Tinubu narrates Walter Carrington’s contributions to Nigeria – Abacha regime

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All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Tinubu, has described the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, as a citizen of one nation, son of two.

Tinubu, in his tribute on Saturday, said Carrington contributed immensely to the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria.

He commended the late envoy for joining the fight against repressive government in the country.

Tinubu said during his time in Nigeria from 1993 to 1997, Carrington witnessed how the citizenry lived through a troubled and uncertain time.

“We were in the clutches of an epic battle between democracy and dictatorship, between freedom and oppression, between enlightened progress and authoritarian reaction. Carrington could have maintained a diplomatic distance. He could have acted cozily with the Abacha regime.

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“His life would be been less difficult and safer. But he eschewed personal comfort for the higher prize of a greater mission. He lent himself to the fight against repressive government. He openly and unconditionally championed the advent of democratic freedom and constitutional governance.

“Without the courage and contributions of Walter Carrington, democracy might not have come when, and as it did. Certainly, more of our democracy activists would have suffered and perhaps lost their lives but for his extraordinary intervention. In helping to secure the blossom of democracy, he became a thorn in the side of the regime and of those who simply cannot stand a good democracy or people being free.

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“Among the many foreign friends Nigeria has known over the years, Carrington was the most selfless. He was also the foreigner who contributed the most to the end of military rule in our land. As such, he acted far beyond the call of duty. He acted as the rare human being he was – the son of two nations.

“To paraphrase the title of his book, he refused to remain silent in a time of tyranny. He refused to be wined and dined while others were being jailed. He refused to be feted while others were being beaten. He refused to say all was well when so many were undergoing all manner of indignity and improper danger.

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“Ambassador Carrington was a rare breed. He demonstrated the power and progress that could happen if only Africa and Black America recognized that bond that exists between them. He saw and nurtured it. That bond is what led him to do to for us as a brother, not just an Ambassador, would do. For this, he was to face danger and attempts against him in Nigeria,” he noted.

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