By Gideon Njoku
If the late Chief MKO Abiola had reclaimed his Presidential mandate, former Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha, would have been his Minister for Defence.
This was sensationally revealed by Lt. Col. Tony Nyiam, a NADECO Chieftain, in an interview published in the Punch of June 30. Nyiam was, also, a major participant in the April 22, 1990 coup which sought to overthrow the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.
In the interview, Nyiam also described Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as the greatest betrayer of Abiola, and asked him to wear that cap, instead of blaming others.
Nyiam, also. blamed, almost, the hanged environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, for the fate which befell him under Abacha, revealing that both men were great friends in Port Hacourt when Abacha was a Brigade Commander, and Wiwa a state Commissioner. He revealed that Wiwa was talking to Abacha about the possibility of giving Abiola his mandate. According to Nyiam, Wiwa had believed Abacha that Abiola would be sworn- in, and so ignored their warnings to keep off Abacha.
Nyiam: ” He was already talking with Abacha and wanted Great Ogboru and I to join him to talk to Abacha. But we both warned him that certain people from one part of the country in the far North do not share political power. Great and I warned Ken Saro Wiwa.
We perceived that Ken was exposing himself to danger; we feared that he was making a mistake. We gathered that Abacha was not ready to hand over to MKO, and we passed the information to him, but he chose to believe Abacha because he trusted him.”
Tackling Kingibe who was Abiola’s running mate, he said: “Babagana Kingibe was the worst betrayer of MKO. Instead of him to defend the allegations of treachery against him, Kingibe was busy shifting blame.”
He said both Abiola and Abacha were negotiating, and were going to share power. But he also pointed out that Abacha was pretending about handing over power to Abiola. However, he revealed that Abacha would have been Abiola’s Minister for Defence.
Nyiam: “Abacha obviously would have been there as the Minister for Defence. That was the arrangement; that Abacha would hold the military until Abiola would consolidate.”
Unfortunately, Abacha clamped him into detention, and put him on a long trial. Abiola was to die in military detention.