- A former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has narrated how he was almost rescued from prison
- The former president said some of his 'international friends' planned to rescue him in a helicopter
- He said he however rejected their offer and told them he would not leave the prison
A former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has revealed how he was almost rescued from the prison in a commando-style by some of his international friends.
Obasanjo while speaking at the 20th anniversary of the death of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, a retired major general and his deputy when he was military head of state from 1976-1979, said he rejected the offer made by his friends.
While he did not state the exact year the offer was made, the former president was in prison between 1995 and 1998 over allegations of coup plot against the Sani Abacha military regime.
Obasanjo said: "Some of my international friends sent a message that they were ready to storm the Yola prisons and rescue me in a helicopter and take me to safety in Cameroon, but I said no, if you do that I will not leave the prison."
Obasanjo was arrested alongside Shehu Yar'Adua in 1995 over an alleged phantom coup by the Abacha's regime.
They were both handed death penalty which was later committed to life imprisonment.
However, while Yar'Adua died in Abakaliki over alleged poisoning, Obasanjo was freed by the Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1998.
Speaking on his ordeal while in prison, the former president said: "When I learnt that Shehu was first arrested I asked Abacha. He said he was not aware. I said it is not possible for a former No 2 to be arrested without the knowledge of the current No 1. Thereafter, Shehu was released.
“Later, Shehu was arrested again. I was also arrested. We were detained at different locations and we never got to see again until we were sentenced. We thereafter met at Kirikiri maximum prisons.
”It was a mistake to allow us to be together again. There at Kirikiri, we discussed at length. We strategised on Nigeria. Unfortunately, he died in prison and he could not fulfill his dreams for the country in his lifetime."
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the former president was spotted in class for his thesis defence.
Obasanjo who went back to school after ending his tenure as the president of Nigeria was seen with some of his classmates and panelists at the National Open University (NOUN).
He was seen rehearsing some of his works in preparation for his defence as he also starred into his laptop.
#Biafra 50 lecture with Professor Osinbajo and former President Obasanjo - on NAIJ.com TV