanna LipperProducer/Director