- Chief Olusegun Obasanjo claimed Abacha plotted to kill him
- The former president said God intervened and he survived the attempt
- He narrated how Yar'Adua was killed by Abacha's men
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed how Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Chief MKO Abiola were killed by General Sani Abacha killer squad.
The Punch reports that the former president gave this revelation at a dinner programme organised by an inter-denominational Christian organisation, Christ The Redeemer’s Friends International of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 39 Chapter.
Obasanjo said that the late Yar’Adua was injected with a deadly virus and that he was next in line to be killed in detention but God intervened in saved his life.
He said: “Two people had earlier told me Abacha promised that three of us would not come out of prison or detention alive; myself. Shehu Yar Adua and MKO Abiola. And two of them did not come out alive. So, that I came out alive, maybe God has a purpose. And therefore if the purpose is for me to serve the people and by so doing, serve God, then so be it.
“Abacha claimed that I was plotting a coup. I wasn’t the first to be arrested. When Shehu (Yar’Adua) was arrested, I tried to plead for his release. When Abacha said he didn’t know about Shehu’s arrest, I said to him, ‘the number two man in this country cannot be arrested without you knowing.’
“In Abacha’s plan, he left God out of it and because he left God out of his plan, it (his government) eventually failed. There is God’s hand in the life of each and every one of us and every institution. I believe that very well.
“When I was arrested, they took me to a house in Ikoyi (Lagos) and that became my abode (I was) in isolation, for three months.
“In the meantime, there were national and international pressures for my release, (former US) President Jimmy Carter was one of the world leaders that came to ask for my release. Some African leaders like Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe came. I believe it was because of those pressures that I was released from isolation in Ikoyi where I was under house arrest.”
Obasanjo described the day he was court-martialled as the worst in his life.
He said: “I must say that, that day, in a split second, it felt like the worst day in my life. What flashed through my mind was that I was forever ruined. I asked myself, ‘What did I do to deserve this? Is this what I get for serving Nigeria?’ But then, I told myself again that this was not done to me by Nigeria, but that one man did it for me.”
“I was to go to Jos (prison) and Yar’Adua was to go to Port Harcourt (prison). In Jos, I was visited by my colleagues, including Yakubu Danjuma, Joe Garba, Domkat Bali, many of our colleagues, and then family members and friends.
“Then a decision was made that I was becoming too popular in Jos prison and I had to be transferred to. Yola prison which is a native authority prison and I don’t need to tell you what life was there.
“In Jos prison, before I was transferred to Yola prison, they had decided that Shehu Yar’Adua and myself should be poisoned. So, they took him from Port Harcourt prison to Abakaliki. In the process, he was injected with the virus that killed him. The same was supposed to be done to me. The man who came took me from the prison to a guest house in the GRA in Jos, said, ‘We know you have problem with cholesterol so I have to take your blood for a test.’ Then I said, ‘Not on your life, I don’t have any problem of cholesterol.’
“I was slightly diabetic. But God had taken care of it because I was checking my blood sugar almost on a daily basis and it had become better than normal. So, I refused him (the man) touching me with anything. So, they took me to Yola and he said, ‘when you get to where you are going, we will come again.’”
Obasanjo revealed that the attempt to kill him was thwarted by a prison doctor.
“The doctor was a professional man in charge of the General Hospital in Yola. He listened to my case that I needed special food because I was diabetic. He said the specialist would come to see me. The specialist turned out to be somebody from Okeogun in Oyo State. Two, he was a Baptist, and three, he had heard about me and knew me. So, he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t let anybody touch you with anything.’
“Within three weeks the man that came to me earlier returned again and said he wanted to take my blood. I said, ‘No, you have to get my doctor to come and take my blood for you.’ That was the arrangement between me and the doctor. And my doctor came and he brought a syringe and he took my blood and gave it to him. He now asked the man, ‘When would we have the result?’The man said, ‘Within 24 hours of my getting to Abuja.’I haven’t heard the result till today.”
Obasanjo said after he was released from prison, he contested the presidential election following pressure from some well-meaning people.
“Nigeria that was a pariah state became a darling (of the world).
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“What is the lesson for me? I developed in prison but unfortunately I was not able to sustain it. Maybe because there was nothing else to do in prison except to pray and fast. I used to fast a lot. On three occasions, I fasted for seven days, no water, no food… a unique power was given to me by God.
“In all these, God did not leave me alone, and I know that. I say to people that God has never let me alone nor disappointed me in spite of all. I am a sinner. It is not because of my goodness, but because of the grace of God, and the grace of God continues to abound.”
Meanwhile, Obasanjo faulted the current agitation embarked by Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators.
The former president who spoke on Friday at Effurun, Delta state insisted that the country would not breakup, noting that no sane being in his right state of mind would see separation as the way out for Nigeria's problems.
“Will any person in his right senses believe that the way out of our problems in Nigeria is separation? We have past that stage. We have many problems if we can talk about them and we must talk about them. We must find solution to them,” he said.
Watch a NAIJ.com TV video below of Obasanjo speaking about Nigeria's unity and issue of Biafra