Olusegun Obasanjo, an ex-President of Nigeria has revealed how the late former United States Ambassador in Nigeria, Walter Carrington, warned him about an impending arrest in 1995.
According to Obasanjo, Mr Carrington urged him not to return to Nigeria in 1995 to avert an arrest for his alleged involvement in a failed military coup by the Sani Abacha military government.
This disclosure was made by Obasanjo in a condolence letter he sent to the family of Late Amb. Carrington.
Recall that The Street Journal reported that Ambassador Carrington, who was the U.S. Envoy to Nigeria from 1993 to 1997, died last week Tuesday at the age of 93.
Obasanjo, in a condolence message circulated by his spokesperson, Kehinde Akinyemi, said Mr Carrington, during his tenure, helped Nigeria transit from military rule to democracy.
Mr Obasanjo added that the deceased offered him political asylum in the US during the regime of General Abacha, in 1995, following his implication in a failed military coup that same year, which he declined.
Obasanjo remained in Jail until 1998 when Abacha died.
Late Amb. Walter Carrington
“But he did not stop it there, he offered me political asylum by his government in the US. That was both touching and assuring, but I decided that tempting and assuring as the offer was, I would not take it. I came back and was arrested and imprisoned by Abacha. No doubt, his generous assistance to my family while I was a political prisoner makes me forever indebted to him.
“When I was in prison, he was one of the few foreign Ambassadors who regularly visited my wife (Stella Obasanjo) to encourage her and to find out how I was doing in prison. I can proudly say he was a true friend and brother.”
“He was committed to improving humankind through the fairness, kindness, optimism and intelligence he brought to bear on all his undertakings, and through the righteousness, humanness and harmony he promoted in the US as a human rights activist and indeed across the world,” he wrote in his message.
“Walter wasn’t just a pride to America and Americans, he was also a pride to all the people of African descent. His involvement in the many causes in Africa cannot be overemphasised. He was always looking out for his kinsfolk both at home and abroad.”
“It is right that people from around the world at this point in time have been generously pouring encomiums on your late husband. I am, therefore, using this medium to add my voice to theirs in recognizing his outstanding commitment and devotion to the advancement of humanity.”
Obasanjo prayed that God grants the Carringtons the fortitude to bear the loss of their patriarch.