I warned Babaginda that Abacha would overthrow Shonekan – Mbu


Nigeria’s ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Matthew Mbu, has stated that he was aware of the plan by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha to remove Nigeria’s Interim leader, Chief Ernest Shonekan, from office within three months.

Mbu also wrote how Babaginda spared Abacha because he (Abacha) saved him from two coups.

H revealed how he warned Ibrahim Babaginda against handing over to Shonekan because Abacha was going to take over.

This was made public through an autobiography he left behind to be published by his family

The autobiography entitled, “Dignity in Service,” is due for public presentation on Tuesday next week at the Yar’Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja.

In the book, the late diplomat, who was the Foreign Affairs Minister in the government, said he had hint of the coup against Shonekan from the UN but did not specify who the actual person was.

He wrote, “Thereafter, they gave me hints that we would not last more than two to three months in office and that they were going to sack us. I had hints about the eventual takeover by General Abacha from the UN.

“When I came back, I packed all my things as usual but I could neither get Shonekan to understand me, nor even his boss, IBB.

“I said, ‘Don’t make the mistake of handing over to Shonekan; if you do that, in three months, Abacha will take over and Shonekan will be jettisoned from his seat.

“Exactly three months later, it happened. IBB phoned me and said, ‘You said it!’ and I replied, ‘What did I tell you?

“There was an intimate relationship that existed between IBB and Abacha. IBB told me that Abacha had done him favours in the past. He had saved him from two coups.

“Probably that explains why they were so intimate because he was the only one who could come and interrupt him at anytime and stay with him for hours.

“As the foreign affairs minister, I had a lot to do and I could not wait until when IBB was through with Abacha, other ministers could not do it but I could go there at anytime and I would always ask IBB, ‘What is it between you and this man, haven’t you done enough for him?’

“He would reply ‘He did so much for me.’”


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