…Continued from part one.
In case you missed the PART ONE, please click THE EVILS OF PAST NIGERIAN LEADERS AND THEIR ASSOCIATES (PART ONE)
Let us go back a little bit. The lady, Gloria Okon, identified as a drug courier for IBB and his wife, who was she? Is she still alive or not?
Well Dr. Taiwo Ogunade, like I said, my colleague, has already told us the whole story. What else would you want me to add?
What did he say?
He said that Gloria Okon is still alive and that she changed her name and lives in London.
You want to challenge her to come into the open and say what she knows?
Well, Dr. Ogunade said it and nobody has contradicted him. I am waiting for the day Babangida will come into the U.S. He goes everywhere and he doesn’t come here. His wife did, but we want him to come and then we shall dock him…
But he can argue that his situation is about subverting civil governance and not about being a drug baron or a murderer?
Let him come here and that issue would be … Do you know how many people he killed? Idiagbon is dead. But Buhari is still alive. He should speak up. He knows why his government was toppled. I challenge him to come out and speak out about why he was toppled.
I disagree with you on how you trump Buhari as honest and all that. He was in Abacha’s government. He served as Head of Petroleum Trust Fund. Idiagbon’s son also served with him. They were part of the looting gang…
You see, among thieves, there is honor. Tell me who doesn’t steal in Nigeria. When I say I respect him, Local Government Chairmen, they all steal. But you cannot compare between how Buhari would steal with Abacha’s voracious hunger for money, power, women and all of that. In the company of thieves, there is always a little bit of honor.
Like Babangida and Abacha, these are sophisticated highway armed robbers. They are rapacious looters. Their level of corruption you cannot compare with that of Buhari. That is what I am saying. Abacha, Obasanjo, Babangida are international highway robbers.
You can’t redeem Obasanjo and Babangida.
How did your family cope during your incarceration?
I have acknowledged my gratitude to a lot of people. Dr. kayode Fayemi, Prof. Wole Soyinka, people in the pro–democracy fold. People in Republic of Benin – especially the Yoruba speaking area. The West African Journalists Association, my friend, Bunmi Aborishade, Mr. Amikal Kabrah in Ghana,… Reporters Without Borders, Committee for the Protection of Journalists.
You haven’t gone back to Nigeria since you came in 1999.
Yes. And I am never going to go back. I am a U.S. citizen forever.
But you can be told that your struggle has culminated in democratic rule?
No. Which democracy in which Babangida still rules by proxy? In which David Mark who once said that telephone is not for the poor is leading the senate? Mark who stole the telecommunications sector dry is ruling again in our time. You say that is democracy? You know Muktar, one of the Babangida boys is now at the NSA. The same set of deceptive characters is ruling.
Which democracy? The one in which election results are ready before people go to cast their votes?
What should we do to earn the respect of the world?
There is no leadership in Nigeria. It is an organized chaotic place. The followership should push for complete reorganization of the country. Northerners demonstrated on June 12 that they cannot release people from servitude voluntarily. They are still in control. I don’t know why we suffer from collective amnesia. Everybody is suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD). They merely brought Obasanjo to assuage the injustice. Obasanjo was governing but he was not in power. He thanked them for the eight years they gave to him and they said “thank you boy”. That’s all they did (laughs).
If you own a house, you go into any room. You tell your tenants where they have as their own place. You don’t jump anyhow. They collected the keys from Obasanjo. That’s what they did. The Southerners are tenants in Nigeria, the Northerners are the landlords.
So they gave it to Obasanjo, supposedly on behalf of the Yorubas because of the death of Abiola. And then everybody started shouting and said eh! Look at the man who midwife the so-called democracy. Abdulsalami Abubakar, it was Babangida who planted him there. He wanted to retire, Babangida said don’t leave, you will still do one thing for me (laughs). And then Babangida called all the Generals and said they no longer needed to stage coup anymore.
We know who they would want to give power to because results were ready even before elections. That’s because the media is owned by the big guys. Most of the guys in the media are hungry. How much do they pay them? Once you lose your job that’s it. You saw how Godwin Agthey treated Godwin Agbroko. No insurance, nothing. Your family would just suffer. It is just struggle for survival in Nigeria, that’s all.
How many Nigerian newspaper houses have insurance for their workers? Is there any culture of insurance ever in Nigeria? The question is that how many of the journalists are even being paid what they are worth? Everybody is just doing it to put food on the table. Take your children to the school. Everybody is in survival mode. So which media? That’s why they carry same headline all the time (laughs).
Do they even have the money to look for stories? That is why they have myriads of awards. “Governor of the Year”. It’s all rubbish (Laughs). How many of them have the money to investigate stories? Is it Compass that is owned by Gbenga Daniel? People are suffering. Unless you are in government, you have to steal. It is that bad.
That is why I asked why my friend Dr. Fayemi should go and stay in Nigeria. There is no newspaper in Nigeria. Look at the way you guys are serializing the Biography of M.K.O. Abiola. I issued the challenge to Nigerian newspapers to serialize it free. None of them has been able to take up the challenge. Nigeria is a failure. That is why I am one hundred percent behind the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND). I don’t hide it. That is what we need in Nigeria. Until the landlord/tenant relationship between the north and south stops, the problem would continue. The North wants to corner power for life, that is not a nation, even if it happens like that in America, people will fight. You remember how the blacks rejected slavery here.
MEND may be accused of anarchy and brigandage…
No. The brigands are in Abuja. Those leaders in Abuja are the brigands. MEND is what Nigeria deserves. Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable. Should you and I be outside Nigeria if we have good leaders and good governance? If not for divine intervention do you know what Abacha was planning for Nigeria? When I published it that Abacha had stolen three billion were they not calling Razor junk publication?
All the stories that we are just hearing now, do you know that I carried them almost twenty years ago, while the so-called mainstream press were blackmailing me that my stories were junk. If Abacha did not die, would we have known that he coveted 7 billion out of Nigeria? That was a man who spent just five years. Do you know how much Babangida stole in eight years? Do you know how much Obasanjo stole in eight years? Plus the one he stole when he first came? How much were they paying him in the military that could make him own that Otta farm? So we know those who were stealing in Nigeria.
Just give me the opportunity and I would release the list of Nigerians and how much they own in their foreign accounts. When I published it in Razor in 1994, were they not blackmailing me?
All those stories that later came out at Oputa Panel in Nigeria, I was the first to publish them.
This disclosure after years of the fire-bombing of Dele Giwa, I was the only one who carried it in Nigeria. The so called established press, even his friends and partners were scared to touch it. They only wanted money to take care of their families. None of them could come out to say “ah why? Why did you have to kill our colleague?” The worst that could happen would be to go into exile. Must they practice in Nigeria? But because of money. And Babangida had the audacity to go to Newswatch and buy shares and they allowed him. That is how you know that most of Nigerian journalists are silly. They cannot fight for anything. They are only interested in money. That’s all. There is no one who is interested in honest leadership in Nigeria.
Why would you consider it fair to pin all the mis-governance on Hausa/Fulani area. You know other individuals from other tribes and parts of Nigeria are guilty as well…
People who are students of history, especially those who have studied the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy, if you have read a book by J.F.A. Ade – Ajayi, Africa in the Nineteenth Century, it is about the history, explained the history of Hausa State, talks of the arrival of one Baya Jida from the Middle East who married the Queen of Daura. I think from the present Katsina State.
And between them they had seven Hausa sons who are called the Banza Bakwai. And then there were seven other illegitimate sons of same man. The seven illegitimate sons later formed the fourteen Hausa States. Daura, Katsina, Zau Zau (Zaria), Kano, Rano and Biram, Gwandu
The Fulanis arrived in the Northern area and conquered the Hausas. Hausas and Fulani had historically been separate people. I studied African History at the graduate level and learned from respectable and unbiased professors; the best in the field. It is important that people understand this story, and eventually, the Fulani legitimized their power over the Hausas and imposed their religion and ways of life on the Hausas. Historically, Hausas were not Moslems; their religion was what they called Maigazuya or Maigazurra kind of religion. This comprised magic, witchcraft and all the rest, mixed with Islam. The Fulanis came and emasculated the Hausas, changed their religion and even their ways of life. Today, these Fulanis who speak Fulfude are in Northern Nigeria. They became Hausa-Fulani and are determined to turn Nigeria into an Islamic enclave. This is the war that Chief Obafemi Awolowo fought to resist; we are still fighting it today in Nigeria.
People do not know what is happening and that is why I said those who are ruling Nigeria, who are destroying that nation, you can count them, a handful of them. What they do is that they believe that political, religious and economic powers in Nigeria belong to them. They see others as second-class citizens, they are full of hubris. The way they operate is to plant Emirs in even non-Moslem and non-Hausa-Fulani towns and villages. Can you believe that Lafia in Nassarawa State with just a handful of Hausa-Fulani should be governed by an Emir? I served in Ilorin, Kwara State during my NYSC and could count the number of Hausa-Fulani resident in that city yet they are ruled by an Emir.
While we, in the South are running after money, not yet able to put our acts together, these people have perfected how they are going to rule Nigeria forever. Yorubas, Ibos,Ibibios, Efik, Benin, Kalabaris, Itshekiri and the rest in the South should wake up otherwise our children and grandchildren will curse us in our graves after we have gone. They will ask just as my children are asking me now in America; Daddy, what did you do? Are you just watching?. There is discrimination in Nigeria to the level that since the 1960’s no person outside the Hausa – Fulani oligarchy has ruled Nigeria. The two periods under southern leadership was more or less accidental.
The death, the assassination of Muritala Mohammed paved the way for Obasanjo to rule in the 1976 and after a democratically acclaimed election was held in 1993, the only person who could represent the genuine aspirations of Nigerians, M.K.O. Abiola was stopped by the oligarchy. They brought their man, Olusegun Obasanjo, to rule again. Between 1976-1979, Obasanjo was not even ruling; the power really was in the hands of the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the elder brother of the one there now; Umaru. The late General Olufemi Olutoye once narrated a story in his autobiography where he said, immediately Obasanjo was sworn into office in 1976 following Muritala Muhammed’s death, he came to Doddan Barracks and explained the situation of other ethnic tribes to him in federal appointments and the need to redress anomaly. He left after his discussions with Obasanjo and few hours later, Obasanjo set for him. The late Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, the then Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters was already waiting and in the latter’s presence, Obasanjo asked him to repeat what he had just said few hours earlier. He, Olutoye repeated what he told Obasanjo. The following morning, Olutoye’s retirement was announced on the FRCN. It was so bad in the 1970s down till the 1990s that some Southerners in the Nigerian Military had to change their names to Mohammed, Umaru and even converted into Islam to get promotion. I knew those Southerners who left the Nigerian Army out of frustration because of this nonsense. The fact of the matter is there is no Nigerian Army, what we have is Northern Nigerian Army. We cannot continue like this as a people, Southerners must assert their legitimate rights in their own fatherland or we go our separate ways, period.
Do you know I have more rights as a Nigerian-American here in the United States than my native land Nigeria?
So look at Nigerian history, by next year, we shall be fifty years old as a nation. No non-Northerner has always earned a genuine mandate for the aspirations of our people. They control the military; this is the reality, the internal colonization of the country that I am talking about.
The southerners must sit down and organize and say that it is either they are accepted as equals or everybody must go his own way.
What is the real legitimate reason for the annulment of June 12 elections? What do you know in view of the fact that some people claim IBB had intelligence, almost incontrovertible that Abiola was a CIA operative?
Some analysts say Babangida was pressurized, this and that, in annulling that election. That was hogwash. A person, a rogue, a coup plotter like Babangida, a former drug baron like Babangida, could not be pushed by anybody. They even said what they wanted you journalists to believe that some officers in the military put a gun to his head. That did not happen. Which officer could do that so that he could annul the election? These are the rubbish they are feeding Nigerians. It is so sad that those who called themselves leaders appear on television and lie barefaced to Nigerians and we believe them. These are not men and women of honor, I tell you. They lie, they steal and they kill. Since 1960, the act of governance, administration has always been in secrecy. There are two stories to every government decision and policy in Nigeria as I have pointed out to you. Two levels of information exist in Nigeria, to create a façade and avoid public
scrutiny. Political actors give us two stories, the official story and the unofficial story. And the Nigerian press goes with the official story. They are part and parcel of the official. That organized conspiracy was elevated to official pastime during the disastrous years called the IBB years. You know they always appeared on television or during their media chats with these ludicrous epithets; “We do not run our government on the pages of newspapers.” Remember?
Even the so-called Obasanjo “elected government, you hear them telling Nigerians “oh this government is not run on the pages of newspapers”.
Why should government not be run on the pages of newspapers? In a democracy? That is why you will know that there are two versions of stories. The truth, which only few people would be privy to are the official stories that they use the media to push out to the Nigerian Public. That was what happened on June 12.
We all know that June 12 is the ultimate culmination of the 1985 coup of survival which Babangida staged for self – preservation.
Let us be frank, the man did not want to leave the place. He was coming out with the idea of diarchy. He sent people like Mukoro Tony Nyiam to study the idea in Egypt, Santiago in Chile, and an admixture of civilian and military leadership. That was what the man was planning until Abiola decided to contest. Of course you know the story of how Abiola emerged as the candidate of the then Social Democratic Party S.D.P. Abiola was able to emerge as the presidential flag bearer as the SDP in Jos as late Major – General Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua discovered that, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe was pealing away votes from Atiku Abubakar for Abiola.
The forces of Atiku and Abiola teamed up and worked for Abiola’s victory. What they did was that six people met at the residence of Ambassador Yaya Kwade on Ibrahim Taiwo Avenue in Jos, M.K.O. Abiola, his first son, Kola, Dr. Jonathan Zwingina (later became a senator), Major General Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua himself, Atiku Abubakar and Yaya Kwande. And they agreed, and Abiola himself appended his signature that the forces of Atiku Abubakar will co-operate and that when Abiola emerged as the flag bearer that he would make Atiku Abubakar his running mate. Abiola agreed. He became the flag bearer of the SDP.
While they were there, because we have to be frank, it was not actually a primary, for those of us who were there, Abiola bought the ticket, because of his money power. Where Ambassador Kingibe was spending N500, N2, 000 to buy delegates, Abiola upped the stakes to N10, 000, N20, 000 per delegate. Unknown to Abiola, Babangida’s agents were filming everything live. They captured everything on tape. For example, Abiola gave N10m cash to Lamidi Adedibu. And the late Adedibu was captured on tape with wads of Naira notes shouting to Oyo State delegates “Eyin ara Ibadan, Owo Abiola ti de”, meaning “Folks from Ibadan, Abiola’s cash has landed” (laughs) openly. You know the man was a political jobber, half-illiterate. And suddenly, delegates for Atiku and Kingibe moved and switched to Abiola. Abiola instructed Kola to increase the stakes to N20, 000 against N500 from the others. It was cash and carry for Abiola. They were all caught on tape and that was the tape that Babangida sent to the State Department here in the United States to justify the annulment among other reasons
So all the trips to Abuja where he allegedly accused Abiola of operating for CIA….
No. He did not even give that reason. It was his crony, Sani Abacha, I am coming back to that issue, and it was Obasanjo who prompted Sani Abacha to stage the November 24, 1993 coup.
There were basically three reasons Babangida annulled the election.
First, the man didn’t just want to go. He wanted diarchy. That was why Olumilua, Adeleke, Ebri, Osoba, Otedola ruled with him for two years.
Secondly, there were deep – seated animosities between him and Abiola. Most Nigerians do not want to hear this that the money kept in Abiola’s account through an arrangement brokered by Babangida was one of the reasons that caused the problem. And of course when Maryam Babangida went to Beijing in China, there were reports that Abiola slept with the woman, which no one knew. Whether it was a lie, it was going to be a lie. These were the personal reasons. Babangida’s personal self entrenchment and the betrayal of each other over Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe’s money.
Doe was looking for where to keep the money he had stolen from the Liberian economy. He was looking for a place to keep the money for his wife Nancy and his children. So he approached Babangida. And Babangida told him “hey, I’m president here and I don’t want to put the money in my account. We have a friend who we can use”.
That was how he suggested Abiola and of course, Abiola had investment in Liberia. So the money was paid into Abiola’s Swiss Account.
After Doe died, Nancy, his wife came all the way from London to Nigeria. No Nigerian newspaper, most editors knew, but did not want to carry it. None of them could carry the story, the plan was for…. Babangida had suggested to Doe to go on exile at the thick of the Liberian war. He felt he could go to Saudi Arabia. The late Idi Amin also came to Nigeria and stayed in Sheraton Hotel during that period. Idi Amin called and advised Doe not to go on exile, that with timing, the war may eventually favor Doe. Idi Amin was the one who told him not to go on exile.
The Saudi authorities were ready to take Doe. As it eventually turned out, Doe was killed by Yormie Johnson’s soldiers. So his family, Doe’s families were now in need and they came to Nigeria to ask for what their bread winner had kept for them. Babangida welcomed them, and then he sent for Abiola. Abiola replied that, well the money was paid into the late Simbiat Abiola, his first wife’s account. And that he wasn’t the person holding that account, that it was Kola Abiola and that Babangida should call his first son, Kola. So Babangida felt insulted that this was a friend of both of them who was in need so that he could take care of his family and Abiola was saying all those kind of things. You know how I was able to authenticate the story? Through the late Shehu Musa Yar ‘Adua, because Chris Mamman, who eventually became Chief Press Secretary to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar took me to General Yar’ Adua’s office in Victoria Island. Nancy Doe, the wife of late Samuel Doe of Liberia is in London, you guys should track her down for an interview. Nigerian newspapers don’t have the resources in the first place to pursue that kind of story and secondly, no editor in Nigeria will dare venture to publish such a story. I told you that Babangida has corrupted virtually all of them either directly or indirectly. It’s just so bad that most editors are on the payroll of the SSS while some are moles in the newsroom. Some editors have to be looking over their shoulders when they are planning stories because you just don’t know who would betray you to the soldiers in power. I doubt whether that culture has changed much. As I have said, we have the finest and the best journalists in the world but the institutional obstacles in media houses are formidable. Nigerian Journalists are poorly paid, there is no insurance and the tools are not there for them to work.
Was Mr. Mamman there during this conversation?
Yes. It was General Yar’ Adua who gave us the story. And he also said it that when Abiola ran into trouble, that he said, that he, Yar’ Adua had warned Abiola that “are you sure”, he was telling Chris Mamman that he told Abiola “are you sure that our friend Ibrahim was ready to leave?” That was what he said he asked him when he wanted to run for the presidency. “I wanted to be president too, the man banned me. Are you sure you would not be banned?” That even if you win the election, are you sure that Babangida was ready to go?” All that with the Doe offer…” and Abiola assured him that he too had done a lot of favors for Babangida in the past, he was the one who gave him money when he struck in 1985, that the two of them had extended favors to each other, and that he did not see a reason why Babangida would not want him to succeed him. This was from the mouth of Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua in the presence of Chris Mamman. But most newspapers would not carry this story in Nigeria.
Babangida had been saying that Abiola would not last more than sixty days, ninety days. No soldier, no person put any gun on his head.
Have you met Babangida in person before?
I wouldn’t say that I met him one on one. The first time I saw him was in 1985, while I worked with Concord. One of Abiola’s wives had a baby and they were having the naming ceremony. Virtually all the top editors of Concord titles were in Abiola’s house that night at Moshood Abiola crescent at Ikeja; that was the first time I saw Babangida afar. In fact it was at that ceremony, the naming ceremony, that the details of the August 27, 1985 coup were fine tuned. That was where they planned everything. That was where Abiola released the money for the boys…
Ten million U.S. dollars cash. They wanted money. Babangida and his boys never knew whether the coup would succeed or not. And they needed money. There was no other safe meeting point were Babangida and Abiola would have a conversation. Rafindadi, the National Security Organization, NSO’s boss, had already bugged Babangida’s telephone lines. They used the innocent child’s naming ceremony as a cover – up. Duro Onabule was there that day. I think it was Ebenezer Obey that entertained, there were lots of musicians. I think Sikiru Ayinde Barrister also played that night. So while guests were in front of Abiola’s house, the military guys who came with Babangida, Abubakar Umar and the others retired to the back of Abiola’s house. It was in that place that they struck. They had chosen October 1 st, 1985 as I told you before but acted faster. Buhari is still alive; he should confirm or deny what I am saying… They knew the details. I am issuing that challenge. Up till today Buhari has not spoken on why he was toppled. He should speak out. Top editors can corroborate what I am telling you now. They know it. May be they’re waiting for Babangida to die and then they would come out with their “exclusive.”
You promised me you would reveal the story behind Abacha’s coup and how and the way he died.
Oh yes. Not only that, let me also tell you how Abiola died. When Babangida was chased out, his tail between his legs, or whatever he chose to call it, “stepping aside”, he had lost the initiative, right? They put up the contraption called ING (Interim National Government). He knew that his friend, the Chief of Army Staff and the Defense Minister, Sani Abacha would stage the coup. There were some young Army Officers led by Col. Bello Fadile, who wanted to stage a coup, to pre-empt Abacha’s take over. Those guys went to Ota farm to inform Obasanjo. Are you listening to me? Those guys were between the ranks of majors and colonels. They were young guys who wanted to stage a coup and remove Shonekan. We don’t know whether they were planning to revalidate June 12. They went to Obasanjo at Ota Farm, Ogun State to tell him and when they left, Obasanjo wrote a personal letter to Abacha. When Obasanjo saw that the boys, he knew they were
radicals. He knew that if those guys succeeded in their coup, there would be a lot of things that would happen in Nigeria which he did not like. So he wrote a personal letter to Abacha to do something about it. And that was more or less a coded way of telling Abacha to stage a coup. It was that letter that Abacha used to rope Obasanjo into the coup saga later on when Obasanjo snubbed Abacha. That letter got him in jail.
Abacha had also sworn to have his day against Obasanjo for spiting him by declining a ride in the presidential plane with him to Mandela’s inauguration in South Africa. He invited Obasanjo for a ride. Obasanjo said he would not be going. When Abacha staged his own coup in November 17, 1993 because of the personal letter of instigation from Obasanjo, Obasanjo refused the presidential ride. When Abacha got to South Africa, he saw Obasanjo and he said “ha ha”. When he came back, he had this attitude like Idi Amin that “if you are not my friend, you must be my enemy. And if you are my enemy, you must die”. (Laughs) So he got the message that this guy was trying to avoid him and that was why he did not ride with him to South Africa. That Obasanjo’s snobbery was what landed him in trouble. He was double-dealing. Consulted for Abacha in secret and avoided and distanced himself in public. For Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, he got into trouble for sponsoring a motion calling for return-to-civil rule in 1998 at the so-called Constitutional Conference set up by Abacha. He went to the NUJ Lighthouse to address a press conference and later that day, as Abacha’s hit men were after him, he jetted out of the country to Saudi Arabia. Three weeks later when he returned to Nigeria, Abacha ordered he should be picked up and you know the rest of the story.
So, how did Abacha die?
Remember there are two story lines to events in Nigeria. The official one that they dish out to you journalists which they use to hide the real truth, and the unofficial one which is the real thing but which would not be published in the newspapers. That is the real story which is usually unofficial. It still happens today. Remember how they desperately denied your story that Yar’ Adua was sick? You see that the man still looks very sickly. You cannot rely on government spokesmen or their ubiquitous press releases.
They want Nigerians and the international community to think that Abacha died in the hands of two Indian LovePeddlers. It is a lie. I was kidnapped and kept by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, DMI, at that time. You know being detained by DMI allows one has a peep into the real happenings in Nigeria. That is the secret of government. The DMI is where most intelligence stories come out.
This is the way Abacha died. Abacha was eliminated by the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy. There were three reasons why they took him out. When he came into power and removed the ING and refused to revalidate June 12 election, the Northerners were happy. While he was clamping the NADECO people and was hounding most of us in the radical media and threatened to destroy and kill people in Lagos, the oligarchy and followers were happy and cheering him.
But when Abacha decided to attack Yar’ Adua by administering toxic injection on him and the man was killed inside Abakaliki prison, killing the head of the Kaduna Mafia like that, the Northerners now knew too late that Abacha was not fighting for the oligarchy. It was the death of Musa Yar’ Adua that opened their eyes; that this so called Abacha had a personal agenda.
You know they were hiding his real identity. They were shielding his background that he was not originally from Nigeria. He was not Hausa/Fulani. He was Kanuri. They were not part of the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy. Although he adopted Kano as his home town he was originally from Chad. His family migrated from Chad. There are many of them in the North who joined the military at that time. There is no serious journalist in Nigeria who has been able to trace this guy’s background at least to three of four generations. If you go to Owo or Akure today, at least I would know the Abitogun family. Right. I would be able to tell the world that your great grandfather was a king of Ijebu – Owo… Nobody has been able to do that concerning the Abachas. In Nigeria, nobody is interested in all these kinds of things.
So the man…
Have you done that yourself?
That is why I am telling you that the man was not a Nigerian. If a child’s father died… I lost my father early in life, but when you hear, you know that there are only two Fayemiwos in Yoruba land. One family in Ilesha and our own in Owo. And then the Ogedengbe Yoruba intra tribal war happened, and was displaced.
But in the case of this man, Abacha was not a Nigerian. The Nigerian army was anything goes. When Yar’ Adua was killed by Abacha’s agent, if there was any godfather of the Hausa/Fulani, it was Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua. He was the head of the Kaduna Mafia. He was instrumental in advancing and placing many Northerners in the civil service. The current president Umaru and the former Chief of Supreme Headquarters, Shehu, were both born by the same man, Musa Yar’ Adua who was the first Minister of Lagos during Balewa regime under the Northern People’s Congress Government.
Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua was the only Nigerian Military officer promoted from a colonel to major general. He was never a brigadier.
The man was powerful and killing him because of political differences was an eye opener. And they said Abacha himself must go.
Abacha was planning to achieve three things by October 1, 1998. He was planning to remove the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, because Ado Bayero did not come to Aso Rock to commiserate with him over the death of Ibrahim Abacha, his controversial first son who died in the plane crash. That was another story on its own.
Abacha wrote it down.
Secondly, he was to move and arrest Babangida on October 1, 1998, as he would have been sworn in as civilian president. Babangida was to join Obasanjo and Abiola in prison.
Thirdly, he was planning to remove Abubakar Abdul Salam as Minister of Defense. These were the three things on his list of things to do. He wrote it down and it was on his table.
The people leaked out the information. His Chief Security Officer, CSO, Major Hamzat Al – Mustapha saw the information and went to Kano to leak the information to Ado Bayero. Brigadier Sabo who was in DMI came to Abuja to brief Abacha and he saw the information. Abacha had excused himself in the middle of a discussion with Sabo. He looked at what Abacha wrote down that Babangida would be arrested on October 1, 1998. Sabo was afraid. It was Babangida who helped him into his position. Immediately, he left Aso Rock Presidential Villa, in Abjua, Sabo went to Babangida in Minna and told him what Abacha was planning to do. So the mafia went to work. The mafia and Babangida pulled resources together. They made up their mind that Abacha must be removed as early as January 1998. They were planning how to remove him. Babangida knew him very well that he loved women.
So that man did not die in the hands of two Indian women. That was a lie. It was a Nigerian who was used. His estranged girlfriend. Babangida and Abacha did not talk; they were not on speaking terms in the last two years of the regime. I knew that as far back as 1996, Babangida and Abacha were not on speaking terms. So when Sabo took the story to Minna, that this was what Abacha was planning, to arrest Babangida before October 1 st, Babangida and the oligarchy teamed up, a coalition of forces. They knew that if they had acted earlier, that Diya would likely become the Head of State, so they waited and removed Diya, who was pro Abiola first before striking against Abacha. Do you understand the story of Nigeria now? They knew Diya was pro June 12 and they had to frame him up and discredit him thoroughly so that he could not succeed Abacha…
Are you saying that Al – Mustapha’s tale about Diya’s cowardice was more baloney?
Al – Mustapha spoke within the limits of what was immediately open and obvious to him. He himself did not know the complexity of the situation of what we are talking about. Mustapha who came from Kano only knew that Abacha wanted to remove his Emir and told the Emir, so that, perhaps that one could initiate reconciliation. Babangida knew Abacha very well.
There were no two Indian LovePeddlers. They found the old girlfriend of Abacha and they gave her spiked Viagra.
Following the script crafted by Babangida, the lady went to Jeremiah Timbuktu Useni and told him that she wanted to settle the lingering squabble with her boyfriend, Abacha. Useni brought the girl and genuinely thought she actually came to make up with Abacha.
He took her to Abacha’s guest house, and from what I gathered, the lady was probably a friend to Useni’s daughter. Useni has a daughter; his first daughter, Hadiza who graduated from the University of Jos and she was a friend to Abacha’s girlfriend that the Babangida group used. Useni may not be aware that the lady and his first daughter Hadiza were friends. These guys are dirty, I tell you. They sleep with their friends’ wives and their daughters. And you can understand Abacha’s intimate escapades if you have read Dr. Taiwo Ogunade’s interview. Usually by one or two pm, Abacha would have left the office. The man would just go to his guest house and then the easy virtue ladies would be taking a queue. The man had high libido. So when Jerry Useni brought this lady, she apologized, and she made up with Abacha. So Abacha said it has been a long time they did it and that he wanted to do it from the anus. Abacha liked sodomizing his women.
Then the lady said if he wanted to do it that way and for her to enjoy it, Abacha needed to use Viagra. Are you following me now? It was the lady who gave Abacha Viagra. These are stories that no Nigerian newspapers would publish but had relied on Abdusalam Abubakar version.
May be they don’t know about it?
I don’t know what is wrong with them. It is an international story, but they won’t publish this kind of story. Besides, if anyone gave it to them, they would be afraid and lamentably, they don’t have the resources to investigate. They would give you the official story that is the story everybody would run away with “oh two Indian LovePeddlers”. Where are the Indian ladies? It’s all rubbish. So once you are given spiked Viagra, you can’t survive it. Immediately Abacha started jerking, the lady just vamoosed. The security details came and wondered what was happening. Abacha died before 12 midnight. They brought him to Aso Rock around 11 pm. They didn’t know what to do.
Meanwhile, Useni had gone home after delivering the lethal lady to Abacha. He had gone his way after delivering the cargo. The man did not know what happened. He too was a useless man. He’s alive. Let him corroborate what I am saying.
Jeremiah Useni is still alive. Let him tell Nigerians what happened that night. No Indian LovePeddlers. Nothing happened. Abacha died in the evening. We heard about his death very early in DMI. The three guys who would have been president were Omenka, (please emphasize this place) Abubakar Abdulsalami would not have been Head of State. Al – Mustapha, Omenka and Sabo were the three guys. They would have seized power. Abacha actually died inside his private car in the guest house. He was foaming. He was very loose during that period. He was always moving about in unmarked 504 without any security detail. You would think he was an ordinary person in the tainted glass car. He was very loose. The Peoples Liberation Army of Nigeria was able to tail his movement in Abuja. They knew where the man was going; they knew everything that was happening. Of course, Prof. Banjo can corroborate what I am saying. The man was very loose and not very security conscious, even at night.
When his remains were brought to Aso Rock, Al – Mustapha completely took charge. He allowed Sabo and Omenka to come in around one or two a.m.
Babangida called from Minna, because he knew what he had done, the call was so coincidental because Mrs. Maryam Abacha took the call, not knowing what had transpired, broke the news to Babangida. And Babangida landed at Aso Rock that night. And Babangida took over Aso Rock. He was the one who allowed Abubakar Abdulsalami inside the Dome. Abubakar Abdulsalam was completely oblivious of what had happened to Abacha. Babangida entered Ask Rock before Abubakar. Omenka is in Brazil with his wife, you guys should call him and let’s see if he will talk. Al-Mustapha is in detention and I hope the young man will regain his freedom so he can talk.
In the hierarchy of military seniority, Useni should have become Head of State immediately Abacha died but be was not allowed in until around 7 a.m. He wanted to come in but Babangida said he should be disallowed. Maryam Abacha was annoyed with Useni, because she saw him as the enabler, who was teaching her husband all the bad things. Useni was really loose when it came to women. Useni did not know what was happening. He came to Aso Rock with the mind to enter, Babangida was inside. So it was Babangida who now proclaimed Abubakar the new ruler.
Babangida had told Abdulsalami few months earlier not to retire because he still had one more thing to do for him (Babangida), in other words, I’m going to “remove Abacha, remove Diya and I would bring you in”. That was how Abubakar Abdulsalami became head of state.
Is there a way to know this Abacha’s alleged girl friend?
I don’t know. There are lots of mysteries happening in that country. There is no Indian LovePeddler. Women are so many in Nigeria, that Abacha would least think of any expatriate LovePeddler. You too should think about it. No Indian LovePeddler (laughs). They had already made up their mind that this was the story they want to sell us.
The same thing about Abiola, Babangida knew that if Abiola survived, Abiola would possibly put him on trial. Abiola would have tried Babangida. Babangida could have been killed or put in prison. Immediately after Abacha’s death, they made up their mind that they had to kill Abiola. That is why Babangida is infecting a lot of people. So after his death only few people would be able to talk. If I were to be in Nigeria, I would not be able to say all this but I would probably have published it anyway. The man has done a lot of damage to that country. I am telling you, a lot of people have died in the hands of IBB. He is trying to cover it all up. Do you know how Gen. Tunde Idiagbon died? Obasanjo called Idiagbon in Ilorin and hinted that he was considering him as new Chief of Army Staff in 1999 immediately he was sworn in. Babangida advised against it and his Man Friday, Aliyu Muhammad Gusau objected against it. Obasanjo was hell bent and invited Idiagbon to Aso Rock. The poor man was served the same tea Abiola was served and Idiagbon returned to his home at Adeleye Crescent in Ilorin. About 21 days later, the man died; no sickness, no headache, no illness. Babangida was afraid of Idiagbon becoming COAS under Obasanjo. Throughout the time Idiagbon was in detention after they were toppled in 1985, in all the letters he wrote to his wife in Ilorin from detention, his pleading was that his wife should not fly aircraft or travel out because some people were planning to put hard drugs in her luggage in order to blackmail her. When I was serving in the NYSC, I lived in the next street to Idiagbon’s house and I used to visit the family regularly after leaving Gen. David Jemibewon’s house on Umar Audi Road, G.R.A. along Take Road, Ilorin.
It was because Bola Ige wanted to expose Babangida’s drug activities that they killed him. The man was coming here to take up appointment at the United Nations and he had some files with him incriminating Babangida and some of his cocaine boys but you see, they had to use Deoba Omisore as a cover. Obasanjo himself was cautious during the 8-years he was in Aso Rock, I am sure he looked the other way and that was why he castigated Bola Ige that the man didn’t know his right from his left. In other words, Bola Ige was naïve, you know, Obasanjo is a survivalist, a very wily and dubious man. He knows how to dine with the devil and come out unscathed.
They also killed Haruna Elewi, the former Minister for State for Communications. They used him to bring the boys who killed Bola Ige, because he knew Bola Ige’s house. They killed Bola Ige and removed the file. And after accomplishing their objective, they also got rid of Elewi. They killed Haruna Elewi himself.
Why didn’t Nigerian journalists hear of Justice Ubahomu Commission of Enquiry? Did you hear of it? That was the commission Buhari set up to try drug pushers. Immediately Babangida staged his coup, we heard no more of the commission. There are stories in Nigeria; there are lots of cover ups. Babangida scrapped the commission. And I don’t know if the man is still alive. A lot of people died to cover him up. He was there for eight years, and he is still covering up. Maybe when he is dead all these things that I am telling you, would be blown open. When I was publishing Razor in Nigeria, all those stories of Justice Chukwudifu Oputa panel, I had already published them and were not new. They described them as junk when we were publishing them. But all the stories have been confirmed.
How was your detention experience in Alagbon before you escaped to Benin Republic?
There were the other people I was detained with, Dr. Wale Babalakin, Dr. Femi Adekanye of defunct Commerce Bank, Ralph Osayemeh, Polycarp Nwite, Duro Emmanuel, Machan Zoaka, Chuma Nzeribe, Chief Femi Ajayi, Mr. Arigbe, Hasan Sani Kotagora, Kola Abiola. I was the one who gave Kola a mattress to sleep when they brought him to Alagbon. Kola Abioa was a very useless guy, very silly, an ingrate. I was the secretary-general of Alagbon Detainees Association at FIIB, Alagbon, Bisket, Bisi Okeowo, then Bisi Shaba now Mrs Dan Musa and the late Kudirat Abiola.
Mrs Kudirat Abiola told me to watch out for her when she was brought to FIIB. She said “Ah Moshood, this is where they kept you?” “Why didn’t you send your wife to me?” And I said “auntie I don’t want to disturb you”. She gave me some inside stories too when I was publishing Razor. I would come to her house and I was always sending my wife to her, my former wife.
Besides what we have heard and read, what was the real reason Abacha ordered her assassination?
When Abiola was arrested and taken to Abuja in 1995, Abiola requested that he wanted one of his wives to come and cook for him for the Ramadan fast and he made the proposition to Abacha in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood and Abacha said “ok, which one would you want?” And Abiola said Kudirat Olayinka. So Abacha said fine.
So they gave Kudirat the message from Abacha to tell Abiola to drop his mandate. Kudirat herself told me that she replied to them that she would try to convince Abiola. Are you following me? She said she went there, cooked for Abiola and of course they Were Intimate. You know what the security guys did; they captured everything on tape, ok?
After 1995 when the Ramadan fast was over, Kudirat left Abuja and returned to Lagos. The journalists were after her. What happened? Instead of her to say that she had access to Abiola and that things were being worked out between Abacha and Abiola just as agreed with Abacha, the woman was her principled self. And Abacha was expecting her to say that Abiola had renounced his mandate, the woman said no and told us that the man was committed to his mandate more than any other thing.
Abacha got mad that this was not the agreement. So he now sent words to Kudirat to apologize for all press interviews. He wanted Kudirat to apologize to him for what she said to journalists. Abacha called the late Oba Oyebade Lipede, the then Alake of Egba. Abacha instructed the Oba to personally bring Kudirat to Aso Rock to apologize for the public disgrace. Haven’t you seen the Nigerian constitution? A monarch virtually has no power. A Local Government Chairman can remove a king. So Abacha was so audacious and wanted Alake of Egba to do a police job. They had no power under Abacha. Abacha arrogated absolute power to himself. That is why he was able to steal. If you became an ordinary governor in Nigeria, you would never be poor. There were no check and balances. Very lawless.
So Alake now sent for Kudirat to come to Abeokuta and when she got to the palace, Alake now told her that this is what Abacha said “you have caused problem again oh, Abacha said I must bring you to Aso Rock”.
Kudirat said “over my dead body. I would prefer to die than going to see him to apologize”.
Oba Lipede relayed the message back to Abacha. Abacha now sent words back to Kudirat through Oba Lipede that was what she would get… that she would die. This is the story as Kudirat told me during the few minutes we were able to talk in Alagbon.
She was planning to go to Canada on exile. I met the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria; Dr. Gerald Olsen before I left Nigeria. Olsen was one big guy like this. I asked what he felt the Canadian High Commission could do for me and it was the man who gave me a note to the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, that there was nothing they could do from Lagos that I should look at the pathetic case of Kudirat. She came the same way I came, expressed her fears that she feared for Abacha’s plan to kill her. Olsen said Canada was willing to risk her relations with Nigeria to help her out because she was afraid of what happened between her and Abacha. The man has since been posted away from Nigeria. Dr. Gerald Olsen. She came to see him a week before she was killed. He was telling me that I had to first escape from Nigeria to get any assistance. He gave me a note to their office in Ghana.
Hassan Sani Kotagora was generally believed to be a hate theorist for the cabal and the oligarchy. How did he end up being detained with you?
Thank you very much. There were several Igbos too. Several bankers were clamped into jail thinking they were the ones giving us money. What Abacha was doing to the South was what Hitler did to the Jews. He thought they were funneling money to us in the trenches. I told you that Abacha and Babangida had that animosity in the last two years of the administration. I got to know in Alagbon while I was there.
Hassan Sanni Kotagora owed some money, about N76m. He was arrested for owing that much. Some Northern leaders intervened on his behalf, Abacha refused saying he had to cough out what he owed.
So the leaders were now sent to Babangida to assist in talking to Abacha. And Babangida allegedly said he had not been talking to Abacha and that he would prefer to pay the money. He sent the check and the money was paid. And that was the ransom for Hassan Sanni Kotagora’s release. He did their dirty job and that still did not save him from their anger.
That is the tragedy.
Now to current events; do you think President Obama will ever visit Nigeria?
What are you and I here for? You think we’ll be watching? Why am I in Chicago? Both in his first and second terms, Obama will never go to Nigeria. Are you even sure there will be a country called Nigeria by 2016 when Obama would have finished his second term?
Why did you say so? What will happen?
You wait and see. Events will happen at such a dizzying speed that Nigerians themselves will be so shocked and surprised that they won’t believe what is happening. Let me tell you, a nation doesn’t fall and disintegrate at once, it first begins to crack and all of a sudden, it’s no more. Leave through history and review how nations fell and eventually disintegrated. Those who are still holding Nigeria together as a nation are not more than a handful, praying for that nation; Adeboye, Ukpai, Okonkwo, Oritsejafor, Akinola, Abiara, Makinde, Oyedepo and others. That is why that country is still intact; I am talking to you spiritually now. That grace will soon be removed and you wait and see.
Do you mean the Niger Delta crisis? You think it will not be contained?
A more deadly crisis is in the offing, in fact, there will soon be series of crises that those who are milking Nigeria will be taken aback. That country will soon divide, mark my words. I want you to go and note this interview. It shan’t be long.
Are you saying there is nothing that can be done to reposition Nigeria?
Not in the current situation, not the way the few cabal destroying that country is burring its head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich pretending all is well. The nucleus and life wire of Nigeria is oil; very soon, that spigot won’t pump oil any more. Meanwhile, people in the Western world will not need oil anymore. You live here in the United States and you know what I am talking about. Nigeria is not the giant of Africa. I don’t know where we got this funny idea from, at best, Nigeria is a big for nothing country. If population is what a nation needs to become a world leader, China and India should have been world leaders. Nigeria swaggers on the world stage as the giant of Africa because oil is a powerful tool in international political power equation. Those days will soon be over and by the time the leaders have nothing to steal any more, the party will soon be over. If those curmudgeons in Nigeria have senses, they should read and read the
speech President Obama delivered in Accra, Ghana last week.
Do you think General Ibrahim Babangida will ever be brought to book?
As long as he stays in Nigeria, fly to Monaco where most of his loot is hidden and Switzerland. But we are waiting for him in America. All the houses he and Abacha and their cronies bought in Arizona, Washington DC, Texas and Virginia through fronts are under watch. We are waiting for him to step into the US soil. There are tons of documents we have on him and we’re waiting for the day he will enter America. Don’t ask me who are the “they.” I won’t say more than that.
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