Arese Carrington, the Nigerian widow of Walter Carrington, a former US ambassador to Nigerian, has provided insights into how the late Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha made frantic efforts to use her stop her late husband from criticising his government.
Carrington who passed on Wednesday at the age of 90 was the US ambassador to Nigeria in the 1990s during the late General Sani Abacha’s military dictatorship.
Carrington, who was given a Nigerian name, Omowale (the child who has returned) by Olusegun Obasanjo, was well known for his stand against human rights violations and anti-democratic tendencies of late Abacha’s regime.
Arese in her 2018 memoir entitled, ‘Defend The Defenceless’ gave a detailed account of how Abacha tried through proxies to detract her late husband using her.
Apparently, they felt they could through her reach him to stop opposing the military dictatorship.
She wrote: “I was surprised when they sent the wife of a general to pay me a visit and ask me to name anything I wanted to keep Walter quiet. I made it clear that there was nothing I wanted that was more important than standing up for the oppressed people of Nigeria.
The general’s wife left disappointed, unable to accomplish her mission.”
They also tried again and this time, it was in Aso Rock where she and other diplomats’ wives went for an event and it was Maryam Abacha, who with another unnamed general’s wife approached her.
She narrated: “They said they were saddened that my husband was so harsh on general Abacha in the media and asked whether there was a way I could convince him to soften his stance and tone down his criticisms?
“They suggested I should use my feminine prowess during intimate times to convince him again. Again, I was dismayed at their suggestion and approach.”
Carrington stood firm throughout. When the country returned to civilian rule in 1999, the Lagos State government renamed Louis Farrakhan Street in Lagos, after Carrington.