Obasanjo reveals why he was arrested by Abacha - Abiodun Lambaba Blog



Monday, 2 July 2018

Obasanjo reveals why he was arrested by Abacha

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that he formed the National Unity Organization in order to compel Abacha to relinquish power. This was as he revealed the reasons why he allowed himself to be arrested by the Abacha regime despite many opportunities to escape and accept an offer of political asylum by the United States.

The former president was among the opposition lights that were against the régime of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, who ordered their arrest, trials and sentences but spared their lives owing to international pressure.

Abacha was the most senior military officer in the Interim National Government led by Chief Ernest Shonekan after the then military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, was forced to resign over the annulment of the historic June 12 June, 1993 election presumed to have been won by Moshood Abiola, who later died in the military gulag.

But in  his latest memoir dogged by controversy, ‘My Watch’, Obasanjo said he was at that time meeting with some leading politicians and non-politicians in every part of the country on the need to free the country from the jackboot of Abacha whom he said, “was so much below average as an officer that no serious attention was paid to him until he was made to announce the coup.

“I was not in doubt that Abacha would attempt to silence. This was clear from his apparent ambition for life presidency of Nigeria and his insatiable appetite for corruption; his looting directly from the Central Bank; his need to silence everyone that could oppose him in any form; his actions towards my close surveillance of me by his security both within and outside Nigeria.”

Obasanjo recalled how during his visit to Kenya for the funeral of the father of the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, where the Nigerian Embassy officials wrote a report indicting him, stating that “since Odinga was in opposition to the government of Kenya when he died, I had gone to Kenya to create problems for the Kenyan government by supporting the opposition, and the Nigerian government should restrain me from causing great problems between Nigeria and Kenya.”

Recounting further, the former president wrote “Rumours about Abacha taking action against me stated to spread and ring louder and louder. I had no fear because I had done nothing to cause me fear or anxiety. I was going about my life and my business unperturbed.”

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