Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday reminisced on his close relationship with the late American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Walter Carrington, in the heady days of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha in 1995.
Obasanjo said the late diplomat offered him political asylum in the United States of America (U.S.) before the late military dictator arrested and imprisoned him.
Obasanjo, who wrote this in his condolence letter to Carrington’s wife, Mrs. Arese Carrington, said: “Indeed, I recall, sometime in 1995, that on one of my trips to Copenhagen (Denmark) to attend World Social Summit as Human Development Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), I received the most touching of the warnings, pieces of advice and offers to me from Ambassador Carrington. He called me in Copenhagen and told me categorically that I was going to be arrested on returning home and, therefore, advised me not to return home.
“But he did not stop it there. He offered me political asylum by his government in the U.S. 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 to encourage her and to find out how I was doing in prison. I can proudly say he was a true friend and brother.”