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Stats: 1,366,638 members, 2,079,941 topics. Date: Friday, 29 May 2015 at 11:23 AM
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
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:41pm On Mar 25, 2012|
Obasanjo and IBB conspired to kill Abiola
“The decision to kill Abiola was taken when IBB visited Obj in Abeokuta in 1998 to ask him to run for President. Obj was said to have asked his twin-devil how he would run for president when MK0 was still alive to which IBB allegedly said that would be taken care of”.....
“Former chief security officer to the late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha, was on the verge of disclosing the identities of the generals behind Chief Moshood Abiola's death when he was stopped. The News reveals why they had to stop him.
“His countenance underlined his resolve. Straight faced but unruffled, the former chief security officer to late the Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamzat Al- Mustapha looked members of the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission, HRVIC, directly in the eye and declared his determination to spill the beans on his activities - and beyond - while Abacha ruled. His words:
"My Lord, I am most grateful that I will be given the opportunity to tell my part of the story. Since the last two years that I have been incarcerated, a lot of things have been said and written about me and my involvement in so many things. Now that I have the chance, it is my wish to explain everything even beyond the area I am expected to assist the commission. When I come to testify, a lot of things will be revealed..." That was Thursday, 15 November. A week later when Al-Mustapha appeared before the Chukwudifu Oputa commission to testify on the riddle over the death of Chief Moshood Kasimawo Abiola, it appeared he would live up to his word. Abiola, winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election which was annulled by former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) died in detention, 7 July, 1998. The ostensible cause of death was heart attack”. - Abiola's Death, Why Mustapha Was Stopped by Tayo Odunlami, 6 December 2000
“Former Chief Security Officer to the late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, yesterday for the third time in one week, made another appearance at the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa-led Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (HRVIC) sitting in Lagos with a revelation that some top Nigerians conspired to kill the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola by all means soon after Abacha's death.
Apparently in keeping with his earlier promise to make more revelations concerning the regime of General Abacha vis-a-vis the opposition group, Major Al-Mustapha said there were some powerful forces within and outside the military who wanted Abiola dead at all cost soon after Abacha's death. He did not mention names” - Frank Alabi And Tunji Adeyemi, 24 November 2000
“Of all the people mentioned in connection with the Oputa panel, the greatest loser so far in terms of credibility is General AA - hitherto the "Gentle Giant" of Nigeria who, like Obasanjo before him, gave up power to civilians, only faster!
Abdusalami HAD better show up before the Oputa panel - and soon - because his public image has been battered and gone far SOUTH after allegations of:
a. his massive financial improprieties by one General Sabo;
b. his complicity in the coup fabrications against Obasanjo and Diya;
c. his complicity in the deaths of Abacha and Abiola, the latter two by "common major" Hamza al-Mustapha.
Man, I was a little bit stunned at these serious allegations against one man - and against a man who had presented such a gentle and friendly face before the Nigerian people and the world!” – Mobolaji Aluko, August 20, 2001
It is another election year, and many hitherto buried scandals are resurfacing, one of such is the still unexplained death of Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election annuled by former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida.
Presently Babangida has announced that he intends to contest the coming 2011, presidential election. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is also said to have a strong interest on who becomes the next Nigeria president.
So I am not surprised to read this post in one of the numerous Nigeria online forum:
“The decision to kill Abiola was taken when IBB visited Obj in Abeokuta in 1998 to ask him to run for President. Obj was said to have asked his twin-devil how he would run for president when MK0 was still alive to which IBB allegedly said that would be taken care of”.
Interestingly, the catalyst for the above statement is the report that Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has thrown his weight behind the trial of Chief Vincent Ogbuluafor, advocating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman be jailed if found guilty of stealing public funds. The chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), who spoke to journalists in Washington DC said Chief Ogbuluafor will not be the first senior party official to be imprisoned if found guilty.
Obasanjo in that interview also said that the late head Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha plotted to eliminate all those he felt were threats to his ambition to rule Nigeria for life.” He planned to kill Yar’Adua, M.K.O Abiola and me. He succeeded with Abiola and Yar’Adua, only God saved me from his plans, I never planned any coup against him.” he stated. The former President called on Nigerians to rally round the current administration, adding that the emergence of Jonathan is an indication the country was getting more matured democratically.
Moreover, OBJ added that the acting president Jonathan Goodluck is free to contest the 2011 presidential election.
This interview did not go down well with Nigerias so the following utterances ensued:
“When I was young I observed from the actions of certain unsavory people that the best place to hide from the law is to get a job with the law. Buried yourself right in their midst and they will almost never find you because they are always looking away from within them for suspects. They almost never look for suspects from within them unless jarred by something.
Seemingly, OBJ has learned this lesson too. Here he is calling for Ogbulafor's head from the midst of the Nigerians irate over the thievery of Ogbulafor. Wonders will never end”.- Apubo
“That's this animal called animal Obasanjo. The next most corrupt Nigerian, after his political mentor baaabangida. I do not know that Ogbulafor is corrupt. But I can bet my bottom dollar that Obasanjo is corrupt, that he is thief. Here is a man on whose watch assorted political murder and crimes occurred, singing holy, holy holy. The EFCC woman muted death penalty for economic crimes. In my book and that of every thinking Nigerian, Obasanjo and Babangida are will be the first to be executed. And if Obasanjo is to witness against Ogbulafor in any court of law, Ogbulafor, must walk free. Reprobate Obasanjo witnessing for the plaintif. That is a no case. A welfare case, Obasanjo is, having fed off government all of his life, only to rob and criminalize the same government in the end. What a shame”.- Peter
“I find this Obasanjo rather interesting. He is a real character. Now consider that he opines to Jonathan that the Presidency was never zoned to the North and that Jonathan could run if he (Jonathan) wants to. Yet it was less than a month ago or so that the same Obasanjo shouted from the roof-top that Jonathan can never and must never run for the Presidency come 2011; I think the exact words were "... you cannot run for the Presidency in 2011". In fact my friend, Collins, was so upset he wrote privately to me complaining about this posture of Obasanjo: a mere citizen trying to define the citizenship rights of another bona fide citizen of Nigeria. Who would have thought that he (Obasanjo) would change position so very quickly? Yes, truthfully Obasanjo is rather quaint”. – Opubo
“Obasanjo's hypocrisy and duplicity are well known by now. Moreover, the former president, said late head Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha plotted to eliminate all those he felt were threats to his ambition to rule Nigeria for life. He planned to kill Yar’Adua, M.K.O Abiola and me. He succeeded with Abiola and Yar'Adua. The man says anything he likes, no matter how outrageous and expects everyone to believe him. Look at this obvious one which many of us here have over-looked;
"Moreover, the former President, said late head Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha plotted to eliminate all those he felt were threats to his ambition to rule Nigeria for life. He planned to kill Yar’Adua, M.K.O Abiola and me. He succeeded with Abiola and Yar’Adua", That was from Obasanjo, going by that news report. But Abiola died a month after Abacha, yet he accused Abacha of killing Abiola, when many are asking if Abiola was killed to make way for Obasanjo's Presidency”. – Tony
“The decision to kill Abiola was taken when IBB visited Obj in Abeokuta in 1998 to ask him to run for President.Obj was said to have asked his twin-devil how he would run for president when MK0 was still alive to which IBB allegedly said that would be taken care of. Of course they did!”- Yinka
“Edwin Madunagu has a different sequence of events from what you paint below:
Shortly after the death of Abacha, General Olusegun Obasanjo was released from prison where he was serving a 10-year term for allegedly trying to overthrow Abacha's government. Shortly after this, Abiola died. And shortly after this Obasanjo was paid a private, but well-publicised, visit by General Ibrahim Babangida. The visit was to welcome Obasanjo back from the shadows of death and to persuade him to stand election for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This was long before the future ruling parties were formed. After a period of "indecision", "consultations" and "prayers", during which professional persuaders went to work, Obasanjo agreed to seek election. It was not surprising that Obasanjo later joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP) given that all those who played critical roles in the politics of releasing him and persuading and assisting him to run for the presidency were all in PDP. He ran for the presidency under the platform of PDP and won. The rest of the story is known.
Please understand that:
- Abacha died June 8
- Obasanjo was released June 15
- Abiola died July 7
So we will need to know whether:
- IBB's well-publicized visit to OBJ was between June 15 and July 7 or AFTER July 7
- if IBB paid a SECRET visit to OBJ (outside of the well-publicized one, if AFTER July 7).
We simply need to trust but verify”.- Bolaji
“The discussion about Nigeria's furture civilian leader started immediately Abacha died. I have reported as far back as May 2004 that after Abacha's death, IBB was the first General to be allowed into the Villa. He went to meet major Mustapha at the the builiding now serving as Jonathan's official quarters.
The former YEAH leader, Daniel Kanu and one Onu, a journalist from Kogi state, followed a little distance behind. So that early after Abacha's death the issue of successon was already on. And once the new military Head of State took office, the issue of the civilian successor began. By the time OBJ left prison, the soldiers had their sights on him to be the new President. Obasanjo knew as he was leaving Prison that he would tke Abiola's prize. The only problem was what to do with Abiola. Something was done”.- Tony
“Sometimes I wonder what manner of people we are in nigeria. Pretenders,oportunists or pack of guulible people. How come we suddenly forget that the ANSWER from the establishment(military/oligarchy) represent by IBB visits to the newly released OBJ when the latter raised the issue of what will become of MKO if he were to accept to become president was the death of MKO.
So, put plainly, I will take it to be a classic example of pretence for anyone whgo was ploitically alive in 1998 not to know who killed MKO. Of course,IBB/establishment facilitated the assassination of MKO to reteun OBJ to Aso Rock. It is in this respect that one will remain surprised that anybody with some semblance of political knowledge will fail to see what Oshi omo Ale's rally in Benin truly is:political fraud”.- Adebayo
“I think the sly character called Obasanjo is relishing the game he and his ilks are playing on Nigeria. He doesn't seesm to believe it still that someone that commited the kind of impunity, corruption and fraud he did on Nigeria could be allowed to rove so annoyingly free so he finds it convenient at every point to throw a jibe on Nigerians for the kind of laxity that allows him such free rein”. - Peter
“One guy has much to say on this issue: Major Al Mustapha Sometimes I wonder why there is a near universal agreement to keep Major Mustafa in detention indefinitely? Listen to his testimony before the Oputa Panel as to the similarities between the manner of Abacha and Abiola's death”- Elsdaniel
Isnt’t it surprising that neary two decades after the death of Moshood Abiola, in spite of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and despite strong national and international interest in his death, the circumstances surrounding Abiola’s death remains a mystery.
In fact, the suspected master-minds of his death still thrust the stage and dominate Nigeria’s affairs.
Apart from Abiola, Isn’t it time for Nigerians to insist on knowing the killers of Bola Ige, Sani Abacha, Tunde Idiagbon and Dele Giwa and why?
Washington Post, July 8, 1998 - Nigeria's imprisoned political leader, Moshood Abiola, died today of an apparent heart attack as he talked with Nigerian officials and senior U.S. diplomats about how to resolve the country's five-year-old political crisis, the Nigerian government said. Abiola, 60, who appeared to have won Nigeria's annulled 1993 presidential election and had been jailed since the following year, was the focus of rising hopes for ending 15 years of military rule in Africa's most populous nation. Following the death last month of military ruler Sani Abacha, the new military government had raised expectations of Abiola's imminent release as a step toward restoring civilian rule and ending Nigeria's international isolation.
His demise shattered Nigeria's mood of political hope and plunged the nation into deep uncertainty. Within hours, as the news of his death spread, rioting was reported in Lagos, the country's largest city and the center of opposition to military rule. U.S. officials said Abiola collapsed not long after he began a discussion with U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas R. Pickering and other diplomats at a government guest house in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, where Abiola had been held in custody in recent weeks.
Pickering said in an interview with CNN that Abiola halted the meeting after a few minutes, "asking to restore his thoughts. He took tea and had trouble breathing." A physician was called, Pickering said, and Abiola was taken by car to the clinic that serves the country's military leadership. Doctors worked for an hour and a half in an unsuccessful effort to save his life, Pickering said.
Abiola's imminent release had been announced Thursday by visiting U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and confirmed to Nigerian journalists by senior government sources. The military, they said, had agreed to release Abiola on condition that he renounce his claim to the presidency, which Annan suggested he had done.
That suggestion sparked anger among many Yorubas committed to seeing his 1993 election finally implemented. The fact that Abiola died without stating his position publicly "greatly complicates the situation," Emma Ezeazu, head of a Nigerian group called Democratic Alternative, said by telephone from Abuja.
Some of Abiola's supporters immediately voiced suspicions that he may have continued to resist the military's conditions and had been poisoned. "We are all stunned," said Ezeazu, referring to the broad and often fractious political opposition movement. "Of course, under these circumstances, people ... suspect that he might have been killed."
In an effort to forestall such suspicions, the government immediately offered to conduct an autopsy, as Pickering had urged. Abiola's family asked that it be conducted "by an independent entity along with the family physician," said Randall E. Echols, Abiola's Washington-based lobbyist. Reports from Abuja indicated that the government had agreed.
to be continued
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by 1025: 4:58pm On Mar 25, 2012|
he chop his daughter inlaw and thereby chop the same food with his own son. shameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 10:16am On Mar 29, 2012|
This man Obasanjo needs to be in prison ASAP.
The fact that he has his freedom proves that Nigeria is failed state.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:32am On Mar 31, 2012|
Trailing Obasanjo's loot
Posted: June 25, 2007 - 01:00
Saharareporters discovers trails of OBJ/Uba loot…Andy Uba screened out of Yar'Adua's ministerial list.
Saharareporters has discovered highly irregular business schemes that beam a light on the methods used by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his former aide, Emmanuel Nnamdi (Andy) Uba to siphon public funds.
Saharareporters investigations have revealed that Obasanjo and Uba used front companies to open foreign accounts into which huge amounts of funds were deposited before they
were then moved out to the Cayman Islands, Jersey and parts of the Carribean.
The schemes involved a Nigerian born British citizen, Lillian Nwoko whose modus operandi was akin to that of Loretta Mabinton, the Portland, Oregon-based attorney who served as a money-laundering front for Andy Uba before she was caught by the US secret service.
Lillian Nwoko similarly helped Andy Uba to register companies in the UK which were then used to open foreign bank accounts for money laundering purposes. Each company was then voluntarily closed. Three of such companies were registered with the address as 259A Grays Inn Road in London, UK.
Lillian Nwoko was named as the secretary in the three companies. The first company, UNIC Securities Limited, was formed in September 2000. Its business was declared as “cargo
handling and business consultancy.” Lillian Nwoko was listed as the secretary. There were two other directors, Ibrahim Hauwa and Dr. Lame Ibrahim Yakubu, fronting for Andy Uba. The two directors gave their address as Plot 1503 Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja-Nigeria.
The UK company house report indicated that the company did not file any financial reports before it was dissolved in July 2003.
The two other companies, SENTREX Ventures Limited and Fontana Ventures Limited, were incorporated on the same date and have Andy Uba and Lillian Nwoko as the main
directors. Andy Uba used Plot 772 Ibrahim Taiwo Road Asokoro, Abuja as his address. He gave his date of birth as December 14, 1958 and his citizenship as Canadian. Incidentally, Plot 772 Ibrahim Taiwo Road was the same address to which Loretta Mabinton (Andy Uba's lady accomplice in the Portland, Oregon money laundering scandal) shipped the Mercedes Benz she bought for Andy Uba with proceeds of laundered cash brought to the US on former President Obasanjo's presidential jet. The US Secret Service initially confiscated the Mercedes Benz, releasing it only after Uba paid a fine of $26,000.
SENTREX and FONTANA Ventures Limited merely gave the nature of their business as “other businesses.” The two companies, which didn't file any financial reports, were also dissolved in 2003.
A financial fraud expert who asked to remain anonymous told Saharareporters that the formation and dissolution of companies without filing financial statements was “highly suspicious.” The expert, who lives in England, said “such practices are used to avoid detection by the prying eyes of the public.” One source in Abuja told us that the method “is consistent with former president Obasanjo's style of corruption,” adding that the former president’s hidden assets were “in the billions of dollars.”
Meanwhile, Andy Uba appears unable to buy any reprieve from his political misfortunes. On June 14, the Supreme Court kicked Uba out of the governorship seat he usurped in Anambra, ruling that incumbent Governor Peter Obi has the constitutional mandate to remain in office till March 2010.
Following his judicial defeat, Uba reportedly hopped in his multi-million dollar Gulf Stream private jet and flew to see Obasanjo in Ota to bemoan his ordeal.
Obasanjo reportedly sent him to see Umar Musa Yar'adua to make a case for his inclusion in the yet-to-be formed cabinet.
If Andy Uba seriously expected to get a ministerial spot, he was in for a huge disappointment. Yar'adua refused to see him, instead directing that Secretary to the Government Baba Gana Kingibe meet with him to discuss his concerns. When Andy met with Kingibe the next day, he was confronted with the government’s concern that he bought a house within the premises of the Presidential Villa that houses some security gadgets meant to safeguard the Villa.
Broaching the issue of his ministerial appointment, Uba told Kingibe that he wished to withdraw the name of his brother and former Senator Ugochukwu Uba, one of two names he had nominated for ministerial appointment. Uba’s other nominee is Jerry Ugokwe. In place of his brother, he told Kingibe, he now wanted to put in his name.
According to our source, Senator Uba’s nomination was already troubled even before Andy Uba’s attempt to remove his brother’s name. Yar’Adua’s closest advisers had counseled against rewarding Ugochukwu Uba who was implicated in bribing two of the three judges of the Federal Court of Appeal assigned to determine whether he was the rightful winner of a senatorial seat in 2003. The bribery charges came to light after the two judges read a majority verdict that gave the contested seat to Senator Uba. The two judges were subsequently
dismissed from the bench.
As soon Andy Uba finished making a case for a ministerial position, Kingibe told him that he must head for the PDP secretariat to tell the press that he has accepted the judgment of the Supreme Court. The secretary to the government made it clear that Uba’s public acceptance of the verdict was a precondition for responding to his request. Kingibe also asked that Andy Uba give him time to consult with Umar Musa Yar'adua.
By the time Andy Uba returned from the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the PDP, Baba Gana Kingibe asked him to furnish his office with certified copies of his degree certificates. Our source said Uba was stunned by the demand, and seemed to realize that his ministerial dreams had been torpedoed. Investigations by Saharareporters had revealed that Uba, who claims
to hold a PhD in science, has lied about his academic qualifications. He does not have even a first degree.
When Kingibe insisted that hard copies of his degrees would be required to consider him for any ministerial appointment, Uba replied that an Abuja High court headed by Justice Babs Kewunmi had already ruled in his favor in a case inspired by his certificate scam. Unimpressed, Baba Gana Kingibe told Andy Uba that degrees are issued by universities, not courts.
A forlorn Uba was said to have explored the possibility of becoming the chairman of the ruling party since the position has been zoned to the southeast zone. Kingibe then made it clear that the government was unlikely to support his chairmanship bid, citing his unresolved controversies. After the meeting, Uba hurriedly left Abuja for the Southeast where he tried to rally his supporters with a pep talk. He also used the occasion to settle hotel bills and other debts incurred by his numerous hangers-on in various hotels and restaurants. Uba’s campaign had attracted many such hangers-on, many of them US-based “expatriates” and “consultants” who relocated to Awka in the hope of making quick money off of Andy Uba. Uba, who bragged that he was going to transform Anambra State, put his parasitic praise singers in hotels and encouraged to hang around until he settled in as “governor.”
With the Supreme Court kicking him out last week, he is reported to be anxious to cut his dependents loose.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 10:36pm On Apr 01, 2012|
President Obasanjo's regime launches fake anti-corruption drive
But government privatisations are corruption and theft on a huge scale
By a Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) member, Lagos
Some Nigerians may consider President Obasanjo’s regime current anti-corruption posture as serious, particularly as a handful of government officials were publicly exposed and sacked for being corrupt, and some were arraigned in the court of law for possible prosecution on corruption charges.
The list of the scapegoats in the latest anti-corruption publicity stunt by Obasanjo, the grand master of corruption himself, includes Tafa Balogun, (ex-Inspector General of Police forced to retire over N13 billion naira (US$ 98 million), illegally acquired wealth), Mrs. Bola Osomo, former Housing Minister dismissed over a federal government property sale scandal, Professor Fabian Osuji and Chief Adolphus Wabara, former Education Minister and Senate President, respectively, who lost their positions after facing corruption charges involving N55 million (US$ 417,000), in a Senate bribery to increase the budgetary allocation to the education ministry.
Previously, the Obsanjo regime also arraigned in court some of its top figures, including the deceased former Internal Affairs Minister, Sunday Afolabi, and two dismissed ministers over a national identity card scam worth US$242 million. However, nothing is heard any longer about this case after the demise of the principal culprit, Sunday Afolabi, who was earlier reported to have confessed that a substantial part of the stolen money was used to “capture” southwest Nigeria from the Alliance for Democracy (AD) for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
As expected, the press is awash with praises by government officials, from all levels, who are themselves corrupt, for the anti-corruption stance of Obasanjo. This is done to try to deceive the public when, in actual fact, huge corruption continues unabated in the system and in the corridors of power. The whole national drama is a public relations stunt to deceive the so called ‘international community’, the much vaunted foreign investors, and ‘Transparency International’, the organisation that last year rated Nigeria the third most corrupt nation in the world!
Privatisation is enormous corruption
Privatisation was the main thrust of the Obasanjo regime’s neo-liberal economic policies, since its inception, in 1999, apart from devaluation, commercialisation and cuts in government expenditure on social services. Which are all anti-poor economic policies determined by IMF/World Bank.
By design, the privatisation programme is to transfer ownership of public properties and investment to mega-rich, privileged private individuals and corporate bodies at give-away prices. The beneficiaries of these transactions are mostly government officials, their fronts and foreign partners. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Council of Privatisation (NCP) are the government’s octopus bodies perfected to hand over public property to private hands. Recently, the past activities of the bureau under El-Rufai, have been called into question, even from unexpected quarters – for example, the National Assembly with respect to the privatisation scandal in Nitel -Pentascope deal, the Ajaokuta Steel debt buy back, and Sheraton Hotels, which ran into billions of naira. Yet today, El-Rufai is the apple of the presidency’s eye.
The same regime has conveniently looked the other way against all cries that the former Works Minister, Tony Anenih, should be probed for squandering over 300 naira billion (US$ 2.25 billion) meant for federal road construction and maintenance. With nothing to justify the huge sum, the former minister and a close confidant of the president, rather than being investigated, was promoted to Chairman of the ruling party’s (PDP) board of trustees.
In the recent exposure of the fraudulent sales of 207 choice properties of federal government at Ikoyi, Lagos, five of the beneficiaries were direct relations (brothers, sisters and in-laws) of Stella Obasanjo, among other top government officials, including serving ministers, governors and senators.
The Ikoyi house sale scandal is a vivid example of what privatisation means in the true sense - legalised stealing of public wealth. Quoting ‘The Guardian’ (Sunday April 17, 2005, page 10) one of the affected occupants of the sold houses, a woman who resides at 25, Ilabere Street, called Ikoyi, has an agonizing tale to tell: “I am one of the victims. My house was sold. My husband, a Colonel, is still in service. As far back as 3rd of February, some guys came to inspect our house. They said that my house has been sold along with my neighbour’s house. They said they have documents from the ministry of Housing to back up their claims. They didn’t allow me to read the letter…I asked him who bought the house? He said it is a directive from the presidency, that an official in the presidency bought the two houses”.
The cancellation of the deal by the president was not a self-righteous step but a pre-emptive one, hurriedly taken to forestall embarrassment the deal would have caused him with the involvement of his household. Stella Obasanjo, using fronts, has her fingers in many blue chip companies. Her business involvement, and that of Gbenga Obasanjo, the President’s son in other shady deals, remains un-investigated.
The major face of corruption in the government is the privatisation programme, which sees government officials rush to buy under-valued public property with stolen public money. These properties/establishments are, in most cases, re-sold at exorbitant prices, while workers and residents are thrown out in order to maximize profit.
Obasanjo’s regime has made over N10 trillion, mainly from oil, in its six years in office, yet there is no visible development in infrastructure or standard of living of the poor masses. The lot of the people is unemployment, mass retrenchment, and insecurity of life and property. So, while government makes more money than ever before in the history of the country, life has become more miserable for the poor working masses.
According to the United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO), about $107 billion of Nigerian money is held in private accounts in Europe and the US. With the country’s fictitious foreign debt quoted at $35 billion, the World Bank says the country is now poorer in terms of income levels than Bangladesh.
The Department For International Development (DFID), says over 70% of Nigerians live on US$1 daily. Between 80 and 90 million are living in absolute poverty, while 29 percent of the country’s children are underweight. Yet, government embarks on wasteful spending on ‘white elephant’ projects, such as the 8th All-African Games (COJA), which swallowed N3 billion on official figures. The President has spent, as at the time of going to press, 512 days outside Nigeria, since coming to power, at a cost yet to be determined. Before the end of this year, another twenty one government establishments, including Nigerian Ports Authority, are to be sold off cheaply, to corrupt government officials and their business associates. The effect will be mass retrenchment of workers in those establishments, adding to country’s misery. The regime is united in corruption against the poor working masses.
Obasanjo fiddles while Nigeria burns
The tough image against corruption being depicted by Obasanjo is mere political bravado. Nobody should be deceived. The regime is a child of corruption. The elections that brought Obasanjo and the ruling PDP to power were a monumental fraud. Apart from collecting money from dubious characters, including 419 fraudulent politicians and government officials to execute the elections, Obasanjo’s election in his home state, Ogun, was declared an electoral fraud by a court of law. Obasanjo was also an accomplice to several electoral frauds in different states.
It is not a hidden fact that before Obasanjo was sworn-in, in May 1999, the Obasanjo Otta Farm Project was completely abandoned. Where then did the resources come from that revamped the farm to a state where, according to Fani Kayode, it now generates N30 million as monthly profit?
Presently, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Iweala, earns a whooping sum of US$247,000 (not paid in naira!) per annum. On top of this, her housing, food, transportation, telephone, education and healthcare expenses and for her family, are completely borne by the government. This takes place in a country where the minimum wage is 5,500 naira and where tens of millions are jobless and without any social security payment.
If the regime is serious about fighting corruption all the political/ public office holders should first declare their assets and give periodic assessments; earn average wages of skilled workers; government should give adequate funding of social services and amenities like education, health, transportation, security, electricity etc. But the regime will never do this. On the contrary, public office holders earn fabulous salaries and allowances, with some receiving their salaries in dollars, inflating contracts, etc. This is combined with the policy of privatisations and the commercialisation of public utilities. This allows a handful of rich people to steal, via business fronts, to grab properties at give away prices, at the expense of the poor majority. In this kind of situation, the regime’s ‘crusade’ against corruption is a farce.
Can the suffering end?
Under this capitalist regime, with its anti-worker, neo-liberal policies, the suffering of the workers and poor masses will continue. Things will get worse for Nigerian people. The coming period will witness more stealing of public fund by government officials, as they get ready to contest elections in 2007. The anti-people programmes of the regime means more jobs cuts, grinding poverty, starvation and homelessness for the poor working masses.
The only way forward is for the masses to rely on their own strength, and to mobilise, organise and build a movement that will struggle against the system. Such a movement needs the vision of replacing this unjust government with a working class-based government that will nationalise the commanding heights of the economy so that working people can begin to democratically plan the economy for common good. This can be achieved when workers, youth, farmers and the poor masses organise into a mass working class party with socialist perspective, programmes and ideas.
From a special May Day edition of ‘Socialist Democracy’, paper of the DSM, Nigeria
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 11:42pm On Apr 01, 2012|
25 September 2006
Government of Corruption: Obasanjo and Atiku Must Go!
- For a Working People's Political Alternative Now!
By Peluola Adewale, DSM Executive Committee
When President Olusegun Obasanjo was in Singapore attending IMF/World Bank annual meeting on September 16, his attention should have been fixed on the tumultuous events rocking close by in Taiwan. About 100,000 people had literally taken over the Capital, Taipei, to press their demand for Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian to step down over allegation of corruption involving his wife and relations. Earlier, the massive protest in Taipei, which had been on for a week, had twice recorded over 300,000 people on the march. Obasanjo would have been praying against facing such nightmarish experience at home.
Obasanjo and his deputy, Abubakar Atiku, in their mudslinging battle have been able to force open the can of worms of corruption in Aso Rock, the Nigerian seat of power in Abuja. The newspapers are awash with shocking revelations of how the government with much celebrated "anti-corruption crusade" has been looting public resources to fund private concerns of President and Vice-President, satisfy the greed of their friends, relations and even concubines, and award inflated contracts to their companies or cronies.
For instance, Obasanjo and Atiku, whose government, in line with neo-liberal economic reforms has literally abandoned public education, have been diverting public resources by proxy to provide facilities like building, library and buses for their private educational institutions: Bell Secondary School and Bell University, Ota (Obasanjo) and ABTI American University, Yola (Atiku).
Remarkably, more than any other evidence, the continued and effortless buying up of public properties by Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) has confirmed the fact that privatisation policy, the keystone of Obasanjo's economic reforms, is the mother of all corruption. The Transcorp, partly owned by Obasanjo whose 200 million shares in it make him a core investor, was officially launched by the President in July 2005 at the State House, Aso Rock Abuja. The company, which is granted various mouth-watering concessions to ease its pillage of Nigerian economy, has bought at give away prices, in less than two years of existence, public properties like Nicon Hilton Hotel, Nigeria Telecommunication Limited (NITEL), four of choicest oil blocs among others.
It should be recalled that in order to safeguard their profits and privileges, Obasanjo's co-owners of Transcorp morally and financially supported the defeated bid of Obasanjo to elongate his tenure in office beyond 2007 (third term agenda). Earlier in 2003, the elements that constituted Transcorp donated to the campaign fund of Obasanjo under the auspices of Corporate Nigeria.
It is not an oversight that Obasanjo has not mentioned Atiku's exploit as the Chairman of National Council on Privatisation (NCP) which prosecuted the unwholesome privatisation of the nation's patrimony in their first term in the office and through which Atiku converted some public assets to himself and cronies. This is to draw away attention from privatisation as a veritable means of self-enrichment.
Right from the outset, the Obasanjo government has been neck deep in corruption. In the first 6 years of this regime, Nigeria ranked among the most corrupt countries in the World. In order to put up façade of anti-corruption posturing, Obasanjo has sacrificed some of his top government officers. However, it is only the Tafa Balogun, the former police chief that has been successfully prosecuted and jailed, though for less than six months imprisonment for stealing N17billion among others. Nothing is heard of, or done on others after achieving the momentary public relations stunt of "fight against corruption". Obasanjo's household is not equally aboveboard. The President's late wife, Stella, brothers-in-laws along with Atiku and some top government officers were involved in Ikoyi House scandal. Obasanjo made scapegoat out of a minister and swept the rest of the matter under the carpet in order to stem the embarrassment the scandal had brought to his household. Many damning reports seriously indicting Obasanjo's lackeys like Bode George over Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) scandal have been dumped in the dustbin.
This congenital corruption endemic, along with the Obasanjo government's anti-poor, capitalist neo-liberal reforms explains why the poor masses suffer in the midst of abundance. Perhaps more than in any other periods in the annals of Nigeria, the country has amassed fabulous wealth from sales of crude oil alone due to its increasing price. But the very neo-liberal economic reforms that entail privatisation, commercialisation, cuts in social spending, etc provides enabling condition for the rapacious ruling elite to loot the huge but loose resources accrued to the country and transfer the public property to themselves at give-away prices to the detriment of the poor working masses. Thus it is not accidental, as a World Bank report reveals, that one percent Nigerian thieving elite accumulate 80 percent of the oil and natural gas revenue leaving 99 percent of the population to scramble for share out of the remaining 20 percent.
Today, Obasanjo and Atiku are at daggers drawn on who between them will continue to wield influence over the nation's loot after May 2007 elections. Workers and poor masses must not pitch tent with either of the thieving camps. Rather, workers and poor masses should be mobilised by labour and pro-labour/masses organisations for an immediate campaign to chase out both Obasanjo and Atiku out of office. However, such campaign cannot be only limited to fighting corruption and looting. It must be linked with the struggle of the poor working people for a formidable political alternative to wrest power from the parasitic, corrupt ruling elites of all ethnic, religious and capitalist political parties and end anti-poor, corruption-prone neo-liberal capitalist economic reforms.
As we move towards 2007 general elections therefore we propose that the Labour Party, National Conscience Party, Democratic Socialist Movement and other pro-masses organisations should jointly work together to build a formidable pan-Nigerian working peoples' political alternative with a socialist programme which include public ownership of the commanding heights of economy with democratic management and control of the working people themselves. This is to guarantee the planning and implementation of adequate provision of basic needs like education, health care, water, electricity, food, housing, jobs, roads, public transport etc for the vast majority of the people. More importantly, such a political platform must be a party that from day one intervenes, in and out of power, with workers and poor masses in their day to day struggles for improved living standards, against capitalist onslaught and build a powerful mass movement that can completely transform society.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 9:53pm On Apr 05, 2012|
Obasanjo’s hypocrisy in the eyes of Ribadu
Written by Aliyu Mohammed Danbaba Saturday, 17 September 2011 03:00
Gradually but surely, the chicken is coming home to roost. Apart from corruption that characterized privatization as revealed by the recent Senate investigation, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has received his latest moral shelling yet from his former boy, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who served as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a recent diplomatic cable accounts brought to light by Wikileaks, the former chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was quoted as saying that, while Obasanjo was busy jailing others for corruption, the former president “was cleverly covering up his tracks.” In other words, Obasanjo is cleverly corrupt! But Ribadu’s heaviest bombshell was that corruption under Obasanjo’s administration was worse than the alleged stealing linked to the late General Sani Abacha’s regime.
This damning revelation is the biggest challenge to Obasanjo’s hypocrisy. As rightly observed by Ribadu, while Obasanjo established the EFCC and ICPC, the former president was allegedly infected by the same corruption virus that he set out to cure. It is a case a doctor afflicted by a disease he was trying to cure! Although Obasanjo’s hypocrisy on the anti-corruption crusade was public knowledge, the revelation by Ribadu has finally blown off the mask from the face of the former president. On the strength of the Wikileaks’ diplomatic cable accounts reporting a meeting between Ribadu and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, it is now clear that Obasanjo himself undermined the anti-corruption crusade through his own double standard. It is also now clear that Ribadu knew the former President was corrupt, but had to look the other way to save his seat as EFCC Chairman.
One is particularly attracted to the revelation by Ribadu that corruption under Obasanjo was worse than the situation during the military administration of the late General Sani Abacha. Nigerians were told by Obasanjo that Abacha had emptied the national treasury through large-scale official thievery. But how comes corruption still continues to grip the nation, despite the fact that Abacha is no more in power? What happened that, despite the billions of dollars recovered from the Abachas by Obasanjo’s administration, massive stealing still continued under a “born-again” president? Again, where did all these billions of dollars coughed out by the Abachas go? Until he left office on 29th May, 2007, former President Obasanjo didn’t convincingly tell Nigerians where the Abacha billions were invested to improve national infrastructure or the socio-economic conditions of ordinary Nigerians.
Nuhu Ridbadu knew what he was saying because he was a witness to power and incredibly close to Obasanjo who had also used the former EFCC chairman to fight or disgrace his perceived political adversaries, especially those opposed to his infamous third term agenda, which crashed on the floor of the Senate on May 16, 2006. Ribadu had to protect Obasanjo, despite his apparent private conviction that his boss was a clay-footed moral giant! Despite repeated petitions against Obasanjo’s alleged corrupt activities, Ribadu was not keen to touch any complaint pertaining to his boss, even after leaving office, which automatically ended his immunity.
A case in point was the petition against Obasanjo filed by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), led by a Lagos lawyer. In the petition, the anti-corruption organization wanted explanation about how the former President became a multi-billionaire after becoming a president, in contrast to the fact that he was “stone broke” when he was drafted into power in 1999. General T.Y. Danjuma was the first to use the phrase “stone broke” to describe Obasanjo’s pathetic financial predicament before coming into power. CACOL particularly wanted the EFCC to investigate by what magic a man saved from bankruptcy by friends before he came to power could have become a billionaire overnight after being elected a president. The former president was worth only N20, 000 in 1999, according to his assets declaration record at the Code of Conduct Bureau. The anti-corruption organization expressed open frustration at the EFCC’s apathy to their petition.
According to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, N1.2 trillion was devoured by monsters of corruption from 1999 to 2007. Yet Gen. Abacha was not on the scene when this epic white-collar robbery was being committed against Nigerians by their so-called democratically elected leaders. Nuhu Ribadu’s acknowledgement that corruption was more devastating under Obasanjo’s administration should be a revelation to the fans of the Otta farmer, who were converted to the view that Gen. Abacha was the worst evil of corruption Nigeria had ever experienced. With Ribadu’s Wikileaks confessions, Obasanjo should not only apologize to the Abachas but also to millions of other Nigerians who he deceived with his so-called anti-corruption crusade.
While purportedly fighting corruption, the former President was using the same method to execute his selfish agendas such as the attempts to remove independent-minded National Assembly leaders, like former Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba and the use of public funds to mobilize support for his ill-fated third term ambition by bribing lawmakers. Despite the badge of corruption he hung on Abacha’s neck, Obasanjo refused to declare his assets publicly when leaving office, arguably because his new-found wealth is inconsistent with his financial status in 1999. A recent report released by Transparency International written by former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, raised questions over how the Otta chickens farm could have made over 250,000 dollars monthly income. It is public knowledge that Otta farms were in ruins when Obasanjo was in jail. Even former Special Adviser to Obasanjo on Public Communication, Chief Femi Fani Kayode told Nigerians that Otta farms were making N30 million every month to convince Nigerians that his boss didn’t make money from government. What he didn’t tell Nigerians however, was that Otta farms had virtually collapsed and struggling to survive before Obasanjo became a president in 1999. Therefore, Campbell’s revelation was only in line with what Obasanjo admitted about the unbelievable profitability of Otta chickens farm while he was in office.
Although the constitution doesn’t compel a president to declare his assets publicly, moral duty demands that Obasanjo should go the extra mile to convince Nigerians that he could convincingly defend his new incredible wealth by subjecting his assets to open scrutiny. After all, he takes the credit for establishing EFCC and ICPC. Therefore, if a man has nothing to hide, he shouldn’t have anything to fear in making his public life an open book. Nuhu Ribadu has dealt a mortal moral blow on Obasanjo and it is, therefore, high time the former President came out to defend the sources of his current stupendous wealth eight years after leaving office. General Abacha may not be a saint. Despite the vilification of corruption against him by enemies, his performance record in five years was still by far better than those leaders who had more oil revenues but failed to perform to justify the resources available to them.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 4:51pm On Apr 09, 2012|
Obasanjo's massive corruption
The facts of Obasanjo’s corruption are difficult to hide. Indeed, the list is endless as the the nation’s treasury was looted with impunity, the Constitution violated without respect for the rule of law and due process. The following are a few instances:
Massive fraud involving over N3.5 trillion in the oil and gas sector, sale of Abuja houses, communications and the power sector of the economy.
Obasanjo was alleged to have illegally withdrawn as much as N231.4 billion from the Federation Account without due process or authorization from the National Assembly (Daily Sun of Thursday, February 5, 2009).
The Ad-Hoc Committee set up by the House of Representatives to probe the activities of the NNPC between 1999 and 2008, indicted Obasanjo and former MD of the Corporation, Mr. Funso Kupolokun, for violating the guidelines for the respective bid rounds, thereby finding them guilty of “preferential treatment of winners at the conclusion of the bid rounds”.
Obasanjo illegally approved the withdrawal of $68.8 million from the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, BASA, Fund into which a total sum of $86 million was paid.
A Senate Joint Committee, headed by Senator Abubakar Sodangi revealed that the plot of land originally belonging to the defunct National Primary Education Commission (allocated in December, 2005 to Inter-Projects Association Limited which immediately commenced development), was illegally allocated to Obasanjo Farms Limited, on May 28, 2007, a day before Obasanjo handed over power to the late President Yar’Adua.
Two Abuja lawyers sued Obasanjo and the Code of Conduct Bureau for mismanaging over N1.2 billion belonging to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF.
Nuhu Ribadu, former EFCC Chairman, who fought his personal battles, was promoted by the former President without any recommendation from the Police Service Commission, thereby violating due process.
In the power sector alone, Obasanjo and his cronies bleached out a staggering $16 billion without anything to show for it. Also, N16 billion was paid to some 34 unregistered companies to execute projects under the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP.
In the oil sector, where Obasanjo was the Minister, the corruption stench was even more disturbing. He handed out oil blocks and other favours to whomever he pleased without recourse to laid down rules.
Obasanjo allegedly sold the country’s refineries at give-away prices. The Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries were both sold for $750 million, far below their actual worth.
Using the vantage position of his authoritarian presidency and awesome state power, Obasanjo organised the launching of a personal N7 billion Presidential Library Project in Abeokuta and coerced state governors and local government chairmen to make donations.
For his own pecuniary interest, Obasanjo coupled a so-called Transcorp conglomerate and sold Nigeria’s prime assets to this group where he kept a personal N200 million worth of shares in the blind.
During the Obasanjo years, there were fraudulent payments made on railway projects worth N8.3 billion, including the lines running from Lagos to Kano with tributaries.
He was mentioned in fraud and contract manipulations with Siemens, Wilbross and Hallibuton.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by 1025: 6:26pm On Apr 09, 2012|
the face of a white hair aged criminal. if i happen to have a father who is like obasanjo, tonny annenih or bode george, i will publicly disown them.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:39am On Apr 15, 2012|
Obasanjo looted Treasury to start his Farms
On Dec. 5th, 2005, the European Union (EU) denied giving Pres. Obasanjo a clean bill of health concerning his anti-corruption credentials. This has dented the saintly image the President has cultivated in the past few years.
Elendureports.com can now reveal, according to documents in our possession, that on August 18, 1973, Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo, the then Commandant of Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers, registered Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. On October 1979, Gen. Obasanjo retired from the Nigerian Army after ruling the country for three years, following the assassination of Gen. Murtala Mohammed. By 1979, Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. started commercial operations with fifty million naira (N50,000,000.00). Given the exchange rate in 1979, the Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. commenced operations with more than fifty million dollars ($50,000,000.00).
Until 1979, Olusegun Obasanjo had spent his entire professional life in the Nigerian military. The natural question is how did this man who is reputed to have been an honest soldier float a multi-million dollar company without partners? Who bankrolled Obasanjo Farms, Ltd.? What collateral was provided for loans, if financing was raised through a bank?
Under duress from the public, following allegations of corruption against Pres. Obasanjo, his spokesman, Femi Fani-Kayode, declared that Obasanjo Farms, Limited, headquartered at the Agbeloba House on Quarry Road, Ibara Abeokuta, Ogun State generates a monthly income of about thirty million Naira (N30,000,000.00)
Obasanjo Farms Ltd. is a success story. Yet, it is not an ordinary success story in the sense that it does not follow the normal patterns of rags to riches; the staple from which typical success stories are made. Elendureports.com was reliably informed that Gen. Obasanjo's pet project as Head of State, "Operation Feed the Nation," was set up as a front to divert resources for the funding of Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. Obasanjo Farms, Ltd., is listed as being engaged in poultry and pig farming, which employees about 3,000 people.
The allegation is that money, heavy-duty machinery, and other materials meant for Operation Feed the Nation were diverted to Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. right from its inception. Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. has a huge abattoir at the back of General Hospital in Otta, Ogun State.
In direct contravention to the Nigerian Constitution, Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo still retains the title of Chairman, Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. This allegation is supported by documents in the possession of Elendureports.com. Other members of the top executive of Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. are Elder Daniel W. Atsu, who is the Managing Director, and Bolarinwa Atilade, who is the Financial Controller. WEMA Bank is the company's major account provider, while it maintains accounts in several other local banks.
Ironically, some elected Nigerian public officials have been dragged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for operating their businesses while in public service. Recently, the President also warned civil servants to desist from engaging in private businesses.
Soon after the Abacha junta imprisoned Obasanjo on trumped up coup charges, Obasanjo Farms, with operational bases in Owiwi, Igboora, Lanlate and Ibadan, started experiencing a down-turn in fortunes. There is speculation that the Abacha regime discouraged people from patronizing the farm. However, after Obasanjo was released from prison and his subsequent drafting to run for president, the farm saw a resurgence of income. Since 1999, Obasanjo Farms, Ltd. has acquired more assets. For example, the President showed off a huge teak farm to one of his close friends some years ago.
Elendureports.com was authoritatively informed that Obasanjo deposited checks worth millions of Naira meant for his Presidential campaign into various company accounts. There are claims that he did not make this money available to his campaign. As at the time of filing this story no audit of his 1999 campaign organization account has been conducted. A source very close to Pres. Obasanjo said, "Money just flowed in and Baba was just using it as he wanted."
Just recently the former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Audu Ogbeh, revealed that Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo and his bosom friend, Anthony Anenih, have yet to account for forty billion naira (N40 billion) raised for his 1999 Presidential campaign. Ogbeh insisted that the President, through his Legacy Campaign headquarters, was responsible for appropriating the campaign funds.
Also, Lagos lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, in recent Court submissions regarding the seven billion naira raised for the Obasanjo Presidential Library, presented evidence linking the President to Bells University and Bells Educational Services, a multi-million dollar institution, wholly owned by Obasanjo Holdings, Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, President Olusegun Obasanjo has yet to publicly declare his assets. In addition, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has yet to publish its findings regarding allegations of corruption made against the President by Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu. While Nigerians may disagree on almost everything else, it is reasonable to expect that the unanswered question on the minds of the citizenry is: Is the President's anti-corruption war for real or a charade designed to attack opponents, deceive Nigerians and the international community?
The Joint Development Zone (JDZ) is currently the proverbial money tree for the President. The JDZ is a joint venture owned by Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe. This venture is supposed to manage the large deposits of oil in the Gulf of Guinea. The company managing the mapping of the JDZ is PGS, a company whose Nigerian subsidiary is managed by the father-in-law of Obasanjo's second son. Obasanjo's cronies, Emeka Offor and Wahab Folawiyo, also has business interests in the region.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:50am On Apr 17, 2012|
GENERAL OLUSEGUN OBASANJO: A MONSTER AS STATESMAN
Sometime in the evening of Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building of the London School of Economics, London , England the crème de la crème of the international community will once again be gathered to listen to the ostensible wisdom of an African statesman. But this man, General Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president and presently the UN Secretary-General’s peace envoy in the Congo is no statesman. He’s an animal called man, a corrupt and treacherous monster soaked deep in the blood of innocent Nigerians.
As a human being, Obasanjo has had some of the rarest opportunities in public service anybody could get anywhere, which ordinarily should have been a springboard for great things were he someone with an iota of humanity or decency. After a total of eleven years as the head of state and president of Nigeria , the man is only remembered today in Nigeria as a crude, corrupt, lecherous and bloodthirsty tyrant who masqueraded as a democrat and sought at all cost to always impose his perverse will on the nation, even where it is clearly detrimental to national interest.
Before May 1999 when Obasanjo was sworn in as the civilian president of Nigeria , he has had a history of public service at the highest level also as a military head of state between 1976 and 1979. His singular act of handing over government to an elected civilian government in October 1979 was seemingly enough for Nigerians and the international community to forgive him of his atrocities as military head of state. Some of those atrocities include the setting up of the notorious secret detention centre in the island of Ita-Oko, the killing of Nigerian university students in cold blood and the invasion and razing of the home and business premises of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the late iconic Nigerian musician who was an ardent critic of his military government.
Obasanjo transmutation into a pretend statesman after his military career saw him set up the African Leadership Forum at Ota , Nigeria from where he talked glibly about democratic reform in Africa . But when in 1993, he was presented with an opportunity to back up his talk with action with the June 12 elections, he, not for the first time, shocked the nation with his support for the annulment of the election. He viciously attacked Chief MKO Abiola, the man elected president in the election, despite the fact that the national and international communities overwhelmingly declared the election the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history. In open desperation, Obasanjo was soon in cahoots with his military friends setting up all sorts of anti-democratic political contraptions to negate the people’s mandate.
Obasanjo and his military friends presided over the succeeding locust years until he fell out of favour with General Sani Abacha, the then head of the military junta who jailed him on coup-plotting charges against his government in 1995. This act by the odious Abacha invariably rehabilitated Obasanjo in the eyes of Nigerians and the international community as efforts were made to first commute the sentence passed on him and then get him out of jail. Thus, in June 1998, as Obasanjo walked out of prison preaching Christ and publishing a book titled, This Animal Called Man (a psycho-analytical study of the nature of human-induced evil from the Christian perspective), Nigerians and the international community felt he’d finally learnt his lessons and found God. No sooner after he was rewarded with the presidency of the country in May 1999, he began once again to show his true colour as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Seven months after taking over as civilian president, Obasanjo ordered the military invasion of a community in the Niger-Delta in a vain attempt to send the message to the creeks that his government would not tolerate any agitation for fair distribution of the oil wealth irresponsible exploitation of the valuable resource in the area. Obasanjo’s army razed the whole town of Odi to the ground and killed everyone in sight. The massacre had the world in outrage; but, typically, Obasanjo ignored the cries. Just to make sure the message was heard loud and clear, Obasanjo followed up with more massacres in Choba, Igwuruta, Biogbolo and other places in the Niger-Delta.
By these actions, he succeeded in transforming the essentially non-violent agitation for equity, justice and fairness in the region into a full-blown war needing the permanent location of a huge military taskforce in the area, perennial attacks against communities and running battles between the soldiers and the militants, some of whom are the same criminal elements Obasanjo armed to intimidate his political opponents and rig elections for his party, the PDP. It is in this light we must see last year’s visit of President Umaru Yar’Adua who came to ask Downing Street for military assistance to fight the militants, indicating how escalated the problem has now become. The world may not know it, but the seeds of the present crisis were firmly sown by Obasanjo.
Less than two years after Odi, between Monday October 22 to Wednesday October 24, 2001, Obasanjo repeated the same atrocity in the central Nigerian state of Benue where he sent in his murderous soldiers to kill and burn down the communities of Zaki Biam, Vaase, Agbayin, Gbeji, Sankara and several others ostensibly for the killing of some soldiers. Amnesty International described what happened there as “a killing spree” and appropriately advised that rather than seeking to deny, minimize or justify these extrajudicial executions, “the government of Nigeria must...condemn the killings publicly and make it clear that those responsible will be held accountable”.
When Human Rights Watch wrote its report on the massacres, Obasanjo boasted that he “dismissed the report with the contempt it deserves”. He went on in an interview with the Financial Times of April 9, 2002 to justify sending the soldiers on that mission and supported their action by declaring that when you send in soldiers, “they do not go on a picnic”, proclaiming that “in human nature, reaction is always more than the action”. A few weeks after the killings, Obasanjo was being welcomed by President George W Bush in the White House. At a joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Obasanjo unashamedly defended his actions before a shocked world.
From Kano to Kaduna to Jos, Obasanjo’s tenure witnessed the bloodiest peacetime inter-communal clashes in Nigeria . As strong suspicions grew that these clashes were instigated mainly by members of the new political class, especially top members of Obasanjo-led PDP, Obasanjo himself came out to claim he knew those sponsoring the mayhem. But the nation waited forlornly and hopelessly for him to name or institute prosecution against these people. Despite the thousands of lives senselessly lost in these carnages, not one single person has been prosecuted or convicted. Barely three years into his first 4-yeartenure, Obasanjo was asked how he felt about the fact that more than10,000 Nigerians have lost their lives through these politically instigated communal clashes on CNN (aired September 17, 2002) and his response was to imply that 10,000 people dying in a population of over 120 million shouldn’t be a big deal!
While political assassination perforated the reign of General Sani Abacha and largely accounted for the contempt in which he was held worldwide, Obasanjo surpassed the morbid record of the Goggled One in this regard, not only by the sheer number or the manner of their death, but also in the calibre of people that were assassinated. Still western leaders were falling over themselves to welcome him to their capitals, making him a fixture in high level conferences discussing African developmental needs.
Two days before Christmas in 2001, Bola Ige, a political rival to Obasanjo but at the time an uneasy ally, who held the important portfolio of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in Obasanjo’s cabinet, was gunned down in broad daylight in his own home in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. In a macabre dance of the absurd, Ige’s death was played out in the full glare of the nation. But his blood was still warm when Obasanjo and his party rewarded those strongly suspected of his murder with political power.
On March 5, 2003, Dr Marshall Harry, who used to belong to Obasanjo’s party, but who defected to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and posed a great obstacle to Obasanjo’s agenda in the South-south region as vice chairman of his new party kissed the dust. The man was murdered in his own home in Abuja in circumstances that suggested the involvement of highly trained assassins with military background. The killers stayed for almost two hours in the house trying to get the man, who at a point came out on his balcony to cry for help while the men battered his reinforced door and cut through his ceiling. His house was just a few meters from the Police Command of the Federal Capital Territory , yet no help came.
On Feb 6, 2004, Harry’s kinsman, Aminosoari Dikibo, a national vice chairman of Obasanjo’s party was shot dead on his way to a zonal meeting of his party in Asaba. At the time, he belonged to a rival faction to Obasanjo within the party, was seriously opposed to his meddling in Anambra State and openly supported the Obasanjo-embattled Chris Ngige. Two days after the man’s death, before the police could say anything, Obasanjo peremptorily informed the nation that Dikibo was killed by armed-robbers. This was despite the fact that those who killed the man on the road did not take any valuable or money from him. Of course, Obasanjo’s claim was met with national uproar and suspicion. How did he know Dikibo was killed by armed-robbers that soon when the police were yet to come up with anything? Why is he pointing to that direction if not to divert attention from the real source(s) of the man’s death? Like Ige and Harry, Funsho Williams, PDP’s front-runner for the Lagos State governorship slot met his death in the hands of daring assassins in his own home on July 27, 2006. They came in, tied him up, brutalized, stabbed and strangled him.
Apart from the above, we had the cases of Alabi Hassan-Olajokun, a financier of the Alliance for Democracy in the western states; Dr Ayodeji Daramola, a governorship aspirant in Ekiti State; the activist pilot, Jerry Agbeyegbe; the fiery journalist, Godwin Agbroko; Andrew Agom, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees; Jesse Aruku, a governorship aspirant in Plateau State; Ahmed Pategi, PDP Chairman in Kwara State, Ogbonnaya Uche, ANPP senatorial candidate for Orlu and many more.
In all these cases, the killers made sure they left no one in doubt that these were political murders meant to send a message to certain other elements within the system committed to serious democratic party politics. Indeed, there are those who believe the murders were not unconnected with Obasanjo’s self-perpetuation agenda, as, by this time, his pet “Third Term” project was already in full swing. Curiously, since his Third Term plan was shot down by Nigerians, the political assassinations have stopped as well. Needless to say, these murders remain unresolved till this day. Prof Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate said it best when he described Obasanjo-led PDP as “a nest of killers”.
Not surprisingly, such a regime couldn’t have been sustained without massive corruption, which he spearheaded even as president. Obasanjo’s way of fighting democratic battles within the National Assembly was through massive bribery. For instance, when in 2002, there was uproar for his impeachment following the massacres at Odi, Zaki Biam and so on(amongst 16 other charges), he used money to buy over the legislator sand made sure they didn’t get the needed numbers. At one point, Obasanjo’s bribe money was displayed on the floor of the National Assembly publicly.
Indeed, Obasanjo’s well-known corrupt dealings are legion and it would be a boldfaced lie for those who parade him within the international community today as a worthy statesman to claim they have no idea. The series of revelations of the huge corrupt dealings that pervaded the comatose power sector throughout Obasanjo’s tenure have his imprints all over them. In March 2008, the National Assembly indicted him for supposedly spending $2.2 billion on power without due process. The Transcorp shares, the Obasanjo Library Fund, the COJA contracts, the PTDF scandal, the Siemens bribe scandal, the oil contracts and oil wells allocation done directly by Obasanjo who also doubled as Petroleum Resources minister are all tips of the iceberg. Obasanjo ran Nigeria aground and, when it was obvious to him that his Third Term bid has failed, he vengefully imposed on the nation the seriously sick brother of his late friend, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua as president.
For Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua is the pliable tool he needed to make his getaway. He ensured that the election that brought him in was the worst in the nation’s history. He introduced the principle of “do or die” politics and used the security forces and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intimidate anyone in the way of his designs. Indeed, he personally supervised the maiming, killing and sheer robbery that ensured Yar’Adua was put there. Nigerians today still groan under Obasanjo’s dastard legacy. The term ‘failed leader’ cannot begin to do justice enough to his legacy, yet those who direct affairs of the international community continue to embrace him as some kind of African messiah, pushing him in the forefront of anything Africa. Today, they have inflicted him on the Congo – a man whose legacy of death, mayhem and spectacular failure has knocked Nigeria into comatose is being depended on to provide a pathway to peace in the Congo ! Talk about pie in the flaming sky!
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the international community who are entrusting Obasanjo with the task of bringing peace to the Congo are perhaps seduced by his glib talk. They probably think as one of the oldest and longest serving former ruler of an important African country and a former military leader who as a young officer served in Congo, he would command more respect from the warring factions there. Well, all they need to jolt them to reality is to think of Liberia. Obasanjo’s policies in Liberia made things worse by enabling his genocidal friend, Charles Taylor, who, when the international community finally decided enough was enough, found refuge in Obasanjo’s abode. The man had to be virtually prised away from his hands to stand trial for crimes against humanity. No one should be surprised. What bind them are not only cheap Liberian women, they are kindred spirits who hunt and kill innocents together!
Lastly, it’s important that the world should get an idea of the kind of father Obasanjo is. Just as Nigerians ushered in the New Year in 2008, they were greeted with the shocking and debasing news that Gbenga Obasanjo, the ex-president’s own son, has accused his father of having sexual relations with his wife, Mojishola Obasanjo. The younger Obasanjo was stating this in court papers, asking for the dissolution of the marriage. A nonplussed nation waited for general Obasanjo to deny this publicly. He didn’t, neither did the lady. Gbenga insisted: “I know for a fact that my father had sexual relationship with Moji due to her greed to curry favour and contracts from him in his capacity as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” The divorce was granted on those grounds and its now there in public record that General Olusegun Obasanjo, who has a reputation as a lecherous man of insatiable sexual appetite, slept with his son’s wife!
The Nigeria Liberty Forum considers it a public duty to stop people like Obasanjo representing Africa anywhere, because he represents the same failed face of Africa .We cannot afford for different versions of Mobutu, Idi Amin, Bokassa, Conteh, Marcias Nguema and their ilk representing us at a time the world is yearning for genuine leadership. Obasanjo has the traits of the worst tyrants in Africa, but he seems to have the international community under his spell. They overlook his indiscretions and scandalous crimes and shower him with credibility when he should be cooling his heels in jail or hiding away in one remote corner of the world, far, far from civilization!
Not too curiously, the increasingly retrogressive authorities of the London School of Economics have equally fallen under his spell. They have since revoked all accreditations given to press men for the event and have requested that the Nigeria Liberty Forum pass whatever message it has through them to Obasanjo, all in an attempt to keep the public away. Well, it’s not going to happen, because the world must know who Obasanjo is. We can speak for ourselves in any public space and we can do so via a peaceful protest. Obasanjo is a monster not a statesman and no amount of lipstick or make-up will change him from who he is. We know him and every decent citizen of our world needs to know him for who he truly is as well.
Long Live the United Kingdom!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Signed: Kayode Ogundamisi
Convenor, Nigeria Liberty Forum
To join NLF UK , send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone (Daytime): +447951402986 (Evening): +442030150739
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 10:29am On Apr 19, 2012|
Obasanjo's corruption and looting lead to his liquidation of Nigeria Airways
FOR many years, very few people knew the reason for the liquidation of Nigeria Airways. Many were oblivious of intrigues that led to the death of the airline. Many had read the story on the internet and in documented articles.
Last week presented the opportunity for many to know the exact reasons the carrier met its untimely death. The occasion was at a book launch of Oba Olufemi Ogunleye. His book highlights the ills of the aviation industry and efforts made to rescue it. The forum was an occasion to extol the leadership quality of the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren; how he was able, together with all NCAA personnel to give Nigeria a virile aviation industry that had engendered safety.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo whose administration liquidated the airline was in attendance. Also was a former Managing Director of the carrier, Gen. Olu Bajowa (rtd). It was fireworks the as the duo differed on the action that led to the eventual demise of the airline.
Obasanjo held the capacity hall spellbound. He defended his action. He argued that he left 32 aircraft in the fleet of the airline when he left public office in 1979; noting that when he came back as civilian President he was shocked to see only one serviceable aircraft.
He branded many of the chief executives of the airlines as corrupt, explaining that some of them exploited and stole massively from the airline.
According to him, “You will be an irresponsible leader if you have a situation like that and you don’t do anything about it and I did something about it. What I owed Nigeria was for them to be able to move from point A to B.
But Bajowa faulted Obasanjo for his action, stressing that he could not understand the wisdom or decipher the rationale behind the liquidation and eventual sale of Nigeria Airways, adding that as a former chief executive, the airline had enough assets in Nigeria, across the West African sub region, Central and East Africa, the United State and Europe, particularly the United Kingdom to offset whatever volume of liabilities it purportedly incurred.
He posited that the huge resources generated in hard currency from Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) could have been used as subvention from the Ministry of Aviation to help bail out the Nigeria Airways from its indebtedness, or at worst could have entered into business and operational partnership with a mega airline like the British Airways or any other credible world class airline.
To many who listened to Obasanjo, the former President they opined was only trying to play to the gallery to justify one of the worst decisions ever taken by any leader. While it is very true that the airline was oozing with corruption, there would have been better ways to resuscitate the airline.
If Obasanjo claimed that the officials were corrupt, what did he do to prosecute them and to make them pay for their crime? Why was the Justice Obiorah Nwazota panel report not implemented? Why was the white paper on the report not released?
The Nwazota panel heavily indicted top government officials, some of whom were alleged to be financiers of the ruling party in 1999 and 2003. The release of the white paper would have caused confusion in the camp of the party at that time. No wonder a very powerful former Minister of Information once told reporters that those indicted were, ‘role models”. He disclosed that it would be suicidal for government to publish their names or prosecute them.
Obasanjo had all the machinery of the state to bring the corrupt officials to book. Why did he suddenly develop cold feet in a matter that was proven beyond all reasonable doubt that these officials indeed engaged in one of the biggest corruption exercises that saw to the sorry state of the airline? Where were EFCC and ICPC? They obviously looked the other way.
To many right thinking person, the problem of Nigeria Airways was not beyond redemption. Kenya Airways went through the same problem as Airway. What did the Kenyan government do? The government, poised to revive the airline agreed to take over responsibility for the airlines external debt arrears and in October converted $33 million in debt owed it into equity. As a result, long term debt was reduced from $177 million to $49 million and net worth increased to $33million.The privatization of Kenya Airways was the first-ever privatization of an African airline.
The ownership of the East African airline is as follows: Airline partner 20 per cent; Kenya institutions 20 per cent; Kenya Airways staff 10 per cent; Kenya Government 20 per cent and Kenya public 30 per cent. This is a very perfect arrangement for a serious government and people of Kenya.
I have listened to many who said that Nigeria should not be bothered with a national carrier. They based their arguments on the fact that the country has flag carriers that can fit in well to offer same services that a national airline would offer.
I look around my shoulders and I am yet to see any one airline that has that potential to really offer that service. Many of them are just masquerading and pretending to be airlines; the reason Nigeria will always be shortchanged in the global aviation politics.
I advocate for a privatized national airline devoid of total control of government, but one owned by the public. This way, it becomes very difficult for corruption to thrive.
The benefits from privatization depend significantly on how it is carried out. To effectively implement a privatization, policy makers must analyze the macro-economic context; consider appropriate policy sequencing; examine the potential for and attractiveness of different types of investors; estimate the value of the company; establish an effective administrative process.
While there is no universal formula for successful privatization, well-thought out policy is important for ensuring that privatization produces widespread public benefits.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 3:10am On Apr 24, 2012|
Obasanjo’s Administration Most Corrupt – Aturu
This Day (Lagos)
5 December 2007
By Philip Ogunmade
Despite the recurrent noise of anti-corruption campaign across the country, Nigeria’s involvement in corruption has continued to be on the hype, with consecutive outbreak of scandals involving Nigerian leaders on the global scene. In this interview with Philip Ogunmade, human rights crusader and Chairman of the Council of Industrial Lawyers, Mr. Bamidele Aturu spoke on why corruption persists and why the anti-graft war must be intensified
Recently, the United Nations (UN) appraised the anti-graft war in Nigeria and noted that the country’s image was now better. But ironically, in the last one month, there has been an outbreak of three scandals, namely: the Wilbros scandal in the United States, the Dan Etete scandal in France and Siemens scandal in Germany. What do you think this portends for Nigeria’s image?
I think we have not had enough of those scandals. And those scandals are nothing but the tip of the iceberg because our ruling class is a terribly backward and corrupt class. It is backward because it is a class that does not believe in developing the society. It does not believe in creating infrastructural basis for development. It is also backward because it has helped hook, line and sinker, developmental strategies and blueprints from the West in an uncritical fashion. Because it is also backward, it plays a very peripheral role in international capitalist system. So, what it means is that because it is not a productive class, it is a class that believes in speculation, a class that believes in idling away, a class that believes in making easy money.
When you have such a class, you then have this tendency. That tendency is that the class will then begin to engage in what you call primitive accumulation. The only way it can begin to enjoy a semblance that its counterparts in Europe and advanced societies enjoy is to steal money. That is what I call primitive accumulation. And that is why I said our ruling class is a very backward class. It is a lazy class and it is a class of looters.
So, you are just getting some of these revelations. You will still get more. The UN or whatever you said gave Nigeria a clean bill of health, didn’t understand that the code of capitalism which tries to pretend that people should not steal money has not been imbibed by our ruling class and they are probably looking at the force and the essence of capitalism development in Nigeria or maybe they were also trying to deceive our people to think that capitalism is a good way forward for our people. But I tell you that we have not even heard anything yet because don’t forget that particularly this Siemens scandal didn’t happen this year. This is a thing that happened maybe about three or four years ago. And then, you have had some trials in foreign courts. They are still many. As I am talking to you, people are stealing money. People are still collecting bribe because that is the only way this class can function in their own way of thinking.
It is a very lazy and backward class. They don’t produce anything. That is why all our production companies have almost collapsed. Many of them are operating at less than 30 per cent capacity. Yet you see them buying new cars, buying flashy cars, building new houses, buying new houses worth N100 million. These are people who have no means of livelihood. So that is the kind of class that you are dealing with. That is why many of them cannot but become politicians. Politics for them is another profession because they go to the place, steal money and they will collect estacode.
They will collect allowances. They will live the life of opulence that has no bearing with their contributions to our society.
So, the Wilbross scandal, the Siemens, Etete’s scandals are parts of the same sleaze that you find among our leaders. So, the only way you can deal with this is for us to do a comprehensive audit, comprehensive probe and to allow the (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) EFCC to do its work. For example, I’m beginning to now see justification to explain their lifestyles. If you see a boy of 18 years who is riding the best car in town, building the best houses in town, the onus should be on him to explain how he came about such stupendous wealth. So, I tell you, we need to take this as a critical matter.
And the fact that these things happened during the last regime that claimed that it was fighting corruption, is quite revealing. That tells you that no corruption was fought by (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo. In fact, his government is now going down in history as the most corrupt administration in Nigeria. So, that is the big problem and that tells you that people who tell you that they are fighting corruption; people who tell you that they are doing rule of law are doing practically the opposite. So, our people must then see that the responsibility is on them to insist that those who connected remotely or directly with these scandals are brought to justice; they are prosecuted and we allow the rule of law to take its course.
How do you think the prosecution of those involved in these scandals can be meaningfully achieved when the EFCC, perceived as the most vibrant anti-corruption agency, seems to have gone moribund especially since the Attorney General of the Federation has stripped the agency of its independence. The EFCC can no longer make decisions of its own, neither can it embark on any move to arrest suspects without going through rigorous protocol in the AGF’s office?
The war against corruption is a very serious war. And I think nobody should be under the illusion that it would be an easy war or that those people who are corrupt will not fight back one way or the other. And they will fight back in many ways. They will fight back in different perspectives, using different methods. So, what you are finding out is that those who looted our treasury, have by that reason, come in contact with enormous wealth and also by that reason, have become very powerful, mobilising people who out of poverty, or who out of nothing to do, or who out of just ignorance are supporting them to fight the war against the war against corruption. So, there are two wars.The war against corruption is going on and also the war against the war against corruption.
Now, which one will be victorious at the end of the day, will depend not on just the Attorney General or the EFCC alone, but on what the people of Nigeria themselves want; what the civil societies want and that is what the press wants. And that is why I said that I have come in conjunction in our history where everybody, particularly those people who have no stake in corruption, must stand up and say, ‘look, enough is enough, we are going to wage war against corruption in Nigeria’ and the way to do that is to, through our own organisations, issue statements, do protests as some people went to do protest in EFCC against General Obasanjo. I think this is the kind of thing that we want. We must make Nigeria ungovernable for those who want to steal. We must make Nigeria a hot place for those who stole and are trying to defend the basis of their crimes. Until this is done, I tell you, the war cannot be won.
So, I don’t think the EFCC has become moribund. I don’t think the EFCC has become powerless. What I will say rather, is that the EFCC has a lot of logistic problems. That is all. Look, to fight this war can also be very overwhelming in a way that it may also be right to say that ‘well, we need to enhance the capacity of the EFCC to do this battle in the sense that we are talking about 36 states of the federation. Almost all of them without exception, particularly the governors of the last regime – 2003 – 2007; almost all of them were accused of corruption. There are petitions against all of them. The EFCC itself said it had unearthed several of such allegations against some of these people and had evidence. Now the EFCC with the way it is today, does not have the logistic basis to prosecute all of them at once.
That is why, we must insist even in this budget, I am surprised, I didn’t see enough money budgeted for the EFCC. I expect that government should budget enough money because if you are going to fight corruption, the EFCC has proven to be the arrow head of the fight against corruption. There was also a time that I had my own quarrels with them, which was also publicised because I insisted then that we must follow the rule of law. But I think that today, everybody agrees that the EFCC is trying to do things according to the rule of law. Look at the example of the Delta case, the Ibori case, where the man went and got a very funny exparte order. But the EFCC did the right thing. They got lawyers to vacate that order. That is how it should be done and that means that the EFCC cannot be accused of not following the rule of law. Now, the EFCC is pursuing the path of rule of law and constitutionalism.
Every Nigerian must support the EFCC, must support that organisation, must support that position and government itself must support the organisation by making adequate budgetary allocation for it, by giving it moral support in the sense that I expect that the President of this country should make it known to everybody, his associates and those who sponsored his election and whoever, that ‘look, the EFCC has come to stay’ and that he will give the EFCC maximum co-operation because it is the only way we can rid Nigeria off corrupt elements.
To prosecute governors across the 36 states will involve a lot of money. It will involve you briefing lawyers from different parts of the country. It will involve you sending your security operatives and agents to almost all the states. It will involve analysis of documents and this is going to take time.
So, as a people, we must try to enhance the capacity of the EFCC to deliver more blows against the corrupt people. So, I said it before that there is no dilemma between the rule of law and the fight against corruption. Both of them can go on simultaneously.
In fact, both of them should be done simultaneously because I have always said this that it is only when you respect the rule of law that those who are eventually jailed will understand that they cannot go to people and say ‘it is because you don’t like my face.’ But the way Obasanjo was waging his own war, the man was doing selective justice and so, the stigma that will come from that process will not be there because the idea of sending somebody to jail is that when he comes out, people should say, ‘look at this man, he is an ex-prisoner.’ But in the case of somebody who says ‘he sent me to jail because he didn’t like my face,’ when he comes back, his people will organise civic reception for him as they did for (DSP) Alamieyeseigha because some thought whether they liked it or not, that the man was being victimised. That was why I kept saying that we must do things right.
So, I tell you that in this war, we must support (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) ICPC. We must support the EFCC. You can imagine. Many people are working honourably. Many people are sweating, earning their salaries, making ends meet, yet some bandits, some hoodlums, who claim they are governors will just go and dip their dirty hands in the collective tea of the nation. That is worse than armed robbery.
So, I insist that in the Wilbros’ and Siemens’ scandals, it is not just the National Assembly or the ICPC just inviting people for interrogation. I expected that by now, that the Attorney General of the Federation must be prosecuting people. Some people will say, ‘we need evidence, we need evidence.’ That is true. We need evidence. We have had how many days that this scandal broke now? There are reported judgments in foreign countries which can be a basis for us to act. If in the next one or two weeks, if they are not prosecuting them, something is wrong somewhere. It is not just for you to go and tell the ICPC, ‘this is what I did and that.’ No, no, no. These guys must be prosecuted. This is what has run this country down. The roads are bad today. Vehicles can’t pass through the roads. Hospitals have become worse than mortuaries that people don’t go there. Many people are now having all sorts of terminal diseases because they diagnose their diseases to be a result of buying fake drugs and all of that.
The truth is that not many people want to do fake businesses or sell fake drugs but because they don’t have jobs, and you trace this at the end of the day to somebody stealing money. So, we insist that these guys must be prosecuted. Let the court set them free or jail them. Whoever the court sets free, we agree. And even when the court sets them free, we expect appeals from the Attorney General. We need to sanitise our country. We need to make corruption very expensive.
I asked this question earlier. What do you think is the adverse effect of these scandals at the international scene on the image of Nigeria?
These people have rubbished our image. And it didn’t start yesterday. It started many years back when those who came to power started thinking that being in power also meant privatising the state, privatising the resources of the state. One, the governors even made a comment that if you find government’s money in Government House, it didn’t matter whether it got there through the procedure or not. What is important for them is that they think they have come to personalize the state and so they could do what they like and so the culture of impunity came in.
People did what they liked. So, the image of Nigeria has been battered by the activities of our leaders who steal our money and until we begin to deal with them, impose maximum punishment for these crimes, to dissuade others from doing that, to deter others from following their footsteps, our image will remain for so long battered. It is true that not many serious foreigners will want to take Nigerians as a honest person and you cannot blame them because if you hear about three scandals in one month, if you hear about a country that has oil, that God has blessed so much, yet we can’t have decent public primary schools, then of course, they must continue to be wary of Nigerians. So, it is true as far as people are concerned, that this is a thoroughly corrupt country, a society where almost everybody is greedy until he can prove otherwise.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 3:13am On Apr 24, 2012|
What were Nigerians thinking by letting this Bufoon Obasanjo rule us - twice
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:01am On Apr 30, 2012|
FCT, NNPC Deals: Probe Targets Obasanjo
THE planned comprehensive probe of the oil sector and the proposed Senate inquiry into the activities of the FCT under the El-rufai administration may be the beginning of an investigation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, The Guardian has learnt.
While the Senate probe of the FCT will open on Tuesday, no time schedule has been set for the expected enquiry into the nation's honey pot - an investigation being prompted by the report of a committee.
The searchlight will be beamed on how Obasanjo, who acted as the Oil Minister in the better part of his tenure, ran the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other oil deals from 1999 to 2007.
The imminent inquiry will target what the NNPC had done with accessed funds not paid into the Federation Account.
Other areas that may be probed in the oil sector include the following:
NNPC: Management of trillions of Naira earned by the country from sale of crude oil.
AP: Sale of African Petroleum and crude oil lifting contracts by government.
PTDF: Management of funds in the accounts of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
President Umaru Yar'Adua has reportedly received a comprehensive dossier on oily deals by the NNPC.
Insiders said what the President saw about the commission has upset him and "he is fully persuaded that if inquiries get to that dirty arena, there may be too much public outcry for the crucifixion of his predecessor."
But it was gathered that the presidency, which has the legal authority to handle a Commission of Inquiry on the issue through the Commission of Inquiry Act, will not be directly involved in the probe.
Indeed, President Yar'Adua was reported, during last month's PDP convention, as saying that he would not be personally involved in any acts that would publicly disgrace his predecessor.
However, the President's reticent mood on the issue was said to have been leaked to some hard liners in an anti-graft agency and the National Assembly.
"So, sooner than later, the president, that has been under pressure to inquire into the deals in the oil sector, will watch, as another committee in the National Assembly will take up the gauntlet of public hearing on the NNPC and indeed the oil industry, where the former president was also minister for eight years," a presidency source said.
The tone for the imminent searchlight on the oil industry is set by recent calls across the country, especially in the wake of the power sector probe by the committee of the House of Representatives.
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, according to its publicity secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, is calling for an urgent probe of the Obasanjo-led government. "We want to know those behind the accounts and on whose authority the sleaze was perpetrated," he said.
The group had accused the Obasanjo government of fixing the benchmarks for the nation's budgets at "rock-bottom" in order to rake in the obnoxious excess crude funds, which were shared by officials.
Shortly after the statement, the Yar'Adua administration ordered a probe into funds inflow into the Federation Account.
Although the periods covered was not stated, the inquiry was to cover funds remitted by all revenue generating and mobilising agencies into the Federation Account.
The presidency is reportedly unimpressed by the level of compliance of organisations such as the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with the rules on revenue remittance to the Federation Account (FA).
However, a source said that, "the FIRS and the Customs remittances are not the main target here but the NNPC" that has been remarkably attacked by the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr. Hamman Tukur.
Meanwhile, another Pandora's box, generally believed to target Obasanjo, will open at the Senate on Tuesday.
The Senate inquiry into the FCT activities will cover the following areas: Sale of Federal Government houses; concessioning of some federal government properties; issues of land allocation and revocation and demolition and compensation and other matters arising from the above.
Though the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Abubakar Sodangi, last Friday explained that the exercise was not to witch-hunt, it was learnt that the probe, originally billed for two days, might stretch over a month.
This is so, as many aggrieved victims are angling to question Obasanjo's alleged arbitrary powers given to the then FCT minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai to clean up Abuja, among others.
Senator Sodangi explained in a statement at the weekend that, "the main objective of this exercise is to seek a means to redress issues and to provide succour, justice and equity to aggrieved persons."
"I make bold to say that the exercise in its finality could provide the needed forum to exonerate the past administrations of actions taken by them, clear negative publicity and serve as a lesson and way forward for present and future administrations in the FCT and the nation at large."
About 1,000 questions are said to have been drafted to guide the inquiry.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:39am On Apr 30, 2012|
Obasanjo has taken Nigeria to lowest level - Chinua Achebe
WITH less than two months to the end of the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo, world acclaimed author, Professor Chinua Achebe, says the president has taken Nigeria as low as she has ever gone.
Professor Achebe in a statement, The clouds are gathering, from his base, Annandale-on-Houston, New York, said all the talk about the administrations fight against corruption was nothing short of a myth.
Also, Nigerians living in the United Kingdom have sent a letter to President Obasanjo asking him to allow free and fair elections this month.
In Achebe's words: President Olusegun Obasanjo has taken Nigeria as low as she has ever gone. This will surprise foreign friends of Nigeria who may believe the myth that Obasanjo has been fighting to end corruption in the country and to bring democracy to its citizens. Nigerians know better.President Obasanjo has had the opportunity to rule Nigeria for three years (1976-79) as an unelected military dictator and later for two terms of eight years as a retired general/civilian (1999-2007). People dont exactly remember what Obasanjo did in his first civilian incarnation. His second coming, however, was a different matter. He unfolded a gigantic scheme for staying in power beyond his tenure.
He set up agencies with long titles like the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission. It soon became clear, however, that these devices were not intended to curb the crimes they enumerated but to go after people who disagree with the President, especially on his desire to extend his tenure.
Perhaps the strangest of these events took place in my own state, Anambra, where a governor was kidnapped by a criminal gang who claimed that they had fixed the election and earned the right to receive the state budgetary allocation.
Whatever the merit of this bizarre story the governor refused to turn over the allocation to these thieves and began to spend it on building roads and bridges which nobody had done in decades. He began to pay pension to retired civil servants who had not been paid in years.
Anambra State was transformed overnight. No where else in Nigeria had such a change happened. Governor Ngige became the peoples governor.
One would have thought that our anti-corruption president, Chief Obasanjo, would have embraced Governor Ngige as a fellow fighter against corruption. But no.
The fellows demanding the state revenue were Obasanjos friends who in anger set about burning down and destroying state property while the Police stood at a distance, watching.
I have told this story again although we all know it. I am retelling it because as it goes with Anambra, so will it go with Nigeria.
As Nigeria gets ready for the election of Governors, Anambra State is in a quandary. President Obasanjo's hatchet man for elections is determined that only one candidate will be allowed to run in the state and has gone ahead to disqualify everybody else so that the President's favourite man will be alone in the field. If this plan goes through, it would amount to nothing less than the disenfranchisement of the people of Anambra State.
I must congratulate the Judiciary on the tough battle many of its members are waging for the soul of Nigeria. The Senate came ever so close to snatching Nigeria out of the fire, and then That was a historic moment lost. What a pity.
Nigerians in UK demand free polls
In their letter entitled: Nigeria and the Dream Of Democracy: Let There Be Free and Fair Elections in Nigeria delivered through the Nigerian High Commissioner in London during a demonstration at the commission yesterday, Nigerians living in the UK wrote: We feel compelled as patriotic Nigerians living in the United Kingdom to write you this letter to express our deep concerns over the situation in our beloved country.
We believe that we have a stake in the Nigerian project and we also believe that Nigerians as a people have already paid a very high price since the time of our independence to the present time in their desire to build a prosperous country where no one is oppressed, as a result of the actions or inactions of our political leaders.
We are mindful that these were views that you shared; looking back at your past comments especially in the time you began organising events of the African Leadership Forum in the 80s and in your various publications, especially in your book, This Animal Called Man. We have no doubt at all that you accepted the call to service this second time around because of your conviction to faithfully serve our fatherland.
We are, however, concerned that your historical comments, statements and expressions of love for the rule of law and advancement of democratic values in Nigeria, nay Africa, have not been evident in the manifest activities of your government since you returned to power in 1999.
Like several other patriotic Nigerians, we longed for the correction of the anomalies in the elections of 1999, an election that was widely acknowledged as lacking transparency and not representing the true will of the people.
It was thought then that this was a military arrangement to finally ease out of power, after the disgraceful events of June 12, 1993 elections and the after shocks of its annulment, the military governments of Generals Ibrahim Babaginda and Sani Abacha. Indeed your comments on these matters led to your being roped into the phantom coup saga, events that we believe have defined your memory of the true meaning of a dictatorial government.
As stated above, post-1999, 2003 was therefore a year of great expectations by all Nigerians who yearned for true democracy untainted by electoral fraud (characterised by vote rigging, intimidation and violence). It has however become accepted history that the 2003 elections were again not a representation of the peoples will as they were marred by political intimidation, violence and most of all, the gross violation of the rights of the Nigerian people to choose their leaders through free and fair elections."
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 6:33pm On Apr 30, 2012|
Obasanjo Is The Most Corrupt Nigerian-Gani Fawehinmi
Posted: June 1, 2007 - 01:00
Finally, Olusegun Obasanjo is on his way out after eight years as Nigeria’s president. Could you assess his tenure?
Eight years of self-centred disposition, eight years of wayo, eight years of deception, eight years of creating a few rich people, eight years of anti-masses programmes, eight years of deliberate junketing all over the world, eight years of make-believe, eight years of dictatorship, eight years of lack of coherent policies, eight years of so much wealth coming to the hands of government out of which Nigerians received aggravated poverty and economic pain.
When Obasanjo first came to power in 1999, many Nigerians had high hopes that they would get rid of dictatorial tendencies which characterised military rule, but unfortunately, we had a tyrant in democratic toga. We expected that the provisions of the constitution vis-à-vis the welfare of the people and their security would be the focus of the government because Section 14, sub-section 2b of the Constitution says that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary focus of government. Alas! it was not to be under the government of Obasanjo. Take security for instance. He opened up the insecurity of this country in November 1999 when he gave orders to shoot on sight in Odi. And more than 2500 Nigerians were slaughtered because, unfortunately, 13 policemen were missing as a result of the protestation of the Odi people in Bayelsa State.
You saw the killing in Zaki Biam in Benue State. We saw him give an order in Lagos State to shoot the OPC on sight and we protested. And since he gave the signal that human life counted for nothing, police followed the queue, extra-judicial killings became the agenda of the government. Every respectable human rights organisation abroad rated Nigeria very low in terms of extra-judicial killing. Thousands of Nigerians were slaughtered without a recourse to the judicial process by the police and other security agencies, to the extent that it became the culture of Nigerians to ritualise human lives. Legs, hands and other parts of human bodies became a common commodity in markets and dead bodies were being picked here and there, headless. That was Obasanjo’s regime and what human dignity meant for that regime for eight years.
For welfare, Nigerians have never had it so bad in their millions. Instead of government to give employment, it became the stock in trade of this regime to send workers to the unemployment market by all sorts of epithet with ignoble description such as down-sizing, reducing the labour force and so on. Unemployment became unbelievably rampant to the extent that workers approached the doors of government offices with trepidation, thinking they would be sacked any moment. Security of employment became nil in government services. In the private sector, profit motive was taken to a most ungodly level. Sack became a culture of the private sector. Whenever the private sector wanted more profit, they resorted to showing workers out without adequate recompense and this was aggravated by the so-called economic reforms of General Obasanjo where the heritage of Nigeria was sold, not even to the highest bidders but to the favoured bidders, contrary to the Constitution of Nigeria.
The major sectors of our economy were placed on the building blocks of rapacious entrepreneurs, many of whom are in government, using proxies to purchase government properties, courtesy of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and contrary in Section 16, sub-section 4 of the constitution which says that the major sectors of the economy shall be managed, operated and run by the Federal Government of Nigeria, solely and exclusively.
But today, the major sectors are being sold. The latest example is the refinery in Port Harcourt, one of the four refineries in Nigeria. For eight years, Obasanjo did not build a single refinery to ensure a total reduction in the costs of petroleum products. Instead, Obasanjo, contrary to the Constitution of Nigeria, sold and he is still in the process of selling even in the dying days of the regime, the major sectors of our economy at give-away prices. Look at NITEL, another government investment that is relevant to the welfare of Nigerian people, it is still in the same mess. Our constitution says that economy of the country should not be operated in such a way that wealth would be concentrated in a few hands, but we are now having the very opposite of what the constitution says should be done. A company emerged, called Transcorp. There was no Transcorp before Obasanjo but Transcorp emerged from the bowel of Aso Rock, founded with the collaboration, connivance and conceptualisation of General Obasanjo to the extent that he owns 200 million shares. According to him, it will be the pillar of the private sector emerging in Nigeria. There is little difference between Transcorp and General Olusegun Obasanjo, except that a few favoured friends were brought into Transcorp. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange who is supposed to be a public officer runs the Transcorp with General Obasanjo. Both public officers contravened the code of conduct in the 5th and 3rd Schedules of the Constitution. Behold! General Obasanjo was never taken before the Code of Conduct Bureau for this. I protested to the Code of Conduct, I protested to the National Assembly, nothing came out of it. Here is a man who abused his office, set up a company to acquire the heritage of Nigerians. Today, Transcorp has acquired Nicon Hilton, and it has acquired NITEL. If this is not corruption, then I don’t know what corruption means.
To me, Obasanjo is the most corrupt Nigerian and I will never agree with anyone who says Obasanjo is not corrupt. We see it everywhere. This man was in prison for three years and his Ota farm which was in bankruptcy then was almost sold. They were thinking of how to sell most of his properties. Today, Obasanjo’s farm is rated as one of the richest in the world, all in a space of eight years that he governed Nigeria. If that is not corruption, then I don’t know what corruption means. If that is not abuse of office, then I do not know what abuse of office means. I protested to the National Assembly, I protested to various organisations, that look, under the Code of Conduct, Nigerians are entitled to go there and ask for all the declaration of assets of any public officer, on conditions that may be prescribed by the National Assembly. We asked the National Assembly to give us the conditions so that we can exercise our rights to know what had been declared by Obasanjo and others, including members of the National Assembly. But till today, they never gave us those conditions. So, Nigerians don’t even have access to the assets declared by the public officers. No public officer’s assets can be examined.
This regime will go down in history as the most corrupt regime in the history of this country in the sense that no regime ever made so much money as was made under Obasanjo’s regime. It got to a point that the price of one barrel of crude oil was fetching $70 and Nigeria at that time was producing 3,150,000 (three million, one hundred and fifty thousand) barrels per day. As we talk, the Federal Government is making more than N200,000,000 (two hundred million dollars) everyday, including Sunday. The more money the Obasanjo regime made the poorer the Nigerian people became. And the more money the Obasanjo regime made, the richer a few people became, including Mr. President himself.
Yes, there was a battle against corruption. A young man emerged like an oasis in the desert, called Nuhu Ribadu, under the auspices of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which I have often described as a positive accident in this regime. Positive accident because Obasanjo did not plan to fight against corruption because he is corrupt himself. But because he was under pressure from international organisations, like Transparency International that wanted some sort of actions against corruption, he was forced to bring about EFCC. He brought a young man named Ribadu, he never expected that Ribadu would perform that good. So, Ribadu’s performance is an oasis in the desert of corruption. What we are now hoping is that Ribadu, after May 29 will look at the records again, will look at the complaints of Nigerians, including mine, against Obasanjo. For example, his library took me to court. His library which he launched on May 14, 2005 at Abeokuta garnered N8.5 billion. [Femi] Otedola gave N250 million; [Otunba Mike] Adenuga N350 million; [Aliko] Dangote, N220 million; consortium of banks N1.9 billion; consortium of oil companies N2.4 billion and so on. These oil companies we talk about, for eight years Obasanjo was the Minister of Petroleum Resources apart from being the head of state. No oil block was ever given to anybody without the connivance and approval of General Olusegun Obasanjo. He was more active as an oil minister than Mr. President. So there must be more than meets the eye.
I will therefore want Ribadu to dust all files, to look at all records and do a thorough investigation into the administration of General Obasanjo, into the personal fortunes of Obasanjo, into the family fortunes of Obasanjo and into Obasanjo’s fortunes all over the world. And let us come with the correct analysis and truth about Olusegun Obasanjo. So that when the facts are all gathered and known, Ribadu will then take the matter to court and charge Obasanjo for corruption and abuse of office. So that the truth will be told about this man who pretended so much.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 5:02am On May 01, 2012|
Obasanjo, stop insulting Nigerians - Femi Falana
President of West Africa Bar Association, (WABA), Femi Falana had carpeted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over his call on Nigerians to brace up for hard times this year.
Falana who spoke to Daily Sun in Lagos said Obasanjo inflicted unmitigated poverty on Nigerians during his eight-years tenure despite of the unprecedented oil boom and unparallel revenue growth.
"Inspite of the oil boom, which his government enjoyed Obasanjo maximized poverty throughout the length and breadth of this country for eight years.
"His neo-liberal and anti-people economic policies maximized poverty through fake privatization, fraudulent oil block allocations, illegal duty waiver and outright looting of treasury."
"It was before our very eyes that Obasanjo and his cronies engaged in primitive accumulation of wealth at the expense of the people," he said.
The chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Rule of Law Committee asked the former president to stop insulting the intelligence of Nigerians with his dubious and hypocritical call. "Since he could not manage the oil windfall to improve the lot of our people for eight years, he should stop his gratuitous insults on Nigerians," he said.
Falana reasoned that instead of asking the people to brace up for hard times, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should have persuaded public officers to shed their excess monetary allocations, which had been taking a toll on the economy, especially with the price of crude oil dropping to $40 per barrel.
The WABA president tasked Obasanjo to justify the allocation of a whopping N104billion to service the National Assembly under the 2009 budget viz-a-viz his call on Nigerians to brace up for hard times.
He expressed cynicism about the economic policy of President Umaru Yar'Adua, describing it as a continuation of Obasanjo's voodoo economic policy repackaged as seven-point agenda.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 12:55am On May 04, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:23am On May 05, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:43am On May 07, 2012|
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 4:38am On May 16, 2012|
God bless Nigeria!
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:16am On May 17, 2012|
Shame on Obasanjo
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:07am On May 24, 2012|
God help us !
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 6:13am On May 27, 2012|
God help Nigeria
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 7:55pm On Jun 12, 2012|
Were Nigerians comatased?
GenBuhari: Obasanjo's corruption and looting lead to his liquidation of Nigeria Airways
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 5:56pm On Jun 25, 2012|
New poll added please participate
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 6:12am On Jun 26, 2012|
GenBuhari: New poll added please participate
Take the poll please.
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 1:18pm On Jun 27, 2012|
seems all the hired Obasanjo praise singers on NL have enough sense to avoid this thread.
There is so much evidence against this criminal known as Obasanjo, it baffles me that such a person can still have his liberty in Nigeria. Can this happen in any other country?
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 11:01am On Jun 29, 2012|
God help us!!
GenBuhari: Obasanjo looted Treasury to start his Farms
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 2:28am On Jul 01, 2012|
GenBuhari: Obasanjo has taken Nigeria to lowest level - Chinua Achebe
|Re: Thief Obasanjo - he wrecked Nigeria and stole $200bn by GenBuhari(m): 9:53pm On Jul 09, 2012|
Obasanjo father of corruption and a menace:
Between Obasanjo and the Financial Times By Sonala Olumhense
Posted: May 25, 2012 - 17:51
Columnist: Sonala Olumhense
I’ll be the first to admit it: journalism in Nigeria is a lover, not a fighter. Journalists may not be happy with the state of affairs but they do not necessarily address the most pertinent stories.
For some reason, reporters do not get their bad stories hurled back at them. They do not get tossed back to the streets or to the phone or to the library to in an effort to fill the holes in their stories. That would suggest a newsroom that does not recognize burnt offerings disguised as a king’s buffet, or even that the editors are responsible for each culinary catastrophe.
But the most dangerous ailment which can afflict a journalist is not lack of capacity, because training can cure that. The ailment which surpasses all—and is incurable— is amnesia, and that is what currently hounds most of Nigeria’s press. Send a story to the press and that is the end of the matter. Everyone treads carefully, avoiding the betrayal of a sneeze that could blow the leaves off the rotting corpse.
Perhaps this is why such an esteemed journalist as Mr. Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times who undertook a “personal” tour of West Africa recently, made Nigeria his first stop.
Once in Abuja, he picked on a larger-than-life first subject: Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ), two times Nigeria’s ruler, who came in for undeserved recognition. Mr. Barber could have welcomed to his interview no bigger traitor of the Nigerian cause.
To begin with, OBJ is not “the father of modern Nigeria;” he is the modern Nigeria menace. The Nigeria of Mr. Lionel Barber’s time is worse than the Nigeria of his father’s largely because of OBJ.
Indeed, if one must link OBJ with the paternity of “modern Nigeria” in any but a pejorative sense, it is that—especially when confronted by a tiptoeing and ignorant journalist, foreign or domestic—he struts and poses as a significant piece. OBJ is a significant piece of Nigerian history, but it is an intensely criminal one. If Nigeria has failed to gain any development traction in this millennium, OBJ is the sole reason, and his gamble is that history, with the connivance of blindsided journalists, will not recognize this fact.
This is why it is strange to learn from Mr. Barber that OBJ has a “Nigeria First” slogan. I have written for Nigerian newspapers since 1973, when I left secondary school, and it is the first time I am hearing of this claim, obviously because it was manufactured for Mr. Barber’s benefit. For OBJ, it has always been OBJ first, and always.
And he is “Baba” only to those who sadly have no father, or who have some seedy relationship him. He had no compunctions leaving anyone without a father. And apart from the contradictions of his public life, the shameful stories of his personal life, as published by some of his closest relatives, have not endeared the man to anyone.
But let me acknowledge the highlights of his political career, or what some people call his achievements:
• In 1979, after three years as military head of state, he supervised the transfer of power to an elected government.
• 20 years later, upon a fortuitous return to office, he set up a couple of anti-corruption bodies, after laboriously identifying corruption as Nigeria’s biggest hurdle to development.
• He spearheaded the settlement of Nigeria’s so-called debt to the Paris Club
• He tracked down federal funds looted by Sani Abacha, the general who sent him to prison.
• He made an avalanche of speeches.
But scratch a little, and you discover that there was nothing OBJ did that was not for OBJ.
Anyone paying attention ought to know by now that his anti-corruption claims were a ruse. OBJ’s objectives in setting up his anti-corruption bodies were two-fold: to have a tool for intimidating his enemies; and to give the international community the impression that he was an anti-corruption champion. In the end, his true achievement on this file was to nourish the Nigeria corruption menace from a mouse to a lion.
Even Nuhu Ribadu, whom OBJ put in charge of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2003, has publicly confessed that OBJ was far more corrupt than Abacha!
Speaking of Abacha, between $2.5 and $5 billion was recovered of the funds the former general stole. Curiously, almost nothing was recovered from anyone else. In other words, OBJ’s war against corruption was no more than vengeance against his jailor.
What is even more striking about the Abacha file, however, is that all—ALL—of the so-called “Abacha loot” vanished even before OBJ left office in 2007. Today, there is no trace of those funds or what was done with them.
Beyond Abacha, it is curious to consider that during his eight years as President, OBJ personally ran the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and corruption stank from here to London and back. In the past few years, every probe report in the oil sector has yielded the most scandalous of stories, each of them traceable to OBJ’s eight year tenure and control.
Beyond oil, probes by the legislature into such areas of the Nigerian economy as the privatization programme, the power sector, and roads, have revealed astonishing levels of corruption and manipulation that legislators of OBJ’s own party have traced directly to him.
OBJ has also been heavily implicated in at least one international corruption scheme: Halliburton. Investigations in the United States and Nigeria have reached the same conclusion, that OBJ accepted huge Halliburton bribes, and President Goodluck Jonathan has the reports.
Let me turn to economic reform. The Nigerian Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), was launched by OBJ in 2004 with tremendous fanfare. He swore NEEDS would resolve fundamental problems of unemployment, electricity and inflation. But within months, NEEDS was abandoned, unraveling as the biggest single swindle in the history of economic reform in a country with a long history of economic “reforms.”
A word about infrastructure: The entire world knows that, next to corruption, the areas of transportation and electricity are among Nigeria’s biggest failures. So did OBJ, and he dragged with him Nigeria’s yearning in each field.
By the time he was done, on the electricity file, somewhere between $10 and $16 billion dollars had vanished. Indeed, the House of Representatives found that OBJ often paid money to companies that had not even broken ground for the project for which he had paid them. The funds had disappeared into the hands of his friends and cronies.
Roads? OBJ’s government repeatedly voted funds for roads, at least N300 billion in his first term, and close to N1 trillion by the end of his tenure, according to numbers in a column I wrote on December 4, 2006.
How full of hot air was OBJ? Perpetually, but here is one example: On November 21, 2002 when he paid an official visit to Lagos State ahead of the 2003 elections, he swore he would end the city’s traffic jams by building new highways and “ring roads.”
It was exciting, but also credible: The day before, BusinessDay reported that his government was negotiating a N20 billion World Bank loan to improve “transport infrastructure” in Lagos. The host governor, Bola Tinubu of the opposing Alliance for Democracy party, was so happy he told OBJ, “We, the five million registered voters in Lagos declare our support for your re-election.”
OBJ won Lagos easily, and the promptly turned his back on the state. Not only did he never build one road or one bridge, he sent his Minister of Works into infantile combat with the government of Lagos.
And did Mr. Barber know what great irony it was that that he interviewed OBJ in Abuja’s Transcorp Hilton Hotel? OBJ’s digs, when he sweeps in, are reported to be the half-a-million Naira per night King Presidential suite, as he is virtually the landlord. That is because he owns 200 million shares of Transcorp, bought with neither shame nor embarrassment when he was the President, in a “national” project he had just launched.
Speaking of shame, a former chairman of his PDP party, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, who is more credible than OBJ by several hundred miles, alleged in 2006 that a top member of the OBJ government walked away with a N60 billion personal “fee” during the Paris Club debt settlement. Mr. Ogbeh actually went to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, which is now famous for its indolence and lack of character, to make the complaint. OBJ has never denied the allegation, and the commission, typically, never investigated it.
In addition, OBJ was, throughout his presidency, involved in a variety of lot of dubious deals, including the Nigeria Ports Authority, the Presidential Library, and the Petroleum Trust Development Fund.
Despite all of this—indeed, on top of all of this and more—OBJ poses as something special, dropping such notable names as Nelson Mandela and Jim Callaghan and Helmut Schmidt. It is significant, for instance, that OBJ thought that Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade was wrong [“I’ll deal with him in the morning,” he told Mr. Barber] in not yielding the Senegalese presidency when he appeared to have lost last month’s election.
[Mr. Barber, as programmed, went on to sign OBJ’s political credit-worthiness certificate: “Sure enough,” the Financial Times editor wrote, “he did. Wade stood down within minutes of the general’s démarche.”]
But only six years earlier, the same OBJ spent at least N23.45bntrying to bribe members of the National Assembly—at N50m per person—in an effort to gain an illegal third term in office. Several members of the legislature have confirmed these payments. I must note that these numbers do not include what he spent on other “influential” figures, such as traditional rulers.
But perhaps the greatest damage OBJ has inflicted on his country is what he did in 2006 when he found no support to continue in office. He imposed Umaru Yar’Adua, who was dying, and Goodluck Jonathan who—apart from a singular record of lack of performance anywhere—had been indicted that same year by a top-level OBJ anti-corruption panel. Jonathan’s wife, Patience, was also alleged by the EFCC to have been involved in two money-laundering incidents within the space of just one month.
OBJ is currently trying to have all of these re-written in his favour, of course. He has a campaign which says that he never tried to obtain a third term in office. And just this week, he loudly lamented the absence of “integrity” in Nigeria’s politics, lambasting the national and State legislatures as being peopled by “rogues and armed robbers,” and the judiciary as “corrupt.”
This is at first serious, then it is hilarious: Many of the people to whom he refers are his own friends, so you know he knows them well. One of them, remember, was the one who used OBJ’s presidential jet to launder funds in the United States, and turned around to use about $40,000 of it to buy stuff for OBJ’s Otta farm.
And yes, Mr. Barber acknowledges OBJ as Nigeria’s “biggest chicken farmer.” Truly impressive, when you consider that by 1997, the farm was stinking so badly that the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Authority issued a public notice about the overwhelming pollution. When OBJ returned from prison, the following year, he was down to his last N20, 000, and owing the banks at least N200 million. Within a couple of years of his presidency—abracadabra!--Obasanjo announced that the farm was making about N30 million per month.
It is this same two-faced creature that Mr. Barber, lacking the decency to report that OBJ twice rigged his way to Nigeria’s presidency, also described as having “won two elections marred by fraud.”
You do not win by fraud. The truth is that OBJ routinely and repeatedly used the police, the electoral commission and the police to ensure that his party rigged elections. When the notorious Ibadan chieftain, Lamidi Adedibu, was caught with ballot boxes in his home, ready for stuffing, OBJ urged critics to leave the man alone. And it is well known that OBJ institutionalized the PDP’s “do or die” policy, repeatedly stating that his part will rule for “100 years.”
So far, OBJ has been right: he has maintained the PDP mission, using men and women who are incapacitated physically, intellectually or ethically, while playing the international community like a piano in a rock concert.
Anywhere else in the world, OBJ would have been in a maximum security jail, with no possibility of parole and no conjugal visits; and only undercooked beans for his three meals. But this is Nigeria, where the political elite enforce the policy of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). That is why, no matter how much OBJ insults President Jonathan, for instance [“It is not enough to talk about leadership”], or the rest of the PDP [“rogues and armed robbers,”], he will get away with. In the end, despite all the mayhem and menace OBJ has committed, they are—one and all--deathly scared of a mud-wrestling match with the old man with the fat watch.
Hopefully, journalism in Nigeria will understand that the most important response to these issues is to report them fully, firmly and fervently. It is difficult to see that happening any time soon, however, given the ownership pattern in the business, and the natural desire of professionals to protect themselves and their families from readily-available harm.
But until something of that shift occurs, the media will continue to appear to the world as if it is a part of the mess rather than a reporter or fighter of it. And Nollywood-watching tourist- journalists will visit the country and report the counterfeits and charlatans who, having robbed the bank, return in police uniforms to investigate the crime.
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