The former Chief of Naval staff revealed that Abacha was embarrassed when MKO Abiola was given a Presidential honor during the inauguration ceremony of Nelson Mandela.
Recall that, the former head of state gave an order for the immediate arrest of the acclaimed winner of June 12 Presidential election, MKO Abiola.
Meanwhile, Alison Madueke was one of the top officials in Abacha’s cabinet. He disclosed that that might be one of the reasons why Abacha hated MKO Abiola.
Nigeria who played a front role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Upon independence, Nigeria was invited to witness the occasion.
Meanwhile, Gen Abacha was the head of state at that time. He led the delegates of powerful Nigerians to South Africa. The likes of Gen Yakubu Gowon, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and many others.
However, on getting to South Africa, they discovered that Chief MKO Abiola had arrived there and was given Presidential honor. He, MKO Abiola was recognized by the then US Vice President, Al Gore, while the National delegates from Nigeria were not given any respect or recognition.
Madueke reiterated that that got the Abacha really embarrassed. Quoting the words of Madueke, We took off from Abuja on May 9, 1994, aboard the Presidential plane at 10.40hrs and landed in Johannesburg at 17.30hrs to an unforeseen embarrassment and confusion. Chief MKO Abiola had arrived in South Africa with his own entourage to represent Nigeria at the inauguration!”
He went further, “On May 10, we went by road from our hotel in Johannesburg to Pretoria for the inauguration at the Union Building. Our experience there was even more embarrassing as Chief Abiola’s entourage was given a more prominent position in the sitting arrangement than we had”.
“As if that was not enough when the presence of the Nigerian delegation led by Gen. Abacha was announced, we were heckled to our utter embarrassment and that of our hosts”
Interestingly, Madueke revealed that all through their stay in South Africa, Nigerian delegates were treated as underserved.