Mrs Maryam Abacha, wife of the late Head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha in a recent interview speaks about her husband’s death and how life has been since his death.
Maryam Abacha, mother of ten who hardly speaks to the press since her husband died in 1998 has been living a very quiet life.
On How life has been since the death of your husband
We thank God for His kindness and love for us. We also thank those that have been around us in these moments of grief. We are still waiting for those that have distanced themselves from us to reconcile and come back. We are not angry with anybody. We are still friends to everybody. We look forward to the Almighty Allah to provide us the fortitude to bear this loss. So life has been quiet and peaceful with us.
We are one and a happy family.
On how she handled the news of his sudden death
My husband’s death was like a coup. It was sudden and shrouded in confusion. General Abdulasalami [Abubakar] just called me, telling me to come and collect the dead body. We buried him like any other ordinary Nigerian. It was quite unfortunate the way he died. Allah knows best and unto Him we shall all return. May his soul rest in peace. I’m yet to fully recover from the shock of his death.
On how and her late husband met
Like any other would-be couple. He was a charming, handsome and likeable personality; a loving father who liked his children and loved ones. We became friends and got married. Here are pictures in the family album; before, during and after our wedding day. He was a caring husband, a dedicated father and an affectionate grandfather.
On how she felt about the centenary award awarded to her late husband by President Goodluck Jonathan
We felt happy. Maybe this is the beginning of good things to happen to Nigeria; maybe reconciliation… President Jonathan is a young man, he is using his time and energy to bring peace and reconciliation. I think it is high time we all come together to lift the country and stabilise ourselves. I hope it is the beginning of good things to come.
On if she has any political ambition
No, I don’t have any political ambition.
On her assessment of General Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the All Progressives Congress, APC
I brought General Buhari into politics; It’s not that I want to expose him. We did everything to support and encourage him. He called my son Mohammed to join Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. They rejected Mohammed by force during the governorship race. This was the trend, not only in Kano, but also in Katsina, Bauchi and other states. I think it is not healthy for democracy; not just because of Mohammed but for the smooth play of democratic norms and values.
Democracy is the choice of the people. But when people put their own personal interest first and they interfere [in the process], then it is no longer democracy. It is unfortunate that elders like them could come belittle themselves in the race.
For the APC I cannot comment. It is not yet time for me to do so. However, it is good for democracy to have competition and opposition. It enhances democratic values, norms and stabilises the country’s image, and will eventually uplift our democratic credentials in the international comity of nations.