Wife of late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, has reacted to claims that her husband was arguably the greatest thief in Nigeria’s history, for looting billions of dollars of the nation’s wealth before his eventual demise in 1998.
Maryam Abacha, during an interview with Kano Focus, an online news platform in the state to mark the 22nd anniversary of her husband’s death, said when all the blackmails against her late husband is over, Nigerians would be shocked by what would follow.
She said, “How come this man was not a thief until he died?”
“What is this amount of money after 22 years you say oh we have found this amount of money and we’re bringing it back?
“It is a shame to tell lies on a dead man! It is a shame to tell lies on your leader.
“If he had done wrong, God knows. If other people are putting the wrong on him, it is a matter of time.
“They will kneel down like America is kneeling down now. Anybody that is evil will kneel down just like this corona has come to shut this world.”
On the impact of such allegations against her late husband on her family, she said, “He worked in Kano and he planted Kano people, but there are people he helped a lot but they are not even greeting me now for no reason.
“They just hate us. But why? It is Haram and Allah is watching us. ”
Although Abacha is generally viewed in the eyes of the public as one of Nigeria’s most evil leaders, there are still people who see the late dictator quite differently.
In our recent article titled: How the man who saved for rainy days, became a thief, we looked at both sides of the argument and what has really changed 22 years after Abacha passed on.
Beside president Muhammadu Buhari, former Chief Security Officer (COS) to late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, recently said he was surprised by the way his former boss is been blackmailed as the most corrupt head of states in the country.
Al-Mustapha said instead of blaming the late military ruler for the billions looted during his regime, Nigerians should instead query those who pocketed the money he left.
According to him, Abacha met lesser than 2 billion dollars in the nation’s foreign reserve and within 4 years and 8 months, “he did what was possible to raise it to over 9 billion dollars”.
Speaking with the BBC Hausa Service on Thursday, he said; “I am surprised because when he assumed leadership, Nigeria had less than 2 billion in the foreign reserve. Things were not organized.”
Al-Mustapha said the 9 billion dollars left in the foreign reserve by the Abacha administration “vanished in 9 months.”
Pointing accusing fingers at those who he alleged embezzled the money left by Abacha, Al-Mustapha said; “The person that raised Nigeria’s image and enhanced security is now the subject of insult. But those who shared the money he left, are still alive and untouchable.”
Defending why Abacha had to move chunks of money overseas, Al-Mustapha said it “was not a unilateral decision”.
“I’m saying this based on what I know and based on trust to Nigerians, their dignity and honour.”
“I’ve said it that there was a period Nigeria was to be sanctioned. So there were plans to keep money overseas so that Nigeria and Nigerians would not suffer when the sanction was imposed on the country.”
“We gathered Emirs and Chiefs from the South and from the North, together with VIPs of that time, those in government and those not in government.”
“We met at a place called Camp Bassey officer’s mess in the Brigade of Guards. It was there we deliberated on the threat to sanction Nigeria. Many decisions were made.”
“The meeting was also attended by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning, the CBN, etc.”
“It is surprising…. you should know when a person is opening an account, it is that very person that will go to the bank for biometric capture.
“But for him, that had not gone to these countries where the money was kept, what justification have they to say the accounts belonged to him? Have they ever seen where late Abacha appended his signature or thumbprint that the money belonged to him.?
“I’m surprised by the way Abacha is been blackmailed .”