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Stats: 1,420,627 members, 2,295,143 topics. Date: Friday, 28 August 2015 at 01:45 PM
Poll: What is Obasanjo's crime against NigeriaMassacre of Tiv civilians in Zaki Biam Benue State: 9% (3 votes)
Impoverishment of the Nigerian Masses by 500% devaluation of Naira.: 6% (2 votes)
Mismanagement and closure of our National Airline Nigeria Airways: 9% (3 votes)
Massacre of thousands of villagers in Odi, Bayelsa State in Niger Delta: 9% (3 votes)
Taking IMF loans and implementing damaging economic policies: 6% (2 votes)
Increasing fuel prices by 500%: 9% (3 votes)
Deceiving Nigeria by claiming fuel was subsidised: 6% (2 votes)
As military ruler, using the funds /land for "Operation Feed Nation" to acquire his Ota farm: 6% (2 votes)
Covertly sponsoring the coup in which Muritala Mohammad was assassinated, and executing dozens of people to cover up: 3% (1 vote)
Closing Petroleum Trust Fund and allowing Infrastructural decay: 3% (1 vote)
Presiding during collapse of electrical power supply in entire eastern region: 0% (0 votes)
Inviting US military into Nigeria and exposing national security secrets: 3% (1 vote)
Making himself minister of Petroleum and failing to have his management of oil revenue audited till this very day: 3% (1 vote)
Embezzling and estimated $120bn or approx N20 trillion: 9% (3 votes)
Sold off all of Nigeria's assets including Oil Blocks , Refineries, Electricity Authority, National, Telecommunications and historical buildings etc.: 6% (2 votes)
Buying up the national assets he privatised at a price that is a tiny fraction of its true value: 3% (1 vote)
Giving away Bakassi peninsula without a national referendum or conference: 3% (1 vote)
Mismanaging our national pension fund and presiding whilst $15bn went missing and denying pensioners their pensions: 3% (1 vote)
Deceiving Nigerians that Abacha' government was a bad, to justify undoing most of Abacha's good work: 3% (1 vote)
Presiding over the worst period of political assassinations in Nigeria's history: approx 20 assassinations including Bola Ige: 0% (0 votes)
This poll has ended
Poll: Obasanjo's worst crime is?:Massacre of Tiv civilians in Zaki Biam Benue State:: 25% (1 vote)
Looting and closing our National Airline Nigeria Airways:: 0% (0 votes)
Massacre of thousands of villagers in Odi, in Niger Delta:: 0% (0 votes)
Devaluation of Naira 500% & raising fuel prices 500%: 50% (2 votes)
Embezzling an estimated N30 trillion ($180bn):: 25% (1 vote)
This poll will end in 11:54pm On Jun 25, 2017
Jonathan Told Me & Obasanjo He Never Wanted To Be Vice-president - Donald Duke / Tinubu A Corrupt Thief, Obasanjo Blasts In New Book / Femi Akinsanya Walked-out Of Wrecked Plane Before It Caught Fire (1) (2) (3) (4)
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 7:32am On Feb 29, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 3:32pm On Feb 29, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by courage89(m): 3:47pm On Feb 29, 2012|
May be you did not see this, I will repost
@ gen Buhari,
What would you say was the biggest achievement, or are achievements of Obasanjo's administrations?
I mean the guy must have gotten one or two things right.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 11:53am On Mar 01, 2012|
^ Sorry but Obasanjo did so much damage that your questions is just irrelevant.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:57pm On Mar 02, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 9:01am On Mar 03, 2012|
How Obasanjo and his inner circle Stole Nigeria's Billions of Dollars
Friday, 09 September 2011 17:09 [elombah.com]
Corruption pervades the entire levels of the private and public sector under the administration of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, so said a US Diplomatic cables revealed by wikileaks. The report said that "the arrests in London of the Bayelsa and Plateau State governors have barely scratched the surface of the endemic corruption at the federal, state, and local level. The diplomatic cables noted that in a widely-circulated August 22 letter to President Obasanjo, Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu accused Obasanjo of corruption, listing a number of dubious deals, including:
--Cancellation of the contract for the construction of the national stadium in Abuja, only to re-award the contract to a different vendor at a higher price.
--Use of public funds for capital improvements at two private schools secretly owned by Obasanjo.
Obasanjo's response was to agree to be "investigated by the EFCC, which reports to the President. When the EFCC invited Kalu to provide evidence to support his accusations, Kalu refused, pointing out that the EFCC was not an independent investigative body and had no authority to prosecute the President, and the investigation died out.
The President's chicken farm in Otta is one of the largest in Nigeria. A Presidential spokesman said in November 2004, in order to explain Obasanjo's personal wealth, that the farm generated about $250,000 per month in income, though it was nearly bankrupt in the late 1990s (ref A). Regardless of whether the current income figure is accurate, at least some Nigerians think it is unlikely that Obasanjo's military pension and benefits were the sole source of investment for establishing this huge enterprise, valued by a construction engineer involved in the construction at more than $250 million.
It is also widely believed that the President's inner circle also reaps hefty rewards with impunity. Some frequently cited examples are:
--Edmund Daukoro, recently named Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, was charged in 1994 for embezzling some $47 million as a managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The charges were abandoned, and Daukoro's political career soared when Obasanjo took office in 1999.
--Senator Florence Ita Giwa, indicted for misappropriation of funds by the Idris Kuta Panel in 2000, was pardoned along with other indicted senators, and she was named a special advisor to Obasanjo when she left office.
--The head of the National Airport Management Authority (NAMA), Rochas Okorocha, was caught and dismissed for embezzling about $1 million through an inflated contract; Obasanjo then appointed him as a senior aide, without requiring Okorocha to repay the stolen funds. Okorocha was eventually fired on July 13 in a cabinet reshuffle, but went on to start a political party for his renewed presidential ambitions.
--The recent auction of oil blocks included some firms bidding, sometimes with no prior ties to the oil industry, that were linked to Obasanjo associates, including Daukoro, Rivers State governor Peter Odili, Ogun State governor Gbenga Daniel, presidential advisor Andy Uba, presidential chief of staff Abdullahi Mohammed, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nasir al-Rufai and PDP Board of Trustees Chairman Tony Anenih.
--Anenih was indicted by the National Assembly for the sum of 300 billion Naira (approximately $2.4 billion) missing from Ministry of Works and Housing while he was the minister. The missing money is widely believed to have paid off 2003 elections "expenses," including to Balogun, in addition to lining his own pockets.
--Minister of Finance Ngozie Okonjo-Iweala is said to have steered contracts to her brother (JonJon) with the help of el-Rufai. The contracts, said to amount to about $50 million, have been paid for consulting work for the Ministry.
--Al-Rufai is at the center of the corruption allegations. Well-known to PolCouns eight year ago, when he was homeless and seeking a loan to import a taxi from the UK, al-Rufai is said to have recently purchased seven upscale properties in a posh Abuja neighborhood. His demolitions of commercial and residential buildings in the capital have reportedly provided an opportunity for himself and several of his friends. After demolishing residential properties in Kubwa, the land was reallocated to several of his friends and to an investment company he allegedly owns. The community of Chika, where about two square miles of development was demolished in December, has allegedly been allocated to the same group of people.
--Chief Olabode George, current PDP National Chairman (Southwest) is a close friend of President Obasanjo and a leading proponent of the Third Term Agenda. He is one of the people accused of financial recklessness in the affairs of the National Port Authority, where he was chairman when the financial scandals were allegedly committed. He was retired from the Navy in the 1990s by the Babangida Administration after serving as military governor of Ondo State from 1987 to 1990 in addition to other military postings.
--Chris Uba, recently appointed to the PDP Board of Trustees, admitted rigging during the 2003 elections and attempted to kidnap the governor of Anambra state to try to collect payments for his efforts. Linked closely to several vigilante groups in the state, he is widely believed to be responsible for the burning of many state government buildings in Awka, crimes that have yet to be solved.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:24pm On Mar 03, 2012|
Obasanjo Stole Nigeria's Billions Of Dollars - WikiLeaks (continued) :
¶10. (C/REL UK) Obasanjo himself is believed to be one of the owners of Suntrust Petroleum. And questions remain about the Obasanjo Library project, which collected enormous sums of money from government contractors, banks, industrialists, and state governors, ostensibly for the construction of a presidential library, the plans for which are vague. It is widely believed throughout the country that Obasanjo and his
son, Gbenga, are major shareholders in the newly reorganized Zenith Bank and UBA Bank as well as in airlines and the telecommunications sector.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:58pm On Mar 05, 2012|
Obasanjos used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars
Privitisation: Another multi- billion naira drawback from Obasanjo
Written by Nuruddeen M. Abdallah, Turaki A. Hassan and Abdul-Rahman Abubakar Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:00
Revelations coming out of the Senate hearing on the privatization exercise indicated that almost all the 120 public enterprises sold to private firms since 1999 are either completely dead, or are currently operating at capacities worse than before they were privatized. As the committee sits, it also comes forward with a harvest of fraud, racketeering and official corruption. It also further dimmed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration’s dwindling image. Not only that, people who were believed to be business geniuses were exposed as mere opportunists who fed on carcasses.
The probe has definitely changed the public perception of the privatization implemented by Obasanjo’s administration from 1999 to 2007. At its inception, the government came up with the policy of “government has no business doing business.” The policy sought to handover all Federal Government-owned companies to private operators either through privatization or commercialization. This resulted in the establishment of the Privatization and Commercialization Act of 1999. Consequently, in November 1999, Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i was appointed Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), the agency saddled with the sole responsibility of selling off the companies. Available rrecords indicate that the Federal Government spent over $100 billion from 1973 to 1995 to establish public enterprises.
Government’s reasons for privatization
So many reasons were put forward by the federal government for the sale of virtually all its enterprises. Some of the cogent ones included that they had become completely inefficient and unable to deliver the much needed services to Nigerians, become conduit pipes for siphoning public funds as well as huge burdens on the government’s revenue.
The motive behind the policy introduced by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration was to ease government of the burden of running moribund firms by transferring them to private hands, believed to be more efficient in steering the wheels of business and economic growth. The policy was to ensure that the declining government companies are revamped through the injection of technical expertise, experience and funds by the private entities. The private firms were to ensure growth of the companies thereby creating jobs and opportunities for the people.
Also, it argued that since the late 1970s, public enterprises were not working. Instead, they were not only a drain on the economy as they were not providing services, but “were captured by the elites for their own benefits.” “In the BPE then we crafted a phrase which we called ‘the reverse Robin hood.’ They were stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. This is because only the rich and the connected get the services,” el-Rufa’i said.
In 1998, public enterprises were costing the country N265 billion; which is more than a billion naira per day to support the enterprises. The money came from subsidies on foreign exchange, import duty and tax exemptions. Also, they were not paying VAT to revenues they don’t remit.
El-Rufa’i also gave an insight into the state of the companies then when he said that, “as at 1998 during the military regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), the budget of the federal government was N300 billion but the government spent N265 billion supporting inefficient, corrupt and epileptic public enterprises. That was the philosophy behind privatisation and commercialisation of the companies.”
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 7:41pm On Mar 06, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:44pm On Mar 07, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
How privatization policy was derailed
The privatization initiated by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration was derailed by Obasanjo’s administration, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Managing Director of Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadir, had said in an earlier interview with Sunday Trust.
“Worse of them all is what Obasanjo’s administration had led us into. That is privatization. I think that was the worst thing that ever happened to this country. During Babangida’s time, we were the people who drew up the privatization programme. We categorized it into three groups: those that will be kept under the finances and control of the government; those to be commercialized; and those that would be outrightly privatized,” Abdulkadir said.
He explained that, “we just did not do it because we wanted to privatize any project established by government. We did not do it that way. Obasanjo made it that way. It was on that basis that he privatized everything. With no focus, no parameter, he just privatized.”
Abdulkadir explained that “in the privatization process, there was no idea whatsoever what would happen to the projects after the privatization exercise. When we drew up that programme during the Babangida era, we also drew up programme of how the projects would work after the privatization exercise. You remember the PCPC under the late Hamza Zayyad? Those were the projects we gave to him to privatize because it did not make any sense for them to be held by the government. We went to the second sector so that they can be adequately financed and managed so that they can really contribute to the economy.”
“At that time, even the breweries were being financed by the federal government. Can you imagine brewery? Textiles, they should not be run by government. Those were those we grouped and said, ok, Alhaji Hamza, sell these. And even the banking sector, we categorized in the second group for commercialization. Then the third group we said government should hold like broadcasting, communication and the rest of them. When Obasanjo administration came, this categorization was thrown overboard. And everything was privatized,” the former permanent secretary, said.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:37pm On Mar 08, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
However, 13 years down the line, in spite of the much talked about expected benefits from the exercise, most of the companies have not just failed to improve on what’s they used to be under government ownership. Rather, the companies have completely folded up and gone into extinction, thereby leading to the loss of hundreds and thousands of jobs. Worried by this sorry state, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (ANPP, Yobe North) and 25 other senators sponsored a motion on the floor of the senate which was unanimously adopted leading to the setting up of an ad-hoc committee to probe the activities of the BPE on the privatisation and commercialization of federal government owned public enterprises in Nigeria from 1999 to date.
The senate’s intervention was occasioned by the fact that the privatized companies have failed to achieve anything after they were privatized. This is despite the policy’s grace of period of up to five years for the privatized companies to take-off. In the life of the sixth National Assembly, several lawmakers made efforts to bring off the issue of endemic rot inherent in the privatized companies. That session was however, burdened by several other probes including the power probe, aviation sector probe, FCT probe, transport sector probe and the food crisis probe. The last assembly also concentrated more on the constitution amendment to achieve reforms in the electoral process. Though most of the privatized companies already showed signs of decay characterized by apparent fraud in the bidding process, the last National Assembly could not directly probe the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) on the matter.
In the same vein, after the 2011 elections and the post-election violence that followed, some lawmakers began to ponder the remote causes of violence across the country. To many of them, unemployment has become the major source of concern to stakeholders in the polity as violent acts by youths are becoming more rampant in the country. It is no longer a secret that in virtually all corners of the nation, youths are seen in their thousands roaming the streets with no jobs or any source of seeking a living. The situation is easily linked to failure of the privatization programme which was perceived as a means of increasing employment opportunities.
Most importantly, the issue had also become a prominent topic of discourse soon after the Daily Trust newspaper, in an analysis, exposed the rot in some of the prominent privatized companies. The BPE caused several rejoinders to be published on the matter and at the end of the day, made the matter a subject of discourse in corridors of power. It culminated in the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), disclosing that 80 percent of the privatized companies have failed.
Consequently, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (ANPP, Yobe North) who had also been lamenting the failure of the privatization and commercialization policy, decided to bring the matter before the senate for deliberation. Lawan expressed concern over the failure of the policy, insisting that there are possibilities of fraudulent activities in the bidding process as well as poor post privatization evaluation on the part of the BPE. The senator who was chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts in the Sixth Senate, was curious to find out the factors militating against efficient running of the privatized companies and the reasons for their failure to meet the expectations of growing the economy.
In his motion, Lawan told the Senate that, “due to the collapse of the privatized companies, there are massive loss of jobs and colossal loss of economic returns to the Nigerian economy. For example, the privatized companies in the steel sector that used to employ up to 20,000 workers, now have less than 4000 after the exercise. The Electricity Meter Company of Nigeria, Zaria, that was privatized in December 2002, recently fired about 90 percent of its workforce.”
As the probe continues, there have been startling revelations made before the Lawan -led seven-man senate panel. There have been allegations of how some of the individuals who acquired the public companies did not meet the basic requirements for the privatization process. The major requirements for taking over a public company were technical expertise, experience in running similar firms as well as the financial muscles. The panel has been told that several firms were denied the opportunities to acquire public companies even after winning the bids. Some businessmen also fraudulently used the companies as collateral to secure huge loans from banks. In some instances, investors were only interested in the assets of the companies. In the days ahead and as the panel visits some of the companies, there are bound to be more revelations.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 4:16pm On Mar 12, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
Not sooner than when the committee commenced public hearing last week than shocking and astounding discoveries began to emerge on how the transactions were done, sorry state of the companies, among other disheartening revelations.
Specifically, on Monday August 8, 2011, the Lawan -led panel was told how the $3.2 billion Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) located in Akwa Ibom State was sold to a Russian firm, Russel at the sum of $130 million. The same ALSCON, which the federal government equipped with a 540 mega watts capacity power plant, from 1980s -1996. The BPE had earlier valued ALSCON at $250 million but turned back and discounted $120 million to the Russians in September, 2006.
According to BPE’s DG, Ms Bolanle Onogoruwa, the discounted $120 million was meant to dredge the Imo River which it will use to ferry its raw materials and also export finished products using bigger ships. However, five years after, Russel neither carried out the dredging exercise, nor remit the money to the BPE but rather chose to ship its goods through the Onne Ports.
“The pricing was anomalous. Russel has no capacity to dredge but was given $120 million to outsource the dredging. The sale was like dashing the company to Russel, with N800 million naira import waiver and gas subsidy to last for 20 years. As a Nigerian, I feel grossly short-changed,” Senator Lawan said.
“It is a criminal act for a $3.2 billion company, operating at 75 percent technical capacity and 95 percent structural capacity to be sold at $250 million at a time when it has worked for 18 months,” Senator Mohammad Magoro (PDP, Kebbi South) said.
In the same vein, the $1.5 billion Delta Steel Company was also sold to an Indian company, Global Infrastructure, though it never bidded for it. The company was sold 80 percent of the company’s shares at the sum of $30 million, which the BPE boss admitted that she suspected foul play in the transaction. Not only that, the $30 million was only paid instalmentally over a period of two years long after the company was sold.
The senators were also told of another allegedly shady deal in the purchase of Nigerian Re-Insurance Corporation by Global Fleet owned by Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim. Though the company was worth over N50 billion, it was sold for N1.5 billion. Shortly thereafter, Ibrahim used only two of the company’s assets to secure a N41 billion loan from Union Bank Plc. The company which had staff strength of over 1,000 as at 1996 was reduced to 23 workers under Ibrahim’s management. BPE’s current boss, Ms Onagoruwa, however, told the panel that she was not aware of the shady deals and series of illegalities labelled against the chairman of Global Fleet.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 6:16pm On Mar 13, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
The Jimoh Ibrahim saga
Business mogul, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, also allegedly forged documents and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which he used to acquire 70 percent majority shares in National Insurance Company of Nigeria (NICON). According to presentations and documents made available to the committee by Dr Dickson I. Osuala, representing Assurance Acquisition Limited (AAL), the preferred bidder in the privatisation of NICON; alleged that Ibrahim presented a fake MOU between his company, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd to BPE before acquiring the insurance giant when he claimed to be a director of Oceanic Bank and offered to assist AAL to get the funding through the bank.
“One Jimoh Ibrahim of Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd has by use of false representation, name dropping, multitudinous false claims of representing a highly placed individual taken over NICON with diverse illegal acts and has been running it aground,” a letter written to BPE’s Director General on March 9, 2006, which was presented to the panel said. It charged that Ibrahim presented a fake MOU to the BPE dated 27th October, 2005 with a forged signature of N-Glory Development Nigeria Limited’s Managing Director Dr Obiora Okonkwo. It said the Deputy Inspector General of Police, ‘D’ department, had conducted a forensic analysis on it and confirmed that it was forged. A letter confirming the forging of signatures and falsification of the said MOU following a forensic examination by the Commissioner of Police, Forensic Science Laboratory (FORCE CID), Ikoyi, Lagos, signed by one DSP E. Kolawole, was also presented to the lawmakers.
The letter stated, “I refer to your letter dated 15th June, 2006 and have to report that the questioned signature in the column of Director/Chief Executive officer of N-Glory Development Nigeria Ltd on the document viz: “Memorandum of Understanding”, dated 27th day of October, 2005, has been carefully examined and compared with the accompanied specimen signature on N-Glory Dev. Ltd letter head paper dated 8th June, 2006. Examination of the questioned signature in the relevant portion of the document mentioned above carried out with the aid of video spectral comparator (VSC) and other apparatus, revealed evidence of free-hand execution but on comparison with the submitted specimen signature aforementioned, I found features of non-identity between them.”
Similarly, the BPE itself in a letter signed by its General Counsel, Paul Obo Idornigio, addressed to AAL, dated March 23, 2006, acknowledged that AAL was the preferred bidder. “The Bureau discovered that the members in the MOU were different from those evaluated, leading to the pre-qualification for the financial bid of Tuesday, 11th October, 2005.” On the alleged “diverse illegal acts of Jimoh Ibrahim,” the BPE wrote thus: “There is a process of monitoring core investors by the Bureau. This is being used to investigate the illegal acts noted in your letter.”
Also, a financial review of NICON undertaken by KPMG accusing Ibrahim of asset stripping of NICON, which was also tendered, stated, “the total assets taken out of the company either directly or through companies wholly owned and controlled by Jimoh Ibrahim and not properly accounted for amounts to N6.37 billion. He failed to discharge his duties as director as required by sections 279,288 and 282 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, of 1990 as amended.” The report also detailed how Ibrahim allegedly withdrew 20 million pounds from NICON’s foreign account in London. It said, “the implication of this is that Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim has stripped the company of funds that should have been used to run the company and pay claims to policy holders and pensioners who continue to suffer.”
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 3:36am On Mar 14, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
Infamous roles of Obasanjo
If there is anybody who can tell much about former President Olusegun Obasanjo, it is his former close associate, el-Rufa’i, former FCT minister and BPE boss. However, el-Rufa’i told the lawmakers that his former boss made nonsense of the privatisation plan because he kept interfering in the activities of the agency.
“The government of the day decided they were not going to appoint anybody from inside the BPE. They went and brought someone who literarily was fired from the BPE and that was the beginning of discarding rules, doing things capriciously the promoting people from one level to three levels and the institution has suffered from it since then,” el-Rufa’i said.
The former FCT minister also accused Obasanjo of blocking the privatisation of Nigeria Airways “practically because Kema Chikwe (former Aviation minister) will go and tell him stories and what is the result today? The company is dead. The 2000 jobs have been lost,” he said.
El-Rufa’i lamented that while he held sway at the BPE, he never investigated anyone for corruption except in his last three months. And the only person they investigated ended up succeeding him as the DG in spite of the fact that he recommended that his successor should be appointed from within the system and had recommended three directors and three deputy directors to the former president.
In the same vein, in his separate testimony, former BPE boss, Dr Chris Anyanwu, collaborated what el-Rufa’i told the committee when he said certain interest stalled the privatisation of the comatose Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd (NITEL). But when asked to expatiate on what he meant by the probe committee chairman, Senator Lawan; Dr Anyanwu said, “Officials from the presidency at the highest level. Whoever seats at the BPE is under serious pressure from even quarters you do not expect.”
Again, Obasanjo was accused of usurping the powers of the BPE when the presidency, together with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel, in 2006 did concession the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State to Global Infrastructure, according to Ms Bolanle. She said, contrary to provisions of the Privatisation and Commercialisation Act of 1998, the presidency under Obasanjo did not involve the Bureau in the concession exercise.
Minister of State for Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Sada also accused Global Infrastructures, which also bought Delta Steel Company, of asset stripping in Ajaokuta. He said that “they were moving out equipments from Ajaokuta to Delta Steel. They cannibalized spare parts at the company and only wanted to use the place as a warehouse for DSC.”
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:49pm On Mar 14, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
The BPE under Ms Bolanle also illegally sold FG’s five percent shares in Eleme Petrochemical, Port Harcourt, to the same core investors, Indorama, who had saturated their maximum of 75 percent as stipulated by law. Ms Bolanle confirmed that she undertook the illegal sale but said the money was saved in the bank and will return same to Indorama.
On gross undervaluing of the companies, Ms Bolanle insisted that most of the Nigerian companies were built at exorbitant prices saying, “and their cost of production were inflated.”
More so, legislators also discovered that contrary to the BPE establishment Act of 1999, the Bureau had opened and operated uncountable number of accounts in many commercial banks into which were paid privatisation proceeds instead of the one stipulated by the Act to be opened in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
When asked by the committee how many of such illegal accounts BPE has in commercial banks, Ms Bolanle said she does not know their number off hand as there were several of them. She however, maintained that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had authorised the operation of such accounts as they were used to pay labour liabilities which were deducted at source before remittance were made to the proceed account in the CBN. “Our understanding is that there is no other law or this Act supporting the establishment of these accounts in commercial banks,” the committee charged.
The Bureau has also contrary to constitutional provisions and the BPE Act, embarked upon deduction from proceeds from source before remittance to the Federation Account. El-Rufa’i, himself, admitted to it before the senators but said, they resolved to be deducting the cost of transactions because the National Assembly refused to appropriate funds for them; contrary to section 80 of the 1999 constitution as amended. The section reads partly, “ All revenues or other moneys raised or received by the Federation (not being revenues or other moneys payable under this constitution or any Act of the National Assembly, into any other public fund of the Federation established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.”
The Privatization Act also empowers the BPE to monitor privatized companies for a period of three to five years to ensure that they comply with the Post Acquisition Plan agreed upon in the Sale and Purchase Agreement. However, of all the 120 enterprises sold, the Bureau failed to monitor even one. Meaning that on this, it had 100 percent failure record.
“BPE never took any steps to call malefactors to order or exercise its powers as a regulatory agency, with results that all valuable assets of Daily Times of Nigeria have been stolen and squandered by Folio communications Ltd, Fidelis Anosike and Noel Anosike,” Senator Ikechukwu Obiora, Chairman of DSV Ltd said while testifying before the committee.
Thirten years now, thousands of Nigerians have lost their jobs, most of the companies closed down, their assets stolen, sold or stripped, no revenue to the government through tax and levies while the economy and the country as a whole suffers as even tooth picks are now being imported into Nigeria.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:38am On Mar 16, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
Opposition parties’ reactions
Reacting to the privatization probe, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has accused the ruling party of squandering the nation’s wealth. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Rotimi Fashakin, CPC, “has noted with stupefaction the recent admission of failure of the PDP’s 12 year- old privatization policy by President Goodluck Jonathan. This is coming on the heels of unmitigated plundering of the nation’s resources in a disguised neo-capitalist agenda ably espoused by the leadership of the PDP-led federal government in the past twelve years.
“The gambit that was sold to and patriotically rejected by the Muhammadu Buhari regime in 1984, had been swallowed by the PDP regime, leading to the dubious sale of the property of the the Nigerian state to privileged members of the ruling clique; an action that has brought about huge macro-economic distortions to the polity. It is soundly factual that unemployment index was exacerbated by this failed policy,” the party said.
The party added that “one of the seemingly plausible reasons advanced for this privatization policy, pursued with maniacal enthusiasm, was the efficiency of the production process. Unfortunately, we have not seen this in the company that the assets of Nigerian Airways were sold to. In essence, the policy was so implemented as to evince a new generation of stupendously wealthy individuals at the expense of the Nigerian state.
“As a party, we are desirous of a judicial probe to unearth the culpability of the leadership in the implementation of this policy. It is our belief that this is the only way to lay bare the facts in the making of the infamy against the Nigerian people. It is our hope that all those indicted, as having compromised their positions of trust, must be made to face the full wrath of the law,” CPC said.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 6:40pm On Mar 16, 2012|
Obasanjo used Privatisation Policy to Steal Billions of Dollars (continued):
Fate of the probe
“Subject to the provisions of this constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by a resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the government of the federation, to direct or cause to be directed, investigation into any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws and the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for. To expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it,” section 89 of the 1999 constitution, reads partly.
Since the inception of the civilian rule in 1999, the National Assembly has carried out several investigations ranging from the Allocation of Houses to ministers , PTDF probe, FCT probe, Food Insecurity probe, the infamous power probe, Customs probe, death of textile probe etc. But if not all, most of them did not result in any action being taken and now comes this one. It is left to be seen if this will be an exception.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 7:55am On Mar 17, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:31am On Mar 21, 2012|
what is problem?
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by Vansnickers: 7:03am On Mar 21, 2012|
OBJ had the chance to change Nigeria, instead he Mind was more on his Pocket.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by olaak1(m): 11:01am On Mar 21, 2012|
GenBuhari: I read somewhere that Obasanjo is the biggest looter in African history
Can u pls give us the clue of ur sure of Info GenBuhai? U guys talk as if Buhari is a saint; all the success recorded during General Buhari's regime was by the grace of Almighty God and by the grace of late Babatunde Idiagbon cos he was the d'facto head of states; Buhari was there Just as a figure head.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by T9ksy(m): 11:04am On Mar 21, 2012|
[i][/i]Ha, the penny finally dropped! Nice try though!
I guess you must have realised now, why the rest of us just ignore the poster's delusional antics.
He will soon be selling sand to the arabs!!!
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by kaycid77(m): 12:17pm On Mar 21, 2012|
WHY IS THIS NOT IN FRONT PAGE BUT IF IT IS OJUKWU THREAD You bigotry Moderator will put it in front page [b][/b]
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:33am On Mar 22, 2012|
You want evidence that Obasanjo is the biggest looter in Africa?
Isn't the fact that he impoverished 150million Nigerians during his rule , enough evidence for you?
What is this nonsense people keep saying that Idiagbon was defacto head of state? There is no evidence to support this other than beer palour rumours.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:38am On Mar 22, 2012|
So you also think that it is credible that if you were illegally given an oil block, you would wait a whole decade to cash it?
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 11:49pm On Mar 22, 2012|
Obasanjo, Beachland Estate And Unbridled Corruption
By Jide Ayobolu November 1, 2006
President Olusegun Obasanjo since 1999 has said severally that his government will work relentlessly to curb the menace of corruption that has systematically led to the development of underdevelopment. In his maiden speech, president Obasanjo said nothing will be spared in the war against corruption, and that there will be no untouchables. But in the fight against corruption, the president that has presided over the affairs of NNPC since 1999, but has not explained the missing N311billion that should have been paid into the revenue account, and Nigerians are eagerly waiting to know what actually happened to the said amount. Secondly, it was reported that N84billion was missing in NPA, involving a bigwig of the ruling PDP, hence, the EFCC has been lily-livered to make public its findings since, the main dramatis personae is an alter-ego of the president, again, Nigerians want to know what really happened in NPA. Also, where is the N6.4billion that was collected for the controversial presidential library that is adjudged to be illegal?
Also, Chief Dan Etete, who recently came to the country to do some hatchet jobs for the president to smear the integrity and credibility of vice president Atiku Abubakar, in 2002, in some foreign newspapers published a very interesting rapacious and graft story about president Obasanjo, according to Etete, “Obasanjo must not hold the view that Nigeria have very short memory or that they do not care. How does he explain his attempts to dispossess his erstwhile friend, Chief Egunjobi, of the Beach Land Estate? In his first coming as Head of State, he claims he built the estate and on leaving office he took his former friend Chief Egunjobi to court and shamelessly proclaimed that he used the latter as a front. He did not tell the court, as Nigerians wanted to know, how he came by the money to build the estate. The court saw through him and struck out his law suit. Two issues immediately arose from the outcome of this escapade. The first is the serial nature of the activities which we believe reflect Obasanjo’s corruption. Having claimed before a Nigerian law court the Estate belonged to him; he must answer the question as to where he got the resources to build it? His salary and allowances, while in office, are known to Nigerians. The court refused to be deceived and with him unwilling to declare the sources of the finance for the Beach Land Estate, the court made it clear he did not prove he owned the Estate. The other matter arising from this episode is the character of General Obasanjo is a covetous person. He must own what he sees and he sees and likes even if it means illegally dispossessing the rightful owner. It could have been he saw Chief Egunjobi’s beach land estate; he liked it and therefore, wanted it. In his characteristic style, coveted it and Bingo, it had to be his. The only limitation at the time is that he forgot he was no longer Head of State. When it dawned on him, he wondered what to do, he chose the option of litigation, half forgetting there were judges who guard their integrity jealously in Nigeria.” However, Obasanjo has since taken over the ownership of the contentious estate, but the fact remains, where did he get the money to build that massive estate?
In a similar development, a group called Nigeria Anti-corruption Collective has asked the president some very salient questions that bother on his crude acquisitive proclivities of the collective patrimony of the Nigerian people. The posers go thus, who owns Ajaokuta Steel Mills, Delta Steel Complex, Jos Steel Rolling Mills, Oshogbo Machine Tools and Itakpe Iron Ore Company? Who is deceiving whom? Who is the largest shareholder in UBA? Who bought out the shares of Akeem Bello-Osagie and threatened him with arrest and imprisonment? Who was the largest shareholder in First Interstate Bank Ltd, before the merger into Unity Bank? Who owns the majority shares in Virgin Nigeria? Who gave the airline special facilities at the international wings of our airports at the cost of N400million? Why does Virgin Nigeria not pay parking and landing fees and purchase aviation fuel at a discount, while at the same time competing in the same market with other local airlines? Why should one man set up Transcorp, devalue our national assets, obstruct free and fair competition and sell everything to himself and family? If not, why did Transcorp purchase almost the entire NITEL for $750million, when Globacom bidded $1.2billion for the same property? Not too long earlier, Vmobile sold a fraction of its shares for $1.2billion. How could all of NITEL with a vast net worth of digital exchanges, armoured cables, three international gateways, among others, sell for only $750million? This one man operates six farms in six states of the federation. What is the source of the funds for these massive investments? What is the deal between this one man with the owner of Mittal of India? Why the hurry in granting Block 246 to the Indian conglomerate? Is Nigeria for sale?
Apart from the numerous unanswered questions posed by the group above, the following questions have asked Mr. President, who is the real owner of Obajana cement factory? Who is the owner of Eleme Petrochemicals? Who has the largest shares in Arik Air? Why did the government sell the Nigeria Airway Hanger to this airline not through bidding, negotiation? Why did government allocate lucrative international routes to Arik Air even before it bought planes for operation, when other existing airlines doing very in the country were denied such a priviledge? Who are the people that import fuel into the country since 1999? Who has the largest shares in Transcorp? How was NICON HILTON HOTEL Abuja acquired by Transcorp? What is EFCC doing about the Israeli arms deal where some government official made about $100million for themselves? What is EFCC doing about the tokunbo presidential planes that were bought as new? Where is the report into the probe of COJA? Where is the report on Mantu, about he mismanaged the haji N400million funds?
The fact of the matter is that, until this questions are vividly answered we cannot claim to be fighting corruption, this is because, this are cases that concern the president directly and Nigeria wants categorical answers on them. It is also very important to point out that, the EFCC is the creation of the president, he appoints the chairman of the anti-graft body, he approves its funding, also, when cases are to be investigated it gets the nod of the president, in the same token, after investigations are completed, the findings and conclusions are submitted to the president for his perusal, in this type of situation, it becomes very difficult for the EFCC to do a very thorough job, it can not be in any way independent, it does what the president wants it to do, and what the president does not want, it will never do. It is in this regard that, EFCC has been aptly described as a tool in the hands of the president to deal with perceived political enemies in a dirty game of political intrigue and vendetta. And, without missing words, this is what has played out in the last few months with regards to EFCC investigation on the PTDF account, this is because, not only is the report lopsided, it is illogical, incoherent and does not add up. Therefore, it can be said that, the fight against corruption as been politized, which has made nonsense of all the attempts to rid the polity of the deadly scourge.
It is, however, very important that the president answer in full details all the questions asked and in the full glare of the public, in addition to this both public and private investigators should be asked to dig deep into the numerous disturbing and worrisome allegations against the president. The president has always carried on as if he is a saint, but in reality, he is no more than a sanctimonious wog, a lot of lip and eye services have been paid to the issue of corruption in Nigeria. Those who claim to be fighting corruption are more corrupt than those they claim are corrupt, and than this the bane of the country today.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:06am On Mar 23, 2012|
Obasanjo institutionalised corruption in Nigeria - Yakassai
Sunday, 14 November 2010
It was in the evening after his routine, that Alhaji Tanko Yakassai—first Commissioner for Information in Kano State and Special Adviser to former President Shehu Shagari on National Assembly Matters—spoke in his serene residence in Kano to KEHINDE OYETIMI and KOLA OYELERE about the state of the nation, the Northern alliance ahead of 2011, among other issues. Excerpts:
If you are to look at the role of money, violence and thuggery in this nation, do you agree that Nigerian elections have never been the reflection of the wish of the electorate?
In most cases, yes. But I believe that the 1979 election was to a large extent, a true reflection of the expectation of the Nigerian electorate. To a larger degree, the 1983 election was. I can cite the example of Kano when in 1979, PRP under the leadership of the late Aminu Kano, won the election in Kano hands down. They won state Assembly elections, National Assembly elections among others. In 1983, three months after the demise of Aminu Kano, the PRP repeated the same performance. They won the gubernatorial election against an incumbent governor. They won almost the same majority in the state Assembly and also in the National Assembly. Take the 1993 election where Chief M.K.O. Abiola was also elected. That election also reflected the true wishes of the Nigerian electorate. There are instances where some elections in Nigeria reflected the true wishes of the electorate.
Definitely as we progress, the situation continues deteriorating. This is largely brought about by money-politics. Money-politics, whether we like it or not, is the legacy of military rule. The massive corruption that we witness in the governance of this country today is the bye-products of the military. For the simple reason that the period of 1979 and 1983, there was much talk about corruption and so on. But if you look at the people who were in government in those days, you cannot pinpoint the wealth that they accumulated as you can now pinpoint the amount of wealth that military rulers in this country were able to accumulate to themselves. It was easy for them because before then others did it and nothing happened to them.
From 1975 to 1979, that was the beginning of the corruption by the military rulers. Gowon was in power for nine years. You know who the principal actors were during Gowon’s regime. The civilian took over in 1979; they ran for four years and two months. The military took over; enquiries were set up all over the country. As we go by the findings of Justice Ayo Irikefe who investigated the regime under Shagari, what he said of the Vice President—Alex Ekwueme—was that he joined government as a rich man and he left government poorer. The same thing with Shagari. They investigated him; he was in detention for almost two years. By the time he came out, even the common generator which he had was out of service. It took the sympathy of some friends of his to repair the generator. When he came out of detention, he had no business. He had to concentrate on his farm. But that generator was helping his borehole to provide water for his livestock and farm. It was because of his pitiful situation and that of General Gowon that General Sanni Abacha decided that former Heads of State should be given pension and gratuity. He went to the extent of visiting Shagari’s house and saw how substandard it was compared to the position of Shagari. Shagari was even better than Gowon. Shagari had a house no matter how modest it was but Gowon hadn’t got any. Out of pity, the government of Plateau State built a house for him. When Obasanjo came to power, they confiscated that house which was built for him. So he was unable to own a house until Abacha directed that they should indicate the spots that they wanted personal houses to be built for them free-of-charge. It was then Gowon and Shagari were able to get houses that you could say are befitting former heads of state.
The maniac for corruption in government in a massive scale started from Murtala/Obasanjo’s regime.
Fortunately or unfortunately for this country, it has never witnessed massive stealing of the highest magnitude as we have witnessed during the second coming of Obasanjo. I’m talking of 1999 to 2007. If you listen to the revelation of colossal amount of money that was wasted or stolen as was revealed in the power probe of the House of Representatives and also the stealing in the Education Trust Fund that nobody would ever dream that people can commit such crimes and go away with it. Come down to the state governors, you would hear that a governor misappropriated billions of naira from the state. Look at the case of Igbinedion. How much he admitted in court through plea bargaining that he stole. But he was convicted for a short period of time.
Also and unfortunately, the judiciary is not helping matters. There are corruption cases now that are pending for over five years. The people accused are going about freely. If people can steal billions of Nigeria and hire 5 to 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, then get the court to set them free to go about their business, are we not supporting it? Only a man who has the fear of God will fail to steal when he gets to that kind of position. Punishing people is to serve as deterrent to others. But if people will commit an offence and go about their business freely, it would be an encouragement for others. It is true that Obasanjo created ICPC and EFCC but what happened later created doubts in the minds of many people whether he was generally sincere in creating those institutions to fight corruption; whether he did it to use them to fight his political enemies. It was because of that example of tolerance to stealing by government that the issue of corruption became a serious cancer in the body polity. No individual can tell you how we can overcome this even if he is a prophet. Of course, the thing is everywhere. The big people are doing it. The man who is handling fuel pump is doing it. Everybody now is a thief.
Are you saying that between 1999 and 2007, corruption was given the greatest boost?
Corruption was institutionalized in Nigeria. Go and get the reports and surprisingly nobody was arrested. Only a few. Look at the Halliburton incidence.
There are five key players in the North as we approach the 2011 elections—IBB, Atiku, Buhari, Gusau and Bukola Saraki. Do you believe that a Northern consensus candidate will work at this time?
A consensus candidate in the PDP, not in the entire North. Talking about a contest between Goodluck Jonathan and other contestants in the PDP. What people are saying is that if the northerners insist that this is their turn to get a northerner nominated by the PDP and that right is being usurped by Jonathan and if they are serious in trying to rescue the right of the their people, then it would not augur well for four people to be fighting for it. They agreed, they signed a document, they appointed a committee. Once it is decided, they said they would abide by it. They said they would collapse their campaign mobilization to help that person to succeed. We are not talking of a consensus candidate for the North. We are talking about a consensus candidate in the PDP to contest against Jonathan. Any other northerner can come out because it is everyone’s right. What we are saying is that in the PDP which is the party that promised northerners that if they vote for Obasanjo after eight years, the power would shift back to the north for another eight years, which is why we are saying there must be a consensus candidate in the PDP.
The North has held power for over 30 years out of a nation’s life of 50 with almost nothing to show for it in terms of development in the North. Does the North deserve to continue again?
There are two answers. Number one, Southerners are saying power stayed in the North for a long period. They are deliberately ignoring the fact that this period was under military rule which everybody believed was an aberration. It was not through elections. Why did the power stay longer in the North during the military era? By the time the 1966 military coup took place, northerners in the military of significant ranks constituted about 75 to 80 per cent of all the men in the military uniform in Nigeria. When Ironsi was overthrown, those who staged the coup decided that Brigadier Ogundipe should be the head of state. They called him to take over power in 1966. Ogundipe declined. He said they should give it to Gowon because the majority of the people in the armed forces were northerners. So, he felt they would be more loyal if a northerner was given the leadership.
Number two: there is a saying in Hausa that a bird that calls for rain will end up being soaked by it when it comes. Anybody who calls for trouble should be the one to suffer the consequence. It was not the northerners who staged the coup in the first place; it was the southerners who introduced coup into Nigeria’s political system—Nzeogwu, Njokwu, Ifejuana and the rest. If southerners could stage a coup, then they should be prepared to suffer the consequence. They should not blame the northerners. If they were in the majority, they would have kept the power for a long time.
The number of Almajiris is becoming quite disturbing in the North. What is being done to help these children seeing that they are beginning to constitute a menace?
When the British came, they found the North to be predominantly Muslim. We had our educational system linked to the Islamic education. Instead of integrating this and because of their hatred for Islam, they decided to leave the question of education in the hands of the Christian missionaries. When they came they said the Christian missionaries would establish schools to educate the children. Our forefathers said no. How can a Muslim surrender his children to Christian missionaries? Today, we have seen the havoc it has created to the Muslims in the west. People like Akinloye, Akinjide, Adeniran Ogunsanya—all were from Muslim families but for going to missionary schools, they turned Christians, they bade goodbye to Islam. This was the beginning of this problem.
After our people took over power, there was no deliberate policy to address this issue. They hold the system of Madrasa in Pakistan. There they modified. The children don’t have to go round the town begging. They put it in manner that parents have to pay minimum to maintain the schools because the schools created vocational activities to generate some income to maintain the school. Originally the parents were paying token money; we call it laraba; as time went on the money was not enough to care for the teachers and the children. The children then had to go out to find the means of sustaining themselves. But to do away with this problem, we need combined efforts involving the federal, state and local governments, in fact, as well as philanthropists.
Let the statistics of the children be taken; once this is taken then their place of origin can be identified. Then we work out how much would be needed to maintain them. Then part of the money for education in Nigeria should be pumped into that system. But the curriculum in the school can be modified to include western education so that they would be running their Quranic education side by side western education. In a matter of a limited period of time, you will see that the problem would vanish. Bu there is no political will to do this by all our leaders. Nobody bothers.
Zoning has moved from the PDP to a national debate. Do you believe that zoning the presidency is democratic and that the nation needs it at this point of our democracy?
I think it is democratic. Although, in Nigeria, NPN introduced zoning and rotation in 1979, it copied from the zoning system in Switzerland which has been going on for hundreds of years and no trouble…
…Why the trouble here?
Selfishness and shortsightedness on the part of those who introduced the idea in the PDP. A lot of them are my friends but they are responsible for this dilemma that we are in today. When NPN decided to do zoning, they put it in the constitution not only as matter of principle but they spelled out where the president should come from, where the vice president should come from, where the party leader should come from, where the senate leader should come from, where the speaker and the majority leader should come and all that, including the rotation. Everything was put in black and white. At least, members of the PDP are experienced and they know what happened in the NPN, most of them were participants at the 1994/95 Constitution Conference where zoning and rotation were institutionalized into our constitution, where the six geo-political zones idea was conceived and adopted. Sanni Abacha agreed with it; I was a member. It was there that we felt that there should be three vice presidents; there was to be the president, one vice president from the North, the other from the south, and an additional vice president from wherever the president comes from.
This was to be so that in the event that the president is unable to continue as the president just like what happened to Yar’ Adua, the vice president from his zone would take over. It was put at that constitution. In fact, Sanni Abacha, in his wisdom, went as far as wanting to create the position of prime minister and deputy prime minister and insisting that they must come from the same region.
Won’t this have been complex to operate?
It was not complex. In Niger, Ivory Coast, France, all operate similar structures. The three vice presidents issue was a special case for us. In a democracy, you adopt a style of governance that reflects the peculiarity of the circumstance. That is why democracy in America is different from that of England. Even in Europe, democracy in France is different from that of Italy. The one in Germany is different from Italy even though they are similar. A Chancellor in Germany is equivalent to prime minister in Italy.
Are you saying that if we’ve had three vice presidents, the Yar’ Adua problem would have easily been solved?
But zoning is not in the constitution which gives Jonathan the right to go for another term.
Why was it introduced in the first place? They are hypocrites. Why didn’t they say so when NPN introduced it 1979? Why didn’t they say it when Obasanjo said it when he was president for eight years? In our constitution we agreed on the issue of federal character. Zoning is an extension of the federal character.
People believe that the issue of zoning and the federal character have the tendency of whipping up mediocrity.
In Nigeria, every village has a graduate. Today, it is nonsense for anybody to talk of that. There are unemployed graduates everywhere. We have people who can run this country.
It is believed that the INEC Chair will serve as stooge to some “interests” come 2011. Do you foresee any fairness in the elections?
I believe in the integrity of the INEC chairman. I believe in the goodwill created for him by the members of the National Assembly by changing the Electoral Act to make it possible for free and fair primaries. If the products of the primaries are not produced through transparent arrangements, forget about democracy.
So you are insisting that a free and fair playground would work against Jonathan’s ambition?
Free and fair elections won’t be in Jonathan’s interest. Free and fair elections will produce a government that will try to look into the misbehaviours of Obasanjo’s regime.
When Obasanjo was in power, he allocated plots to himself in the choice area near the CBN quarters. I did not count. My calculation is that they are about 20 blocks of flat. They may be more. He started building them and the project was halted for almost 20 years since he left office. When he became president, he completed them. Obasanjo raised N7 billion to build Obasanjo Library which Federal Government establishments like Port Authorities, Maritime Authorities contributed money including big government contractors and businessmen like Dangote, Otedola contributed billions. Who has ever done that in the whole world? Obasanjo today has a palatial house at the minister’s quarters. It is a new, gigantic building. Obasanjo has farms all over Nigeria. He went as far as to perhaps Uganda to buy land to farm. This man is 75 and I’m 84 but I believe if you give me the CBN today, I can’t eat more than what I am eating; I can’t sleep in the kind of bed that I am sleeping. Why should a man at 75 be amassing such wealth like a madman? Obasanjo will not like a transparent government because it would probe him. No credible person will emerge through fair election that would leave Obasanjo untouched.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:37am On Mar 23, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:01am On Mar 23, 2012|
21 May 2006 - The Telegraph (UK newspaper)
Obasanjo, leads Nigeria to despair
By Stephen Bevan in Lagos
12:01AM BST 21 May 2006
Once, Marcus Chegbene was one of the privileged in Nigeria. He had a much sought-after civil service job in Awka, 600 miles from Lagos. His salary, 2,000 naira a month - then equivalent to £15 - was reasonable, although because of corruption he received only 570 naira. "I was told the difference was for improvements like road construction. Usually you don't ask about it," he says.
Then, five years ago, he lost his job, a victim of the rationalisation of the civil service that was one of the first significant acts of reform by President Olusegun Obasanjo when he took office in 1999.
Now he lives in Maryland, a teeming, traffic-choked and down-at-heel suburb of Africa's largest city, Lagos. Home for Mr Chegbene, 40, his wife and their four children is a single room, just 12 feet square. They live on his wife's salary from a dry cleaner's: 3,000 naira a month, now worth £11. There is not enough room for more than one bed, so his children sleep on the floor. The building has just two lavatories between 40 families.
A proud, educated man, he says he has tried but failed to find another job. "It's very difficult because of the corruption," he says. "Employment is not based on qualifications but on whom you know."
Mr Chegbene is one of an estimated 90 million people - two-thirds of the population - who live on less than a dollar a day in Africa's most populous nation. It is a shocking statistic in a nation that is the world's eighth largest oil producer.
Nigeria should be relatively wealthy but a succession of corrupt and incompetent military rulers has made it one of the world's biggest debtors.
Mr Obasanjo was supposed to be different. This, after all, was the man whose opposition to the country's most notorious military dictator, Gen Sani Abacha, saw him hounded and imprisoned. To Tony Blair he was one of the "new generation" of African leaders who would help to drag the continent out of its dependency on foreign aid.
Others in the West have praised his efforts to crack down on corruption and the ambitious economic reform programme embarked upon by the small team of former World Bank technocrats he has brought into government. Even allegations that his re-election in 2003 was marred by vote-rigging in some states failed to dent his image.
Yet today, while the West still lauds him, many Nigerians have become disillusioned, blaming his government for a worsening standard of living and complaining that his anti-corruption drive is a tool of political intimidation. Some claim he is using his office for his own enrichment.
"Nigerians are suffering: there are no jobs and there is no security," says Layyanu Abubakar, 22, a student of business administration at the University of Abuja. John Ojamiren, 32, a trainee accountant, adds: "Everything is more expensive and often there are shortages… I think even under the military life was better than this."
But it is Mr Obasanjo's record on corruption that has taken the biggest battering. To Chief Gani Fawehinmi, a veteran human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate, Mr Obasanjo is the "Janus-faced president" who shows "one face to the international community - his much vaunted accountability and transparency - and another in his own country."
He is taking Mr Obasanjo to court over a eight billion naira (£33 million) presidential lib-rary to be built at Abeokuta in the president's home state of Ogun, claiming that the money raised to build it was essentially a payback from government contractors and foreign investors, some of whom have benefited from Mr Obasanjo's administration.
At his bunker-like chambers off a dusty Lagos backstreet, Mr Fawehinmi's voice rises with indignation as he runs through a list of donors. They include several who have been awarded lucrative oil concessions - as Mr Fawehinmi points out, Mr Obasanjo has kept the job of petroleum minister for himself - while others are beneficiaries of government privatisations.
However, Femi Fani-Kayode, the president's spokesman, said: "There is nothing in our laws that denies the right of a private individual to donate money to any cause they deem fit. This was seen by many as a noble cause... President Obasanjo would be the last one to abuse his office or enrich himself."
Yet the library is not the only one of Mr Obasanjo's business interests over which Mr Fawehinmi and others have raised questions.
Two years ago, in his role as the chairman of the Federal Executive Council, Mr Obasanjo approved a licence for Bells University of Technology in Badagry in Lagos state, run by a company in which he has a stake. His spokesman said that it was not an abuse of office and neither was the venture intended to make money.
Then there are persistent rumours about Mr Obasanjo's farm at Otta, in Ogun, said to be the biggest chicken farm in Nigeria, if not west Africa, with 3,000 employees and a monthly income of 30 million naira (£124,000).
Yet, according to a journalist who visited the 150-acre farm when Mr Obasanjo was released from prison in 1998, at that time it was only "a small place for the poultry". How, ask Mr Obasanjo's critics, did a man who earned an army salary find the capital to turn it into such a money-spinner?
Mr Fani-Kayode has an answer. "Every penny he made from it, he invested back into the farm... Not one penny of government money has gone into that farm since he became president."
Such allegations might seem far-fetched, were it not for the criticism generated by Mr Obasanjo's failed attempt to amend the constitution to allow him a third term in office.
For months it has dominated the news, achieving the rare feat of uniting a nation of 250 ethnic groups and several former heads of state, the current vice-president and a clutch of governors - all in opposition.
Its defeat in the Senate last week was greeted with the jubilation normally reserved for sporting triumphs. "Everybody was so happy. People borrowed money to go on a drinking spree," says Marcus Chegbene. "It is time he left."
Even in the febrile atmosphere of Nigerian politics it was an unsavoury campaign. Meetings of "anti-third term" politicians have been broken up by police.
Francis Amadiegwu, an anti-third termer in the House of Representatives, described how was pushed to the ground by police, putting him in hospital for eight days.
The paradox, say Mr Obasanjo's critics, is that all this was being done for the man who in 1979 became the first military ruler voluntarily to hand over to a civilian administration. Although on Thursday the president claimed he had never even wanted a third term, his allies fear the attempt will now overshadow the anti-corruption campaign.
Even in a country grown used to greed, the allegations of bribes of up to 50 million naira (£207,000) being offered to those who would back a third term have caused outrage.
Several politicians confirmed to The Sunday Telegraph that they were offered inducements to change their stance. Uche Onyeagucha, a member of the House of Representatives, revealed that supporters of a third term had offered him and nine other members a holiday anywhere in the world.
Ben Obi, a senate veteran not given to hyperbole, says the allegations need to be thoroughly investigated. "The world is talking about the fight against corruption by the Nigerian government.
''If you come up with allegations as strong as these and you refuse to do something about it, certainly people are going to think something is wrong."
Critics say that the very anti-corruption drive on which the government has staked so much - and in particular the powerful Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, led by a former policeman, Nuhu Ribadu - is being used as a tool of intimidation.
While few would disagree that the EFCC has done some excellent work - it claims to have secured the convictions of 56 people including Mr Ribadu's former boss, the inspector-general of police, and recovered more than £2.7 billion - many believe that it has targeted the president's political opponents while his supporters have been left alone.
It is a line of attack Mr Ribadu is used to hearing. Referring to those claiming to be victims of political persecution, he says: "These are all crooks, thieves, who stole public money and are just going under the protection of politics so that they can never be bought to justice."
Mr Ribadu disclosed that he was "almost ready to go to court" against 20 of the country's powerful state governors.
Promising to publish the report on their findings soon, Mr Ribadu conceded that Mr Obasanjo should not have started fund-raising for a presidential library while still in office. "If you ask me I would have said Obasanjo should not do this thing until he is out of office... but I don't think it has reached the stage of a criminal act".
With what promises to be a rough election battle coming up next year, claims that the anti-corruption fight has become politicised are unlikely to go away. As Mr Ribadu admits: "We do use our head; we do things to survive."
Whether Nigeria's reputation survives remains to be seen.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 6:08am On Mar 24, 2012|
Nigeria's Obasanjo and the $16 Billion Power Scam
Frontline Catholic cleric and social critic, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, perhaps, spoke the minds of millions of Nigerians when he said recently that former President Olusegun Obasanjo deserved to be formally tried for his alleged role in the squandering about $16 billion voted for resuscitating the near-dead power sector during his administration between 1999 and 2007. Kukah, a close family friend of the Obasanjos, was the Secretary to the National Political Reforms Conference (NPRC) initiated by the Obasanjo government in 2005.
This call, which is a challenge to the Goodluck Jonathan administration, could not have come at a more appropriate time, especially considering the President's recent assurance that his administration would go after those who looted the national treasury, no matter how highly placed they may be. But many Nigerians doubt if Dr. Jonathan will summon the will to bring his political benefactor to book.
Dr. Kukah, who also chided critics and civil society groups for not doing enough to ensure that Obasanjo is arraigned, said: "Obasanjo probably will never be the President of Nigeria again, but we should be concerned if Obasanjo deserves to go to prison. Vilifying him doesn't give us (electric) power; it also doesn't get us the criminals that have taken our money, wherever they are. I would have loved to have Obasanjo brought to trial, because then we would know the truth." Besides the scandal ravaging the power sector, which the former President directly supervised, the double standards of the Presidency, under him, in the many established cases of corrupt self-enrichment by key government functionaries during his tenure were mind-boggling.
After the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) unearthed a N56 billion fraud by the former Board of Directors of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for example, Obasanjo failed to institute any process towards recovering the stolen amount and/or prosecuting the culprits, who were said to be his close political allies. Rather, some of those who served on that board were appointed to other boards subsequently. Before that scandal came to light, back in July 2002, Nigerians had been shocked when the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Godwin Kanu Agabi, filed a nolle prosequi (discontinuance of prosecution) on the day an Abuja High Court was scheduled to deliver judgment in a case of alleged embezzlement of N420 million by Dr. Julius Makanjuola, Obasanjo's relation and a Director at the Ministry of Defence.
And in 2006, Nigerians were similarly shell-shocked over the revelation of massive pillaging at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) allegedly involving Obasanjo and his Deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. This was to be followed by allegations of Obasanjo's involvements in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), which bought over Abuja's NICON Hilton Hotel, the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), and also acquired some oil blocks.
Fr. Kukah's recent call is timely. Nigerians continue till today to endure perennial darkness, with no real clue to the cause of the apparent intractability of the power sector's woes. It is disheartening, in this regard, that like the late President Umaru Yar'Adua, Dr. Jonathan has surrounded himself with some of the key figures that helped ex-President Obasanjo fail so dismally in service delivery. While we commend Jonathan over his appointment of Professor Bath Nnaji as Special Adviser on Power, it must be noted that Mr. Joseph Makoju, a seasoned professional, had held that same position under the Yar'Adua administration and also under the Obasanjo government. In addition, he was PHCN Managing Director for the better part of the latter administration. He ought to be facing intense interrogation over what happened to the alleged misappropriated $16 billion.
And, with discredited functionaries and contractors of the Obasanjo era still hovering around The Presidency and the PHCN, poised to snatch whatever fresh allocations go to the power sector, where is the guarantee that Nigeria will ever have improved electricity supply in the foreseeable future? While we urge the Federal Government to seek out individuals and organizations, locally and abroad, with proven track records in performance and integrity to revive the ailing sector, the issue of the mismanaged billions should not be treated as a 'family affair' of the ruling party. Nigeria's public funds must be accounted for.
Since the National Assembly Probe Committee on the Power scam was itself to be later dragged into the corruption quagmire, we call for a thorough investigation, by the EFCC, into the whereabouts of the vanished power allocations.
The former President, on his part, should cooperate fully with the investigators, in order to clear his name of the strong suspicions surrounding his administration's wasteful disbursement of the $16 billion power sector allocations. There should be no sacred cows, as he used to say while in office. Any preferential treatment of individuals will create the impression that the Nigerian government's commitment to the anti-corruption crusade, economic reform and transparent governance is cosmetic and insincere.
While sleaze in high places thrives, the ordinary citizens' quality of life has remained dismal, infrastructural facilities are decrepit, mass unemployment ravages the land, and poverty sentences the vast majority to a life of unrelieved misery.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 8:48pm On Mar 24, 2012|
16th September 2003 - BBC News
Obasanjo's shame: $15bn (N2,400bn ) feared stolen from Government Pension Fund
Nigerian authorities have uncovered a huge deficit in the state pension fund, confirming what many unpaid former state workers have feared for years.
Retired civil servants have long complained of non-payment of their pensions, with many forced to queue for days to claim what they are owed,
According to Nigerian government calculations, the shortfall in the state pension fund amounts to at least 2 trillion naira (£9.3bn; $14.8bn).
The revelation is likely to stir suspicions that some of the money may have been misappropriated.
Corruption was a major issue in Nigeria's recent election, which saw won by President Olusegun Obasanjo and his People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Experts have not ruled out that some of the money may have been stolen, but there has also been criticism of the pay-as-you-go scheme the state uses to raise pension funds.
"We think there has been some unfortunate activity," Ahmed Mohammed of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund told the BBC's Network Africa.
"This pay-as-you-go scheme has been abandoned in many countries. Payments have not been made on time."
Pensioners regularly travel to Abuja, often camping outside government offices, in the hope of getting some of their money.
Many reacted to the news with dismay.
"I don't have a roof on my head, There is no sign that the government will be able to pay our pensions," said one pensioner.
"The government is fighting against corruption. If the government can't pay this money, then they cannot stop all these things," said another.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 11:11am On Mar 25, 2012|
The true colours of Obasanjo and Babangida
By Jide Oluwajuyitan 25/08/2011 00:00:00
Our two warring Generals, adept at quoting The Bible and The Quran to justify acts of mischief have now publicly admitted in their own words, who they truly are- deceitfully devious scheming political fraudsters. And since they know each other perfectly more than the rest of us, I think their characterisation of themselves as trickster at seventy or fraudster of indeterminate age was quite apt. Both of them started devious scheming as young military officers and today, they are still engaged in fraudulent game of deceit in and out of power. The only point of disagreement between the duo, it will appear, was who is more decent or honourable. And the answer to that will depend on the yardstick we use. After all, as they say, there is honour even among thieves.
Both have furtively strived to portray themselves as Nigerian patriots, heroes of war and peace, selfless leaders who fought a civil war to keep Nigeria one. Little did we realise it was more for their gains rather than their patriotism. As their trophy, they jointly held our nation to ransom for about twenty years of our fifty years of independence. Like the crafty men they claimed they are, they talk too much like tricksters and quick to anger like conmen. They both took calculated risks and were Machiavellian in their strategies for managing state affairs, often eliminating not just their enemies but also those who crown them. Banbangida is flustered that Obasanjo whom he moved from prison to palace paid him back in bad coin. It is as if we have forgotten the fate that befell General Mamman Vatsa and MKO Abiola.
General Babangida is far from being idiotic. All available evidence supports his charcaterisation as clever, cunning and crafty. A man who described himself as ‘an evil genius’ and has like his hero, Chaka the Zulu who killed for fun, demonstrated high degree of courage when faced with threat of survival even from bosom friends. He can at best be described as a slippery customer. A man described by, MKO Abiola as; “with Banbangida as a friend, one doesn’t need an enemy.’ Babangida is only a shade different from Obasanjo’s characterisation of him as a crafty snake. Idiots don’t plan successful coup except you are a drunken Dimka. But Babangida is a veteran of many coup d etats capping them with the annulment of the presidential mandate of MKO Abiola, his bosom friend and business partner. It is only a corn artist that can topple a regime on the basis of government bad policies only to use the same awful policies to govern for eight years.
On the economic front, Babangida has taken credit for reengineering Nigeria through his Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). He introduced National Directorate of employment, NERFUND, Peoples Bank DIFFRI, Etc, ostensibly to ameliorate the pains of SAP. But it is on record that the efforts made many of his friends’ bank owners and many Generals, multi millionaires.
On the political front, Banbangida embarked on an ambitious N40 billion political transition programme with two ‘decreed’ political parties, building of political party head quarters across the nation and grooming and indoctrination of his ‘new breed’ politicians with the cliché of not having any link with the past. He successfully hoodwinked the political elite. He banned, unbanned and finally banned them from contesting election to leave the political space for his new breed politicians that have been pillaging our nation since 1999. He duped the intellectual elites of their only priced possession, their integrity. Many became “Aso Rock ‘professors, shamelessly among others authoring his autobiography ‘The Prince of the Niger.’
Of course, Babangida’s characterization of his former commander is equally fitting except for his reference to Obasanjo as ‘wittiness comedian’. Obasnajo like Babangida may be very deceitful, but he is not without wits. Indeed, he is a journalist and any cartoonist’s favourite on account of his special gift as a stand-up comedian. General Obasanjo voluntarily relinquished power in 1979. He was begged and cajoled by self proclaiming patriots like Babangda to come and clear the mess he and Abacha left behind, even while protesting he had not forgotten anything in Aso rock presidential lodge. But since he ended up rooting for a third term agenda after eight years in power, Obasanjo is closer to the picture of a crafty fraudster that Babangida painted.
But the more I search the less difference I see between Generals Obasanjo and Babangida. The only thing that separates them is their ambition of a life presidency. IBB calls himself the evil genius, those who know OBJ say he, like Babangida swims in alleged iniquity. Both leaders suffer from selective perception. Most of their actions stem from the blurred pictures in their heads. Both have never been humble or charitable enough to accept others also have some of the virtues they think they and they alone have in abundance. Both had their roots questioned by political adversaries. For instance, Obasanjo’s political enemies claim he is not Yoruba. Much as he insists, his political foes maintain he has his roots in Onitsha. As for the other, his political enemies also insist he had his roots in Ogbomosho. They insisted he was called Gbadamosi by NTA shortly after his palace coup in 1985.
They both claimed to know what is best for Nigeria without asking Nigerians. In this regard, one insisted there was no alternative to SAP, the other insisted there was no alternative to privatization. Both programmes merely transferred our national patrimony to a few of their cronies and family members
Both often display public piety. One insisted on listening to God’s voice instead of advisers before taking decisions despite God’s admonition that the ‘voice of man is the voice of God’. The other publicly displays the tesbhr (the Muslim rosary) for everyone to see how pious he is. On the night he was to defend the annulment of the most credible election in the nation’s history, conspicuously displayed in his hand was the rosary while every statement was laden with ‘Isha Allah’. What is also not lost on Nigerians, was the parallel between the self perpetuation motivated annulment and a failed third term agenda scheming which motivated the massive rigging of the 2007 presidential election that installed a terminally sick president who was magnanimous enough to admit his election was ‘defective’
Both relish the company of a cult of palace jesters massaging their ego .Military officers including Generals openly pledged loyalty to Babangida rather than to the nation. Some shamelessly told bemused Nigerians that they were ready to die for Babangida. Within Babangida’s ‘army of anything is possible’, there were Babangida Boys’. There were even his “new breed politicians’ that breed nothing but corruption. Obadsanjo had his own court jesters who daily proclaimed, without him, there will be no Nigeria.
Above all, both are favourites of the West .They are of the same hue of African leaders the West installed and sustained in power to guarantee a life of leisure for their people. It was in the interest of the West that Babangida adopted IMF policy that only impoverished Nigerians. It was in the interest of the West that Obasanjo literarily carried cash to settle our unverified indebtedness to the Paris Club, a novel strategy they are yet to try in Italy, Spain and even America, the world’s greatest debtor. It is in the interest of the West that we in the name of globalization embark on liberalization that has made importation of fish, meat and grains cheaper instead of subsidizing local production.
The two devious leaders instead of throwing brickbats, or engaging in odious public bludgeoning of each other, should apologise to Nigerians for the woes of our nation in the last forty years.
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