KUNLE IDOWU, ABEOKUTA
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo described former American ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington now late, as a friend and brother who was after his wellbeing while his travail lasted during the Sani Abacha junta in 1995.
Obasanjo spoke in a condolence message he sent to the wife of the late Ambassador, Mr Arese Carrington. Be explained that when it was obvious that he would be arrested on his arrival to Nigeria from America where he went to attend a summit, Carrington, offered him a political asylum.
“Indeed, I recall, sometime in 1995, that on one of my trips to Copenhagen to attend World Social Summit as Human Development Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme, I received the most touching of the warnings, pieces of advice and offers to me from Amb. Carrington. He called me in Copenhagen and told me categorically that I was going to be arrested on returning home and, therefore, advised me not to return home,” Obasanjo said.
“But he did not stop it there, he offered me political asylum by his government in the US. That was both touching and assuring, but I decided that, tempting and assuring as the offer was, I would not take it. I came back and was arrested and imprisoned by Abacha. No doubt, his generous assistance to my family while I was a political prisoner makes me forever indebted to him.
“When I was in prison, he was one of the few foreign Ambassadors who regularly visited my wife to encourage her and to find out how I was doing in prison. I can proudly say he was a true friend and brother.”