Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday recalled with a sense of gratitude, the role Germany played on the diplomatic front, in pressing for his release from jail under the late military dictator, Sani Abacha.
The former president was speaking at the 40th anniversary of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German Non-Governmental Organisation in Nigeria, held at Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre in Abuja.
According to Mr. Obasanjo, the body was among those that fought for his freedom.
During the military regime of late General Abacha, Obasanjo, who was critical of the junta’s human rights abuses, was arrested and thrown in jail in 1995 over a phantom coup plot. He was released only after the sudden death of the dictator on 8 June 1998.
Recalling how Friedrich Ebert Stiftung bestowed on him a Human Right award received on his behalf by his late wife, Stella, the former president said “I was arrested, put in jail. I would have rotten away, but Friedrich Ebert Stiftung embarked on vigorous campaign towards my release. For me and my family, we shall remain grateful to them”.
Mr. Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the event, said the relationship between Germany and Nigeria had come a long way and has continued to grow.
“Nigeria and Germany’s relationship has come a long way. It has gone well in the interest of both countries. Nigeria feels good with the relationship with Germany”, he said.