“When Shehu died in prison, my international friends decided that they would use a commando plan to get me out of prison and they actually did. They made the plan, they raised the money and their plan was to get a helicopter to take me out of Yola prison and take me into Cameroon and they sent a message to me.

“But I told them that if you did, I would not come out of prison and that was when they dropped the idea of using commando effort to get me out because that would have defeated what we stood for, and we stood to face whatever consequences standing for Nigeria would cost us".

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo disclosed this during the 20th memorial anniversary of Yar’Adua’s death in Abuja, on Friday.

The former President revealed that he was in South Africa when he received news the first time Yar’Adua was arrested.

He further explained that on his return to Nigeria, he confronted late Gen. Sani Abacha to demand an explanation why Yar’Adua was detained.

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Obasanjo said, “I asked the man (Abacha) who arrested him (Yar’Adua) and the man who arrested him said to me that he did not know that Shehu had been arrested, and I said, Mr. Head of State, tell that to the marines. There is no way the number two man of a country at one time would be arrested without your knowledge.

“Soon after that, Shehu was released, but he was released only for a short time. When he was arrested for the second time, I was arrested along with him and we were in separate locations thereafter.

“Our destiny — the verdict had been given of what would happen to us. We met in Kirikiri Prison and I believed that was a mistake. That was the last time we actually stayed together. We had about three nights together, we were able to talk, think and work together.”

“It cost Shehu Yar’Adua his life. Those of us who believed in what Shehu Yar’Adua believed in are still alive. I think the only thing we can do is to allow the struggle to continue and we are not at the end of the struggle. If anything, we are in the middle of the struggle.”


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