By Deji Elumoye
The Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has facilitated with former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, on his 90th birthday anniversary.
The group in a release titled “90 hearty cheers to Ambassador Carrington” issued on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, described the former envoy as someone who identified with the democratic struggles of Nigerians in the wake of the annulment of June 12 presidential poll in the 1990s.
According to Afenifere, Ambassador Carriggton was an unflinching supporter of Demcracy in the tour of his duty in Nigeria making a clear departure from Western Democracies being closet democrats who openly flow with whatever operates in Third World Countries.
“He openly identified with the efforts of local groups like NADECO/Afenifere who played leading roles in the struggle to reclaim the annulled mandate of Bashorun MKO Abiola”.
The release stated inter alia:
“The entire Afenifere family rises as one to salute Ambassador Walter Carrington who turned 90 on 24th July in a very fuffilling life. Our Leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti who was recently 95 and Chief Ayo Adebanjo who is 92 years old are happy to induct him into the nonagerians club with all grace.
“Ambassador Carrington was the American envoy in Nigeria from 1993-1997 in one of the most difficult periods of our history, the June 12 period.
“There was marked open improvements in US policies in African countries facing democratic challenges after Carrington in Nigeria.
“It was so bad that when he had to leave Nigeria in 1997 and the pro-democracy community organized a reception for him at the home of Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Abacha security forces locked the gate of the house against him. He walked down from the car and made it on foot to the venue.
“He was a friend indeed to Nigeria whom we cannot forget.We are happy that God has satisfied him with long life and we pray he will live the rest of his life in good health”.