Why I allowed Abacha arrest me – Obasanjo

Former President Obasanjo has disclosed
reasons why he allowed former head of state,
Sani Abacha to arrest him in March 1995 for
allegedly conspiring abroad against the Abacha
regime, despite many opportunities to escape
and accept an offer of political asylum by the
Obasanjo was among the opposition lights that
were against the regime of the late Head of
State, General Sani Abacha, who ordered their
arrest, trials and sentences but spared their
lives due to international pressure. Abacha
was the most senior military officer in the
illegal contraption called Interim National
Government led by Chief Ernest Shonekan
after the military president, General Ibrahim
Babangida, was forced to resign over the
historic annulment of the June 12 June, 1993
election won by Moshood Abiola, who later
died in the military gulag.
In his newest controversial memoir, ‘My
Watch’, he narrated his opposition to the
Abacha regime which led him to the formation
of National Unity Organisation which he
intended to use to force Abacha to quit power.
According to his narrative, Obasanjo had been
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 me. This was clear from his apparent
ambition for life presidency of Nigeria in
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 friends and
associates and his 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.”
Narrating further, Obasanjo said,
“Rumours about Abacha taking action against
me started to spread and ring louder and
louder. I had no fear because I had done
nothing to cause me fear or anxiety. I was
about my life and my business
unperturbed.”Source: Leadership

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