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Achebe And Soyinka At Dodan Barracks In 1986 To Beg IBB To Spare Vatsa / I Built Aso Rock, Who Is The Landlord You Pay Rent To?-IBB To Buhari / Abacha's Death And The Tale Of Two Indian Prostitutes (snapshot) (2) (3) (4)
|Revelation Linking Ibb To Mko Abiola ,ige, Elewi And Abacha’s Death by oshyno(m): 2:34pm On Oct 08, 2010|
New York [RR] New York—new shocking revelations show that “IBB killed Abiola, Abacha, Idiagbon, Ige and Elewi –
Abacha died of spiked viagra –
SSS kept Abiola’s sex tape –
Abiola kept Samuel Doe’s money in Swiss Bank –
Abiola funded 1985 Coup with $10 million – Nigeria might break up soon”, reports say.
But RepublicReport was first to report that not only did Babangida kill many innocent people, he sometimes killed double agents that worked for him, he, Babangida is also alleged to be a CIA agent. Reports alleged that IBB also recruited Orji Uzor Kalu as a go between agent for IBB and CIA during 1980s Nicaragua WAR in Latin America when US Congress caught funding to fight US secret wars in Latin America including Nicaragua, Panam, without the approval of the US-Congress.
Reports alleged when funds was caught by US-Congress, CIA turned to drug trafficking and due to chaotic nature of Nigeria political landscape picked & used Nigeria as shipment and supplies conduit for drug trafficking, with funds accrued from the drug-trafficking used to prosecute Nicaragua war and other wars in the 80s.
These and many other reports about alleged IBB-CIA links, is why United States trust Babangida more than Goodluck Jonathan to lead Nigeria come 2011 general election. Indeed, if anything, America would even use ”by any means necessary” to impose IBB, regardless whether 2011 presidential election is free or not, if US have their way.
Nevertheless, with massive publications and increasing publications by other media outfits out there, aggressively exposing so-called strategic interests of the US may force US to stand-down from overtly & overtely backing IBB, but I doubt it. We must brace for an impact, because anything, if not earthquake, something terrible will happen that will change forever the geo-political equation of what is called Nigeria very soon.
Already IBB’s side-kick, Orji Uzor Kalu is a mess at hoem and abroad, with recent death of one Chinwe Masi [Ogbonna] in his US-Mansion with him smuggled out of the US shores, that was widely covered and expository reports electonically mounted telling about his fraudulent and criminal baggage, efficiently and effectively circulated in the US and in the homeland makes OUK and IBB a dead wood but don’t count anything over, until it’s OVER.
No other journalist in Nigeria would challenge his impressive fearless reportorial style with which he took on the military for a deceptive transition agenda in 1993 Nigeria. The 1988 graduate of Education and Political Science from the University of Lagos, Nigeria threw himself into the thick of the effort to dislodge the military from power.
Long before many of his contemporaries understood the game of deception foisted on his native country Nigeria, by gap-toothed sly by smiling Babangida, husky trimmed Egba Lawyer Ernest Shonekan, and the dark goggled General Sani Abacha, Fayewimo clearly interpreted, investigated and reported how Nigerians had helplessly turned to pawns in a complex political chess manipulation.
He used his media, Razor, to monitor and expose every move of the 14 year Nigerian military dictatorship.
The military was irreverent and extremely stubborn in tormenting Nigerians. Fayewimo was a consistent and dogged nemesis. He used the power of words to expose the stealing and plundering military politicians. He was always publishing their secret and coded foreign accounts containing money stolen from Nigeria.
The military caught him and kidnapped him from exile in neighboring Benin Republic in 1997. He did not see the light of day light until after Abacha’s death. Abacha would not release him even after Pope John Paul II came to Nigeria and entered a plea on his behalf.
Since he left Nigeria in 1999, he has not returned to the country of his birth. As a matter of fact, he said he may never step his foot on Nigerian soil again. But he has done well with himself. An holder of three masters degrees, one in MA Journalism (2004) from University of South Florida at Tampa, another one from State University of New York in Information Science (2006), and yet another from the same University in African History. He is also finishing his PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy even as he has just started another doctoral work in law Juris Doctor (JD). He finds time to practice as an International Consultant, writes a weekly column for pointblanknews.com and has also worked as a journalist with The Informed Constituent of Albany, New York, The Crow’s Nest Newspaper, Florida and The Works Magazine.
This is his first major interview since leaving Nigeria in 1999. When he came to pointblanknews.com’s corporate headquarters in Manhattan, New York last week, he was again his characteristic self. He held nothing back. He confessed the undue favors extended to him by some of the key actors in the Nigerian intrigue. And issued a range of challenges to living Nigerian leaders to speak up on their atrocities and rape of the country.
He was interviewed by POINTBLANKNEWS Managing Editor, OLADIMEJI ABITOGUN.
You got into student union politics very early. How did that happen?
I was interested in politics immediately I entered the University of Lagos. University of Lagos, as you know, was very unique and strategic in Nigeria, not because of anything, but because of its location close to the government, because Lagos was where the seat of government was then.
So very early during my undergraduate years I was involved in students’ union politics. In 1983, one of my friends, actually I was his campaign manager, Lateef Gbadamosi, became the president of University of Lagos Students’ Union. If you could remember, his secretary-general was late Chris Imodibe who eventually died in Liberia while working at the Guardian as Foreign Correspondent.
Mr. Imodibe was part of our group and it was the first time I met Chief Abiola. It was Gbadamosi who invited him to our campus. He was with us at the Students’ Union Building. From there we went with him to Eni Njoku Buttery he ate with us and addressed us. That was my first time of meeting Chief M.K.O. Abiola in real life. Gbadamosi later graduated and left the University of Lagos. I participated in politics and became the president before I was eventually removed.
What led to your removal and how were you removed?
Well, we had problems. When Abiola learnt that I was preparing to play politics in UNILAG in 1984, he sent for me. But I ran into problems with the administration of the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Akin Adesola as a result of my principled opposition to some of the policies. I was banned from contesting the presidency of the Students’ Union. I had problems at the University. I almost became a permanent student. It was hot (laughs). So I took a year off. And I went to Abiola’s house and explained my situation.
Were you on suspension or you acted on personal volition?
I was not on suspension. I acted on my own because I was also having some academic problems. Let me just say that I was not in a hurry to graduate. That is why I said it was fun. Well I had an interesting meeting with Chief Abiola who, having listened to me, gave me a letter to the then Deputy Editor of National Concord, Mr. Ismaila Mohammed. That was in 1984. That was how I knew and witnessed the Babangida coup of 1985. You want us to continue from there?
What kind of personality did Chief Abiola project when you first met him?
There were many students. We all surrounded him at the Buttery. Gbadamosi brought him. So many people hated Gbadamosi because there was the erroneous impression that the students’ union was being sold to the government of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) led by Shehu Shagari. Lateef Gbadamosi had gone to congratulate Alhaji Shagari for being re- elected in 1983 shortly before he was removed by the military.
Abiola was a very simple person. He ate with us. He waited in line. Everybody saw him in queue, he was served. He projected a populist personality. He made people laugh. People liked him. That was my first time in his company. He took and shook my hand after I was introduced to him by Lateef Gbadamosi. And that was it.
Nigerians often complain about falling standard of education. I feel it has always been that way. How were things during your time?
I was president of UNILAG Students’ Union from 1985 to 1986. To me, I think Nigerian students can hold their own anywhere in the world. Pointedly, it was General Babangida who spoiled the Nigerian educational heritage. His pathological hatred for any organized opposition made him to move against the educational system. That was why he targeted students’ unionism.
Student union association was not voluntary during our time. So long a student was duly admitted, such a student was made to pay the union fee alongside the university tuition. Students cannot aspire to full leadership training without a rallying point like the union. The cults mushroomed because Babangida sacrificed the union.
Administrators, professors and every other component of university system are in place because students came to school. When students are denied their rights to associate, when the platform for such association, the union is destroyed, something so important for students to agitate for their interests, students become cultists. You are here in the United States; you see how Nigerian students excel. But the Babangida regime was very silly. The man systematically destroyed our schools and he destroyed our heritage as well.
But the man had his argument. He said some professors were “extremists” who were teaching what they were not paid to teach. He felt that unionism was being democratized when students had options of joining or not joining but strictly listen, learn and graduate…
He was only trying to run Nigeria like a military barrack. He could not expect to arrive at a consensus on behalf of 120 million Nigerians. He also could not assume that Nigerians, 120 million, would have consensus on an issue. That is what society is about. What is a university? The university is supposed to mould its products to have questioning minds. That is what the university system is supposed to teach, to develop minds to such a degree where they can question things.
There is no way you proffer solution to the multifarious problems of modern societies if university students do not have questioning minds. So it is mere bunkum. Universities are not supposed to be military academy where ideas have to be regimented and you have to regurgitate what your professors are teaching you. That has been the tradition. All over the world that has been the tradition of the university. Babangida and his cohorts, all these people they never attended a traditional university, so what do you expect?
They wielded out radicals like Patrick Wilmot and Festus Iyayi from what should be a natural environment.
Who should decide what university students are supposed to be taught?
You had met Abiola. You later became the president of the students’ union government of UNILAG. You have not explained what actually led to your removal from office.
There was a contemporary called Panaf (shortened form of Pan Africanism). His real name was Olajide Olakanmi. He was the president of ULSU (University of Lagos Students’ Union) in 1981. Unbeknownst to most students of University of Lagos, he was, and I think till today was an informant for the State Security Service, SSS. He was given some money; most students would not know this that is why I am disclosing this, after almost twenty years. He was parading himself at UNILAG as a radical but he was actually working for the SSS. He first brought some money when I was contesting for the presidency to assist me in order to become, purportedly, the president of the students’ union. They claimed they embezzled some union funds but my budget had not even been passed by the Student Union Senate but every right-thinking person at Unilag at that time knew they orchestrated my removal because Akin Adesola, the VC knew I was too tough for him. That was the whole
At that time, it was two thousand naira. Meanwhile, my friend, Lateef Gbadamosi, had warned me about the foggy moves of Panaf. Elsewhere, in some of the places we used to go, we had tips that Panaf had collected money from the SSS. He had assured them that he could influence political events at UNILAG. Things were usually super-charged in those days and the security service were always interested in who should become the leaders in those days. And actually, I was approached after I became president, if I was interested in becoming an operative or informant. And since I was not interested, they demanded to have a nominee from me. I gave them the name of one guy we used to call Tonee. He was my campaign manager.
Was this another payment apart from what Panaf was to pay your campaign?
Panaf had already graduated and he was actually working with UNILAG then. He read integrated social science. He served as president and graduated. Then he went back to the university as a worker. As a matter of fact, Olu Shodimu, the present Registrar of the University of Lagos, was actually a student leader, later worker for the SSS. The point is, at the University of Lagos, if you become a student union leader, the SSS would approach and try to recruit you. So there are many student leaders who the Nigerian masses often take for radicals, even activists out there. They are mostly phonies (laughs). So, Panaf Olajide Olakanmi got the money and used the money to buy himself a Citroën car. Anthony Kayode, whom I had nominated for the SSS job did not get the job because at that point, there were serious disagreements and we were sacked.
How much was involved sir?
Well, I would not know. But Panaf brought to me two thousand naira. And Alozie Ogugbuaja, the then Police Public Relations Officer told Lateef Gbadamosi and I that we used to visit Ogugbuaja, the man who accused the military of always idly drinking pepper soup and had the time to stale cups. He was removed. But because I had the information and I travelled to Bayero University Kano for NANS convention and before I came back, Panaf Olu Sodimu and the students’ union authorities colluded and removed me before I came back from Kano. This was in February 1985. That is exactly what happened.
Would you say if ULSU was an exception or was it the standard practice all over Nigeria for the SSS to aggressively recruit students’ leaders?
Hmn, I think throughout the 80’s down to the time Babangida came after Ahmadu Bello University, ABU crisis of 1986, when students were killed in Kaduna and Babangida set up a panel led by Segun Okeowo and some leaders, up till the time that the Justice Akanbi panel recommended voluntary unionism, I think they felt the need was no longer strong to compromise student leaders. Uptill my time, it was standard practice like I explained UNILAG being the cynosure of all eyes, due to its strategic location, I think that they did that in other universities, Ibadan in particular.
They say NANS president now has escort cars with sirens. Was it also like that in your time?
No. I am sure they are doing that because of politics. That was not the practice. Students’ union officials may be important to them now because of politics. And of course some of these so-called student leaders, there are other things they do now, take university girls and go and give them in Abuja. Things do not happen in Lagos anymore. It is now Abuja. And I read many heart breaking things from Nigerian news papers. But my conclusion, before I left Nigeria ten years ago was that, students’ union is dead in Nigeria.
How did you come to know so much about the August 1985, Babangida coup d’etat?
I had left university of Lagos for one year like I said. I lived in a military barrack, the Ikeja cantonment. I lived there with an uncle and that was when I started working with the Concord. I actually had three people in Ikeja cantonment at that time. I do not want to mention their names because one of them is still in active military service. One is here now in the United States, came originally as a political assylee. The other one has retired. I would not like to mention their names. But I was living with them. The Babangida coup was planned around Ikeja cantonment. I have to tell you this General Muhammadu Buhari, the then Head of State is still alive, he knew it two weeks before the coupists struck. And for the first time, Nigerians should be able to know why Babangida staged the coup, because we have heard so many stories. There have been several guesses all over the place. Of course I am not a coup plotter, but we heard the real truth because we
lived in the barracks.
My senior colleague, Dr. Taiwo Ogunade of City University of New York has been able to also disclose some of these information. Basically, what I want to say is that Chief Abiola was the one who sponsored the Babangida coup in 1985. And the reason Babangida struck was because he had been marked down by Buhari and Idiagbon for drug running. For posterity reasons, all these things should be disclosed to Nigerians. Brigadier Aliyu Mohammed, you have heard of his name. He later became a Lieutenant–General. He was brought back by Babangida to become National Security Adviser, NSA to Obasanjo. This man and Babangida were actually involved in drug running when Babangida was chief of Army Staff to Buhari regime.
Babangida has been amply rewarded as one of the arrowheads of the coup that toppled Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
The other key players in that coup were Late Tunde Idiagbon, Mamman Vatsa and late Brigadier – General Ibrahim Bako. Buhari was brought in as the head of that government as a compromise leader after Bako had been killed in the coup at the presidential palace in Abuja while attempting to arrest Shagari. Idiagbon became Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters for ethnic balancing. Remember? He was a Yoruba from Kwara state. The coup plotters ran into serious problems. Major Jokolo, who became the Emir of Gwandu, was one of them. He threatened them that none of them would leave Dodan Barracks alive after the takeover. Idiagbon had made a broadcast to the nation. That was 31 st of December, 1983. Buhari was then the General Officer commanding in Jos, Plateau State. They were deliberating on who would step into Bako’s shoes. Jokolo insisted…
Point of observation, sir, General Babangida, in an interview with Point Blank News/people’s magazine, said that Brigadier General Bako was never in consideration for the exalted office of Head of State.
Then who were they considering for that position? As usual, the deceptive general said Buhari was the first choice Buhari was never part of the original plotters of the coup.
He said Buhari had always been the first choice. No question. Number two, you said there was an ethnic balancing, but that was not obvious. Buhari/Idiagbon was a moslem/moslem and North/North ticket. Ilorin was in the North.
Remember I was not in the military, I am a civilian. I did not take part in their coup. But you know Ilorin people. When things are robust they claim south. When things twist otherwise, they claim north. The name Tunde Idiagbon, is a Yoruba name, the man wasa moslem. They put him there to look like geo-political balancing. The point is that Buhari was not one of the ring leaders of that coup.
He came in as a compromise candidate. The composition of that government was changed because Bako died at the presidential palace. I was twenty three or twenty four at that time. It wasn’t as if I knew much.
The one I knew very well the coup that Babangida himself planned. The coup was neither motivated by altruistic motive nor by patriotic motive. It was a self survival coup d’etat. That is the point I want to stress. There are different ways coups take place in third world countries. It could be to reject oppression, change a bad direction for a country or to serve patriotic purpose on how a nation should be governed. None of these reasons motivated Babangida to organize his coup.
His career was on the line. He had his back to the wall, because of his activities as a former GOC and as the Chief of Army Staff under Buhari regime.
You should also know that Obasanjo knew and subscribed to the coup that toppled Buhari. Like Babangida, Aliyu Mohammed was also a drug baron that was well known to Buhari and Idiagbon. Aliyu Mohammed was slated for retirement as well. Babangida and Mohammed were both marked down for retirement and possible trial.
Ambassador Mohammed Rafindadi was in charge of the then National Security Organization, NSO, now known as State Security Service, SSS. He, Rafindadi was an uncle to Buhari. When they came into office, a lot of things were going on and they discovered Idiagbon insisted on death penalty for drug pushers. And most of the drug peddlers and international couriers were Babangida’s boys. As a matter of fact, Babangida’s clique introduced drug-running into Nigeria. When Buhari regime uncovered the elaborate entrenched Babangida drug-running network and the rumor of his wife, Maryam’s involvement as well, they penciled him down for retirement. We shall talk about the Gloria Okon connection later.
The Babangida’s removal announcement had been scheduled for October 1, 1985. Babangida knew and staged the coup to pre-empt the calamity of October. They had the coup plans. They wanted to strike in October, but with Babangida’s pending retirement, they quickly brought the date back to August.
After they had agreed, the boys, Abubakar Umar, Abdul Aminu, Lawan Gwadabe and Anthony Ukpo went to Otta to inform Obasanjo that they wanted to remove the Buhari/Idiagbon regime. Any military coup also needed Obasanjo’s clearance. There is no coup in Nigeria, either successful or abortive that Obasanjo does not know of. You know he had this phony organization called African Leadership Forum. It was all a ruse He used that organization for anything but leadership training. He came here to the Council of Foreign Relations to collect the initial money to set up that clandestine organization. Anyway, that was the body they used to plan anti-people policies at Ota including coup planning.
Nzeogu’s coup as well?
I am talking of anything that happened after he became Head of State in 1976. He was even in the know about the coup that killed General Muritala Mohammed.
You mean he knew about the Dimka’s plot?
Yes of course. That was why he left for Abeokuta that day. The CIA has documents in the United States here about this.
But he maintained the face of the avenger of his boss’s death to all of us. Are you accusing Obasanjo of hypocrisy?
Yes. He became the Head of State and checkmated the other plotters. He knew of the 1976 coup. That is why I said he always knows about every coup plot including that of Abacha.
Well maybe because he would have access to intelligence estimates as a former leader of the nation.
We shall talk more about that. So the boys went to him in Otta. They gave him a note to know if he had a candidate in office. He did not want any obvious association, but he gave them the name of his cousin, Onaolapo Soleye who was a lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Ibadan to become Buhari’s Minister of Finance. Buhari drifted and his economic policies were harsh. Obasanjo tried to advice him then, they snubbed him. He was annoyed and that was why he said he would never talk to a “deaf regime”. He had a pre-existing axe to grind with the Buhari regime.
So when the IBB boys came to tell him that they wanted to remove Buhari, he asked to know who they had as Buhari’s substitute. They said Babangida. He said o.k.
He said that? Would he not have had intelligence that IBB was a drug baron?
He said o.k. I don’t know what he knew or what he did not know. He gave them his blessings. They told him they had a problem. What was the problem, he asked? They said with Buhari, it would be very easy to topple the government, but with Idiagbon, they did not want to kill anybody. How would they get Idiagbon out of the way? They want Obasanjo to call Idiagbon to lure him to go out of the country to go to Saudi Arabia on Umrah, the lesser Hajj. Obasanjo invited Tunde Idiagbon. Tunde Idiagbon came to Obasanjo’s farm at Otta. It was the first time Idiagbon smiled to journalists. He was always frowning, but he laughed for the first time in Obasanjo’s farm. Obasanjo gave him the bogey advice that it was time for Nigeria to court the economic co-operation of the Saudis and the Middle East, so that the economy of the country could be revived. It was a dummy idea of the Babangida boys to get Tunde Idiagbon out of the way. And when Tunde Idiagbon was
going, they were also afraid of Vatsa, he was in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. Vatsa was asked to go with him on Holy pilgrimage to Mecca. During the Sallah celebration, they took over power. The coup was staged on a Friday. It was at Ikeja cantonment.
The private jet that conveyed Babangida from Lagos to Minna where he went for the Sallah holiday was an Abiola personal aircraft. Abiola had travelled out of Nigeria a week before the coup which took place on 27 th of August, 1985. Abiola had walked into our newsroom at Concord to address all of us in the newsroom and that was where he told us “we should forget about this government”.
Most people did not know what was happening. I was working at Concord and was in the news room when he said it. He said that the government was gone. A week later, the coup was staged and Babangida became the Head of State.
The point I want to make was that the coup was that of a self- survival. It was not patriotically motivated. It had nothing to do with nationalistic agenda. It was selfish and that is why Babangida exhibited the kind of evil reign that we witnessed for eight years. That is the point I want to make. Buhari-Idiagbon came to rescue Nigeria from the destruction of Shehu Shagari. 22 months later, Babangida came not for any reason but for his own survival because he was about to be tried for drug-running.
It is not so obvious to the general public that IBB was a drug dealer. We heard of his wife and Gloria Okon, Dele Giwa’s connection. We do not have any fact of IBB’s direct involvement. How is it hidden from us?
No. It is not hidden. I don’t know why in Nigeria. The press is there, the newspapers are there. It is not hidden at all. All the top journalists are there and nobody is talking now because IBB is still alive. You will see them talking immediately the man is dead. He has interests in virtually all the newspapers. You know what I mean?
Let all these people talk. Segun Osoba, Farouk Mohammed, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Ajibola Ogunsola, Sam Pemu Amuka, Stanley Macebuh, Patrick Dele-Cole, Imeh Umanah, Alex Akinyele, Tony Momoh, Doyin Abiola, Felix Adenaike, Banji Kuroloja, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed, Soji Akinrinnade, Raymond Ekpu. Let all of these people open up. And they all know why Mr. Dele Giwa was killed.
Infact, the story you are talking about that Dele Giwa was killed over, these people, top journalists they have it in Nigeria. If I could have it then, I was the first person to go public with the story in September 1993 before my senior colleague; Dr. Taiwo Ogunade of CUNY now came out to corroborate it. I was the only person through Razor, who came out to stick my neck then.
Sir, that was the story?
It was Babangida who planned the death of Dele Giwa. It was Babangida that killed him. It is very obvious. Senator Florence Ita – Giwa, Dele Giwa’s former wife knew. The one they now call Mama Bakkassi was a girl friend to Aliyu Mohammed, the one I just told you was to be retired with IBB, although he later changed his name to Mohammed Gusau just to deceive Nigerians.
You sure he is the same person?
Oh sure. He is the same person because immediately Babangida became Head of State, Babangida brought him back. Gusau Mohammed was about to be gazetted by the Buhari regime. I just told you why they struck. Babangida left him with Abacha, and Gusau later became a Lt-General. He was the person whom Babangida brought back to become National Security Adviser to Obasanjo. That is why Obasanjo was governing but did not rule and Nigerians did not know for eight years. Every step that Obasanjo wanted to take Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was always there. I mean your national security adviser is your life. Don’t you know? That is why IBB foisted the guy on Obasanjo. There are a lot of things in Nigeria, that Nigerians cannot hear about now until when IBB is dead. That was why he spread his tentacles all over the newspapers. And those whose names I have mentioned are alive…
What is the deal that IBB made with those notable journalists?
Immediately Babangida came into power, he knew that any journalist who was about town had the story. The first thing he did was to make Aliyu Mohammed (Gusau) the Directorate of Military Intelligence man. He surreptitiously was Babangida’s National Security Adviser, NSA. They had to cover their past dirty stuff. The man called all the top journalists in Nigeria, all these names that I have just given you, they assembled at the DMI, there was no DMI before IBB took over. He set up the Directorate of Military Intelligence at Apapa where they took me to under Abacha (Lagos).
So he now called them and said gentlemen, we want to cultivate the friendship of the press. If there is any story that is incriminating, we want to be sharing ideas, let us know. You understand now? You know they have their press briefing, media chat. Exactly. I have told you that there are always two stories in Nigeria: the official story, which they want the people to hear and the unofficial underlying real story that they do not want you and I to know.
Are you saying, sir, that the media is guilty of mediocrity in all of this?
No. I have told you of the institutional problem of media operations and ownership. The guys who are stealing the money are the ones rich enough to set up newspapers in Nigeria. And who will pay the piper would dictate the tune. Look at all the newspapers in Nigeria. Tell me which one is not being bank-rolled by these bad guys. That was why when I set up the Razor, it became a phenomenon in Nigeria, besides being modest. If I had one of the Generals as my chairman, do you think I would be able to publish all those stories? This is the problem in Nigeria. Nigerian newspapers are owned by the same set of people who are causing the problems; they have control over all the newspapers. Tell me which paper, tell me in which paper does Babangida not have shares in Nigeria, by proxy?
After killing Dele Giwa, he told one of his guys, Mike Adenuga, to go acquire shares in Newswatch. Babangida has shares today in Newswatch. Let Ray Ekpu, Soji Akirinnade, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed come out and tell Nigerians. That is why those guys can’t do anything.
Is it Vanguard you want to tell me about? He has shares. Let Amuka come out and deny it. How much did he have when he left Olu Aboderin’s The Punch? VANGUARD was about to die. Are you listening to me? VANGUARD was about to die when Babangida came and injected funds into the place.
O.K. Is it Tony Momoh? IBB knew that Tony Momoh knew about the death of Dele Giwa, he made him Minister of Information. Is it Alex Akinyele? Akinyele was a Director on the Newswatch’s board. He also made Akinyele Minister of Information.That was why IBB said “Oh, I know Nigerians very well”.
What of Guardian? Do you know that the Dasuki family in Sokoto has shares in Guardian? I am telling you that they sit on the board. And you know the closeness of the Dasukis and the Babangidas. How would Guardian write anything? You know the owners, the Ibrus collected contracts from the Babangidas too.
Is it Ajibola Ogunsola of The Punch that would go against Babangida? There is only one news organization in Nigeria that can rattle the government, perhaps, maybe The News.
All of them. Is it The Sun? It just came out through Orji Uzor Kalu. Kalu was also a Babangida boy. The Daily Independent is owned by Ibori. James Ibori was an Abacha goon. He has not spoken up on his connection with the death of Chief Alfred Rewane. Which other one? The Nation owned by Tinubu?
Sir, Tinubu was a democracy crusader…
He said he was (laughs) He was.
You were part of the movement, how sincere was he?
There was no movement really. We were fractured. We shall get to that later. It was a loose coalition of like minds. There was no platform that we really had. Even NADECO (National Democratic Coalition) itself was a contraption. We all just felt there must be a way for us to resist the Abacha INSULT, the dictatorship. We were so disjointed. Everybody had different agenda. There was not concerted effort.
Let us go back a little bit on your allegation that prominent journalists benefitted over the death of Dele Giwa. Investigative journalists like us find it difficult to connect the dots.
Yes, it was not so obvious that the letter bomb came from IBB. Gani Fawehinmi and many other theorists said it did come from “C-In-C”, Halilu Akilu, Col. Togun are not talking.
Let me clear that one for you. Buhari wanted to make Dele Giwa Minister of Information. Buhari actually granted his maiden interview to Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu and Yakubu Mohammed for the Concord in February, 1984. In the interview, Buhari said “I would tamper with the press”. That was how Decree No. 4 was promulgated.
After the interview, Buhari made overtures to make Dele Giwa the Minister of Information. Buhari called M.K.O. Abiola and said “I want to make your editor the Minister of Information”, because Dele Giwa was editing Sunday Concord then. M.K.O. Abiola said Dele Giwa would not be interested. That was one of the reasons Dele Giwa left Concord. He was not consulted before Abiola determined his fate.
His fate was determined just like that?
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