- Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has written a tribute to Walter Carrington
- Carrington, an ex-American ambassador to Nigeria, died on Tuesday, August 11, at the age of 90
- Obasanjo said the deceased offered him political asylum in US during Abacha's regime
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A former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has revealed how the late former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, offered him political asylum in US during the dark days of the late junta, General Sani Abacha in 1995.
Legit.ng reports that Obasanjo remarked that during his tenure as ambassador, Carrington, helped in easing the move to democratic rule in the country, having met Nigeria under the military rule, which had run consecutively for over a decade and bred a culture of arbitrariness, flagrant abuse of human rights and disdain for the rule of law.
The attributes were contained in a condolence letter to the wife of the late ambassador, Arese Carrington, a copy which was made available to newsmen by his special assistant on media, Kehinde Akinyemi, in Abeokuta on Tuesday, August 18.
Obasanjo said Carrington was one of the responsible, mature and respected voices to take Nigeria out of the unwholesome situation it had found itself permanently in crisis, regularly threatened with disintegration, prolongingly devoid of democracy, and economically plundered and mismanaged.
The former president stated that he, however, turned down the asylum offer, despite its tempting and assuring nature.
He said: "Walter wasn't just a pride to America and Americans, he was also a pride to all the people of African descent. His involvement in the many causes in Africa cannot be over-emphasised. He was always looking out for his kinsfolk both at home and abroad.
"Walter Carrington was the initiator of many wide-ranging diplomatic operations, particularly during his tenures as the US Ambassador to Senegal from 1980-1981and Nigeria from 1993 to 1997.
"He engendered policies that strengthened political and economic ties between these two countries and America. Indeed, Africa gained a friend who cared about its well-being. He was such a committed humanitarian who did not just talk about peace-building but lived his life building peace and trying to make the world more wholesome.
"Throughout his tenure as an American Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Carrington helped in easing the move to democratic rule in the country. He met Nigeria under the military rule which had run consecutively for over a decade and bred a culture of arbitrariness, flagrant abuse of human rights and disdain for the rule of law all of which relegated our dear country, Nigeria, to the unenviable league of pariah states in the comity of nations.
"His was one of the responsible, mature and respected voices to take Nigeria out of the unwholesome situation it had found itself-permanently in crisis, regularly threatened with disintegration, prolongingly devoid of democracy, and economically plundered and mismanaged. As one of the few credible voices, several attempts were made to silence me. I was harassed and threatened."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Walter died on Tuesday, August 11, at the age of 90.
It was reported that a family statement signed by his Nigerian wife, Arese Carrington, said the former ambassador passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones.
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