Afenifere pays tribute to Ambassador Walter Carrington at 90
By Abigor Okumagba
Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere has payed tributes to human rights advocate and former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington.
The envoy turned 90 today.
Carrington stood with the Nigerian people defying military pomposity to defend and promote the best of democratic values in the vigorous campaign against the military.
In a statement on Saturday by Afenifere spokesperson, Mr Yinka Odumankin, the leading Yoruba group said “The entire Afenifere family rises as one to salute Ambassador Walter Carrington who turned 90 on 24th July in a very fuffilling life.”
Afenifere said its eaders, 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.
Ambassador Carrington was an unflinching supporter of demcracy in the tour of his duty in Nigeria making a clear departure from the tradition of most Western envoys being closet democrats who openly flow with whatever operates in Third World Countries.
Afenifere said “Ambassador Carrington openly identified with the efforts of local groups like National Democratic Coalition, (NADECO).
Afenifere played leading role in the struggle to reclaim the annulled mandate of Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.
Odumakin said “There was marked open improvements in United States, (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 said further “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.”
Carrington was so famous among Nigerians that he was nicknamed Omowale. The former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu later named a street in his honour at Victoria Island in Lagos.