Monday, June 20, 2011

Abacha's bad telephone habit saved my life – Diya

Former Chief of General Staff, Oladipupo Diya, the second in command to the late dictator, Sani Abacha, disclosed on Wednesday that Abacha’s bad habit of not picking telephone calls saved him from being executed in 1998.

Diya made the disclosure in Ibadan at the launch of a book titled “City on the Hill,” a biography of Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi.

He said it was an irony that the bad habit of Abacha of not answering his telephone calls, which many people had complained about, actually saved him from the hangman’s noose.

He recalled that the prayers of Nigerians made Abacha to ignore several telephone calls made by a General Officer Commanding (GOC) who wanted to confirm the execution order.

After some junior officers had come with the execution order, Diya recounted, the GOC insisted that he would personally confirm it from Abacha before giving a “go ahead order.”

However, according to him, several telephone calls made to Aso Rock by the GOC for nearly six hours were not answered by either Abacha or his aides.

Then the GOC ordered that Diya and others to be executed should be returned to detention.

Speaking on the role played by Yoruba leaders during his ordeal at the hand of Abacha, Diya commended Gbonigi for being courageous to be the first person to tell Abacha not to execute him.

He said before the alleged coup plot, Abacha had hated hearing anything from Gbonigi as he regarded the clergyman as a “NADECO Bishop.”

via Daily Independent

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