I Will Not Speak On Abiola’s Death For Personal Reasons – Susan Rice
The desire of Nigerians to get a firsthand account of what led to the controversial death of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola may not be realized any time soon as one of the persons present during the time of his death, Ambassador Susan Rice has said that she will not make any comment on what transpired during the last moments of Abiola, for personal reasons.
Rice, who is the outgoing permanent representative of the United States of America to the United Nations (UN), was as at the Abiola died on July 7, 1998, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
She was said to be allegedly responsible for the cup of tea Abiola took minutes before he gasped for breath and eventually gave up the ghost.
Leadership correspondent had sought her comment over what happened before the late business mogul’ death, but Rice through her secretary said she would not be making any comments on the matter owing to her personal reasons.
Leadership also reported that former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Thomas Pickering who was also with the former Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate on the day he died, declined to make comments when a correspondent sent him an electronic mail.
Controversy had trailed the aftermath of the political impasse that followed the annulled June 12 election by the then Gen Ibrahim Babangida-led military junta as there were rumours that the late Abiola died as a result of a poisoned cup of tea that was personally handed to him by Rice in the presence of Pickering.
Information had it that the tea that Rice served Abiola had already been poisoned by agents of the then federal government of Nigeria.
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