Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday said the day he appeared before the military tribunal set up by late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha was the “saddest day of his life.”
Speaking during a devotion to mark Valentine Day, at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the former President explained that he appeared before the tribunal over his alleged complicity in a coup against the deceased Head of State.
The former President recalled that, after he was found guilty and sentenced to jail, he had asked himself if he deserved such treatment, but that he left everything in God’s hands.
Obasanjo, alongside his former deputy when he was the head of state, Shehu Yar’Adua were tried by the tribunal in 1996.
He noted that had the military dictator lived, he would have spent a minimum of 10 years behind bars.
Following Abacha’s death, the Ibokun-born politician said he only spent three years in prison, adding that as part of the partiality of God towards him, he came out from prisons and was asked to run for President.
“My saddest day was when I sat in front of a military panel set up by late former Head of State, Sani Abacha to try me over a phantom coup, and sentenced to death and later commuted to 30 years imprisonment.
“God has always been giving me immense favour beyond my own expectations and what I deserve from Him. And I used to tell people that God has been partial to me from childhood.
“I was born in a village and anybody born in that village would have concluded that the popularity of those born there would not go beyond the next village. My parents were complete illiterates,” he said.
Against the backdrop of Abacha’s death in 1998, Obasanjo was released from prison and he later went ahead to rule Nigeria for eight years.
The politician noted that there would always be trouble and problems in life, but only with prayers can challenges of life be surmounted.