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June 12 reminiscence: Vulcanisers saved me from Abacha killer squad, says Osoba

The former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba has disclosed that  vulcanizers saved him and his family from the killer squad of the late former Military Dictator, General Sanni Abacha during his(Abacha) dark days regime, in the struggle for the actualization of June 12 ,1993 Presidential election.

Penpushing reports that, Osoba made the revelation in his memoir, ’Battleline: Adventures in Journalism and Politics’, adding that the tyre vulcanizers were plying their trade opposite his house in Lagos, who also kept sharp lookout for suspicious persons.

The veteran journalist revealed that, his wife (Derin) strategically gave permission to the vulcanizers to ply their trade opposite the family house, having deployed her training as a customs officer at the Police College.

‘She strategically gave permission to some tyre vulcanizers to ply their trade opposite our house. But they were there not just mending punctured tyres, they were there to keep a sharp lookout for suspicious persons, movements or activities’, Osoba revealed.

Penpushing further reports that, the journalist turned politician in the book disclosed that the vulcanizers used to report to his wife anytime they saw anything suspicious; stressing that her wife soon discovered that, the family was being trailed by Abacha killer squad and the family became extremely cautious.

‘The vulcanizers used to report to her anytime they saw anything suspicious. She soon discovered that she was being trailed most of the time and became extremely cautious in her dealings. Whenever, she was being trailed, the vulcanizers tipped her off’

Penpushing also reports that, Osoba who appreciated God for saving his life from the killers during those dark days, said, the period was a cat and mouse situation, with security agencies trailing the family, even to the school of his wife and market place.

‘It was a cat and mouse situation, with security agencies trailing her (wife) to school, to the market place and everywhere, without knowing that she too was fully aware of their mission. On regular basis, security agents from Alagbon close invaded my family’s privacy’, Osoba recalled

‘I was then underground but my family informed me of the antics one officer called Agbaje who led a team of security agents that visited the house weekly at the wee hours, between 2 and 3am. Under the guise of looking for me, they would search every part of the house till dawn’, he stated

‘When I thought the danger has lessened, I came out of hiding after almost one year of personal detention. I did not know that my decision to come out of hiding was to earn special attention from the Abacha death squad’, Osoba added

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