Colonel Lawan Gwadabe is a retired Nigeria army officer who, along with a few others, formed the bulwark of the military power ring and protective rampart that propped the Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha juntas before he ran into trouble for allegedly plotting to topple the latter, whom he served as Personal Staff Officer and Commandant, Brigade of Guards in 1995.
In a recent interview, Lawal recalled his bitter experience with late head of state and military dictator, General Sani Abacha, and why he was absent for a very long time.
"If you recall the years 1995 – 1999 was a troubling period for me and all those who were detained by the regime of Gen. Sani Abacha for what turned out to be a phantom coup plot. Naturally, it was wise for me to remain within my space.
While the episode of the alleged coup plot of 1995 has become part of our national history, it was, however, pertinent to note that the entire conduct of the investigations and the trials were a complete charade. The findings and the judgments delivered at best were a manifestation of the descent of Nigeria into medievalism. Truth was the greater casualty, at the expense of our country and its future.
We were released on the 4th of March,1999 and one of the greatest lessons I learnt from the entire charade is that, no matter how long it takes, the truth must prevail over falsehood. It also strengthened my resolve to continue to be fearless and outspoken against all kinds of unfairness, injustice, oppression and intimidation.
Unfortunately tragedy struck in the year 2000 barely before I could fully adjust myself to freedom, when fire gutted our house at night and several people died, including my beloved wife and son (may their souls rest in peace). That singular incident coming after the great agony of our trials and tribulation was to say the least, very devastating.
It took me a very long time to recover from the shock, to the extent that public parley became a secondary issue. However, as a Muslim I take consolation in the fact that the Almighty Allah said in Qur’an 3:145“That no one dies unless Allah permits. The term of every life is fixed" But contrary to what you said, I was quite visible during my tenure as the Chairman of the Federal Road Safety Commission.
Now with my membership of New Arewa Vision Initiative, I am sure from time to time, I would be participating in national discourse. My background training teaches that we only talk when we have an important contribution to make" He said.
Edited from the Sun