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“Abacha was Brutal”! Read Ayo Sogunro’s Reply to Sadiq Abacha’s Open Letter

BellaNaija.com

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Ayo Sogunro - March 2014 - BellaNaija

Nobel Prize winning writer Wole Soyinka criticized the Jonathan government for bestowing late-Nigerian military dictator General Sani Abacha  with a Nigeria Centenary award. General Abacha’s son Sadiq Abacha responded via an open letter {Read Here} and now  Nigerian lawyer and writer, Ayo Sogunro has written an open letter of his own. You can read the complete letter via his website – ayosogunro.com

***

Dear Sadiq Abacha,

I do not know you personally, but I admire your filial bravery—however misguided—in defending the honour of your father, the late General Sani Abacha. This in itself is not a problem; it is an obligation—in this cultural construct of ours—for children to rise to the defence of their parents, no matter what infamy or perfidy the said parent might have dabbled in.

The problem I have with your letter, however, arises from two issues: (i) your disparaging of Wole Soyinka, who—despite your referral to an anecdotal opinion that calls him as “a common writer”—is a great father figure, and a source of inspiration, to a fair number of us young Nigerians; and (ii) your attempt to revise Nigerian history and substitute our national experience with your personal opinions.

Therefore, it is necessary that we who are either Wole Soyinka’s “socio-political” children, or who are ordinary Nigerians who experienced life under your father’s reign speak out urgently against your amnesiac article, lest some future historian stumble across the misguided missive, and confuse the self-aggrandized opinions of your family for the perceptions of Nigerians in general.

Your letter started with logical principles, which is a splendid common ground for us. So let us go with the facts: General Sani Abacha was a dictator. He came into power and wielded it for 5 years in a manner hitherto unprecedented in Nigerian history. Facts: uncomfortable for your family, but true all the same.

UPDATE – March 6 2014 – 4:44 PM: We now have permission to post Ayo Sogunro’s article in full. Kindly see it below.

Now, for my personal interpretations: between 1993 and 1998 inclusive, when your dada was in power, I was a boy of 9 to 14 years and quite capable of making observations about my political and cultural environment. Those years have been the worst years of my material life as a Nigerian citizen. Here are a few recollections: I recollect waking up several mornings to scrape sawdust from carpentry mills, lugging the bags a long distance home, just to fuel our “Abacha stoves” because kerosene was not affordable—under your father. I recollect cowering under the cover of darkness, with family and neighbours, listening to radio stations—banned by your father. I recollect my government teacher apologetically and fearfully explaining constitutional government to us—because free speech was a crime under your father’s government. Most of all, I remember how the news of your father’s death drove me—and my colleagues at school—to a wild excitement, and we burst into the street in delirious celebration. Nobody prompted us, but even as 13 and 14 year olds, we understood the link between the death of Abacha and the hope of freedom for the ordinary man.

These are all sorry tales, of course. Such interpretations would not have occured to the wealthy and the privileged under your father’s government, but they were a part of the everyday life of a common teenager under that government. The economics were bad, but the politics were worse. And I am not referring to Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola and the scores killed by the order of your father. Political killings are almost a part of every political system, and most of those were just newspaper stories to us. In fact, I didn’t get to read most of the atrocities until long after your father died. So, these stories did not inform the dread I personally felt under your father’s regime. And this was true for my entire family and our neighbours.

Instead, the worry over our own existence was a more pressing issue. Your father, Sani Abacha was in Aso Rock, but his brutality was felt right in our sitting room. We were not into politics and we didn’t vocally oppose Abacha, yet we just knew we were not safe from him. You see, unlike any dictatorship before or after it—your father’s government personally and directly threatened the life and freedoms of the average Nigerian. Your father threatened me. And if your father had not died, I am confident that I would not be alive or free today.

Think of that for a while.

Now, let’s come to Wole Soyinka. First: you can never eradicate the infamy of your father’s legacy by trying to point out the failings of another Nigerian. Remember what you said: A is A.  Abacha is Abacha. And no length of finger pointing will wash away the odious feeling the name of Abacha strikes up in the mind of the average Nigerian. Second: Don’t—as they musician said—get it twisted: Wole Soyinka did not antagonize your father just because he was a military man—Wole Soyinka was against your father’s inhumanity. Your father was intolerant of criticism beyond belief. Your father made military men look bad. Your father’s behaviour was so bad it went back in time and soiled the reputation of every military man before him. Your father, finally, made Nigerians swear never—ever—to tolerate the military again. Soyinka may have worked with the military before—but your father ensured that he will never work with the military again. Do you see? Three: Evil comes in many forms: there is no qualification by degree. There is no “good” evil thing. Sani Abacha, Boko Haram, Hitler, slavery—they all fit into the same category of misfortunes. Soyinka is right: Abacha was just as bad as Boko Haram is—deal with it. Four: Soyinka has been kind enough to limit his criticism to the unenviable awards this inept government has given your father. But, you see, in a saner political system, we wouldn’t just ignore your father, we would have gone one step further and expunged the Abacha name from all public records. Wiped without a trace. Abacha would forever be a cautionary tale against the excesses of political power. In a saner political system.

Abacha was brutal—and Soyinka was one of those individuals who gave us inspiration in those dark days. He was part of the team that founded the underground radio station to counter your father’s activities. Let me rephrase in pop culture language: Wole Soyinka was the James Bond to your father’s KGB. Most of the influential people either kept quiet or sang the praises of your father to stave his wrath. But a few like Soyinka spoke, wrote and even went militant against Abacha. But at the end, even Soyinka who never ran from a fight had to run from your father. That was how terrible things were. And now you want Soyinka to join the praise singers of your father? I’m not certain Soyinka has grown old enough to forget how he escaped your father,slipping across the border in disguise. You will have to wait awhile to get that praise from him.

Now, back to you. You have a deluded sense of your father’s role in the progress of Nigeria’s history. Nigeria has managed to be where it is today, not because of leaders like your father—but in spite of leaders like your father. This is a testament to the Nigerian spirit of resilience, and our unwavering optimism in a better future. You owe every Nigerian an apology for daring to attribute this to the leadership of Abacha. Those “achievements” you believe were accomplished under your father were simply all the things he had to do to keep milking the economy, and thereby perpetuate himself in power—they benefited Nigeria only if, by Nigeria, you meant your family and your cronies.

Your tone is that of a white master who justifies his oppression because he clothed and fed his black slaves. That is what your father did. The fact that we choose not to regurgitate, and reflect on that socially traumatic period doesn’t mean we accept it as your entitlement. We have not forgotten, and we will never forget. Sani Abacha raped Nigeria. Your father raped us. Your father raped us and then pressed some change into our hands. And he then tried to marry us forcefully, too. You may think all this is well and good—but then you’ve never been raped before.

But we now live under a democracy—the kind your father denied us—and so you are free to talk. And so you are free to insult the people who ensured that your father had sleepless nights. Had the revolution your father rightly deserved happened, you—and the rest of your family—would have been lined against a wall, before you could pen one article, and shot.

And we would probably have cheered.

But we live under a democracy now—a system of government where even the scions of former oppressors can talk, and write freely, about the benefits of dictatorship. That’s a democracy. A concept your father wouldn’t have understood.

Regards,

Ayo Sogunro

____________________________________

Ayo Sogunro is the author of The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales. A lawyer by profession, he also indulges in socio-legal philosophy on this blog. Interact with him on Twitter via @ayosogunro or his website – ayosogunro.com.

100 Comments

  1. mimi o

    March 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I didnt even want to stop reading.Best response ever,brilliant write up.

    • a0

      March 6, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Abacha was a thief (among other things) and it seems that every few months or years, some country is returning or uncovering funds stolen by Abacha and his family. Like today, the US froze half a billion dollars in several accounts opened by Abacha and his sons. nbcnews.com/news/investigations/u-s-freezes-half-billion-dictators-loot-n45401

  2. madman

    March 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    only in Nigeria will a human rights violator and murderer (aka Abacha) win an honorary/centenary award. Jonathan’s Administration is one of the worst that Nigeria has had.

  3. Jo!

    March 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you! Thank you!! Thank YOu!!!

  4. Hurperyearmie

    March 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    i didnt finish reading it too but guy i owe you a hug

  5. Mo

    March 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Enuf said!
    Thanks Bella for posting this.

  6. Ohboy

    March 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!!

    We are too forgetful and perhaps too forgiving of large injustices while killing each other for petty crimes. Perhaps if we had more people like this writer we have a shot at having a truly great nation where the people are like elephants, never forgetting and perhaps that would foster accountability.

    • Oluwaferanmi

      March 6, 2014 at 11:01 am

      I don’t think its forgetfulness. There are bands of people whose well paid job it seems is to stand history, logic and truth on their head. They sit by radios, laptops and television as their job responding as their paymasters desire. They are the one who will see merit in what Abacha did and they will stop at nothing achieve to overall ambition of returning GEJ yo power, with or without our consent. That is what the Abacha award is all about as well as the El Mustapha release. Our dear president needs all the support from all the places he can get. Its perhaps the same reason why he wont go hard on Boko Haram because he does not want to seen as anti-north with 2015 approaching. If Hitler will offer President Jonathan any political advantage, he will give hi an award as well. We wont have had this debate and we would have kept Abacha where he belongs if our president does not think he is statesman worthy of being celebrated. To even think that the dictator who murdered Ken Saro Wiwa will get his first post humous award under a president from the Niger Delta is an irony, indeed.

  7. NINA

    March 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    AKPATOYI NA AWUM…SOGUNRO NO ONE COULD HAVE ARTICULATED THIS BETTER…SHEER BRILLIANCE…THE ABACHAS ARE LUCKY NIJA IS NOT LIKE SOME COUNTRIES WHERE DICTATORS LIKE ABACHA”S DESCENDANTS ARE SENT INTO PERMANENT EXILE NEVER TO CALL NIGERIA HOME AGAIN!!! THAT IS WHY THESE MISGUIDED ABACHA CHILDREN WANT TO FLEX THEIR MUSCLES!!! EVIDENTLY THE APPLE DOESNT FALL FAR FROM THE TREE…WHAT A SNAKE GIVES BIRTH TO MUST BE LONG!!!!!

    • amaa

      March 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Idiamin’s body was rejected by his country, hitler’ s name is an abomination to every Germanand yet anu ofiah Sadiq and onye nzuzu Gumsu had the effontry to even raise their head in shame. I blame the Jonathan administration and people like LIB for even bringing them to limlight. Thunder Eluigwe gbabuchakwa ezi na ulo ndi Abacha Nonsense

  8. Africhic

    March 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Well said.

  9. Inspired by Africa

    March 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Yoh! Yoh! Yoh!
    This response was proper!

    #Dayum!

  10. BN lover

    March 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Pls tell him. Tell him his father is one of d major wrong we are suffering as a Nation today! Nice piece Ayo. Sitting wit my popcorn n waiting 4 comments

  11. princess

    March 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Well done Ayo Sogunro!

  12. Wife of the Don

    March 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    This is the best open letter reply so far….

  13. FUSION OAU

    March 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    This is probably one of the best open letters i’ve ever seen just check this…….. “Your father threatened me. And if your father had not died, I am confident that I would not be alive or free today.” good stuff…. you can not get a better description of the oppression….. that man (small letters) threaten ME….

  14. Wife of the Don

    March 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    The letter is not complete, BN

  15. Vicky

    March 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I really want to hug and cry on Ayo’s shoulders.too many painful memories.

  16. Miss_Flygerian

    March 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Ayo, ani chebe gi— may the earth protect you. Thank you for saying the truth. If Sadiq and his family don’t like to hear the truth, too bad. They can go and shove their bitterness where the sun don’t shine.

  17. ogo

    March 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Sadiq Abacha needs to hide his head in shame. Thank you Ayo for this. there is nothing more to be said, you said it all. Best response for a myopic thinking son of a tyrant and demonic soul.

  18. Mo

    March 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Bella, you didn’t post the complete letter. Ayo’s letter was almost as long as Sadiq’s. I just checked your post on Sadiq’s letter to confirm whether you did the same thing too but you posted all of his. Are you concerned about what he said at the end?

  19. vincent

    March 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    The write up in respons to Abacha’s son is an excellent one it should be kept in a safe library for reseach purposes.

  20. Dessy

    March 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    naijarchives.com/sani-abacha-nigerias-enigmatic-ruler/
    This is the blog where I read and understood the depth of atrocities Abacha did.
    Hmmn, Please take some minutes to read it.

  21. Concerned_Boyfriend

    March 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I read that article 3 or 4 times… SLAAAAAYYYY!!! That article was everything…It should be framed and vaulted in safe-keeps for posterity.

  22. beezy

    March 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    All i can say is sadiq and his entire clan wherever they may be should choke on this letter!God bless you AYO

  23. Fume

    March 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Well Written, Thank you

  24. Dessy

    March 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    naijarchives.com/mko-abiola-nigerian-president-never/
    The Nigerian president that never was. All because of Abacha.
    All I knew about MKO was his Abiola bread and Campaign song. When I read the detailed an concise information about him in this blog, I understood how Abacha raped us. Nigeria would have been better!!!

  25. idee

    March 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Dear bellanaija…I don’t think the write up was too much for you to put up…you have put up longer write-ups in the past…but then that is by the way…the anger I feel towards these Abachas ehn…I cannot explain…kai…the guts…

  26. abi

    March 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Nigerians are very tolerant. The abachas have definately become very comfortable becuase they think we are stupid and GEJ has gone as far as awarding a tyrant and violator of fundamental human rights. In some countries, they will be lined up, including the unborn ones, burned at stake and have dogs eat their corpses.

  27. Mo

    March 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Bella, i am surprised that my comment is still under moderation. I have seen a few other comments posted after mine that have been approved.

  28. Eby Eke

    March 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    God punish the devil……..if only the Abachas knew. I thank Almighty God for His grace on this country. God bless you Ayo

  29. AVID BLOG READER

    March 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I just can’t get over the fact that the morons in aso rock gave him an award when like Ayo said they should erase his name from our history. What a joke!

  30. Laide

    March 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Well articulated…Lord please help me to be able to convey my thoughts like this. Didn’t even read up to half of Sadiq’s letter before my head started boiling..happy someone was calm enough to reply.

  31. Anna

    March 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I applaud this man for a letter well written. Am not Nigerian but back then I heard of the famous evil dictator Sani Abacha….how can his son have the effrontery to vomit rubbish? I hope he reads this letter and even more letters and come back to his senses..the rich live in a world of their own

  32. Nifemi

    March 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Bellanaija – please put up the entire Ayo Sogunro’s Reply to Sadiq Abacha’s Open Letter on your website.

    We did not have to go elsewhere to finish reading Sadiq Abacha’s letter to Wole Soyinka.
    Thanks.

  33. @edDREAMZ

    March 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    This dude is really gud…. Boy ssee write up, one billlion dollars..
    .
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  34. Isong

    March 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Sadiq just decided to be a good son and defend his late father. He is right. The facts still remain that Abacha was a dictator and a former President of Nigeria. No one can take these two facts away. He was recognised by GEJ as a former Head of State, who in his own manner and decision, chose to be a dictator.

    • Jane Public

      March 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      “Sadiq just decided to be a good son and defend his late father. He is right. “. I am sure, you will say the same if Osama bin Laden’s son did the same or lets say Stalin’s son, Schneider’s son, Hitler’s son, Idiamin’s son. The word ‘right’ has no place in what Sadiq did. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Should I go on?

    • suneme

      March 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Isong. It’s like Germany giving Hitler an award. Or Romania giving that their awful dictator an award. These things would be unheard of because these countries have faced up to their history and condemned these dictators and the atrocities they committed. The Nigerian government will never do the same because same of those in power are still benefiting from Abatcha

  35. mimi o

    March 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Isong Sodiq abi sadiq should have just kept quiet.

  36. Gorgeous

    March 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Standing ovation. Ayo, just like you. I will never forget the day Abacha died. There was an announcement in school and i went out and cheered and danced and we all rejoiced. I think we even had a holiday. I ran home to my father, who was a top official at that time and his life was at stake. We were all so happy and free. The guts of this idiotic Sadiq. Infact, i dey vex. Jonathan has dug his grave with that foolish and stupid award. WTF. The likes of OBJ, IBB and Abacha collecting awards. *pukes*. Sadiq, be worried about when Nigerians will come and take our loot from you. One day your descendants will be something of scorn. They will be poor, and rejected like lepers. The sins of your father will continue to linger as a cautionary tale. It will never be forgotten. Kind of like what Jonathan is creating for himself now. A good name is better than silver and gold. Never in your life, you and that Gumsu, come out in public again to write or say anything. We as Nigerians should never hear from you. Your name signifies suffering, anger and death. The nerve of you people. I was so weak reading the stupidity from the spawn of the devil i couldnt even write on his post. God have mercy, we Nigerian’s have a lot of tolerance for trash.

  37. Comfort B

    March 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    It brings hope to my heart that individuals like Ayo Sogunro not only exist but also speak out against sordid beings such as Abacha and his cronies. Well written piece.
    Now what do we do now in this day and age?

  38. busarni

    March 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    He never said his dad was perfect. This is centenary celebration we are talking about. As true Christians and Moslems we are supposed to forgive abi. Not as if wole soyinka is a saint, he took an appointment under IBB; how did he perform? Shey IBB na democratically elected president, big YIMU. He brought about cultism into our university system; please dont even tell me that his intention was good. The fact is that he brought about cultism. We should rather focus on forging ahead together as a nation. Wole soyinka only saw Abacha not worthy of the award, what about IBB, Buhari and the rest, because they are alive, we are all dining and wining with them. Nigerians are just cowards. Yes, Abacha was not the best leader and he ain’t the worst. Why all the brouhaha. Wole should learn to respect the Dead, not like he is straight forward. If you want to see the change you want in your country. Wole soyinka contest and lets see the change you will bring. Yimu,as a nobel laureate i believe you should seek way to uniting and improving the country not to be giving out negative vibes. You refused the award, so what? did it change the price of garri in the market. All of you writing trash, if you were in Abacha’s son shoes , will you allow your late dad to be rubbished? Be honest wit yourselves and answer the question. Hypocrites oshi. Abacha was a dictator but he is not the worst ruler; wole soyinka is not a saint either; FRSC funds nko. Mtscheeew, we have important issues to deal with and not all these .

    • suneme

      March 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      With all due respect you are talking abject nonesense.

    • L'afrique

      March 6, 2014 at 5:23 am

      Abject nonsense oh!

    • me2me

      March 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      I totally agree with you.

    • slice

      March 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      In case u missed it gani and abiolas families rejected the awards bc of ibb. One of abiolas son’s collected it from what I read but the whole family rejected the award causse of ibb. Nt everyone is a hypocrite. Dude was a monster and I’m happy to see the day his name is rubbished like thi. Today i’ma proud nigerian. Even if that wretched gej gave him the award. God bless the young at heart and body for saying no to praising folly

    • nene

      March 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      gbam. i haven’t commented on this till now. Soyinka himself is guilty of several things like you’ve mentioned, i even remember the craziness surrounding his marriage to his daughter’s friend who was years younger than him. the problem of nigeria is not Babangida or Abacha or Jonathan or Buhari, etc. we need to tell ourselves the truth, the problem is that NIGERIANS HAVE NO HONOR. Nigerians are what is wrong with NIGERIA. let me start with Bella Naija posting the wedding of the Abacha’s, to the commenters who also posted glowing comments on that wedding, to the average nigerian who will tell you that black is white, and the average nigerian who has absolutely no compassion for others but is very greedy, selfish and vindictive. Our LEADERS ARE A PRODuCT OF THIS SOCIETY!!! Nigerians need to stand for what they believe and never compromise! We need to reorient ourselves and stop deceiving ourelves with religion and all other nonsense. you can’t support this today and tomorrow frown on that same thing, and you shouldn’t point fingers when you are not 100% clean.

    • busarni

      March 6, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      @nene; thanks my dear. Hypocrisy at the highest, all of them shouting bravo now , were all commenting how money is good, how they want a wedding like that. Forgetting that it is their oil wealth. Nigerians are their worst own enemy. How many of them will reject an offer of $1 million dollars, if Gumsu or sadiq were to kal dem privately. Hypocrites oshi, stand for something or you will fall for nothing. Tomorow, when there is another topic they will sway their views. That was how ,after goldies death. People were complaining how they never gave her chance and promised not to ever abuse celebs. Fast foward today, toke makinwa, ruky, uti and the rest are still facing bad mouth by the same people,. Hypocrites oshi. Abacha is not the best neither is wole a saint. I will say it over and over again.

    • Moyo

      March 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      The reason Soyinka is angry at Abacha is because he was terrorized by Abacha – up to the point that he went on exile. Please do your research next time before you come to such conclusions.

    • Moyo

      March 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      The reason Soyinka is angry at Abacha is because he was terrorized by Abacha – up to the point that he went on exile. Please do your research next time before you come to such conclusions.

    • Fina

      March 6, 2014 at 1:27 am

      I do agree everyone has a right to comment and air their opinions. However, it is important that you know that all you have typed out is nonsense; every single word! Such a shame. Did we (Nigerians) disturb his family?? Did we not let them breathe despite their father’s horrible regime ?? but nooo … Sadiq just had to send an open letter filled with nonsense for everyone to read. Its not his fault, its because of people like you who forget too quickly and kill the truth cos in your mind, you think that’s how Nigeria will move forward. Wake up!!!

    • Fola

      March 6, 2014 at 2:56 am

      Busarni or whatever your real or pseudo-name is, if you (and unfortunately a rather large number of ignorant Nigerians) have chosen to forget abachas rule so soon, don’t force your stupidity down our throats. I remember growing up as an 14 year old kid in Ibadan (yes Ibadan) and having to drop out of boarding school cos of the economic situation your friend’s despotic father put the nation in, my home was right next to a gas filling station and I remember the countless fights between civilians and gun wielding military men over purchase of small petrol gallons as well as the accidental discharge of bullets by unknown soldiers.etc. Wtf? Are you that dumb? Or you are speaking out of your other crack? If you have any brains you would know that abachas name is not synonymous with anything close to democracy, that which ironically allows that numbskull abacha scion to be able to open his polluted orifice. Leave Wole Soyinka out of it, there are millions of us waiting to have a moment alone with those idiots (aka gumsu et al), and that’s even if I ever step my foot back in Naija

    • busarni

      March 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Fola the activist; can you hear your self. That is if you will ever set foot in Nigeria again. Who needs your type in naija, if your life desire is to be a second class citizen, that is your cup of Alomo. Self denial de worry you. Hypocrites

    • missNk

      March 6, 2014 at 3:00 am

      I take it, you were a child during abacha’s regime and had no knowledge of the affairs, hush child, go do some research and come back and speak

    • busarni

      March 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Adult, old woman. Clap for yourself. Ms. Nk, go and marry ooh.yimu,

    • waka waka

      March 6, 2014 at 7:11 am

      @ busarni, I have two pieces of advice for u and ur comrade in the army of stupid (isong);
      1) A man or woman does not become good by defending the indefensible whether the perpetrator is family or not.
      2) when a position is indefensible and downright shameful as any position supporting Abacha is, it is best to keep silent.

      In short, Sadiq and Gumsu should shut it and so should you. How should the children if all those murdered and imprisoned under Sani Abacha’s reign feel or what should they now say oh? What of our money that was stolen so these idiots can have their expensive lifestyles? At the last count, the govt had recovered 1.6 billion pounds from the Abacha family. Is that money earned fair and square? And as far as we know, it is just the tip of the iceberg because we know there is more stashed away in offshore accounts. The govt had to pay an army of investigators including a swiss lawyer to recover the little we have found and gotten back. Was it not the same Sadiq’s mother that tried to leave the country with a suitcase of money and was caught at the airport?? Do not think we have all suddenly developed amnesia oh! Sani Abacha stole us blind…took money from the central bank while the country fell into disrepair, while people died left right and center. The World bank reports that Nigeria is the only country with a negative gradient graph when it comes to infrastructure development ie we are the only country in the world that started off high and have continuously gotten worse over the years.
      Female mortality rates in childbirth remain some of the highest in the world. I could go on and on. Sadiq should recognise his father for who he was..a power hungry dictator who was a glorified serial killer in uniform (kudirat abiola, ken saro wiwa, etc), a glorified alcoholic who had acute liver cirrhosis at the time of his death, a sexual pervert who was famous for his wild sexual orgies and frequent use of prostitutes to the point where he died on top of one and a thief whose greed and self entitlement kmows no bounds. If I were him, the shame would be enough to make me well and truly shut it for good because any criticism levelled at the Abacha family is well and truly deserved.

    • neola

      March 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      aBEG GO SIDDON……..Cultism into Nigeria my foot! please if you dont understand the background of that story, please dont yarn

    • waka waka

      March 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      @ busarni, I have two pieces of advice for u and ur comrade in the army of stupid (isong);
      1) A man or woman does not become good by defending the indefensible whether the perpetrator is family or not.
      2) when a position is indefensible and downright shameful as any position supporting Abacha is, it is best to keep silent.
      In short, Sadiq and Gumsu should shut it and so should you. How should the children if all those murdered and imprisoned under Sani Abacha’s reign feel or what should they now say oh? What of our money that was stolen so these idiots can have their expensive lifestyles? At the last count, the govt had recovered 1.6 billion pounds from the Abacha family. Is that money earned fair and square? And as far as we know, it is just the tip of the iceberg because we know there is more stashed away in offshore accounts. The govt had to pay an army of investigators including a swiss lawyer to recover the little we have found and gotten back. Was it not the same Sadiq’s mother that tried to leave the country with a suitcase of money and was caught at the airport?? Do not think we have all suddenly developed amnesia oh! Sani Abacha stole us blind…took money from the central bank while the country fell into disrepair, while people died left right and center. The World bank reports that Nigeria is the only country with a negative gradient graph when it comes to infrastructure development ie we are the only country in the world that started off high and have continuously gotten worse over the years.
      Female mortality rates in childbirth remain some of the highest in the world. I could go on and on. Sadiq should recognise his father for who he was..a power hungry dictator who was a glorified serial killer in uniform (kudirat abiola, ken saro wiwa, etc), a glorified alcoholic who had acute liver cirrhosis at the time of his death, a sexual pervert who was famous for his wild sexual orgies and frequent use of prostitutes to the point where he died on top of one and a thief whose greed and self entitlement kmows no bounds. If I were him, the shame would be enough to make me well and truly shut it for good because any criticism levelled at the Abacha family is well and truly deserved.

  39. oaa

    March 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I Finished This Long Beautiful letter…Kai!!!.. Gooood Piece

  40. Lizzy O

    March 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Dear BN, I understand you want to send traffic to Ayo’s blog because of his amazing piece, BUT I urge you to PLEASE post the full article on here. People who want to visit his blog will still visit.

  41. Bee

    March 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I think Bellanaija did well so as to redirect some traffic to Ayo’s website. Maybe there are more interesting things to be found there. This particular writeup is excellent! Fuuny times indeed – Sadiq opening his mouth to say Wole Soyinka is suffering from old age and incorrect facts. I read Soyinka’s piece. Which of his accusations is wrong? That Abacha was a murderer or that he was a thief?

  42. ivie

    March 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Feels good to know we still have a few good men with history! Nigeria will be a great country again#hopeful

  43. Quaggar

    March 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Bellanaija, why would you post the entirety of the Sadiq Abacha letter on your blog, but only post an excerpt of Ayo Sogunro’s response? For completeness sake you should post both, so one doesn’t have cause to think you actually favour one over the other

    • BellaNaija.com

      BellaNaija.com

      March 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Ayo’s letter which was published on his blog was copyright protected with a clear copyright notice on his site. In accordance with BN policy, we published an excerpt in accordance with Internet Fair Use Principles along with a clear link to his blog. We had to obtain permission from him in order to publish in full.
      He has graciously granted us permission and the article has been updated.

    • ccc

      March 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Understood. Is this why you didn’t post my comment from yesterday, asking the same question, though? Would it not have been more transparent to post it and let your response cover it? I ask because of all the concerns about comments being censored on this site.

  44. evi

    March 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    straight to the point, no mincing of words. Ayo sogunro is the shit!! first time i read an open letter to the end even the presidents letter dint move me. that small boy sadiq abacha calling out a whole wole soyinka.

  45. Wale

    March 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Bright mind-the very kind that Abacha tried to suppress. You see, all the stolen millions can not buy you a sharp brain. This is the best of Naija…thanks joor Ayo.

  46. MoD

    March 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    BN haba!! The least you can do is post Ayo Sogunro’s full letter. Afterall, you posted all of Sadiq’s. That aside, Ayo’s letter was just too Gbasky!! I wish i could articulate my thoughts like that.

  47. Agape

    March 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Cyber high five, Mr Ayo. I honestly, honestly couldn’t have said it any better than you did.

  48. Xtsy

    March 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Nigeria needs a revolution

  49. Omo

    March 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Wow! What a write up. Ayo is a very brave man. This is what we feel and are thinking about as a nation. I don’t blame gumsu or Sadiq for defending their evil father, I blame this stupid and inept government for giving him an award. And the sad thing is that some Nigerians still support Jonahan’s administration because ” he is our kinsman, it is d time for I jaws to rule”. So sad!

  50. Lee

    March 6, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Fitting response to the son of a demented, kleptomaniac, murderous, sexually perverted apple eating, satanic Sani Abacha. When a lie is constantly repeated it begins to resemble the truth, but eventually truth will always triumph over lies. It is only in Nigeria that a beast like Sani Abacha would be so honoured, I weep for our we’ve lost our sense of history if we’ve ever had any. Sadiq Abacha you should thank your stars that you’re can even open your buccal cavity to talk and seek some relevance. In other climes you and your scions should be languishing in the depth of obscurity. Ayo Sogunro well done for putting this revisionist son of a pervert where he truly belongs

  51. Fola

    March 6, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Busarni or whatever your real or pseudo-name is, if you (and unfortunately a rather large number of ignorant Nigerians) have chosen to forget abachas rule so soon, don’t force your stupidity down our throats. I remember growing up as an 14 year old kid in Ibadan (yes Ibadan) and having to drop out of boarding school cos of the economic situation your friend’s despotic father put the nation in, my home was right next to a gas filling station and I remember the countless fights between civilians and gun wielding military men over purchase of small petrol gallons as well as the accidental discharge of bullets by unknown soldiers.etc. Wtf? Are you that dumb? Or you are speaking out of your other crack? If you have any brains you would know that abachas name is not synonymous with anything close to democracy, that which ironically allows that numbskull abacha scion to be able to open his polluted orifice. Leave Wole Soyinka out of it, there are millions of us waiting to have a moment alone with those idiots (aka gumsu et al), and that’s even if I ever step my foot back in Naija

    • busarni

      March 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      You dont need to insult me; you are entitled to your opinion so am i. You are even outside the shores of Nigeria and you are yapping away. Who is going to build the new Nigeria you want to see, better bring your fake self back home and contribute meaningful to the development of your country. The country you are now, their citizens made it what it is . Argue objectively abi do you type beforeyou think. Yimu. All of you trying to cyber bully me are on a long thing; say your own let me say mine. Abacha is not the best leader neither is Wole Soyinka a saint, period. You guys should be putting head together towards resolving the security issue we are facing rather than discussing the dead. Yimu

    • Non professional opinion

      March 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      @busarni No one is saying Abacha was the worst leader or that Soyinka was a saint. Now that we’ve cleared that up you can calm down.
      What has been said is that Abacha was a tyrannical despot responsible for the death and disappearance of several citizens, as well as the disappearance of the nations treasury at a time when suffer was plenty, plenty. People lived in fear and when my family members would call me from home they would speak in code or very carefully to avoid saying anything that would land them in jail or worse. I don’t remember them behaving this way during other regimes.
      When this man died, people wept with joy.
      Hitler brought the German economy back from the brink of disaster, but that is no reason to celebrate him today, and start acting forgetful. I can even understand Sadiq, because any son would defend his father and poor Gumsu’s brain has been so addled by drugs, I don’t expect sense from her, but I wonder what is motivating you to play defender of the despot, or were you part of the ones enjoying when we were suffering, or maybe you are enjoying still. Pele, I heard they blocked your half a billion. By God’s grace they will block the rest and you and your kind will return to the squalor that you richly deserve.

  52. oaa

    March 6, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Well Said!!!! Thank You So Much Ayo Sogunro…. May Your Intelligent, Bright and Fabulous Non-Amnesic Mind NEVER miss road… .

    You can only get better and wiser!

  53. Lady

    March 6, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Ha! Just read on LIB that the US gov froze accounts worth millions of dollars that abacha and his cohorts embezzled from Nigerians!!! Please where was jonathan when the US was getting this kind of information?? I swear its like he is been remote controlled and he can still smile in pictures…

  54. Quirky

    March 6, 2014 at 8:40 am

    “Abacha Stove”, i remember that very well. this Bursani character that commented should please stop talking trash. Abacha was the worst of them all. That fact should not even be argued! We suffered, we would have still been suffering if he hadn’t died!. The only good thing that came out of his tenure was his untimely death. So if his children don’t want to get Nigerians angry. They should stop talking about him like he is a saint. Keep their head low and we will all look the other way and forget his brutality like we have been doing. Meanwhile Kudos to the writer of this wonderful letter. We appreciate you. Thank you!

  55. neola

    March 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Ayo Ogunro.. May you be blessed forever!!! Now Sadiq has the guts to talk and declare freedom of speech, when his father dared not respect that human right……we may have been young, but our memories are alive and sadiq i was in jss2 and i celebrated when i heard your father died, it was hope to a young woman, a world of freedom..bite that”!!

  56. chikita

    March 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    THIS IS AMAZINGGGGG! i cried reading this, this is exactly how i feel

  57. dma

    March 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Abacha’s kids are certainly taken advantage of the abnormality in the Nigerian society if it was in other claims the entire Abacha clan would have been either thrown in jail for life or sent to the gallows.
    But then this is Nigeria were mediocrity barbarism and miss-guided ideals reign supreme. The fact that a lame duck brainless president in the name of bad-luck Jonathan can see it fit to give such a prestigious award to Abacha has certainly given voice to Abacha’s kids and allowed them to go out and celebrate a name that no Nigerian citizen will never forget for the bitterness, hunger, fear and murder it brought to the nation for five good years!
    The pain that Abacha inflected on Nigeria is still hurting till today years after his death. Millions of Nigeria money stolen by Abacha is yet to be recovered and this GOD forsaking president with no spin and no leaver saw nothing wrong in honouring Abacha Nigeria’s foremost notorious armed rubber! For the record millions of Nigerians are starving millions of Nigerians are scattered all over world begging for a better life as a result of corruption and bad management of the Nigerian economy by the likes of Abacha and Babangida. It’s alright for Sadiq to run his mouth and complain after all his father has stolen enough money for him to live on for the rest of his life and that of the Abacha clan and no one can do jack shit! Not even the messiah of Nigeria.
    Jonathan you are a disgrace!
    Well done! Ayo….

  58. bumpsy

    March 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    job well done!!! thank u Ayo

  59. Cancel Reply

    March 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Do you actually blame his kids for having the effrontery to utter nonsense? Blogs were celebrating their family wedding just a few months back!

  60. busarni

    March 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Bella , thank you very much . i just viewed Gumsu’s wedding pictures. The comments were amazing; naija hypocrites.

    • Non professional opinion

      March 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Point of correction. Bellanaija doesn’t allow negative comments on wedding posts. I never viewed those pictures because I was totally uninterested not because I have a problem with the Abacha children. Nobody wanted to make the children suffer for the sins of the father as we must assume them innocent, but when they ignore our magnanimity and start spouting rubbish and rewriting history and people like you come out to say hypocrite, then maybe we should have lined his family against a wall and riddled them with bullets. At least then you would have nothing to complain about.

    • busarni

      March 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      You didn’t make any sense at all. You are now God , the giver of life.Mtscheeeew

  61. busarni

    March 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Just to add; your loved celebs like dr sid and may d were also there. Hahahahahaha.

  62. Gomes 12

    March 6, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    This is the article or letter I have read in recent time! Simply put, thank you and I love you Ayo!

  63. Nzeogwu

    March 7, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Hmmm…..quite exhaustive! I have read Mr. Sogunro’s letter as well as all 87 comments thereafter. Ayo Sogunro, dis ur grammar dey confuse us o. Before i begin, let me say that quite unfortunately, I belong to that group that feel Nigeria will never be good, MBA! Not with the govt and citizens we have. If Wole Soyinka isn’t accepting the award, fine and good.must he call out the abacha family??? To me, it belittles him. For a good read, Sogunro has quite sensationalized his letter. U were 9yeras old and used abacha stove cuz of lack of kerosene. Na only for abacha time kerosene scarce??? Even now, dat sawdust u won’t even get for free. U and ur family and neighbors cowered in d dark in fear? That’s a lie, desole! Ur govt teacher,in what school,??? Suppressed??? Are we talking Naija or apartheid South Africa??? Gimme a break man. U felt threatened, you’d most likely be dead today, nwokem kedu ife n’eme??? I’m a hardened supporter of Wole but I also stand for truth and objectivity. In Naija climes,emotions are a luxury. Wole is not a saint. Sometimes, x does not mark d spot. Who kill Dele Giwa, a comrade of Soyinka? Why didn’t he reject d award in protest of the killing of one of his “own” by another ex president? Had d counter coup of july 1966 not soiled d army already? Beyond reasonable doubt sef. Criticise the awards not d recipients guys, come on.who imprisoned Soyinka in d 80s, abacha? …… Comments…..87…@desy, na abacha annul June 12 election,The greatest robbery of all time…NO. Dat same pens got an award too innit. D award was given to ALL past heads of state,simple.which one has ever made us smile in d history of dis country??? @Isong, correct you! @janepublic, Stalin,no Nigerian ruler is fit to lace his boots. Has anyone ever made us smile? Nopes,maybe buhari, just maybe. @busarni and @nene una head dey dia. @busarni Wole no bring cultism o,on that I disagree with u. But then, what good has soyinka’s comments done? Nigerians nor get shame,dem don take hot water wash face. @Fina, why did Wole call out d Abachas?if we want to fervently hold on to d past, dis country should have ceased to exist since the war. @Fola, u dropped out cuz of d economy, is it better today??? Was it different under any other ruler???has accidental discharge stopped??? Fuel don dey??? Leave Wole out of it,hell, he brought d Abachas into it!!! And you’re not even in Naija, Kai. @waka waka,see as una dey insult person.all the things stated na abacha cause am ni? Didn’t they catch the 1st Dame with tons of cash at the airport some years ago?? @neola,I agree with u but don’t Criticise in isolation. Lots of people don’t understand the background of the story. @quirky, abacha was d worst. Did he kill more than Boko haram have in the last 5years, or Fulani herdsmen or obj in zaki biam??abacha isn’t d problem with Naija….WE ARE!!! @cancel reply, God bless u. @nonprofessional opinion,no negative comments on weddings huh? So that automatically tunes people’s brains to comment positively and by extension,hypocritically ba??? Why comment at all???? O ma se ooooooo

    • busarni

      March 8, 2014 at 1:09 am

      Nwokem, uche gi di ya biko. Don’t mind all these people hidding behind their devices and raining curses on their heads. Anyways, na back to sender. Argue objectively, now i have just realized the age group on this blog and i think it is high time bella did something about it. Hypocrites.

  64. mra

    March 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I’m really excited to see some very objective comments. Even though they are quite few!
    Abacha was a wicked man – period! But Wole Soyinka ain’t no saint either.
    I remember my dad saying (during the Abacha era) – Wole Soyinka wants us to fight abi?! And he is outside the country, safe with his family! So if I (my dad) go and fight and die, what will happen to my family?! Let him come back and let’s all fight together!’
    That comment has stayed with me for years! If we really want to move this country forward, then we need to stay put and fight! We and our children! No whisking them to safety.
    Jonathan giving Abacha an award, is beyond my comprehension. Abacha’s son publicly defending his father, especially in light of the atrocities he committed is juvenile and insulting to our intelligence.
    He can confidently speak out like this because he knows his people. We so easily forget where we are coming from. Many in the north hail Abacha. I’ve seen his posters in many places. Not only have they ‘forgotten’ what that era was like, they religion biased. The enemy of my enemy is my friend – mentality!
    Until Nigerians start being honest and objective in their way of thinking and life, this vicious circle will continue.

    On another note:
    Na wa for you guys who insult people simply because you don’t agree with what they say. Everyone has a right to express their view and opinion. If you disagree, say so politely and diplomatically. Insults and derogatory comments are totally unnecessary. It is also called bullying! It sometimes feels like a certain age group have ‘taken over’. Reminds me of my secondary and early Uni days!!!
    If you believe in God, then understand this – one day you will reap what you sow! If you don’t believe in God – karma is really a bitch!!!

  65. SA

    March 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    WOW! WOW! WOW! Well said!!! I could go on reading this forever. I hope the imbecile who calls himself Sadiq Abacha gets to read this. I don’t blame him, if they had all been lined up and shot, when his father died, he would not have the audacity to be writing the rubbish he has. When the PUPPET who calls himself Jonathan Goodluck/Badluck is giving his father an award, for torturing and killing innocent people who spoke against him, for raping a nation and making people live in terror, and milking billions from the country’s purse, why won’t he write such nonsense to Wole Shoyinka . The Abacha’s will surely reap what their evil father has sown, its only a matter or time, Sadiq Abacha, it is ONLY a matter of time and you all will reap the evil your father has sown. It’s only in a country like Nigeria that a dictator like Sanni Abacha is given an award but Karma is a bitch, it will surely come back to Sadiq Abacha and all the Abacha’s. Ayo Sogunro, well done, you have spoken the mind of every true Nigerian, both in the diaspora and back home. Bravo!!!

  66. jaybee

    March 12, 2014 at 11:36 am

    wow,ayo’s article is succinct,he brought back memories,i understand the writers trying to be objective here,but the truth is that,Abacha was a despot,and his regime was filled eith terror.I cringed when i saw people praise singing under the comments section of his son’s wedding here on bn.smh

  67. linking

    March 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I have to first congratulate sadiq or whoever wrote on his behalf , they did a fantastic job in rebranding Abacha and bringing many to bear their view.The work in their letter reminds me of some tactics in Robert greens Art of seduction. 1. Use emotions to reduce intellectual power . Arouse sentiment/emotions of your target useing values they adore e.g humility,respect,admitting some truth ,honesty etc so you can blur their thinking ability. 2. Subtely draw your target away from the focalarea of battle to a wider area so you can generalise issues and introduce a wider range of other issues for more comparism . Eventually when the reader is returned to the focal area hes unable to see a base for initial attack which i think they have been able to do in a very intellegent & logical way. Thank God for Ayo sogunro who helped us in clearing our minds again. The fact remains that abacha was not just a bad leader , he was Evil. Try and imagine how many people made you dance when you heard of their death in your entire lifetime. That was the feeling many Nigerians had at that time taking to the streets and jubilating.No other leader in the our history made us feel that way.If he never died in that manner we would have had a revolution or civil war in this country. Inspite of the Good things Adolf Hitler did in Germany he still remains on the evil side of History because of the evil he did which we cant be reversed.

  68. linking

    March 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Therefore some things need to be put in proper perspective even though according to some it does not solve our immediate problems for now but its important for those who were not born at that time and the future generation to have the correct view of these issues and not a diluted or tinted one. If some issues like this one are left untackled because we think the country should not look back but be looking forward or because no one is a saint as all have sinned , we will eventually arrive at some point in future where the likes of al mustapha who played the evil genious and master killer role in the Abacha government or even leaders of Boko haram will receive honourary awards for the good part they played in Nigerias History.

  69. NaNa

    August 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    This small Sadiq Abacha and wetin him call himself no nothing, Na just childish they worry ham! I just don’t know if him dey watch how dictatorship leader dey die these days!! Him no dey read say na with their FAMILY! So him dey alive dey yawnn,,,, phew~~~

  70. NaNa

    August 8, 2014 at 6:18 am

    And God bless you Mr. Ayo Sogunro (One of my greatest good news was hearing the death of Abacha)

  71. marietta

    August 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    wow! wow! wow! bravo Prof Ayo!! Bravo! Well said! That was a powerful, enticing read! I felt it! I felt i was there with him, cowering under covers and listening to the radio, i felt i was there with him cheering of the downfall of a dictator. and the the Your father raped us!! that nailed it!! it hit me!! my heart is racing so fast right now!! it’s been a while i read something so powerful and passionate! and then he ended it with “you—and the rest of your family—would have been lined against a wall, before you could pen one article, and shot.” i mean, mehhhnnn! Wole Soyinka is James Bond! BOOM! its’ like Dorro double 007 all over again! loved it!!
    And it’s so true, i was in Nigeria during his regime, and even i, as young as i was knew that the country wasn’t completely safe. all i can say is Thank you Jesus!

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