He was at a dinner programme organised by an inter-denominational Christian organisation, Christ The Redeemer’s Friends International of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 39 Chapter, where he revealed how God intervened and he survived the attempt to be killed by late head of state General Sani Abacha.
Obasanjo said that the late Yar’Adua was injected with a deadly virus and that he was next in line to be killed in detention.
In the report by Punch, Obasanjo said:
“Two people had earlier told me Abacha promised that three of us would not come out of prison or detention alive; myself. Shehu Yar Adua and MKO Abiola. And two of them did not come out alive. So, that I came out alive, maybe God has a purpose. And therefore if the purpose is for me to serve the people and by so doing, serve God, then so be it.
He further narrated how he had gone to plead with Abacha for Shehu Yar’dua’s release but the general said he didn’t know anything about it. Obasanjo did not believe him. He said he had been arrested on the claim that he was plotting a Coup d’état.
“In Abacha’s plan, he left God out of it and because he left God out of his plan, it (his government) eventually failed. There is God’s hand in the life of each and every one of us and every institution. I believe that very well.
“When I was arrested, they took me to a house in Ikoyi (Lagos) and that became my abode (I was) in isolation, for three months. “In the meantime, there were national and international pressures for my release, (former US) President Jimmy Carter was one of the world leaders that came to ask for my release. Some African leaders like Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe came. I believe it was because of those pressures that I was released from isolation in Ikoyi where I was under house arrest.”
After Obsanjo was court martialled, he said he was taken to the prison in Jos. He said the day was the worst day of his life as he ponder on the rewards for serving his nation. He later concluded that it was not Nigeria that imprisoned him but Abacha. He was later transferred to Yola prison on the claim that he was becoming too popular in Jos, while Yar’adua was transferred to Port Harcourt and was poisoned in the process.
“In Jos prison, before I was transferred to Yola prison, they had decided that Shehu Yar’Adua and myself should be poisoned. So, they took him from Port Harcourt prison to Abakaliki. In the process, he was injected with the virus that killed him. The same was supposed to be done to me. The man who came took me from the prison to a guest house in the GRA in Jos, said, ‘We know you have problem with cholesterol so I have to take your blood for a test.’ Then I said, ‘Not on your life, I don’t have any problem of cholesterol.’
“I was slightly diabetic. But God had taken care of it because I was checking my blood sugar almost on a daily basis and it had become better than normal. So, I refused him (the man) touching me with anything. So, they took me to Yola and he said, ‘when you get to where you are going, we will come again.’”
Obasanjo revealed that the attempt to kill him was thwarted by a prison doctor.
“The doctor was a professional man in charge of the General Hospital in Yola. He listened to my case that I needed special food because I was diabetic. He said the specialist would come to see me. The specialist turned out to be somebody from Okeogun in Oyo State. Two, he was a Baptist, and three, he had heard about me and knew me. So, he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t let anybody touch you with anything.’
“Within three weeks the man that came to me earlier returned again and said he wanted to take my blood. I said, ‘No, you have to get my doctor to come and take my blood for you.’ That was the arrangement between me and the doctor. And my doctor came and he brought a syringe and he took my blood and gave it to him. He now asked the man, ‘When would we have the result?’The man said, ‘Within 24 hours of my getting to Abuja.’I haven’t heard the result till today.”
Obasanjo said after he was released from prison, he contested the presidential election following pressure from some well-meaning people.
Obsanjo noted that he used to pray and fast a lot in prison because there was nothing else to do than to hope on God.
“In all these, God did not leave me alone, and I know that. I say to people that God has never let me alone nor disappointed me in spite of all. I am a sinner. It is not because of my goodness, but because of the grace of God, and the grace of God continues to abound.”
The former president spoke on Friday on the issue of BIAFRA, at Effurun, Delta state and noted that breaking up the country is not the solution. He said no sane being in his right state of mind would see separation as the way out for Nigeria’s problems.
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