How I Escaped Death – Obasanjo Opens Up

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed how the government of former head of state, General Sani Abacha planned to kill him with an injection while in prison, but God protected him.

He also disclosed how his late friend, General Shehu Yar’ Adua was killed in a Port Harcourt prison.

Obasanjo and his former deputy, Yar’Adua, were among those who were convicted by a kangaroo military tribunal for participating in a phantom coup.

According to Obasanjo, he was serving his 15 year jail term in Jos before he was transferred to the Yola prison but on the day he was to depart for Yola, he was made to meet a doctor sent to kill him gradually with a lethal injection, but he escaped the trap.

The former president made this revelation in his book – MY WATCH – where he recalled how he was arrested, tried, and convicted and put behind bars, where he escaped death by a whisker.

According to him, he was told by a warder that a man, whom he later found to be a doctor, came to see him for medical reasons and said the Abacha government was worried about his health and mandated him to come and check his cholesterol problem.

“Earlier, I had alluded to the fact that the magnitude of the flow of visitors to me had caused Abacha some anxiety. One day, I was suddenly told that I was being moved. Where to and for what reason, nobody told me. The movement of prisoners is always shrouded in secrecy for security reasons, as they would say. One warder who wanted to be helpful came to tell me that the movement might be to my home. Anyway, by early afternoon, I was moved to a government quarters in the GRA. There, a man whom I later realised was a doctor, was waiting for me. He started talking to me about the concern of the government authority for my health, especially for my cholesterol level and said he would want to take my blood for testing.

“I knew very well that I had no cholesterol problem. I was slightly diabetic and surprisingly, my sugar level had been consistently normal. I told the man firmly that I did not need a blood cholesterol test and that the minor medical problem I had was diabetes. I checked my blood sugar level regularly and I was quite satisfied with my results. Obviously, he did not expect the reaction he got from me. He had to put his syringe and needle back and said to me that later, they would follow up in my new location. He did not look happy but there was not much else he could do with me at that juncture. As I came to realise later, Shehu Yar’Adua went through the same process, during which he must have been injected with what eventually killed him. I could only attribute the stand I took to the will and guidance of God. I had no premonition or tip-off,” he recounted.

He further recalled that with the doctor unable to perform his lethal act of injecting him with the deadly virus or slow poison, he was taken to the airport, where an Air Force Dornier aircraft was waiting to take him to his new location.

“But exactly where, I did not know. As I watched the shadow that the aircraft cast as we moved along, I knew we were moving in some easterly direction. We arrived in the evening, and I was kept in the aircraft for two hours while they were preparing my cell in the new location. I was handcuffed for the entire journey. By the time I came into what turned out to be Yola prison and my home for the next three years or so, it was almost ten at night…”

Obasanjo also recalled how he was introduced to one Dr Ajuwon, a medicine specialist to the Yola General Hospital, who hails from Oyo state, who became his doctor until his freedom came and he rewarded Ajuwon with an appointment as his personal physician when he became the president.

“A few weeks later,” the narrative continued, “a doctor, whom I later discovered to be Dr Yakasai, came from Abuja wanting to take my blood for a cholesterol check. He came with a syringe and needle. I insisted he would not touch me until my doctor was around. The prison authority sent for Dr. Ajuwon. When he came, he asked the Abuja doctor what he wanted. Of course, he gave the same story. Ajuwon, who had his own syringe and needle, there and then and in full gaze of everyone, including the prison officials, took my blood and gave it to the Abuja man.

“Ajuwon asked when we would have the results sent to us. The man replied, ‘Within forty-eight hours of my getting to Abuja.’ I remained in Yola for at least another two years after that visit, and no blood test result was ever sent to Dr. Ajuwon or to me. Obviously, he came for a devilish act, but God intervened once again.

“It was not too long after that visit that we received the news of Shehu Yar ‘Adua’s death. Rumour had it that he was poisoned. The way I was taken to a government quarters with a man ostensibly wanting to take my blood for a cholesterol check was the way Shehu was taken and under the guise of a blood check, a slow poison or virus was injected into his body…”

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