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|Obasanjo Is Nigeria’s Most Corrupt President - Balarabe Musa by wetman(m): 1:33pm On Feb 02, 2008|
Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, spoke to the Northern Region Bureau Chief, Hassan Ibrahim, on issues of national significance. Excerpts:Balarabe Musa
Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.), was in the papers recently where he gave reasons he supported Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to emerge as president in 1999. How would you react to his statements?
I did not read the report of his statements, but I know that it was Babangida and his friends who even organised Obasanjo’s release from prison. I also know for a fact that it was Babangida that vouched for Obasanjo to be accepted as a presidential candidate in 1999. I know this because even though I have no direct contact with him, I never had and there has never been any reason for it. I know that one leader in Nigeria who was very close to Babangida and I believe he is still very close to him, approached me and over a period of four weeks, we discussed the possibility of supporting Obasanjo’s candidature.
Finally, I and our group agreed that as compared with other presidential aspirants at that time, Obasanjo was the least risked. So I know for a fact that it was Babangida who vouched for Obasanjo not only in the North but throughout Nigeria. That is why we believe that Babangida made Obasanjo the president.
Among the reasons Babangida gave in the report was that Obasanjo loves Nigeria very much,
Yes, we also believed that, but we didn’t support him simply because Babangida vouched for him, we did because we believed what Babangida’s agents told us. His agents are people we have associated with and we have confidence in them. So, we believed that he was suitable and we said he was the least risked. We said he was the least risked because the role of money in Nigeria’s politics makes it very difficult to know who to support with confidence. But someone had to be supported and compared with others who competed with him, Obasanjo had the least risk.
Unfortunately, immediately after Obasanjo was sworn-in, he betrayed everybody, he betrayed himself, he betrayed his associates, he betrayed his conscience, he betrayed Nigeria and that is the problem.
Did he also betray Babangida?
Of course! Because he wanted to destroy Babangida through the Oputa panel. Not because he wanted Nigerians to know what happened, he just wanted to destroy former presidents, particularly military presidents and particularly Babangida.
Some people blame Babangida for ‘paving the way’ for Obasanjo to become president. Do you think such an allegation is genuine?
No, I don’t think we should blame Babangida because we also analysed the situation and agreed with him. Even though we were opposed to his political standing, we were opposed to him even when he was military president. But in 1999, we definitely agreed with his reasoning and we didn’t want to dismiss his reasoning simply because we had our own feeling about him as a leader or a person. They were important but they were secondary to the fact that he advanced credible reasons for supporting Obasanjo.
How would you assess Obasanjo’s eight-year tenure?
Why was it a disaster?
It is a disaster for Nigeria because he turned out to be the most corrupt president Nigeria has ever had; in fact the most corrupt public officer in the history of Nigeria if we go by the allegations, credible allegations against him. He also has appeared to be the lowest morally upright person that we have ever had. Now, there are so many allegations against him but I can only mention two.
One, the allegation that he participated in the sharing of the ecological fund of the Plateau State Government. Secondly, there are a number of projects which he established personally that he couldn’t have financed from his legitimate earnings. He must have financed them from a source which is of doubtful legitimacy. His university project and his library project are examples. We are saying this because in 1999, Obasanjo was virtually bankrupt particularly with regard to his farming project. Yet, four years after he became president, Obasanjo Farm admitted that it was making a profit of N30 million a month and it is now a very big project. How was he able to finance it? From his legitimate income? It couldn’t be . These are just few based on his own admission.
In the case of sharing of the ecological fund, the media has reported that when Obasanjo was confronted with this problem, he paid N50 million back to the Plateau State Government. Now, there are more serious allegations. They are becoming more serious and credible that we are not only calling for the probe of Obasanjo, we are calling for the probe of the Obasanjo regime from 1999 to 2007 because it is the only way Nigerians can know the truth of the theft of public property.
How about those who say Obasanjo has done well for the North by supporting the emergence of Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua as president?
As far as Obasanjo is concerned, he betrayed everybody, not only the North. His support of Yar’Adua was purely based on his own calculations and the need for someone who will be his surrogate, someone who will protect him and keep his secrets. Unfortunately, these secrets can not be kept.
|Re: Obasanjo Is Nigeria’s Most Corrupt President - Balarabe Musa by RichyBlacK(m): 4:04pm On Feb 02, 2008|
Obasanjo's government was very corrupt.
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