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EXCLUSIVE: My Father was not poisoned, Audu's Son Reveals



Mustapha, the sixth son of the late All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu has given details of how the Kogi legend passed on, soon after the elections were held, declaring that it was unthinkable to hang on to the illusion that his father was killed by anyone.

Audu passed on last Sun­day, shortly before the Inde­pendent National Electoral Commission announced the outcome of the election in which he scored the majori­ty votes.

Some of Audu’s support­ers had sensationally alleged that he was poisoned to pave the way for his running mate to emerge as governor.

However, in an exclusive interview with Sunday Sun in the Audu’s country home, Ogbonicha, midweek, his son dismissed the claim as ridiculous and unfounded.

His words: “The truth about it is that my father was a very hard working man. Throughout the period of the campaign, he used to go to bed about 4-5am and by 7 or 8am, he was always up, travelling here and there, holding several meetings, taking no rest and eating no food.

“This was a man who had ulcer and was hardly eating. This began to tell on him on the Friday night before his demise. He became weak even though he was a very strong man. We had advised him to go to hospital in Abuja but he said no, that the election was very important, very significant and that no one would vote for him by proxy. He said he had to be accredited to vote for him­self and ensure that things went right. So we supported him.

“But that night, he grew very weak. So we had to invite a doctor who quickly placed him on an infusion. On Saturday morning he felt better. And we said okay, let us delay going for accreditation since it would be concluded at 1pm. Maybe at 12.45pm we would go there. That concluded, we returned to the place (his elder brother’s place as the tra­ditional ruler of the community) and waited. We later went to the polling booth and he voted. He was up and about, he didn’t rest. He didn’t know the meaning of rest; he didn’t know the meaning of laziness. He was always on the move. Even at night time he was always very busy.

“That night he was asking if he had been declared winner. He knew he never lost in an election. The previous PDP administrations rigged him out consistently in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2011. But this time around, he knew that the central government would not tolerate that. So he was sure to carry the day.

“So that night, he was stressed out, having had very little sleep. At 7.45am, he passed on. He knew about his victory even before he passed on. The last instruction he gave me before his death was to tell my younger sister, Hajia Halima to go straight to the INEC collation centre to ensure that there was no form of rigging going on there. That was how she became the APC representative at the venue. That was the last instruction he gave me. He said, “Make sure that my victory is defended; make sure that the results are declared,”

Speaking further, Mustapha said: “I too had a little command centre I was running. So we were getting the results that were coming in. even that night, he was always asking me whether they had declared him winner. He was very optimistic about his victory. He knew he had won; he had no doubt about it.

“He was a hard fighter; he died fighting. In fact, he was one of the greatest fighters I ever saw. You could see what happened during his funeral. I don’t think any Head of State has ever attracted that number of dignitaries like he did.

“He was a man so well loved. You recall that there was this rumour that he had risen from the dead. You needed to see what was happening. People were dancing; people were jubilating, jumping up and hugging themselves and shouting, God is great, La ilaha illa Allah. The reason was that people loved him, because he gave his all to the people. He was after the advancement of his people.

“We his children know that his shoes are too big for anyone to step into. We all will see what we can do too for the state because he was a legend.”

Mustapha said it was nonsensical for anyone to believe that his father was killed stating that whatever hap­pened to him was the will of God.

“As Muslims, we don’t think about that. We don’t habour the thought that he was murdered by anyone. We don’t believe that anyone had a hand in his death. Once one dies, one is buried. Even if one was shot a million times, if God does not permit that, it would not happen. God said it was his time to die and he died. My father was the greatest man I knew, he always called it as he saw it; he was honest. He was straight as an arrow,” Mustapha said.

Mustapha gave indications that he was considering venturing into politics to contin­ue from where his father stopped, saying: “I tend towards my dad; I intend to pick up the pieces; I intend to settle down and look at everything in perspective and the sacrifices he made.”

Also speaking in the same vein, one of the wives of the late Prince Audu, Ambassa­dor Aisha Audu has vowed to step into her husban’s shoes by continuing with his struggle to liberate Kogi State, even as she declined not to be drawn into any form of controversy as to whether her husband was murdered.

She said: “I am his wife with three children two boys and a girl. I remain proud of him. This was a man who left in his own style as far as the situation is to the world. This was a man who kept winning. Everybody kept praising him; everybody kept glorifying him until he left the world. He kept on winning until he departed. He left in his own style, very loud and wonderful. He was a great man. He rep­resented all of us. He is still shining. He was a lucky man, a true son of God. Unfortunate­ly, I was not with him when he died.”

She declined to comment on the rumour which had made the rounds that the late Prince Audu was poisoned. Rather she said, “May his soul rest in peace. Everyone will die some day. And so the best thing is not to cast aspersions on anybody. Let God be the judge.”

Recalling her last moment with the late politician, she said, “After the primaries, I was with him and his son, Junior and his lovely new wife. Then we were celebrat­ing Sallah. And we promised to return in December. My son, 15, is still waiting to see him. My happiest moment with him was when I gave birth to his son. He loved to have male children and God blessed him with them. I will follow him and all his steps by becoming a member of the APC. My foundation, the Aisha Audu Foundation will continue to honour him by following in his footsteps. That is what we will be doing from this day. I will become part of his struggle for the liberation of Kogi State.”
 
Vanguard

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