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Do you think General Ibrahim Babangida will ever be brought to book?
This is the shocking and damning revelations concerning leading political and military
personalities and landmark events during the darkest days of Nigeria under military
dictatorship. It is based on an interview given by oshood Fayemiwo, 47, a living legend
in the struggle to ensure virile and questioning democratic civil society in Africa and
anchored by the managing editor of Pointblanknews, OLADIMEJI ABITOGUN.
From the Excerpts we learn that: â€“ IBB killed Abiola, Abacha, Idiagbon, Ige and Elewi â€“
Abacha died of spiked viagra â€“ SSS kept Abiola's sex tape â€“ Abiola kept Samuel DoesÂ money in Swiss Bank â€“ Abiola funded 1985 Coup with $10 million â€“ Nigeria might breakÂ up soon
No other journalist in Nigeria would challenge his impressive fearless reportorial style
with which he took on the military for a deceptive transition agenda in 1993 Nigeria.
The 1988 graduate of Education and Political Science from the University of Lagos, Nigeria
threw himself into the thick of the effort to dislodge the military from power.
Long before many of his contemporaries understood the game of deception foisted on his
native country Nigeria, by gap-toothed sly by smiling Babangida, husky trimmed Egba
Lawyer Ernest Shonekan, and the dark goggled General Sani Abacha, Fayewimo clearly
interpreted, investigated and reported how Nigerians had helplessly turned to pawns in a
complex political chess manipulation.
He used his media, Razor, to monitor and expose every move of the 14 year Nigerian
military dictatorship.Â The military was irreverent and extremely stubborn in tormenting Nigerians. Fayewimo
was a consistent and dogged nemesis. He used the power of words to expose the stealing
and plundering military politicians. He was always publishing their secret and coded
foreign accounts containing money stolen from Nigeria.
The military caught him and kidnapped him from exile in neighboring Benin Republic in
1997. He did not see the light of day light until after Abachaâ€™s death. Abacha would not
release him even after Pope John Paul II came to Nigeria and entered a plea on his behalf.
Since he left Nigeria in 1999, he has not returned to the country of his birth. As a matter
of fact, he said he may never step his foot on Nigerian soil again. But he has done well
with himself. An holder of three masters degrees, one in MA Journalism (2004) from
University of South Florida at Tampa, another one from State University of New York in
Information Science (2006), and yet another from the same University in African History.
He is also finishing his PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy even as he has
just started another doctoral work in law Juris Doctor (JD). He finds time to practice as
an International Consultant, writes a weekly column for pointblanknews.com and has
also worked as a journalist with The Informed Constituent of Albany, New York, The
Crowâ€™s Nest Newspaper, Florida and The Works Magazine.
This is his first major interview since leaving Nigeria in 1999. When he came to
pointblanknews.comâ€™s corporate headquarters in Manhattan, New York last week, he was
again his characteristic self. He held nothing back. He confessed the undue favors
extended to him by some of the key actors in the Nigerian intrigue. And issued a range of
challenges to living Nigerian leaders to speak up on their atrocities and rape of the
He was interviewed by POINTBLANKNEWS Managing Editor, OLADIMEJIÂ ABITOGUN.
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You got into student union politics very early. How did that happen?
I was interested in politics immediately I entered the University of Lagos. University of
Lagos, as you know, was very unique and strategic in Nigeria, not because of anything,
but because of its location close to the government, because Lagos was where the seat of
government was then.
So very early during my undergraduate years I was involved in studentsâ€™ union politics.
In 1983, one of my friends, actually I was his campaign manager, Lateef Gbadamosi,
became the president of University of Lagos Studentsâ€™ Union. If you could remember, his
secretary-general was late Chris Imodibe who eventually died in Liberia while working at
the Guardian as Foreign Correspondent.
Mr. Imodibe was part of our group and it was the first time I met Chief Abiola. It was
Gbadamosi who invited him to our campus. He was with us at the Studentsâ€™ Union
Building. From there we went with him to Eni Njoku Buttery he ate with us and
addressed us. That was my first time of meeting Chief M.K.O. Abiola in real life.
Gbadamosi later graduated and left the University of Lagos. I participated in politics and
became the president before I was eventually removed.
What led to your removal and how were you removed?
Well, we had problems. When Abiola learnt that I was preparing to play politics in
UNILAG in 1984, he sent for me. But I ran into problems with the administration of the
then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Akin Adesola as a result of my principled opposition to some
of the policies. I was banned from contesting the presidency of the Studentsâ€™ Union. I had
problems at the University. I almost became a permanent student. It was hot (laughs). So
I took a year off. And I went to Abiolaâ€™s house and explained my situation.
Were you on suspension or you acted on personal volition?
I was not on suspension. I acted on my own because I was also having some academic
problems. Let me just say that I was not in a hurry to graduate. That is why I said it was
fun. Well I had an interesting meeting with Chief Abiola who, having listened to me,
gave me a letter to the then Deputy Editor of National Concord, Mr. Ismaila Mohammed.
That was in 1984. That was how I knew and witnessed the Babangida coup of 1985. You
want us to continue from there?
What kind of personality did Chief Abiola project when you first met him?
There were many students. We all surrounded him at the Buttery. Gbadamosi brought
him. So many people hated Gbadamosi because there was the erroneous impression that
the studentsâ€™ union was being sold to the government of National Party of Nigeria (NPN)
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led by Shehu Shagari. Lateef Gbadamosi had gone to congratulate Alhaji Shagari for
being re- elected in 1983 shortly before he was removed by the military.
Abiola was a very simple person. He ate with us. He waited in line. Everybody saw him
in queue, he was served. He projected a populist personality. He made people laugh.
People liked him. That was my first time in his company. He took and shook my hand
after I was introduced to him by Lateef Gbadamosi. And that was it.
Nigerians often complain about falling standard of education. I feel it has always been
that way. How were things during your time?
I was president of UNILAG Studentsâ€™ Union from 1985 to 1986. To me, I think Nigerian
students can hold their own anywhere in the world. Pointedly, it was General Babangida
who spoiled the Nigerian educational heritage. His pathological hatred for any organized
opposition made him to move against the educational system. That was why he targeted
Student union association was not voluntary during our time. So long a student was duly
admitted, such a student was made to pay the union fee alongside the university tuition.
Students cannot aspire to full leadership training without a rallying point like the union.
The cults mushroomed because Babangida sacrificed the union.
Administrators, professors and every other component of university system are in place
because students came to school. When students are denied their rights to associate, when
the platform for such association, the union is destroyed, something so important for
students to agitate for their interests, students become cultists. You are here in the United
States, you see how Nigerian students excel. But the Babangida regime was very silly.
The man systematically destroyed our schools and he destroyed our heritage as well.
But the man had his argument. He said some professors were â€œextremistsâ€ who were
teaching what they were not paid to teach. He felt that unionism was being democratized
when students had options of joining or not joining but strictly listen, learn and
He was only trying to run Nigeria like a military barrack. He could not expect to arrive at
a consensus on behalf of 120 million Nigerians. He also could not assume that Nigerians,
120 million, would have consensus on an issue. That is what society is about. What is a
university? The university is supposed to mould its products to have questioning minds.
That is what the university system is supposed to teach, to develop minds to such a
degree where they can question things.
There is no way you proffer solution to the multifarious problems of modern societies if
university students do not have questioning minds. So it is mere bunkum. Universities are
not supposed to be military academy where ideas have to be regimented and you have to
regurgitate what your professors are teaching you. That has been the tradition. All over
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the world that has been the tradition of the university. Babangida and his cohorts, all
these people they never attended a traditional university, so what do you expect?
They wielded out radicals like Patrick Wilmot and Festus Iyayi from what should be a
Who should decide what university students are supposed to be taught?
You had met Abiola. You later became the president of the studentsâ€™ union government
of UNILAG. You have not explained what actually led to your removal from office.
There was a contemporary called Panaf (shortened form of Pan Africanism). His real
name was Olajide Olakanmi . He was the president of ULSU (University of Lagos
Studentsâ€™ Union) in 1981. Unbeknownst to most students of University of Lagos, he was,
and I think till today was an informant for the State Security Service, SSS. He was given
some money; most students would not know this that is why I am disclosing this, after
almost twenty years. He was parading himself at UNILAG as a radical but he was
actually working for the SSS. He first brought some money when I was contesting for the
presidency to assist me in order to become, purportedly, the president of the studentsâ€™
union. They claimed they embezzled some union funds but my budget had not even been
passed by the Student Union Senate but every right-thinking person at Unilag at that time
knew they orchestrated my removal because Akin Adesola, the VC knew I was too tough
for him. That was the whole truth.
At that time, it was two thousand naira. Meanwhile, my friend, Lateef Gbadamosi, had
warned me about the foggy moves of Panaf. Elsewhere, in some of the places we used to
go, we had tips that Panaf had collected money from the SSS. He had assured them that
he could influence political events at UNILAG. Things were usually super-charged in
those days and the security service were always interested in who should become the
leaders in those days. And actually, I was approached after I became president, if I was
interested in becoming an operative or informant. And since I was not interested, they
demanded to have a nominee from me. I gave them the name of one guy we used to call
Tonee. He was my campaign manager.
Was this another payment apart from what Panaf was to pay your campaign?
Panaf had already graduated and he was actually working with UNILAG then. He read
integrated social science. He served as president and graduated. Then he went back to the
university as a worker. As a matter of fact, Olu Shodimu, the present Registrar of the
University of Lagos, was actually a student leader, later worker for the SSS. The point is,
at the University of Lagos, if you become a student union leader, the SSS would
approach and try to recruit you. So there are many student leaders who the Nigerian
masses often take for radicals, even activists out there. They are mostly phonies (laughs).
So, Panaf Olajide Olakanmi got the money and used the money to buy himself a CitroÃ«n
car. Anthony Kayode, whom I had nominated for the SSS job did not get the job because
at that point, there were serious disagreements and we were sacked.
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How much was involved sir?
Well, I would not know. But Panaf brought to me two thousand naira. And Alozie
Ogugbuaja, the then Police Public Relations Officer told Lateef Gbadamosi and I that we
used to visit Ogugbuaja, the man who accused the military of always idly drinking pepper
soup and had the time to stale cups. He was removed. But because I had the information
and I travelled to Bayero University Kano for NANS convention and before I came back,
Panaf Olu Sodimu and the studentsâ€™ union authorities colluded and removed me before I
came back from Kano. This was in February 1985. That is exactly what happened.
Would you say if ULSU was an exception or was it the standard practice all over Nigeria
for the SSS to aggressively recruit studentsâ€™ leaders?
Hmn, I think throughout the 80â€™s down to the time Babangida came after Ahmadu Bello
University, ABU crisis of 1986, when students were killed in Kaduna and Babangida set
up a panel led by Segun Okeowo and some leaders, up till the time that the Justice
Akanbi panel recommended voluntary unionism, I think they felt the need was no longer
strong to compromise student leaders. Uptill my time, it was standard practice like I
explained UNILAG being the cynosure of all eyes, due to its strategic location, I think
that they did that in other universities, Ibadan in particular.
They say NANS president now has escort cars with sirens. Was it also like that in your
No. I am sure they are doing that because of politics. That was not the practice. Studentsâ€™
union officials may be important to them now because of politics. And of course some of
these so-called student leaders, there are other things they do now, take university girls
and go and give them in Abuja. Things do not happen in Lagos anymore. It is now Abuja.
And I read many heart breaking things from Nigerian news papers. But my conclusion,
before I left Nigeria ten years ago was that, studentsâ€™ union is dead in Nigeria.
How did you come to know so much about the August 1985, Babangida coup dâ€™etat?
I had left university of Lagos for one year like I said. I lived in a military barrack, the
Ikeja cantonment. I lived there with an uncle and that was when I started working with
the Concord. I actually had three people in Ikeja cantonment at that time. I do not want to
mention their names because one of them is still in active military service. One is here
now in the United States, came originally as a political assylee. The other one has retired.
I would not like to mention their names. But I was living with them. The Babangida coup
was planned around Ikeja cantonment. I have to tell you this General Muhammadu
Buhari, the then Head of State is still alive, he knew it two weeks before the coupists
struck. And for the first time, Nigerians should be able to know why Babangida staged
the coup, because we have heard so many stories. There have been several guesses all
over the place. Of course I am not a coup plotter, but we heard the real truth because we
lived in the barracks.
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My senior colleague, Dr. Taiwo Ogunade of City University of New York has been able
to also disclose some of these information. Basically, what I want to say is that Chief
Abiola was the one who sponsored the Babangida coup in 1985. And the reason
Babangida struck was because he had been marked down by Buhari and Idiagbon for
drug running. For posterity reasons, all these things should be disclosed to Nigerians.
Brigadier Aliyu Mohammed, you have heard of his name. He later became a
Lieutenantâ€“General. He was brought back by Babangida to become National Security
Adviser, NSA to Obasanjo. This man and Babangida were actually involved in drug
running when Babangida was chief of Army Staff to Buhari regime.
Babangida has been amply rewarded as one of the arrowheads of the coup that toppled
Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
The other key players in that coup were Late Tunde Idiagbon, Mamman Vatsa and late
Brigadier â€“ General Ibrahim Bako. Buhari was brought in as the head of that government
as a compromise leader after Bako had been killed in the coup at the presidential palace
in Abuja while attempting to arrest Shagari. Idiagbon became Chief of Staff, Supreme
Headquarters for ethnic balancing. Remember? He was a Yoruba from Kwara state. The
coup plotters ran into serious problems. Major Jokolo, who became the Emir of Gwandu,
was one of them. He threatened them that none of them would leave Dodan Barracks
alive after the takeover. Idiagbon had made a broadcast to the nation. That was 31 st of
December, 1983. Buhari was then the General Officer commanding in Jos, Plateau State.
They were deliberating on who would step into Bakoâ€™s shoes. Jokolo insistedâ€¦
Point of observation, sir, General Babangida, in an interview with Point Blank
News/peopleâ€™s magazine, said that Brigadier General Bako was never in consideration
for the exalted office of Head of State.
Then who were they considering for that position? As usual, the deceptive general said
Buhari was the first choice Buhari was never part of the original plotters of the coup.
He said Buhari had always been the first choice. No question. Number two, you said
there was an ethnic balancing, but that was not obvious. Buhari/Idiagbon was a
moslem/moslem and North/North ticket. Ilorin was in the North.
Remember I was not in the military, I am a civilian. I did not take part in their coup. But
you know Ilorin people. When things are robust they claim south. When things twist
otherwise, they claim north. The name Tunde Idiagbon, is a Yoruba name, the man wasa
moslem. They put him there to look like geo-political balancing. The point is that Buhari
was not one of the ring leaders of that coup.
He came in as a compromise candidate. The composition of that government was
changed because Bako died at the presidential palace. I was twenty three or twenty four
at that time. It wasnâ€™t as if I knew much.
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The one I knew very well the coup that Babangida himself planned. The coup was neither
motivated by altruistic motive nor by patriotic motive. It was a self survival coup dâ€™etat.
That is the point I want to stress. There are different ways coups take place in third world
countries. It could be to reject oppression, change a bad direction for a country or to serve
patriotic purpose on how a nation should be governed. None of these reasons motivated
Babangida to organize his coup.
His career was on the line. He had his back to the wall, because of his activities as a
former GOC and as the Chief of Army Staff under Buhari regime.
You should also know that Obasanjo knew and subscribed to the coup that toppled
Buhari. Like Babangida, Aliyu Mohammed was also a drug baron that was well known to
Buhari and Idiagbon. Aliyu Mohammed was slated for retirement as well. Babangida and
Mohammed were both marked down for retirement and possible trial.
Ambassador Mohammed Rafindadi was in charge of the then National Security
Organization, NSO, now known as State Security Service, SSS. He, Rafindadi was an
uncle to Buhari. When they came into office, a lot of things were going on and they
discovered Idiagbon insisted on death penalty for drug pushers. And most of the drug
peddlers and international couriers were Babangidaâ€™s boys. As a matter of fact,
Babangidaâ€™s clique introduced drug-running into Nigeria. When Buhari regime
uncovered the elaborate entrenched Babangida drug-running network and the rumor of
his wife, Maryamâ€™s involvement as well, they penciled him down for retirement. We
shall talk about the Gloria Okon connection later.
The Babangidaâ€™s removal announcement had been scheduled for October 1, 1985.
Babangida knew and staged the coup to pre-empt the calamity of October. They had the
coup plans. They wanted to strike in October, but with Babangidaâ€™s pending retirement,
they quickly brought the date back to August.
After they had agreed, the boys, Abubakar Umar, Abdul Aminu, Lawan Gwadabe and
Anthony Ukpo went to Otta to inform Obasanjo that they wanted to remove the
Buhari/Idiagbon regime. Any military coup also needed Obasanjoâ€™s clearance. There is
no coup in Nigeria, either successful or abortive that Obasanjo does not know of. You
know he had this phony organization called African Leadership Forum. It was all a ruse
He used that organization for anything but leadership training. He came here to the
Council of Foreign Relations to collect the initial money to set up that clandestine
organization. Anyway, that was the body they used to plan anti-people policies at Ota
including coup planning.
Nzeoguâ€™s coup as well?
I am talking of anything that happened after he became Head of State in 1976. He was
even in the know about the coup that killed General Muritala Mohammed.
You mean he knew about the Dimkaâ€™s plot?
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Yes of course. That was why he left for Abeokuta that day. The CIA has documents in
the United States here about this.
But he maintained the face of the avenger of his bossâ€™s death to all of us. Are you
accusing Obasanjo of hypocrisy?
Yes. He became the Head of State and checkmated the other plotters. He knew of the
1976 coup. That is why I said he always knows about every coup plot including that of
Well maybe because he would have access to intelligence estimates as a former leader of
We shall talk more about that. So the boys went to him in Otta. They gave him a note to
know if he had a candidate in office. He did not want any obvious association, but he
gave them the name of his cousin, Onaolapo Soleye who was a lecturer at the Department
of Economics at the University of Ibadan to become Buhariâ€™s Minister of Finance. Buhari
drifted and his economic policies were harsh. Obasanjo tried to advice him then, they
snubbed him. He was annoyed and that was why he said he would never talk to a â€œdeaf
regimeâ€. He had a pre-existing axe to grind with the Buhari regime.
So when the IBB boys came to tell him that they wanted to remove Buhari, he asked to
know who they had as Buhariâ€™s substitute. They said Babangida. He said o.k.
He said that? Would he not have had intelligence that IBB was a drug baron?
He said o.k. I donâ€™t know what he knew or what he did not know. He gave them his
blessings. They told him they had a problem. What was the problem, he asked? They said
with Buhari, it would be very easy to topple the government, but with Idiagbon, they did
not want to kill anybody. How would they get Idiagbon out of the way? They want
Obasanjo to call Idiagbon to lure him to go out of the country to go to Saudi Arabia on
Umrah, the lesser Hajj. Obasanjo invited Tunde Idiagbon. Tunde Idiagbon came to
Obasanjoâ€™s farm at Otta. It was the first time Idiagbon smiled to journalists. He was
always frowning, but he laughed for the first time in Obasanjoâ€™s farm. Obasanjo gave him
the bogey advice that it was time for Nigeria to court the economic co-operation of the
Saudis and the Middle East, so that the economy of the country could be revived. It was a
dummy idea of the Babangida boys to get Tunde Idiagbon out of the way. And when
Tunde Idiagbon was going, they were also afraid of Vatsa, he was in charge of the
Federal Capital Territory, FCT. Vatsa was asked to go with him on Holy pilgrimage to
Mecca. During the Sallah celebration, they took over power. The coup was staged on a
Friday. It was at Ikeja cantonment.
The private jet that conveyed Babangida from Lagos to Minna where he went for the
Sallah holiday was an Abiola personal aircraft. Abiola had travelled out of Nigeria a
week before the coup which took place on 27 th of August, 1985. Abiola had walked into
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our newsroom at Concord to address all of us in the newsroom and that was where he
told us â€œwe should forget about this governmentâ€.
Most people did not know what was happening. I was working at Concord and was in the
news room when he said it. He said that the government was gone. A week later, the coup
was staged and Babangida became the Head of State.
The point I want to make was that the coup was that of a self- survival. It was not
patriotically motivated. It had nothing to do with nationalistic agenda. It was selfish and
that is why Babangida exhibited the kind of evil reign that we witnessed for eight years.
That is the point I want to make. Buhari-Idiagbon came to rescue Nigeria from the
destruction of Shehu Shagari. 22 months later, Babangida came not for any reason but for
his own survival because he was about to be tried for drug-running.
It is not so obvious to the general public that IBB was a drug dealer. We heard of his wife
and Gloria Okon, Dele Giwaâ€™s connection. We do not have any fact of IBBâ€™s direct
involvement. How is it hidden from us?
No. It is not hidden. I donâ€™t know why in Nigeria. The press is there, the newspapers are
there. It is not hidden at all. All the top journalists are there and nobody is talking now
because IBB is still alive. You will see them talking immediately the man is dead. He has
interests in virtually all the newspapers. You know what I mean?
Let all these people talk. Segun Osoba, Farouk Mohammed, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Ajibola
Ogunsola, Sam Pemu Amuka, Stanley Macebuh, Patrick Dele-Cole, Imeh Umanah, Alex
Akinyele, Tony Momoh, Doyin Abiola, Felix Adenaike, Banji Kuroloja, Dan Agbese,
Yakubu Mohammed, Soji Akinrinnade, Raymond Ekpu. Let all of these people open up.
And they all know why Mr. Dele Giwa was killed.
Infact, the story you are talking about that Dele Giwa was killed over, these people, top
journalists they have it in Nigeria. If I could have it then, I was the first person to go
public with the story in September 1993 before my senior colleague; Dr. Taiwo Ogunade
of CUNY now came out to corroborate it. I was the only person through Razor, who
came out to stick my neck then.
Sir, that was the story?
It was Babangida who planned the death of Dele Giwa. It was Babangida that killed him.
It is very obvious. Senator Florence Ita â€“ Giwa, Dele Giwaâ€™s former wife knew. The one
they now call Mama Bakkassi was a girl friend to Aliyu Mohammed, the one I just told
you was to be retired with IBB, although he later changed his name to Mohammed Gusau
just to deceive Nigerians.
You sure he is the same person?
Oh sure. He is the same person because immediately Babangida became Head of State,
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Babangida brought him back. Gusau Mohammed was about to be gazetted by the Buhari
regime. I just told you why they struck. Babangida left him with Abacha, and Gusau later
became a Lt-General. He was the person whom Babangida brought back to become
National Security Adviser to Obasanjo. That is why Obasanjo was governing but did not
rule and Nigerians did not know for eight years. Every step that Obasanjo wanted to take
Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was always there. I mean your national security adviser is your
life. Donâ€™t you know? That is why IBB foisted the guy on Obasanjo. There are a lot of
things in Nigeria, that Nigerians cannot hear about now until when IBB is dead. That was
why he spread his tentacles all over the newspapers. And those whose names I have
mentioned are aliveâ€¦
What is the deal that IBB made with those notable journalists?
Immediately Babangida came into power, he knew that any journalist who was about
town had the story. The first thing he did was to make Aliyu Mohammed (Gusau) the
Directorate of Military Intelligence man. He surreptitiously was Babangidaâ€™s National
Security Adviser, NSA. They had to cover their past dirty stuff. The man called all the
top journalists in Nigeria, all these names that I have just given you, they assembled at
the DMI, there was no DMI before IBB took over. He set up the Directorate of Military
Intelligence at Apapa where they took me to under Abacha (Lagos).
So he now called them and said gentlemen, we want to cultivate the friendship of the
press. If there is any story that is incriminating, we want to be sharing ideas, let us know.
You understand now? You know they have their press briefing, media chat. Exactly. I
have told you that there are always two stories in Nigeria: the official story, which they
want the people to hear and the unofficial underlying real story that they do not want you
and I to know.
Are you saying, sir, that the media is guilty of mediocrity in all of this?
No. I have told you of the institutional problem of media operations and ownership. The
guys who are stealing the money are the ones rich enough to set up newspapers in
Nigeria. And who will pay the piper would dictate the tune. Look at all the newspapers in
Nigeria. Tell me which one is not being bank-rolled by these bad guys. That was why
when I set up the Razor, it became a phenomenon in Nigeria, besides being modest. If I
had one of the Generals as my chairman, do you think I would be able to publish all those
stories? This is the problem in Nigeria. Nigerian newspapers are owned by the same set
of people who are causing the problems; they have control over all the newspapers. Tell
me which paper, tell me in which paper does Babangida not have shares in Nigeria, by
After killing Dele Giwa, he told one of his guys, Mike Adenuga, to go acquire shares in
Newswatch. Babangida has shares today in Newswatch. Let Ray Ekpu, Soji Akirinnade,
Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed come out and tell Nigerians. That is why those
guys canâ€™t do anything.
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Is it Vanguard you want to tell me about? He has shares. Let Amuka come out and deny
it. How much did he have when he left Olu Aboderinâ€™s The Punch? VANGUARD was
about to die. Are you listening to me? VANGUARD was about to die when Babangida
came and injected funds into the place.
O.K. Is it Tony Momoh? IBB knew that Tony Momoh knew about the death of Dele
Giwa, he made him Minister of Information. Is it Alex Akinyele? Akinyele was a
Director on the Newswatchâ€™s board. He also made Akinyele Minister of Information.That
was why IBB said â€œOh, I know Nigerians very wellâ€.
What of Guardian? Do you know that the Dasuki family in Sokoto has shares in
Guardian? I am telling you that they sit on the board. And you know the closeness of the
Dasukis and the Babangidas. How would Guardian write anything? You know the
owners, the Ibrus collected contracts from the Babangidas too.
Is it Ajibola Ogunsola of The Punch that would go against Babangida? There is only one
news organization in Nigeria that can rattle the government, perhaps, maybe The News.
All of them. Is it The Sun? It just came out through Orji Uzor Kalu. Kalu was also a
Babangida boy. The Daily Independent is owned by Ibori. James Ibori was an Abacha
goon. He has not spoken up on his connection with the death of Chief Alfred Rewane.
Which other one? The Nation owned by Tinubu?
Sir, Tinubu was a democracy crusaderâ€¦
He said he was (laughs) He was.
You were part of the movement, how sincere was he?
There was no movement really. We were fractured. We shall get to that later. It was a
loose coalition of like minds. There was no platform that we really had. Even NADECO
(National Democratic Coalition) itself was a contraption. We all just felt there must be a
way for us to resist the Abacha INSULT, the dictatorship. We were so disjointed.
Everybody had different agenda. There was not concerted effort.
Let us go back a little bit on your allegation that prominent journalists benefitted over the
death of Dele Giwa. Investigative journalists like us find it difficult to connect the dots.
Yes, it was not so obvious that the letter bomb came from IBB. Gani Fawehinmi and
many other theorists said it did come from â€œC-In- Câ€, Halilu Akilu, Col. Togun are not
Let me clear that one for you. Buhari wanted to make Dele Giwa Minister of Information.
Buhari actually granted his maiden interview to Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu and Yakubu
Page 12 of 42
Mohammed for the Concord in February, 1984. In the interview, Buhari said â€œI would
tamper with the pressâ€. That was how Decree No. 4 was promulgated.
After the interview, Buhari made overtures to make Dele Giwa the Minister of
Information. Buhari called M.K.O. Abiola and said â€œI want to make your editor the
Minister of Informationâ€, because Dele Giwa was editing Sunday Concord then. M.K.O.
Abiola said Dele Giwa would not be interested. That was one of the reasons Dele Giwa
left Concord. He was not consulted before Abiola determined his fate.
His fate was determined just like that?
Exactly. Meanwhile Dele Giwa was married to Florence Ita â€“ Giwa. The one who later
became a Senator. Ita â€“ Giwa was annoyed that Abiola could not own Dele Giwaâ€™s life
even if he was working for him. She wanted him to leave and set up his own. Donâ€™t
forget the two, Dele Giwa and Florence Ita had met shortly after Dele returned to Nigeria.
They met in Surulere. There was the lady called Ani Okpaku that Dele had separated
with. They were in good company with Vera Ifudu. Her other sister was Dora Ifudu at the
then NTA. It was Vera who had a birthday celebration party. She invited all the big guys.
The late Chris Okolie was there, Sam Amuka â€“ Pemu was there. Florence attended. She
had just had a problem, frustration with her former guy here in the U.S. There at the
birthday gig she met Dele Giwa and they went home and became so close and that was
how they later married.
Dele Giwa only knew of what Abiola did through Florence. Florence was going out with
Aliyu Mohammed. Mohammed was the one who told her that Buhari planned to make
her husband Minister of Information. Florence was still a lady in town. Several of the top
military brass were having a good time with her. She was generous with her endowment
around then. Thank you very much, and would then get her contracts. This was one of the
reasons Dele Giwa divorced her. They both could be intimate and in the heat of that
moment one General or the other would be on the phone with her. Her Husband could be
hearing the voice of a General underground. Dele was annoyed. But he bargained for it.
They met at a party and went from there into marriage. She would tell Dele to â€œshut up, I
have known these people before I knew youâ€.
When the parcel bomb that killed Dele was to be delivered, they did not know Dele
Giwaâ€™s house. Dele had moved to a new place in Opebi area in the same Ikeja. Abiola
had told him to leave after he left Sunday Concord. He had a Mercedes Benz given to
him by Abiola. He moved because they now believed so much in their new project,
Newswatch. They did not know his new house.
Aliyu Mohammed was the one who volunteered the information that he knew his former
wife, Florence. He sent for Florence and when she came, he asked for Dele Giwaâ€™s new
residential address. He knew they still saw from time to time though they were no longer
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She described the new address to them. She pointed her former husbandâ€™s address. She
did not know that they were after his life, that they wanted to kill him.
She said oh, she normally goes there but that he had moved from Adolphus Davis and
that he now lived at Opebi. They said they needed to know the place that was how the
babe volunteered the address at Opebi.
The lady knew a lot. That was why Aliyu Mohammed (Gusau) brought her into the
strategic position of Presidential Liaison Officer in the National Assembly during
Obasanjoâ€™s regime. They were the ones who gave her money to go and contest in Akwa
Ibom. Florence Ita â€“ Giwa should speak up. Why has she kept quiet for almost twenty
So this is a challenge for her to speak up?
Yes. I am throwing her that challenge. If the incident I have just narrated is a lie, let her
come out and say so. But you see it is the truth. Nigerians must know. She should be able
to tell us what happened to her former husband like that. Do you know, she has not
granted any interview to anybody?
But she is media savvy. I am surprised she has never spoken about this, if it did happen?
Yes. The press in Nigeria will not ask her such questions (laughs). This is the tragedy of
the Nigerian press. They would not ask her. They would be shouting â€œMama Bakkassiâ€
with those inconsequential questions. They should be able to ask her â€œwhat do you know
about the death of your former husbandâ€? â€œWhy, all of a sudden, was she so close to
Aliyu Mohammed? She lived far away from her home base. How did she work it and
become a Senator? How did she do it and hold the position for eight years? She was in
Aso Rock. Obasanjoâ€™s Presidential Liaison Officer, National Security Matters. I have just
told you how she got there. It is just to shut her mouth up. Your next question.
You said that the pro-democracy movement was not organized as such, that it was a loose
coalition. Could you please explain what you are talking about?
How do I mean?
I need to be educated further, because what Nigerians saw was organized onslaught
against the military.
It was an ad-hoc movement. It was an emergency set up. The arrow head was the late
Papa Ajasin (Adekunle) Ajasin, who felt the stupidity of the military must be stopped. As
a young Nigerian then, that was the only Nigerian that I had seen that had Nigeriaâ€™s
genuine interest. He loved Nigeria as a nation. That old man was very committed. Very
very incorruptible. If there was any Nigerian who lived what they preached, it was that
man. He was transparently honest. There are only very few Nigerian politicians who will
be placing phone call on the Inland Revenue to demand when his next pension would
Page 14 of 42
come. Only very few people would be chairman of a Local Government Area in Nigeria
or Governor in a state without a private generating set. He did not have a generator.
NEPA would take light and that was it. Baba would call for the candle to be lit. This is
not what I read or because we were from the same hometown, I studied him at close
range. Several times he would be sleeping, Abacha would call. He would say that they
should tell him he was sleeping. They could not wake him up. That is Baba for you.
Remember that he was older than Awolowo.
Yes, he was born in 1908 and Awolowo was born in 1909.
It was Baba and Abraham Adesanya who championed the cause of NADECO. When I
met Pa Adesanya in Obalende in 1994, before I left Nigeria, I told him once Abacha got
one or two of you guys, that would have been the end. The people who were really
committed were Ajasin, Adesanya, Dan Suleiman. The other guys who we are praising
today, I donâ€™t know where they belong because I would disclose to you today that Lt.
Gen. Alani Akinrinade they are talking about, some of them I donâ€™t know how committed
they are. My picture that was taken and sent from prison to Alani Akinrinade in London
eventually landed on Abachaâ€™s desk. How that happened, how the photograph got back to
Abacha, he never knew.
So you think there was a mole in the house?
Thatâ€™s right. There were some photographs I took in detention insideAlagbon Prison with
Major Kosoko, we were planning to send them to CNN or BBC and I sent them to Mrs.
Alice Ukoko-Ugono, a Nigerian-Briton attorney in London, under diplomatic cover. Mrs.
Sugono, you would recall was the founder of Women In Nigeria International, WIN,
Women International of Nigeria, WIN, in London. That woman really played a great role
that was heroic. There were lots of people who championed this June 12 struggle in
Nigeria and we never hear of them. They were outside the country and they fought
She braved all odds and came to Nigeria. The pictures were smuggled to her. And she
took the pictures to Lt. Gen Alani Akinrinnade. I was shocked when they showed me the
photographs when I was eventually captured and kidnapped. How did the photograph that
was sent to London under diplomatic cover get to Abacha and his agents? The woman
told me that the only one who had custody of the pictures was Alani Akinrinnade. He was
the only one they said asked to just see the picture. Well if Akinrinnade is reading this,
because I am sure he must be back in Nigeriaâ€¦
He was at Alausa Democracy fiesta.
That is why I am saying this. Most of these peopleâ€¦ By the time I got to Ghana and I
called Tokunbo Afikuyomi in Radio Kudirat. He was my colleague at UNILAG. I called
him and I asked him what was happening, his excuse was incoherent. That is why I am
saying openly now, everybody was just fighting here and there. The only movement that
was solid was NALICON that was set up by Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Page 15 of 42
Was that one formidable?
Oh yes, it was. The movement added fillip and energy to our struggle back home,
otherwise Abacha wanted to crush all of us. It was a coalition of disparaged ideological
But the story was that Senator Tinubu, who later became governor of Lagos State, did
make limitless funds available for the struggle. How true is that?
Yes. Bola Tinubu was an individual. You asked me for a movement. There were more
other individuals too like Prof. Banjo who used their resources. But was there any
movement? There was no movement. Tinubu made some financial contributions. Other
people also did. He was close to Abiola. He accompanied Abiola to Abachaâ€™s office
where they discussed that Abacha should stay for six months. And when Abacha reneged,
that was how Tinubu ran away from Nigeria.
Was that deal not like a dinner with the devil?
But Abacha told them. He gave them the impression that he would stabilize the place and
bring up Abiola. It was a charade.
Was Abiola naÃ¯ve or he was acting in the best interest of the country?
Not an issue of naivetÃ©. Abiola was trusting. He was an unorganized and indisciplined
person, because of money. I mean for someone to live that kind of life. Can you compare
between Abiola and Awolowo for instance? Abiola wasnâ€™t organized. He wasnâ€™t a
disciplined man. But he was very trusting. We are talking of politics and power.
Do you think he was ever transformed by the betrayals of June 12?
We never knew and we would never know if he had Survived his incarceration. Prison
has a way of bringing oneâ€™s real character.
How about his tenacity?
Tenacity has nothing to do with discipline. One becomes disciplined while alive.
You had your reservations about his life and you still had your weight and skills behind
It was a systemic change. If Obamaâ€™s election was annulled because he was black, that
would have been the end of America. It is not about personality. A lot of presidential
candidates came and were banned before him, nobody fought for them because there was
no general election.
Page 16 of 42
When did you choose to abandon intellectual war for armed struggle?
You should understand that many people died because of Babangidaâ€™s wickedness. Do
you know the kind of pains Babangida inflicted on Nigerians? It appears that the man
would go scot free. It should not have happened in any civilized society. That was why I
left Nigeria. The annulment of June 12, we may be pretending now that things are ok.
Is that not like taking an extreme position on a matter that appears settled?
We are talking about June 12 now. Your children, mine and their childrenâ€™s children
would talk about the gross injustice. We may be pretending now that let us move
forward, things are o.k. Things would never be o.k. in Nigeria. I know that there are
forces at work, but the point is that Abiola won on June 12. It would have been alright
even if they removed him after a day, one month or ten years in office. But that a man
would just wake because he was military general and peremptorily annul an election,
because he was a Military General, when the results were everywhere.
At what point in the debacle did you decide to float Razor?
I never knew there was going to be an annulment. What was certain was that Babangida
was not ready to go. Because the election was held on 12 th of June, 1993, by March
Babangida was dissolving parastatals and constituting boards and memberships. I told my
colleagues in Daily Times like Bunmi Aborishade and others that the man would not go
anywhere. Six months to that election, the man should have started his farewell tour.
Anyone with a sense of history would see it on the horizon that this man would not go
anywhere. What was the point of changing officials if he had to go in three or four
months? He even made Abiola the Chairman of Nigerian Export Import Bank NEXIM.
And I said what is this man IBB, doing?
I never thought of June 12. Razor was a child of circumstances.
Your publication became completely engrossed in that agitation. Didnâ€™t you go beyond
normal reportorial routine? You almost became a politician. Why that choice?
Things were abnormal. The role of the media extends beyond gate-keeping or merely
informing, educating or entertaining the people. What I saw and discovered was that in
any military regime, the press do not only have to become adversarial, we also have to
play advocacy role. And that was what happened at that time. There were no democratic
institutions. The military pocketed the country. There was no voice of dissent.
Newspapers should not have to be a gate keeper only, but to go beyond the normal role of
the press in any civilized society. Be advocates. That was how I saw it. We had no access
to guns. We could not stage a coup. The only weapon was to wield our pen and fight.
I think the Razor and other militant publications at that time played a militant role.
You actually did more than that. Your connection with Professor Segun Banjoâ€¦
Page 17 of 42
Well, you seeâ€¦
Why the option of arms?
I subscribed to that notion at that time that the way Abacha was going, the man wasnâ€™t
interested in dialogue and something needed to be done. Concerning the role of the press
in informing, the soul of Nigeria was at stake. I just felt that the monopoly of the military
to ammunitions should be broken. There were other colleagues who felt that we would all
be crushed if we stayed inside Nigeria.
We had some U.S. based professionals who would form the Peoples Liberation Army of
Nigeria, PLAN. The arrangement was afoot. It was said that they were ready to help
Nigeria. They would support us to go inside the bush and fight Abacha.
First and foremost, it was not planned well.
Secondly, he wanted to turn it into an exclusive movement. And besides, there was no
thorough home work. Choosing Benin Republic to me was the first faulty step. Cotonou
was more or less the twenty-second State of Nigeria. I mean that it was reasonable to
think of bringing arms and ammunition into Nigeria and say the people should train. But
where were they going to train them? There was no political contact. No link whatsoever
with those who were fighting inside Nigeria. It was more or less like a one â€“ man show.
You donâ€™t organize a movement like a one man show.
Were you able to point out these weaknesses to him?
We had an argument in Cotonou. I said, because left to me, he has not acknowledged that
I had his life and that of his wife in my palm for almost forty-eight hours. The Nigerian
government, through S. Adoli the Nigerian ambassador to Republic of Benin, was ready
to offer me money to betray them. And I said no.
They should not have used Cotonou or anywhere near Nigeria. These were people who
had been out of Africa for a long time. They should have done their home work before
importing arms and ammunition. People should have been waiting on the ground for
them. Uganda should have been a place of preference. Even I could not make the mistake
of choosing a place like Ghana. Ghana, Niger, Chad, Cameroon are too close for comfort
to train and want to fight in Nigeria.
The man should have chosen elsewhere. It looked like the man did not have enough
money. I read an interview in The Nation in Nigeria, that the man is broke. If he can
come to the U.S., there is money waiting for him. He should use this occasion to know
that he could contact me through you guys.
You mean there is some money waiting for him here?
Page 18 of 42
Yes. For Prof. Segun Banjo and his wife Ngozika
Do you think he spent up to $4m on the struggle?
I canâ€™t affirm or deny.
I did not see the cache of arm. But at the same time, I would not deny it. I donâ€™t know.
Did your recruitment involve voodoo initiations?
Not necessarily voodoo. When we got to Ghana, there was the suggestion. They were
suggesting that kind of stuff, for the purpose of trust and all that. I laughed, because we
were not talking of General Ukunda kind of warfare in Congo. I am a Christian. I donâ€™t
need to take any concoction or voodoo. I said I would not be involved in that kind of a
thing. Many were ready to do the initiation. The struggle is my life and I donâ€™t need to go
through any nonsense to be able to prove that.
The Nation said you were arrested because you had assisted the man to plan an escape.
What is your story?
I was not arrested. I was kidnapped. I had been invited to Alagbon. I made up my mind
after an encounter with Zakari and later Nuhu Ribadu. It was my first time of meeting
him. Zakari Biu used my arrest to get Fred Ajudua. They had the idea that Ajudua was
the one who was sponsoring me. Ajudua contributed to myâ€¦. I want to say it openly
today that no matter what anybody may say about 419, no matter your grouse with
Ajudua, the man contributed so much to the struggle.
People did not know. There are 419 in America. I donâ€™t want to go into that one. But that
man, Zakari Biu raided our office and saw some documents showing correspondence
with Ajudua. Ajudua was having a quarrel with Coomasie, the then Deputy Inspector
General of Police, D I-G, and Aliyu Atta, the Inspector â€“ General of Police was a friend
The man never had any respect for Ibrahim Coomasie. Coomasie stepped up after Atta
had retired. Then they began to spotlight my closeness to Ajudua. They saw some
documents. Ajudua was on my board. Zakari used that connection to go to Ibrahim
Coomasie and that was why they arrested Ajudua.
There was the rumor in Nigeria, that I gave up Ajudua. No. They saw my correspondence
with Ajudua when they raided my office, that was why they went after him.
When I left Nigeria, it was with my family from Nigeria. When I got in touch with Benin
Republic, it was too close to Nigeria. There was nothing we could do. The best thing was
for us to stay in Ghana until we had a country that could give us reception. Then we
could continue there. But because Nigerian Security guys had already infiltrated Benin
Page 19 of 42
Republic, Banjoâ€™s life was in danger. I just put my life on the line and I said I was not
going to betray him. What you should know was that I was so concerned with my family,
that I wrote a letter to the Beninois government concerning the activities of Mrs. Naryse
Fontus. She was the Chief Protection Officer of United Nations High Commission for
Refugee (UNHCR). That woman was on the payroll of the Abacha government. We had
it on authority that Abacha was sleeping with the woman whenever he was in Cotonou.
Going to UNHCR was like going back to ones death because the woman would virtually
betray you. So we knew. She was the one who, however, paid. She gave me money to get
Segun Banjo out of Benin Republic. I had photocopies of the money she gave me. So I
wrote to the Beninois government on her activities.
I told my family that the letter should be released if anything happened to me. It was that
letter that saved me from being killed.
There were lots of people who showed interest in the Nigerian problem at that time. I
would not deny, I would not confirm. I would not know. Maybe yes. Maybe it was
exaggerated. I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t know if he spent close to $4m. But on the issue of
voodoo and initiation, I told him we were not running Alice Lakwema the LORDâ€™S
Resistance Army of Uganda (laughs). You know what I mean. Not the rebel army of
Congo. We are educated people. If the struggle is my life, I donâ€™t need to be used. I donâ€™t
need to take any concoction. I do not compromise my Christian fundamentals. I said I
would not be involved in that kind of a thing. Many people were ready to do the thing.
Even some who did not believe in my struggle, just wanted to be initiated voodooist.
It was said you travelled to Ghana with the man (Banjo) and that the reason you were
arrested by the DMI was because you enabled and smuggled him to escape.
I was first arrested by FIIB, Alagbon. Zakari Biu effected my arrest to get Fred Ajudua.
Biu had that idea that Ajudua was the one who was bankrolling me. Remember Ajudua
contributed. No matter your grouse concerning 419 with Ajudua, that man was one of the
Nigerians who were committed to the struggle. There are 419 people in the American
system as well. I donâ€™t want to go into that now. Zakari Biu ordered a raid on our office.
He saw some documents between Ajudua and I which was a strong link of Ajudua with
me. Remember, Ajudua was not having a good relationship with Coomasie. Aliyu Atta
was a friend to Ajudua. Ajudua had no respect for Coomasie.
It was after the retirement of Atta, that Coomasie went after Ajudua. And somehow,
Ajudua was connected with me. Ajudua was a director of our board. Zakari used that to
demonstrate to Coomasie that the document must be used to nail Ajudua and that was
why they arrested him. I want to use this forum to clear the air of the wrong information
in Nigeria that I gave up Ajudua. No. It was our correspondence that they saw when they
raided my office that led to his arrest. I did not give him up.
How was Ajudua your boss?
I said he was on my board. He was a member of the board of directors of my company,
Page 20 of 42
Razor. I also knew he gave lots of money to several pro-democracy people and leaders.
Unfortunately, they have not treated him well.
So what actually happened? How and why were you arrested?
I took my family out of Nigeria. Cotonou was the first stop point. But meeting the
Banjos, I knew that Cotonou was not safe. Benin Republic was very close to Nigeria.
There was not much we could do. It was better for us to stay in Ghana, maybe we could
eventually get a country to give us reception, the struggle would continue from there.
Nigerian Security guys had already infiltrated Cotonou and they wanted to take Banjo out
(kill him). I put my life on the line that I was not going to betray them. But what you
should know was that I was so concerned with the safety of my family that I wrote a
letter to the Beninois authorities concerning the activities of UNHCR.
I had detailed the activities of the woman, and I gave a copy of the letter to my former
wife. The UNHCR boss was the one who gave me the money with which I took Banjo to
Ghana. I made photocopies of the currency notes. The letter I had given to my wife on
the womanâ€™s activities became the reason why I was not killed immediately I got to DMI.
That is the story I want to tell you today. When they saw that letter, they were fooled that
I could not be working with Banjo and still had a document alleging inappropriate things
against the woman. Remember we heard the woman was a girlfriend of Abachaâ€™s and
that she was on the payroll of the Nigerian government then.
I was taken to Nigeria on Saturday February 15. I was kidnapped at 10 p.m. Friday
February 14, 1997. On Saturday, February 15, 1997, when I got to DMI, Apapa and they
were interrogating me, that letter was brought out. It was that letter that saved me when
Mustapha, Omenka and all of them arrived to interrogate me. I was grilled for twelve
hours. That letter that I wrote in which I said I did not cause the escape of Professor and
Mrs. Banjo, and that it was the UNHCR woman that did it, that was what saved my life.
So they asked me â€œwhy did you leave Nigeria?â€ I said because I could not practice
anything. â€œDid you go to join PLAN?â€ I said â€œNoâ€. â€œBut you said it in your paper that
there was only one way to remove Abacha, and that was through Armed Struggle. So did
you go to Benin Republic to give effect to what you wrote two months ago?â€ I kept quiet.
So they produced the letter. I had written it in English and I got a professor friend of mine
at the University of Benin in Cotonouto translate it into French. Very good French. I had
a copy in English. They produced it. When they read it there, they started looking at
themselves. And I said this letter confirmed that I wasnâ€™t a member of PLAN. I was very
But in actual fact you were a member of PLAN.
I have just told you now that I wasnâ€™t a member because of some of the things that I
disagreed with Banjo over. The idea of voodoo. There was no meticulous plan. Why
Page 21 of 42
smuggle arms and ammunition through Benin Republic? Only a fool and tactless person
would do that. Benin is just an annex of Nigeria. Why not go to Senegal. Even to
Gambia. Why not go to Congo. Or Sudan, the largest country in Africa where one could
be in an enclave and no one would know. I just donâ€™t know. PLAN was not planned well.
And I told Prof. Banjo. But that doesnâ€™t mean that I should betray them, because they
offered me money. S. Adoli, the Nigerian Ambassador sent emissaries to me that if I
betrayed Banjo they would pay me, and I said no way.
How much were they offering sir?
Well, I donâ€™t know and I did not care to know.
Were they non- specific?
No. It was that letter that I wrote. The woman left Benin Republic within 24 hours. She
just vamoosed. And I found out that she is in Kenya now. They were after her life
because she was collecting money from the Nigerian government. I told you that Abacha
was allegedly sleeping with her. She was telling them that I was the one who caused the
escape of Banjo.
I did not need to argue for myself, the letter that I wrote nailed her. I did not submit the
letter to President Mathew Kerekou, it was just a back-up plan. I knew that they would
come for me. They were so desperate. God inspired me to write that letter and I sold them
a dummy. When Omenka and Al Mustapha saw the letter they said that it was the woman
they were paying who betrayed them and not me. That was why I was not killed that
But they still went ahead to torture you, in spite of that?
Yes. But torture is different from killing.
I want to know what the holding cell looked like.
It was a gulag. Rodents co-habit with humans. Once you entered the place, you canâ€™t
know your way out. It was a real dungeon. An underground tunnel. I was there by myself.
When I got here, to the U.S., I was still having flashbacks and nightmares. It was a
harrowing experience. Iâ€™m o.k. now. It was not a pleasant experience. (Voice increasingly
became pensive) I was there for two years. I was quarantined. I did not have any contact
with any human being. I was thinking that they did not want to shoot me but knew a
civilian would not survive the place because that was the same place they kept late Gen.
Mamman Vatsa.They just wanted me to die somehow and that my body would be
collected and that would be it.
Understand that one of my cousins was one of those who interrogated me. They did not
know. He is still in the system. He pretended that he did not know me. That was the
Page 22 of 42
cousin with whom I lived when Babangida took over power. He did not torture me. He
pretended that he did not know me.
So you did actually drive Professor Banjo to Ghana?
I did not drive him. I ordered a cab for them. I took them to a hotel. It was a non-descript
hotel. Nobody knew that they were there. The UNHCR guy wanted me to take them out
at night. I made up my mind that I would take them out in broad day light.
The Nigerian Security people didnâ€™t know that they could come out in the afternoon. Bad
things happen at night. They were waiting for them at night. We got to Benin Togo
border at 11 a.m. The Nigerian goons were there from 12 midnight to 6 a.m. I hired the
taxi like any other passenger. I did it through my United Nations Card.
They stopped us at the border, I flashed my card and I said I was taking U.N. Official to
Ghana, they waved us on. And then I returned.
Were you indeed suspended, hanged downwards to roast gradually on a burning stove
while at DMI dungeon? Was it that bad?
(Laugh) It borders on exaggeration. You know I said it in my column. It was exaggerated.
You mean that never happened?
Well, I wasnâ€™t tortured to that level. All that fire thing, no, no.
You were only released after Abacha died?
Remember there was a fight at DMI. They were not coordinated. Sabo was the second in
command toâ€¦ There was a lady military officer that used to come to me at night. We
were exchanging information. She could not have access to my place. She was the one
who went to Bamaiyi to tell him about my case.
Remember Alima Asuku from Kogi state, a girlfriend of Abachaâ€™s was there. She had
four children for Abacha. The lady was from Okene. She was detained with us. She was
very nice. She was nice to me.
Ishaya Bamaiyi was the only military officer who visited me in the underground tunnel
after my case had been presented to him by the lady military officer. We spoke. Bamaiyi
thought that if Abacha died, he would step into Abachaâ€™s shoes. God had shown me that
Abacha would die.
Did you tell him that?
Yes. The message was open. I told the lady as well. Omenka and all of them heard me
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when I said that Abacha was going to die. I started saying it in 1997. Almost a year
before Abacha died. It was an open thing.
And it was not as if you had any clandestine plan with anybody?
No. Just a vision from God.
When you said that to the military intelligence people, did they accuse you of treasonable
They thought I was crazy. They asked if it was going to be through a coup. I said I donâ€™t
know but that the man was going to die. And it happened like that. And I made up my
mind. From there, we knew they were going to bringâ€¦ Up till today, Nigerians do not
know how Abacha and Abiola died and how they arranged for Obasanjo to become the
President. I shall now place that information and the dots to connect it all at your
disposal. It was Babangida and the northern oligarchy that planned it all. Obasanjo is just
an Uncle Tom. The slave in the house. He is not in the inner caucus of anything. He is a
You donâ€™t see the names of those Hausa Fulanis who rule Nigeria on the pages of
Nigerian newspapers. They do not speak Hausa. They speak Fulfulde. They speak the
language of the Fulani. They traced their lineage to Othman (or Usman) Dan Fodio. They
are sworn to rule Nigeria from the North until they deep their Koran inside the (ocean)
and make all Nigerians to become Moslems. They are still active inside Nigeria today.
Most Yorubas, Urhobo, Edo, Ibos, Deltas, Ijaws, Efik, Ibibio and Nothern Minorities do
not know what is happening. There is internal colonialism going on in Nigeria. All the
talk of Adamawa, Sokoto, Bauchi is rubbish. There is only one Hausa-Fulani oligarchy.
That is why people much resist the attempt at making our children second class citizens
in that country. Awolowo saw it very early in the life of the Republic. Abiola saw it too.
When you have your own money, you will have a voice. The only person that they have
even been able to buy over is Obasanjo. He is their errand boy.
But Obasanjo would argue to the contrary, sir.
It doesnâ€™t matter. It is like saying there is no God. It does not remove the fact. You wake
up in the morning; you see His creation, the sun and daylightâ€¦
Nigerians in my generation think we should stay inside one nation and engineer a good
For eight years that Obasanjo governed, he could not do anything. All these things you
are hearing from me, if we were in Nigeria, no newspapers would carry it. This idea of
Babangidaâ€™s past was what Bola Ige had when he became Attorney-General and Minister
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of Justice. He had all the papers on Babangida and his gang. He was coming to the U.S.
to expose him and they had to kill him. Did you know that?
Not exactly. So you are saying that was why he was assassinated?
Yes. Obasanjo knows this fact. Let him speak up. He said it himself that Bola Ige did not
know his left from his right. These are some of the dirty things that they needed to
perpetuate. That was why Babangida brought Aliyu Mohammed (Gusau) back. The story
could not come out now in Nigerian papers. It is when the man dies that Nigerian
journalists would be pretending to be investigating.
Are you saying that Nigerian journalists are lazy?
The so-called Nigerian mainstream media has always been like that. That is why
Babangida always says â€œI know Nigeriansâ€. He has spread his tentacles and has bought
into all of them.
We know credible Nigerians like Professor Wole Soyinka and even leaders from the
North are talking about these things.
Why are they not saying it openly? Prof Soyinka, I respect. He has international clout, but
he had one or two things to do with Babangida. Although his intentions were pure,
Babangida granted him some favors in order to later arm string him and shut him up.
Do you know what those one or two things are sir?
Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi was one of Wole Soyinkaâ€™s lieutenants. Ogunbiyiâ€™s job was on the
line at the Guardian. I worked in the Guardian then. His appointment was terminated. He
approached Alex Ibru that Ogunbiyi should be retained and nothing was done. He was
annoyed. So Soyinka approached Babangida. And that was how Dr. Ogunbiyi became the
Managing Director of Daily Times. Ogunbiyi eventually gave me a job at the Daily
Times. I am confessing that. Ogunbiyi went to Daily Times and made his money.
Babangida knows how to apply rude squeeze. Soyinka does not owe him anything. At
least he did not collect anything directly from Babangida. I know that alright. But like I
said when you do me a favor, you could expect something in return.
Even in the death of Dele Giwa, Prof. Soyinka and Dr. Ogunbiyi would have known.
Remember that Ogunbiyi was the Master of Ceremony at the funeral of Dele Giwa. And
he was the Director of Publicity at the Guardian.
Sully Abu, Stanley Macebuh, Andy Akporugo, Ogunbiyi were all close to Dele Giwa.
They knew why IBB killed their friend. Nobody wants to talk. They are all still alive.
Thatâ€™s why I am talking from the U.S. now. This is a challenge to them.
Andy Akporugo is dead. Segun Osoba is still alive. They should come out and tell
Nigerians what they know. They know why Babangida killed Dele Giwa. They all had
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the story that Dele Giwa had. But they canâ€™t publish it. And I was the only one who
published it. That is the truth.
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 doesnâ€™t come here. His
wife did, but we want him to come and then we shall dock himâ€¦
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 â€¦ 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
I disagree with you on how you trump Buhari as honest and all that. He was in Abachaâ€™s
government. He served as Head of Petroleum Trust Fund. Idiagbonâ€™s son also served
with him. They were part of the looting gangâ€¦
You see, among thieves, there is honor. Tell me who doesnâ€™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 Abachaâ€™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 canâ€™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 proâ€“democracy fold. People in Republic of Benin â€“ especially the
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Yoruba speaking area. The West African Journalists Association, my friend, Bunmi
Aborishade, Mr. Amikal Kabrah in Ghana,â€¦ Reporters Without Borders, Committee for
the Protection of Journalists.
You havenâ€™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
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 donâ€™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 â€œthank you boyâ€. Thatâ€™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 donâ€™t jump anyhow. They collected the keys from Obasanjo. Thatâ€™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 donâ€™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. Thatâ€™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 thatâ€™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, thatâ€™s all.
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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? Thatâ€™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. â€œGovernor of the Yearâ€. Itâ€™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 donâ€™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 brigandageâ€¦
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
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
All those stories that later came out at Oputa Panel in Nigeria, I was the first to publish
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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 â€œah why? Why did you have to kill our colleague?â€ 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 stupid. They
cannot fight for anything. They are only interested in money. Thatâ€™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 wellâ€¦
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 â€“ 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
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
Page 29 of 42
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
1960â€™s no person outside the Hausa â€“ 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 Yarâ€™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
Muhammedâ€™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 Yarâ€™Adua, the then Chuef of Staff Supreme Headquarters was already waiting and
in the latterâ€™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, Olutoyeâ€™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
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
Page 30 of 42
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 faÃ§ade 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; â€œWe do not run our government on the pages of newspapers.â€ Remember?
Even the so-called Obasanjo â€œelected government, you hear them telling Nigerians â€œoh
this government is not run on the pages of newspapersâ€.
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 â€“ 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 â€“ General
Shehu Musa Yarâ€™ 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 Abiolaâ€™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 Yarâ€™ 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
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stakes to N10, 000, N20, 000 per delegate. Unknown to Abiola, Babangidaâ€™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 â€œEyin ara Ibadan, Owo Abiola ti deâ€,
meaning â€œFolks from Ibadan, Abiolaâ€™s cash has landedâ€ (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 CIAâ€¦.
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,
There were basically three reasons Babangida annulled the election.
First, the man didnâ€™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 â€“ seated animosities between him and Abiola. Most Nigerians
do not want to hear this that the money kept in Abiolaâ€™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. Babangidaâ€™s personal self entrenchment and the betrayal of
each other over Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doeâ€™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 â€œhey, Iâ€™m president here and I donâ€™t
want to put the money in my account. We have a friend who we can useâ€.
That was how he suggested Abiola and of course, Abiola had investment in Liberia. So
the money was paid into Abiolaâ€™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 forâ€¦. 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.
Page 32 of 42
The Saudi authorities were ready to take Doe. As it eventually turned out, Doe was killed
by Yormie Johnsonâ€™s soldiers. So his family, Doeâ€™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 wifeâ€™s account. And that he wasnâ€™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
â€˜Adua, because Chris Mamman, who eventually became Chief Press Secretary to former
Vice President Atiku Abubakar took me to General Yarâ€™ Aduaâ€™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 donâ€™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. Itâ€™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 donâ€™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 Yarâ€™ Adua who gave us the story. And he also said it that when
Abiola ran into trouble, that he said, that he, Yarâ€™ Adua had warned Abiola that â€œare you
sureâ€, he was telling Chris Mamman that he told Abiola â€œare you sure that our friend
Ibrahim was ready to leave?â€ That was what he said he asked him when he wanted to run
for the presidency. â€œI wanted to be president too, the man banned me. Are you sure you
would not be banned?â€ That even if you win the election, are you sure that Babangida
was ready to go?â€ All that with the Doe offerâ€¦â€ 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 Yarâ€™ 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 wouldnâ€™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 Abiolaâ€™s wives had a baby and they were having the
naming ceremony. Virtually all the top editors of Concord titles were in Abiolaâ€™s house
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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 boysâ€¦
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, NSOâ€™s boss, had already bugged Babangidaâ€™s telephone
lines. They used the innocent childâ€™s naming ceremony as a cover â€“ 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 Abiolaâ€™s house, the military guys who came with Babangida, Abubakar Umar
and the others retired to the back of Abiolaâ€™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 sayingâ€¦ 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
theyâ€™re waiting for Babangida to die and then they would come out with their
You promised me you would reveal the story behind Abachaâ€™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, â€œstepping asideâ€, 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 Abachaâ€™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 donâ€™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 Mandelaâ€™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
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Obasanjo, Obasanjo refused the presidential ride. When Abacha got to South Africa, he
saw Obasanjo and he said â€œha haâ€. When he came back, he had this attitude like Idi Amin
that â€œif you are not my friend, you must be my enemy. And if you are my enemy, you
must dieâ€. (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 Obasanjoâ€™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 Yarâ€™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 Abachaâ€™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 Yarâ€™ 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 prostitutes. 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 Yarâ€™ 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 Yarâ€™ Adua that opened their eyes; that this so called Abacha had a
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
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has been able to trace this guyâ€™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 â€“ Owoâ€¦ Nobody
has been able to do that concerning the Abachas. In Nigeria, nobody is interested in all
these kinds of things.
So the manâ€¦
Have you done that yourself?
That is why I am telling you that the man was not a Nigerian. If a childâ€™s father diedâ€¦ 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 Yarâ€™ Adua was killed by Abachaâ€™s agent, if there was any godfather of the
Hausa/Fulani, it was Shehu Musa Yarâ€™ 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 Yarâ€™ Adua who was the first Minister of Lagos during
Balewa regime under the Northern Peopleâ€™s Congress Government.
Shehu Musa Yarâ€™ 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
The people leaked out the information. His Chief Security Officer, CSO, Major Hamzat
Al â€“ 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
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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 Abachaâ€¦
Are you saying that Al â€“ Mustaphaâ€™s tale about Diyaâ€™s cowardice was more baloney?
Al â€“ 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 prostitutes. 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 Abachaâ€™s guest house, and from what I gathered, the lady was probably a
friend to Useniâ€™s daughter. Useni has a daughter; his first daughter, Hadiza who
graduated from the University of Jos and she was a friend to Abachaâ€™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 friendsâ€™ wives
and their daughters. And you can understand Abachaâ€™s sexual escapades if you have read
Dr. Taiwo Ogunadeâ€™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.
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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
May be they donâ€™t know about it?
I donâ€™t know what is wrong with them. It is an international story, but they wonâ€™t publish
this kind of story. Besides, if anyone gave it to them, they would be afraid and
lamentably, they donâ€™t have the resources to investigate. They would give you the official
story that is the story everybody would run away with â€œoh two Indian prostitutesâ€. Where
are the Indian ladies? Itâ€™s all rubbish. So once you are given spiked Viagra, you canâ€™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 didnâ€™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. Heâ€™s alive. Let him corroborate what I am saying.
Jeremiah Useni is still alive. Let him tell Nigerians what happened that night. No Indian
prostitutes. 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 â€“
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 â€“ 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 letâ€™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
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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, Iâ€™m going to â€œremove Abacha,
remove Diya and I would bring you inâ€. That was how Abubakar Abdulsalami became
head of state.
Is there a way to know this Abachaâ€™s alleged girl friend?
I donâ€™t know. There are lots of mysteries happening in that country. There is no Indian
prostitute. Women are so many in Nigeria, that Abacha would least think of any
expatriate prostitute. You too should think about it. No Indian prostitute (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 Abachaâ€™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 Idiagbonâ€™s house and I used to visit the
family regularly after leaving Gen. David Jemibewonâ€™s house on Umar Audi Road,
G.R.A. along Take Road, Ilorin.
It was because Bola Ige wanted to expose Babangidaâ€™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 didnâ€™t know his right from his left. In other words, Bola
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Ige was naÃ¯ve, 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 Igeâ€™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 didnâ€™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 donâ€™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
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 stupid, 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
â€œAh Moshood, this is where they kept you?â€ â€œWhy didnâ€™t you send your wife to me?â€
And I said â€œauntie I donâ€™t want to disturb youâ€. 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
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 â€œok, which
one would you want?â€ 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.
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Are you following me? She said she went there, cooked for Abiola and of course they
had sex. 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. Havenâ€™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 â€œyou have caused problem again oh,
Abacha said I must bring you to Aso Rockâ€.
Kudirat said â€œover my dead body. I would prefer to die than going to see him to
Oba Lipede relayed the message back to Abacha. Abacha now sent words back to
Kudirat through Oba Lipede that was what she would getâ€¦ 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 Abachaâ€™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?
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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 Kotagoraâ€™s release. He did their dirty job and that still did not save him from their
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 weâ€™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
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 wonâ€™t believe what is happening. Let me tell
you, a nation doesnâ€™t fall and disintegrate at once, it first begins to crack and all of a
sudden, itâ€™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 shanâ€™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
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wire of Nigeria is oil; very soon, that spigot wonâ€™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 donâ€™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 weâ€™re waiting for the day he will enter America. Donâ€™t
ask me who are the â€œthey.â€ I wonâ€™t say more than that.