How I built a Church while in prison – Ex-president Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Nigerians to be useful to God no matter their circumstance.

Mr. Obasanjo spoke at the Shepherdhill Baptist Church in Lagos, Sunday, during a Thanksgiving Service to mark his 80th birthday.

The former president said God made him do three things while he was an inmate at Yola Prison.

“One, God made me to build a church,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

“It’s very unusual, I asked the authorities for land, they were reluctant, but eventually they gave me land and immediately we started getting donations.

“It was started before I left Yola. Wherever you are, you can still be useful to the work of God.”

Mr. Obasanjo said he also got approval from prison authorities to farm while in detention and he cultivated “enough beans to feed all the inmates and warders.”

When he was transferred to the Kirikiri Prison in Lagos, Mr. Obasanjo said he became the prison pastor and won several souls for God.

“There was a boy whom they had introduced to me, his nickname was Baba Ali,” the former president said.

“Baba Ali was the head of the armed robbers in the North. And if you were an armed robber and you came to prison, you must first of all go and pay homage to him. If you were going out, you must go to him and ask for instruction on what to do next.

“So I called Baba Ali one day and said, ‘You are not coming to fellowship, I want you to be coming to the fellowship.’ And he said, ‘Baba, don’t worry me, don’t worry me at all because God can never forgive me. I have killed so many people in my life, I have drunk the blood of so many people, I have eaten the flesh of so many people and God will never forgive me, so don’t waste your time about me.’”

Mr. Obasanjo said he left Baba Ali for a while, and then returned later to continue his evangelism.

“I went back and said, ‘Baba Ali, you know all you said that you are a murderer, whether you killed only one person or a thousand people, you are a murderer; but you have forgotten that Moses was a murderer but God used him to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?

“David was a murderer but God called him a man after my heart.

“By the time I was leaving the prison, I told Baba Ali that if he was able to make it and he would like to go to Bible school, I would send him to Bible school.”

Baba Ali was released from prison two years after Mr. Obasanjo, the former president said, by which time he had been elected Nigeria’s president.

“It took him two years to get through to me, when he got to me, I reminded him of our agreement and he said he was ready to go to the Bible school.

“So I sent him to the seminary, Baba Ali spent two years in the seminary. Today, he is a pastor of a Baptist Church. What is more? Baba Ali’s junior brother took after him and has also become a pastor.”


Source: Premium Times

Obasanjo and Jonathan are alive, they have not denied their roles in Malabu – Adoke

Mohammed Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has written a letter to Abubakar Malami, minister of justice, maintaining his innocence in the controversial Malabu oil deal.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alleged that Adoke exchanged more than $2.2 million in a bureau de change in Abuja as part of his own share, an allegation he denied.

Adoke wondered why the anti-graft agency singled him out for prosecution when he did not commit any illegality.

He said at least three presidents were involved in the deal, and that apart from Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan have not denied scrutinising the terms of settlement in the deal.

Adoke said he was being vilified for choosing to serve his fatherland.

“I anxiously want to know where I went wrong that I have been singled out by the EFCC for prosecution,” he wrote.

“I also want to know the effect of section 5 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended with respect to the vesting of all the executive powers of the federation in the president to exercise by himself and or through his ministers and appointees.

“What is the effect of section 5 of the constitution on persons who act pursuant to lawful Presidential approvals? This is more so as two out of the three presidents that had the opportunity to scrutinise this settlement (Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan) are alive. Have they disowned the settlement? Has our predecessor in office, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN distanced himself from the settlement he brokered?

“Have the honourable ministers of petroleum resources and finance at the time of implementation of the settlement (Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, CON and Dr. Olusegun Aganga, respectively) disowned the settlement or their signatures? It is my respectful view that Nigerians deserve answers to these questions as it will help them and my humble self to understand the actions and the machinations of the EFCC masquerading to be acting in the national interest while surreptitiously deploying state resources and machinery to promote the personal agenda of their cohorts.”

Adoke appealed to Malami to ensure that state institutions are not hijacked and used as a tool for vendetta.

He also said he was ready to face justice if anything incriminating is found on him.

“I wish to use this medium to appeal to the honourable attorney-general of the federation to be mindful of his overarching powers over public prosecution and the need to ensure that state institutions do not become persecutors or instruments in the hands of those pursing personal vendetta,” he said.

“The constitution and the traditions of our noble profession demand your oversight over public prosecution.

“Consequently, if you find that I had breached my oath of office or abused my office, please do not hesitate to bring me to justice.

“However, if it is the contrary, as I strongly believe, that certain individuals who had vowed to even scores with me are now being aided by state institutions such as the EFCC; I deserve protection from these unwarranted attacks and dehumanising treatment that I am being subjected to merely because I chose to serve my fatherland.”


Source: The Cable

I travelled to India to search for my real age – Obasanjo

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that loss of values in the society and high rate of criminality and delinquencies amongst the youth forced him to write ‘Tortoise stories’ books .

Obasanjo who spoke in Abeokuta at 2017 International Youth Variety Day and Public Presentation of volume one of Olusegun Obasanjo’s Books for Children said it was sad that the youths of nowadays lack morals and values.

The former President who went down memory lane to recall his Yola prison experience during the period of his incarceration during the late Gen. Sanni Abacha-led military regime, said his interaction with the young inmates revealed that some of them were suffering from high level of loss of values which he said was responsible high rate of criminality and delinquencies. The event was part of activities of the Grand Opening of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) and 80th birthday of Obasanjo.

The former President accused the religious institutions, parents, teachers and community leaders of not living up to the expectations which he said has put the country in its present situation.

He said, “One area of our lives where we have to do a lot of work is in the area of values. “When I was growing up, if people don’t know your source of sudden wealth, such a person was isolated and ostracised.

“If your father went out at nights, it was likely that your father was a thief. And we other children were asked to keep away from children of such character. “How do we bring back these values? When I was in prison in Yola, I interviewed some young men in that prison,i was shocked with what i found out . Given the level of criminality and deliquencies in the society, you have to blame the teachers, schools, churches, mosques, community leaders among others.

“But where do we begin to make correction? One of the ways are the story books I have written. I started writing the ‘Tortoise stories’ while I was in Yola Prison. Now the Volume 1 is being presented today”.

Meanwhile, former President Obasanjo has disclosed that his desire to know the exact day he was born made him to travel to India where he met with astronomer , but, could not achieve is aim.

Obasanjo who acknowledged that 1937 might not be the exact date of his birth, said, he was convinced that he was born around the year considering the age of some of his childhood friends.

Obasanjo had insisted that, he was born in 1937 on market day in Ifo in Ogun State. He said “?I do not know the date of my birth, then, I used to ask my mum that ‘mama they said we should come to school with our date of birth and my mum will say you are very stupid, you are born on Ifo market day. And whoever wants to know the date of your birth, tell them you are born on Ifo market day.

“She explained that all she could remember was Ifo market day. she was ready to go to Ifo market that day before she went into labour , before those that went to market comes back ?I have already been bone. “That then led me into the trouble of trying to find out when I was born, I was not as lucky as some of my colleagues that have their date of birth .

In fact, I went to an astronomer in India, I told him to look at my palm and tell me my real age, but ,all he told me was that I will have longevity of life, but, that was not what I went to do. So, I concluded on the date that I have chosen.

While speaking on the Presidential Library, Obasanjo said there was institutional memory in the country, adding that the nation was careless with what it ought to preserve as a national treasures. He argued some of the national museums which he had visited are nothing to write home about.

He however , said that his Presidential Library which was modeled after the US Presidential library, saying, when opened would bridge the gap between the attitude and behavior of not preserving the national treasures. “One of the confusion in peoples’ mind is that Presidential library is the same as normal library. And I see many people sending books to me.

The Library is for the both young and old. I also believe that it might start bridging the gap in our behaviour and attitude about our carelessness in preserving our national treasures . One of our behavioral pattern and attitude is that we have no institutional memory; that is what brings about the idea of Presidential library. If you go into our national Museums it is pathetic”, he said.

I don’t know my true age – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday admitted he did not know his true age.

He said his late mother merely told him she gave birth to him on a market day.

Mr. Obasanjo said this on Thursday at the 2017 International Youth Variety Day and Public Presentation of Olusegun Obasanjo’s Books for Children, as part of programmes for his 80th birthday.

The programme, organised by the Centre for Human Security, with the theme “Presidential Libraries Will Reduce Leadership Deficit in Africa”, held at theater hall of the Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.

Mr. Obasanjo said while growing up, he had the challenge of knowing his real date of birth, because his parents were illiterates.

“At early stage in my life, I had the challenge of knowing my date of birth, and my peers always asked, while in return I persisted in asking my mother, who was an illiterate and had no records,” he said.

The former president added that when he continued to pressure his mother, the information he was given by his was that she gave birth to him on an Ifo village market day.

“When I continued to put pressure on my mother, she told me that she was preparing to go to market on the said day, and went into labour, and before others could return from the market, she had given birth to me,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

The former leader said he arrived at his current age when he considered the ages of some of his peers at the time.

“I’m not as lucky as some of my peers who know the dates of their birth. What matters to me is that I have chosen a date. If I don’t even know the exact date of my birth, at least I know my age group,” he emphasised.

The former president also spoke about morality in the society, lamenting that the era of genuine morality was fading, but needed to be revived in the interest of all and sundry.

“When we were growing up, if people doubt the source of your wealth, you will be ostracised. If your father goes out every night, the conclusion would be that your father is a thief, and if a family is seen and known to have engaged in crimes, the community will keep its distance from such family. All those values are gone, and how do we bring them back?” he said.

On the Presidential Library, Mr. Obasanjo said its benefits would be for both the young and the old.


Source: Premium Times

Obasanjo Flays South African Government Over Xenophobic Attacks

Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, says the current xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa, is a result of the insincerity of the government of that country.

He made his position known in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, while receiving the leadership of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Jos.

His statement follows the recent attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West.

The former president said the latest development in South Africa betrayed the struggle for the emancipation of the country against the apartheid regime.

He has therefore called on African heads of governments to ensure good governance for overall development of the continent.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement, described the attacks as an unnecessary setback.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, says the narrative that his country is xenophobic is incorrect.

President Zuma said this is because South Africa is placed quite high among those that welcome and allow foreign nationals to thrive.

He made the remark after a walk in the township of Soshanguve, as part of efforts to tackle crime hot spots in the country.


Source: Channels TV

REVEALED: Why Ex-President Obasanjo walked out of police event in Lagos

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday left an event organized by the Nigeria Police, because they kept him waiting.

Obasanjo was the special guest of honour, at the Zone II maiden biannual special training and capacity building programme, at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos.

He arrived 90 minutes before the event, which was billed to start 10.30am but didn’t begin until 11.52am.

Obasanjo then informed those present, that he had to return to Ogun State for another event.

“Next time, before you call me, please be ready,” he said.

Speaking on the initiative, Obasanjo called for more training among security operatives and urged the Force to be in tune with the latest technology around the world.

He said: “Police must be aware and in touch with new developments in other parts of the globe. I can see my former IGP Musiliu Smith.

“Smith is completely out of date to give lecture on police duty. He has experience to share with you, but not on modern way of doing things. I don’t even know how digital you (Smith) are.”


Source: Daily Post

I’ve authored 12 books that can prepare children for the future – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has written 12 story books as part of efforts to preserve culture and prepare children for the future.

Obasanjo said this on Tuesday while speaking at an event entitled ‘Story time with Baba’. It held at Ibogun in Ifo local government area of Ogun state.

He said stories contained values which guide children to differentiate between right and wrong actions.

The former president said while growing up, his parents and other community leaders gathered young children including himself under the moonlight to give them riddles and tell them stories.

“They normally required us to solve the riddles so as to make us think deeply and sharpen our wits while they told us stories to inculcate moral values into us,” Obasanjo said.

“Most of the stories revolved round animals, particularly the tortoise, and will normally end with lessons to build character by pointing us to what to do and what not to do.

“We have grown up with those moral values and they served as foundations upon which we built our lives and conducted ourselves wherever we went.”

He expressed concern that the practice of story telling had been jettisoned by parents of this generation.

Obasanjo further distributed copies of his books to pupils who attended the event.

The programme was organised by the Centre for Human Security, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), as part of activities heralding the 80th birthday of the former president on Sunday.


Source: The Cable

My generation has failed Nigeria, says Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday admitted that his generation has failed Nigeria in their efforts at taking it to the ‘Promised Land.’ He, however, quickly added that what they missed out in growing the nation economically, they have been able to deliver in a united and stable country under a democratic dispensation.

Obasanjo spoke in Kaduna during the one-day trade fair seminar of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), where he listed the factors inhibiting the nation’s growth and development.

Obasanjo traced the journey of the country from 1960: “the generation before us gave us and our country independence. Whatever you like, say about them: the Awolowos, Nnamdi Azikiwes, the Sardaunas, Aminu Kanos, Tafawa Balewas and others; they gave us independence, they were not perfect and if you like you can even go from now till tomorrow to condemn what they did, but they gave us independence.”

Obasanjo listed policy summersault as one of the factors that held Nigeria down. “When I banned the importation of toothpicks, another president came and lifted the ban. When I heard it I quickly got across to him: you unbanned importation of toothpicks? He explained that he did not read the recommendation before he approved. Isn’t that a disaster for a country like Nigeria?”

The former president also faulted the lack of focus and capability of the nation’s leadership in handling the complex economic issues. “Part of our problems is that our leaders were not proactive. If Aliko Dangote and other private sector giants have taken over the refinery that we privatised at that time we won’t have had all the problems of petroleum shortage and all that. But, that was not done.”

“Dangote today is building a refinery capable of producing 650,000 barrels per day. Whereas what we are consuming may not be more than 500,000 barrel per day.”

“Lack of continuity and inconsistency in government and lack of knowledge is also a factor. There was a president, one of the two who came after me. He promised to generate 30,000 megawatts of electricity in 4 years.”

He said: “At that time our maximum from all the power plants in the country was 3, 900 mw. I sent somebody to him that if he can add 3,000 megawatts to what we had, he should be given the highest award in the country. He did not add one megawatt. He probably meant well but his knowledge and understanding was faulty.”


Source: The Guardian

Let’s stop disturbing God, my successors are resposible for Nigeria’s economic woes – Obasanjo

“I banned importation of toothpick in 1977, because it was the most stupid thing to import when we can produce it here. But, about 40 years after, one of my successors, I won’t mention his name, unmanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the President told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at his successors, blaming them for the nation’s economic woes. He said God was not responsible for the problems hindering the development of Nigeria.

Obasanjo spoke while chairing the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair Seminar with the theme: “Promoting Public Private Partnership as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development”.

The ex-President said “that Nigeria is where it is today is a question of leadership and not God”.

According to him, “somebody came to me and said we need to pray to God and I said, for what? He said, so that God can do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves. And I said, no, let us stop troubling God, because God has done all we need for us, we only need to play our own part.
“But, if we must pray to God, our prayer should be that God should not take away all He has given us as a nation.

“God, in His mercy, has given us all the needed resources, both human and natural, but we have not been able to put them together and manage them effectively. The countries that have developed and are performing better are not better than Nigeria in terms of resources.

“One problem that must be corrected is the problem of leadership. This is because our leaders lack focus, commitment, continuity and sometimes proper knowledge about economic and development issues, hence we have not been able to achieve meaningful result.

“Another problem is that, we take one step forward and two backward. Nigerian leaders must be tough and ready to bite the bullet, because Nigeria cannot have it easy. Until we get the right leadership, the problem will continue”, he said.

Registering his displeasure over inconsistency in policies, Obasanjo said: “I banned importation of toothpick in 1977, because it was the most stupid thing to import when we can produce it here. But, about 40 years after, one of my successors, I won’t mention his name, unmanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the President told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it.

“Another thing is that, he came in saying he will generate additional 30,000 megawatts to the 3,500 megawatts we left behind, and I told him, don’t trouble yourself, if you can add 3,000 megawatts to the one we left behind, you will receive awards. But, to my greatest shock, he couldn’t add one megawatt before leaving office”, he narrated.

Speaking on the public-private partnership, the former President said lack of synergy in public-private sectors was responsible for the set back in the nation’s economy and growth.

He said: “The public sector perceives the private sector as a profit making industry that reaps where it does not sow, but in actual fact, they are two legs that when brought together can accelerate development in all sectors of the economy.

“Public and private sectors must work together to accelerate growth and development. When we were in office, we privatised the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and sold to Dangote and partners, but the government that succeeded me revoked it and that is why till today, NNPC cannot work optimally.

“But, today the same Dangote that was denied ownership of NNPC is building a refinery that can produce in excess of what NNPC can produce and what Nigeria can consume. So, it means he will even export.”

In his lecture, former Minister of Finance Shamdudeen Usman said Nigeria was facing backwardness in economic growth and development because of the lack of continuity in governance and poor will by political leaders to complete projects started by their predecessors.
According to him, “delay in budgetary approval process and also padding of the budget contribute to the slow acceleration of growth and development experienced in the nation.

“Short term policies affected PPP projects across the country due to inconsistencies in government. Though several governments gave high support to PPP, only President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration recorded about 90 per cent completion of PPP projects and they include the Garki hospital in Abuja, Lagos International Airport, port terminals, amongst others.

“However, the Jonathan administration took a huge step in adpoting a 30-year National Integrated Infrastructure master plan, which targets core infrastructure in the country, but nothing much has been achieved so far,” he said.

Obasanjo at 80: CAN confers him with Asiwaju Onigbagbo

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo will turn 80 March 5, 2017.

A thanksgiving as held on Sunday at the Treasure House of God, Agbeloba, Abeokuta, Ogun where the Christian Association of Nigeria conferred on him the ‘Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Ogun State’ (Leader of Believers)

It was gathered that invited guests included Mrs Awolowo Dosunmu, HRM Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu Amororo II Oba Olowu of Owu, HRM Oba M. A. A. Gbadebo CFR, The Alake of Egbaland, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Abosede Onanuga – Deputy Governor of Ogun State, The Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr Suraj Adekumbi and other important dignitaries.

Obasanjo was born 5 March 1937, former Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.

He holds many chieftaincy titles, such as Balogun of the Owu lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.

See photos:



Obasanjo Never Wanted Me To Become Governor – Mimiko

Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko has denied betraying National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and two former governors of Ondo State, the late Adebayo Adefarati and the late Olusegun Agagu.

He revealed this in his yet-to-be presented book ‘Mimiko’s Odyssey: A Biographer of Revelations’ which was released by Punch.

Mimiko also narrated how he was threatened by former President Olusegun Obasanjo



He said, “You don’t know the situation I was in then. Look, you don’t know Obasanjo. I worked with him. In history, go and check it out. There are not too many people who were able to resign from Obasanjo’s government.

“In fact, you can’t do it. Sir, you can’t just do it. I did not only resign, when I came to the Federal Executive Council after resignation, everybody thought they were seeing a ghost.

“Obasanjo hounded me out of Abuja, virtually. We came out with a new party.

“Anybody that gave N1m then, you can’t imagine how we would celebrate him or her. Four months to election, we were raising money in hundreds of thousands: N100,000; N50,000; N20,000




Obasanjo first ordered investigation of Saraki, says FG witness.

Samuel Madojemu, head of investigation at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), has said that a presidential inve?stigative report of 2006 triggered off the investigation of Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Madojemu disclosed this to the agency’s tribunal on Wednesday.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo was in power at the time Saraki was first investigated by the presidential panel.

Testifying before the tribunal in the false asset declaration trial of Saraki, Madojemu? said the report of the panel, which comprised officials of the DSS, CCB and EFCC, was scanty because it only covered the beginning of the first term of Saraki as governor of Kwara state.

Saraki was governor from 2003 to 2011.

The witness said the EFCC later went ahead to conduct a full investigation? on Saraki based on the initial report, but it discovered that the allegations against him bordered on breach of the code of conduct for public officers.

He said the CCB had to review the EFCC report at the end of the investigation because the allegations against Saraki fell within its purview.

?Madojemu, who is the third prosecution witness, was led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the federal government.

Jacobs: What do you know about this case?

Madojemu: The EFCC conducted an investigation on this case.?.. the EFCC conducted investigation on a particular case against the defendant. It was thereafter referred to the ministry of justice. The ministry discovered that the issues therein had to do with breach of code of asset declaration. It thereafter referred the case to the CCB….

Madojemu: The chairman of the CCB directed me and two other persons, namely Samuel Yahaya and Peter Danladi to join the EFCC investigation team. When we joined the team, a review of the investigation was done by the CCB, the EFCC and other members of the team. In the course of the review, the team discovered that there was a previous report by a presidential investigation team set up in 2006 consisting of the CCB, the EFCC and the DSS to investigate the tenure of the defendant from 2003. It was that report which covered the beginning of tenure of the defendant. That report was what triggered the EFCC investigation. But the report was scanty, so a full investigation was later conducted.


Source: The Cable

Protest: Obasanjo gave us grace of 20yrs not to pay for electricity – P/Harcourt community

Some angry youths in Oyibo Local Government Council have said that the government of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo gave their community a 20 years grace not to pay for electricity.

The youths in the late hours of Monday shutdown a power station belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), leading to electricity blackout in Port Harcourt and environs. They were protesting alleged inability of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) to provide them with steady electricity and TCN’s refusal to employ youths from the host communities.

The youths, in their numbers, forced the TCN staff to leave their office premises and barricaded the power station in Afam, Oyibo Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers.

Chisom Ngbali, the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Oyibo Local Government Council, who led the protest, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

He said that the youth took the action after the host communities were allegedly disconnected from the power grid following their failure to pay electricity bills.

“We went there (power station) and left the premises immediately after giving them instructions that if they don’t restore electricity to us; there won’t be electricity anywhere.

“PHED says they will not give host communities electricity until they make payment for electricity used which is not part of the agreement we have with the Federal Government.

“Host communities have been thrown into darkness for five days and counting and electricity supply is the only thing that we are benefiting from TCN’s presence in our communities.

“We had earlier given them the condition that if we must pay for electricity; TCN should employ our people and give us contracts as stated in the local content law,’’ he said.

Ngbali claimed that host communities had an agreement with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 2006; and which granted host communities 20 years window of non-payment for electricity.

He said the 20 years period would expire in 2026, adding that the disconnection of electric supply to the area was illegal. Ngbali claimed that no indigene of the communities was under the employ of TCN in spite of the company operating in the area for many years.
“We cannot be in the midst of plenty and yet nothing is coming to our people. This is our land, and all the adverse effect on the environment is on us,’’ he said.

Mr John Onyi, the spokesman for PHED said that the protesters’ action disrupted power supply to Port Harcourt and environs.

He said that PHED depended on transmission from TCN to enable it to distribute electricity to customers in the state.

Onyi condemned the protest and challenged host communities to produce the written agreement it had with the Federal Government which absolved them from paying for electricity.

“We recall that on two different occasions in 2016, youths from Oyibo LGA carried out similar action, and to which, if unabated will continue to throw Port Harcourt city into unnecessary darkness.

“PHED condemns the actions of the youth and call on law enforcement agencies and Rivers Government to intervene and put a final stop to this frequent disruption of electricity distribution to customers,’’ he said.




We Need an Igbo President in Nigeria – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has subtly made a case for other geo-political zones that have not produced a President since 1999 to have a taste of it in the interest of justice and fairness.

The Southeast is yet to produce a President while the Southwest, North and minority Southsouth have had shots at the Presidency at different times.

Obasanjo said it was his view that the Southeast should produce a President as Ogun West Senatorial District in Ogun State should also produce a governor soon.

The ex-President spoke yesterday when the leadership of Ogun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Tunde-Akin Akinsanya and other people visited him at his Hilltop home for a special New Year service.

According to him, in justice and neglect lie the instigators of conflicts along with ethnic and regional lines in the country.

Obasanjo said it was part of his resolve for a just and fair country that informed his decision to work for a Southsouth President in 2009.

He said: “Irrespective of the thinking of the people ahead of 2019, I personally think that Southeast should have a go at the Presidency too.

“The same is happening here. If Ijebu and Egba have produced the governor, it is only fair and just to allow the Yewa or Ogun West to also produce a governor. Or else, one day, they will also stand up and take up arms against this injustice against them. That is my personally position on this.”
The former President cautioned Nigerians against unguided comments over Southern Kaduna crisis.

Obasanjo said unenlightened comments about the violence were largely responsible for the escalation of the situation.
He said: “My findings so far show that everyone is talking from the position of strength. People are not talking from knowledge of what they know. This is not helping. We must be able to dump all our sentiments to overcome the challenges.

“Just like other cases of injustice around us, we need peace. It is only peace with justice that can solve all these crises. Genuine peace is what everyone is craving for and this can only come when there is justice.”

Bishop Akinsanya described Obasanjo as a special gift to Nigeria and the world, considering his exploits and fatherly role in Nigeria and beyond.
The cleric hailed the former President for facilitating the building of Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, adding that the state chapter of CAN was working on a similar project in Ogun State.



Obasanjo canvasses Igbo President for Nigeria

Obasanjo to Awujale: Common sense would suggest that an Oba shouldn’t lie against me

Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, has described the autobiography of Adetola Ogbagba, Awujale of Ijebuland, as a tissue of lies and untruths.

In his book entitled ‘Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba SK Adetola Ogbagba’, the Oba wrote that Mike Adenuga, chairman of Globacom, was caught in the crossfire of the Obasanjo-Abubakar fracas.

He said the former president deliberately used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to harass Adenuga to force him to implicate Atiku Abubakar, former vice president, whom Obasanjo wanted out of the way.

Obasanjo’s relationship with Abubakar deteriorated owing to the ex-vice president’s opposition to his third term re-election bid.

Ogbagba also alleged that Obasanjo asked Adenuga to fund the building of his university’s administrative block in Ogun state.

“The EFCC in Lagos had come calling brusquely on Mike Adenuga (Jnr), chairman Globacom on 9 July 2006. They broke his gate, swarmed into his house and kept him under ‘arrest’. When I heard about the arrest, I called the legal firms, of Ayanlaja SAN & Adesanya SAN as well as Professor Biodun Adesanya SAN to take up the matter and secure Mike’s release. They swung into action and gave indication that they would take the matter to court,” he wrote.

“By evening, it was no longer necessary to go to court as Mike, following his statement to EFCC, had been released with instructions to report regularly to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja. Mike proceeded to Abuja, accompanied by his lawyer, Prof Biodun Adesanya SAN. Indirectly related to this case, the EFCC had quizzed and released Mohammed Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida’s son. The EFCC purportedly were on the trail of some money belonging to the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF), but there was really more beneath the veneer.

“While Mike was in Abuja, he was counselled to see Obasanjo to extricate himself. For four days, he made attempts to see Obasanjo but was unsuccessful. After a few days in Abuja with no case pressed against him by EFCC, he returned to Lagos.  Not long afterwards, and in the heat of this mess, Obasanjo did two things that puzzled me. He called Mike to meet him at a social event in Lagos –Engr. Olapade’s birthday celebration. Mike and Obasanjo were both captured by press photographers in the newspapers at the event.

“Following the celebration, Obasanjo asked Mike to accompany him to Ota. It was in Ota that he solicited the construction of the administrative block of his university, Bells University in Ota. Mike agreed and Carchez Turnkey Projects Ltd handled the project for him. It appeared the whole matter, the EFCC hunt, simmered and Mike continued about his business.

“On a trip to Ghana, he ran through his Nigerian daily newspapers and discovered that the situation was unfolding in a more revealing version. The EFCC had arrested Mohammed Babangida. Mike read between the lines and proceeded to the UK on exile. When I visited the UK, Mike came to see me, and wanted me to facilitate a meeting with Obasanjo so that he could present his side of the case. The allegations against him were as follows:

“That Abubakar Atiku, the vice-president, gave Mike Adenuga money from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) which were invested in Mike’s bank, Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB), and that the funds were used in paying for the Globacom licence.

“That as a result of the connection in Atiku was a major shareholder in Globacom. And Atiku used his clout to ensure that PTDF money got into ETB.

“That General Ibrahim Babangida, the former head of state, was also a major shareholder in Globacom.

“It was not enough for Mike to merely present his case to EFCC, for it seemed the EFCC was under some remote control. The Presidency was after Atiku. Atiku at some point was the Chairman of the PTDF; an attempt was being made to indict him for alleged illegal and unauthorized channelling of PTDF money into Globacom. All sorts of rumours were flying around and the presidency wanted to pin down the case against Atiku. If Ibrahim Babangida also fell into the trap, so much the better.”

Responding to the allegations in a letter on Wednesday, Obasanjo said he did not interfere in the operations of the EFCC under Ribdau.

He also said he was unaware that his university sought financial favours from Adenuga.


The extract from your Autobiography “Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S. K. Adetola, Ogbagba II”, published by Mosuro Publishers 2010, pp. 187-195, which I attach to this letter was presented to me for my attention.

?Your assertion in the publication was a tissue of lies and untruths. Olopade is one of my best friends and yes, I would be at his birthday celebration, but I would not have invited Mike, your cousin, to meet me anywhere other than my office or official residence as president of Nigeria.  Kabiyesi, do you think I would set the press up to capture me and Mike in a photograph for the newspapers?  That would be puerile of me as president.  Of course, I could not say that Mike could not do that. That you think that I, as president of Nigeria, would descend to such depravity makes me think of you much less than I thought of you, until now.

The invitation to Mike to contribute to the building of the Library block of Bells University was issued to him by the then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julius Okogie, who never told me about inviting Mike to so contribute until Mike pulled out.  And that I have not and I will not talk to Mike about it should convince you that I know nothing about its genesis.

?Under my watch, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was free to do its job as it saw fit.  Common sense would suggest that wild rumours should not be perpetrated by an Oba of your calibre.  Kabiyesi, your cousin did not tell you that my chief of staff, Abdul Mohammed, put his reputation on line by assuring EFCC that Mike would go nowhere and they should trust him to give him his passport.  I did not even know that Abdul had done that until the Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, reported the case of my chief of staff seemingly colluding with Mike to run out of the country.  But I had implicit confidence in my chief of staff and I was to resolve the issue.  Should your cousin not have mentioned to Abdul who guaranteed the release of his passport his fears and intention to go on exile?  On several occasions, Nuhu Ribadu has asserted that, under my watch, he was a free agent to do his work as he deemed fit.  Where it was necessary, he reported the outcome of his work to me and the subsequent or follow-up actions he intended to take.  On no occasion did I guide, lead or direct him on what to do.

?Mike did not need to send anything to me to satisfy me, he needed to satisfy EFCC and so your sending any documents to me was insinuating that I am the one to be satisfied rather than the EFCC.  So, such documents were not paid any attention by me.   You, as the cousin and part beneficiary from Mike as you have told me in the past, would not be able to see the tree from the forest as far as the mode of operation of Nuhu Ribadu was concerned viz-a-viz Mike.  If the EFCC was investigating anybody, I did not consider it right for me as the president of Nigeria to be undermining EFCC by hobnobbing with that person.  EFCC must be given free hand to do its work.  Even if such a person was my child, the best I could do would be to secure a good lawyer to handle the matter before the EFCC for that child.

It is not only in the case of Obajana Cement that you were rumour-mongering about me.  You have done that repeatedly on many occasions.  The latest one you did in 2016 was you telling me that you heard that I had gone to Rasak Okoya to seek to marry her daughter, Abiola, when it was the girl that came to appeal to me to intervene to placate and appeal to her father to forgive her for all her misbehaviour to her father. I did and the father and daughter were reconciled. I told you even then that it was unbecoming of an Oba.  Of course, I am used to such rumours, slandering and insinuations since my days as a Unit Commander in the Army and I have developed thick skin.  If ten per cent of the rumours ascribing businesses and properties I know nothing about were true, I would be the richest man on earth.  But recently, when Aliko, yourself and myself were together, Aliko assured you that I never ever had a single share in any of Aliko’s business interests but whenever he has called on me to help within and without to promote his business interest, I have always helped and I will always do because that is part of my job as a Nigerian leader – to help Nigerians grow their businesses or interests – and I have done that for other Nigerians and indeed for non-Nigerians, Africans and non-Africans who have requested me for help. It was revealing to me on that occasion when Aliko made the point that one of his directors on his cement company is somebody very close to you.

I owed nobody any apologies in the course of doing my work as I believe I should do it or in the course of defending the interest of Nigeria and defending my integrity.  As I could not open the treasury for S. O. Bakare for your so-called political support to me, I did not regard that as an offence.  To the extent that I believed and regarded as proper, I instructed Tony Anenih as Minister of Works to patronise S. O. Bakare as a Peugeot car dealer.  I will not comment on Atiku issue that you touched upon in your book because I have dealt with that elsewhere and you were only dabbling into an area where and thing you are absolutely ignorant about.

All that you wanted me to do in respect of Mike was improper whether when I was president or when I was out of office.  I must not be seen to be in the way of allowing law to take its natural course.  All I should do is to help the course of the law and help secure a good lawyer to help the process.

It is of interest to me that Mike did not tell you that when he wanted national honour, he came to me and I did not react until Babangida recommended him and said, “Of all those I have helped, Mike is one of the most appreciative.”

Kabiyesi, if I have squandered all the goodwill I had, you would not have contacted me on behalf of All Progressive Party, APC, to receive them in 2014 and you would not have been personally present when I received them as I demanded.  I probably have greater goodwill today internally and externally than I had in office.

Kabiyesi, the total sum of what you have put down in those pages of your book is that I dislike Mike.  Maybe I need to remind you that if there was any iota of truth in such a position or mindset, Mike would not have been granted the mobile telephone licence which made him a billionaire.  It was my prerogative as the president so to do.  You may also be reminded that in the first round of the auction which Mike did not make, the country earned US$285 million for each licence.  The country earned only US$200 million from the licence transaction with Mike and in the subsequent transaction with Etisalat, the country earned US$400 million.  It was a deliberate action on my part that a Nigerian should own one of the licences.  Anybody else but Mike could have been that Nigerian.

Kabiyesi, the type of hate propaganda you have tried to project in that section of your book against my person is grossly unbecoming of an Oba let alone an Oba of your status and stature.wever, I still accord you the respect which I believe an Oba should be accorded and one for that matter who I presume to be a friend.  In spite of your unfortunate projection, my position remains the same – respect for you as an Oba and a friend.

Kabiyesi, I believe that I should set the record straight for posterity and to caution you from engaging in unedifying rumour-mongering and untruth.

Accept the assurances of my highest consideration.


VIDEO: Obasanjo, Gowon, Osinbajo, Diya, others sing for Nigeria.

Former presidents and several Nigerian leaders have collaborated to sing a hymn for Nigeria’s progress on New Year’s Day, 2017.


Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ernest Shonekan, and Alex Ekwueme were some of the former leaders who sang the hymn ‘Oh God Our Help In Ages Past’.


Yemi Osinbajo, vice president, served as the coordinator of the choir.

Obasanjo visits Obaseki, Wells Farm to boost Edo State’s economy.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday received in audience, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Billionaire businessman, Capt. Hosa Okubor, as part of government’s efforts to create conducive business environment in the state.


A government house statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki, said Obasanjo was in Government House to give his blessings to Governor Obaseki, his policies and programmes, especially in the area of job creation, industrialization and wealth creation.


The statement added that both investors – ex-President Obasanjo and Okunbor had visited “Wells Sam Carlos Farm” in within Benin metropolis – along Sapele Road Bye-Pass before calling on Mr. Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.


It said former Obasanjo, who parried reoporters’ questions said “I have come to visit the Governor and the Governor has accepted my visit.’’ In his normal humorous manner, Chief Obasanjo said, “I come salute Governor and Governor don pick my salute. That one no do?” When prodded further, he said again, “I say, I come greet Governor, I come salute Governor and Governor don pick my salute,” and laughed his way through the crowd of reporters who besieged him to extract words over his visit.


It is recalled that Capt. Okunbor had recently started a multi-billion naira agro-allied business in the State in partnership with a Mexican firm, Wells Sam Carlos Farm worth $750million (about N150 billion). The farm, designed to create 85,000 jobs in the State, will create 25,000 direct jobs and 60,000 indirect jobs.

Arrest Obasanjo, IBB, Tinubu, ex-ASUU President advises

A former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Humphrey Asobie, on Thursday advised the anti-corruption agencies to be holistic and go for the ‘big fishes’ in the fight against corruption.

Mr. Asobie, who was the chairman of the board of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, made this call while speaking as the guest speaker at the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) 2016 roundtable discussion hosted by the United States Embassy.

The discussion had the theme “Corruption: an impediment to the sustainable development goals”.

Mr. Asobie suggested the use of “shock therapy” and “bing bang strategy” in the fight against corruption, stressing that the most important personalities should be taken in.

“Pick OBJ, IBB, (Rotimi) Amaechi, (Bola) Tinubu, Abdulsalami (Abubakar) and Raji (Fashola). They will all think you are mad when you say it,” the professor of Political Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said.

OBJ is the popular name for former President Olusegun Obasanjo while IBB refers to former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida. Like others mentioned by the don, the former Nigerian leaders have been accused of corruption while in office.

“Corruption is systemic in Nigeria; it’s not just a few certain individuals. It also includes the anti-corruption agencies, they have a problem of corruption.

“It has reached a stage where we are confused as to what is wrong and right, you start to wonder whether it has affected their intellect.

“After speaking at an event in 2013, the then Governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi was provoked, he came to me and said, “I was one of your student but I’ve avoided you because you are at the left and am on the right. All of us are corrupt,” Mr. Asobie said.

In his welcome remark, the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, David Young, said the U.S. government is committed to work with Nigeria in fighting corruption and recovering stolen funds.

Sam Saba, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, while speaking said that the major problem the Bureau is facing in the fight against corruption is poor funding.

“The essential thing here is funding, we don’t receive allocation on time and when we do it comes in halves.

“Some countries receive budget of five years but since Obasanjo’s regime, we only receive half and it’s a problem”, Mr. Saba said.

While speaking to journalists, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, who was also at the event, urged the U.S., Switzerland and other foreign countries who are in possession of stolen funds from Nigeria to release them immediately.

“Nigeria has $458 million stashed away in the U.S., we have filed a suit in Jersey, where the money was kept but the U.S. government is claiming the money should be paid to them so as to help us manage them.

“Similarly, we have $321 million in Switzerland. The Swiss government is saying they won’t release it unless they are allowed to supervise its use. Our government should be prepared to adapt an aggressive ruling to these corrupt foreign agencies. The press should join in this campaign. We should not beg for our money, we should fight for it,” Mr. Falana said.

The 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day marks the 13th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

To commemorate the event, the U.S. Embassy hosted a roundtable discussion with various stakeholders.

The panel was moderated by Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.

2019: Obasanjo gives condition to support new mega party

The proposed mega party by some aggrieved opposition politicians of major political parties in the country may already have run into a hitch, following the stringent condition allegedly handed down by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to support the new party.

It was learnt that when the notion of the mega party was brought to Obasanjo’s notice, the former president, who was not averse to a new formidable opposition party, was quick to give a condition that his former deputy when he was in office, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, should not by any means whatsoever become the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.

The new opposition party is believed to have the tacit support of some members of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that currently controls 11 states in the country, a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Atiku Abubakar, a major chieftain of the APC.

The party is being championed to challenge the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general election.

However, when Obasanjo, according to sources close to the ex-president, was approached to lend his support to the new party, he informed the proponents of the new party that he was prepared to back it on the condition that Atiku was not picked as the presidential candidate of the party.

According to a source, who was conversant with the outcome of the meeting with the former president, “He (Obasanjo) addressed the group that met with him, informing them that he had made too many mistakes in his life and for the nation, including the blanket support he claimed to have granted the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari, and therefore was not prepared to make any more mistakes.”

The source hinted that the former president said that although he was quick to support the APC, however, he was not as quick to support Buhari’s bid to become president in 2015, because he had reservations about his capacity to lead the country.

But because the APC to which he had declared his support had also settled for Buhari, he had no option than to tag along.

However, given the current state of the nation and political developments, he informed his guests that it would be foolhardy of him to rush into taking yet another critical decision, especially on the presidency of the country.

It was for this reason he was said to have reluctantly supported the idea of the mega party, but added that he would only identify with it if Atiku does not emerge the presidential candidate of the party.

He was said to have pointed out that Buhari’s obvious unimpressive stewardship to date had lent credence to his initial hesitation to support him and that having worked with Atiku, he could tell where his presidency would head.

Obasanjo made it clear to the proponents of the mega party that their presidential candidate could be anybody with the minimum requisite qualifications and experience, but certainly not Atiku.

Another source, who also hinted at the development, confirmed Obasanjo’s stringent condition not to field Atiku, saying: “It is true, that is very correct.”

He further revealed that the reason Obasanjo did not want to make another mistake with Atiku stemmed from his regret for coming round to support Buhari despite his reservations.

The source said: “Before the December 2014 congress of the APC, where Buhari was picked as the presidential candidate of the party, he informed (Rotimi) Amaechi and others not to back Buhari because he lacks the capacity to run the country.

“He told them to vote for (Rabiu) Kwankwaso, but his advise was ignored and now Nigerians are suffering for it, so he does not want to make the same mistake again by backing the wrong person for presidency in the person of Atiku.”

On the issue of Senate President Bukola Saraki, the source disclosed that it was most likely that Saraki would remain with the APC given the recent attempts at rapprochement by Buhari.

“Also in so far as Tinubu is a major proponent behind the establishment of the proposed mega party, it is very unlikely that Saraki will leave the APC to join forces with Tinubu,” the source volunteered.

He added that while those from the other political parties were ready to go ahead with the formation of the party, the PDP faction led by Makarfi was yet to fully decide on the issue.

“The PDP component has not really been determined yet. For now, the plan is to take total control of the party, finish off Ali Modu Sheriff and then move on in that light. Ultimately, it may be where we are headed, but the truth is we must first tidy up the PDP house before moving on.”

According to the source, some individuals in the PDP had already bought into the mega party idea and had been meeting with those concerned but “the Markarfi-led PDP as a whole has not really bought into it. But I can tell you that the APC wing of the merger is set to roll”.

Still on the Atiku matter, the source hinted that some of the decision makers in the country, a majority of them retired military officers, already share Obasanjo’s view and might follow through with him.

The only person, a major ally in the merger talks, who has refused to buy into Obasanjo’s position on Atiku, the source hinted, is Tinubu, who yesterday categorically denied his involvement in the mega party.

But clearing the doubts on the denial, the PDP source said it was expected since most people would at the moment distance themselves from any involvement in the new party because of the timing.

“It is important that they all lay low until the timing is right, so that people are not framed and thrown into the gaol for pursuing an agenda different from theirs,” he said.

Reacting to his involvement in the formation of yet another political platform to challenge the APC in the 2019 elections, Tinubu said he has no intention of abandoning the ruling party, which he laboured to build.

Tinubu, on his Twitter account, said that despite the mistakes that had been made by the APC, he remained committed to the “ideals that fuelled” the formation of the ruling party.

The former Lagos State governor said that the national purpose of the APC was bigger than the desire of any individual.

“I have devoted my political life to achieving what has been achieved. My heart is too much of the people and my mind too fixed on establishing a positive historic legacy… rather than engage in destructive pettiness,” he said.

“This government, APC, is for the betterment of the people and the national purpose is bigger and more important than any individual’s desires.

“This is a party I laboured with others to build. We would not abandon it for another. Millions of Nigerians who voted are watching and praying.

“In our journey to national betterment, plans and policies will be made, then amended. Mistakes will occur and then corrected. Achievements will be had and replicated.

“Through it all, I, Asiwaju will remain true to the progressive ideals that fuelled the creation of APC,” Tinubu said.

In the same breath, a source close to Atiku also denied his involvement in any shape or form in the proposed mega party, saying the concern of the former vice-president was in the success of President Buhari and would not do anything inimical to the collective interest and ideology of the ruling party.

“I think we should ignore those who out of self-interest are trying to drive a wedge between the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar and his party, the APC.

“Right now, our nation needs unity of purpose, not political brinkmanship; we are facing formidable economic and structural challenges, and we should focus on fixing the many things that prevent us from unleashing our economic and entrepreneurial potential, instead of pretending that a little political theatre will magically make things work,” he said.

Gowon, Obasanjo, Shonekan, Osinbajo Pray for Nigeria at Villa Chapel Thanksgiving

Aso Villa Chapel yesterday organised its annual end of the year thanksgiving service with former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ernest Shonekan in attendance.

The service, which took place in the chapel, was also attended by former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme, former Chief of General Staff Rear Admiral Ebitu Ukiwe, Gen. Oladipo Diya and the host, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Osinbajo said the service was an exciting time to thank God for all he had done for the country during the year.

“Today is a special thanksgiving for the end of the year and as you have seen, all the former presidents and vice-presidents are here for the special thanksgiving service.

“They have been specially invited to come, we also expected former President Jonathan but unfortunately, he had to cancel at the last moment.

“So we are all extremely excited that we have been able to bring everyone together to thank God for our nation and to give Him thanks for the great future ahead of us,’’ he said.

Gowon said he was delighted to be at the service with other former colleagues and thanked Osinbajo for facilitating his attendance.

Gowon said he was more excited with the children who came also to do their thanksgiving and prayed to God to bless the children in a special way.

He enjoined the children to keep the faith with other Christians and “to always make sure that we keep this country one and together’’.

He urged Christians to love every Nigerian in spite of their faith following the injunction of Jesus Christ to love their neighbour.

“Our neighbours are Christians, Muslims, traditional religions etc. Whatever we do, we make sure that we live up to the expectation of what Christ expects of us,’’ he said.

Gowon prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo, the entire presidency and Nigerians and asked God to give the leadership the guidance to administer the country according to His will.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, thanked the vice-president and organisers of the service for bringing the past and present leaders to the service.

He said the nation was expecting good lead from the leadership in the coming year, noting that the event was meant specifically to thank God for helping the country to steer its economy.

Enang said the year was almost gone and that the budget for next year would soon be presented.

Read More: thisdaylive

Obasanjo’s Challenge Of Buhari By Sonala Olumhense

As one who firmly believes that one Olusegun Obasanjo squandered the finest opportunity of any Nigerian leader since independence, I have often criticized him.

Between 1999 and 2007, he could have transformed Nigeria into Africa’s most developed, most productive and most functional economy.  The records show that he compounded the situation, and then handed over to his handpicked successors who made matters considerably worse.

That led, inevitably, to the arrival of one Muhammadu Buhari, who had sworn for years Nigeria needed cleansing, and that he was the man for the job.

When Buhari was sworn in last year, it was evident that Obasanjo had him trapped.  But Buhari ignored the obvious.

Speaking at the at the first Akintola Williams Annual Lecture last week, Obasanjo sprung that trap, telling Buhari to stop giving excuses and, in effect, to get on with being the savior he advertised himself to be.

“It is easier to win an election than to right the wrongs of a badly fouled situation,” Obasanjo sneered.  “When you are outside, what you see and know are nothing compared with the reality.”

He showed Buhari the clock: “Now that we have had change because the actors and the situation needed to be changed,” he should install “a comprehensive economic policy and programme that is intellectually, strategically and philosophically based.”

And then he really began to turn the knife.  “…Once you are on seat, you have to clear the mess and put the nation on the path of rectitude, development and progress leaving no group or section out of your plan, programme and policy and efforts,” he laughed. “The longer it takes, the more intractable the problem may become.”

One source of Obasanjo’s anger is Buhari’s insistence that the governments preceding his, since 1999, have been very corrupt.

He dismissed Buhari’s “blanket adverse comments or castigation of all democratic administrations from 1999 as “uncharitable, fussy and uninstructive,” refusing to be lumped together with the others.

And then of course, what is an Obasanjo speech without his taking liberties with the English language?  Addressing Buhari’s $30 billion foreign loan proposal, he manufactured terms aimed at helping—or confusing—Buhari’s political thought and digestion: “Adhocry is not the answer,” he said, warning: “…We must be careful and watchful of the danger of shortermism.”

That from a man who perfected the art of the ad hoc and the loud.  Obasanjo, the same man who plucked the Vision 202020 out of the sky without investigation.  The man who advertised the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy as the final economic plan Nigeria would ever need…but abandoned it just months later.  The man who set up the anti-corruption watchdogs but refused to let them fight systemic corruption.  The man whom, legislators said, bribed them for a third term in office.

To be faithful to sequence, Obasanjo had whispered to Buhari last March that his persistent complaining about the current price of crude oil was growing tiresome, as President Goodluck Jonathan had left $30billion in reserves for Buhari, as compared to 1999 when he only inherited $3.7 billion, and at a time the price of oil was only $9 per barrel.

Buhari has since insisted that he will indeed continue to criticize his predecessors, a task he performed again last Thursday when he received William Symington, the new United States ambassador, in Abuja.

“The corruption we met at personal and institutional levels was unbelievable,” he declared for the 1000th time.  “Corruption was turning into a culture…”

And then for the 2000th time, President Buhari swore to end that culture.

The President’s rhetoric is good, but if it reflects the crime, the quality of his assault doesn’t.  Not only is it curious that only a handful of people are in any trouble, current appointees who face allegations of corruption do not get fired or even have to prove themselves.  It no longer helps Nigeria for anyone to describe how corrupt Nigeria has been in the past 50 years or 16, without demonstrating how the significant persons responsible for it are being stripped to their stolen underwear and tossed into overcrowded jails.

If Obasanjo said anything important at the Akintola Williams lecture, therefore, it was that Buhari should not call his government corrupt unless he can prove it.  That is a fair challenge that Buhari must accept.  In addition, he must systematically publish what has been recovered, as well as identify and prosecute, beginning from the top.

The trouble is that there seems no such clear plan.  Only last week, for instance, the EFCC announced it would prosecute over 100 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Their offence: they allegedly benefitted from a massive $115m fund distributed as bribes in 2015 by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to help Mr. Jonathan retain the presidency.

Few situations illustrate the contradictions in the current anti-corruption initiative better than this.  Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s name is tied to our worst official excesses since independence, and even this announcement pronounces her guilty.

But she is not being tried.  In other words, we are treating minor symptoms, not the disease.  The anti-corruption masterplan, if there is one, should follow the money-trail upwards, rather than downwards, to identify the sources of the decay, what else was compromised, and how much.

What is the moral justification for prosecuting low-level officials who may perhaps have been threatened?  How does the squandering of resources on their prosecution, rather than on the senior officials who built the farms and sowed the seeds, change the corruption narrative?

Why are there so many former governors who openly looted and openly donated billions of Naira to their parties and officials walking free?  Why do we name suspects in the court of public opinion and publish salacious details about their horrendous escapades with public funds, but stop short of the court of law?

And why does the government shy away from using the vast swathes of information granted by the Central Bank’s Biometric Verification Number inquiry which has made it easy to unveil a “kill and divide” culture running into hundreds of billions since 1970?

These are the reason why a supremely duplicitous and hypocritical Obasanjo, criticizes Buhari fairly.  If Buhari truly means to conquer corruption, his very first step is to leave the rostrum of criticism for the rostrum of rigorous public policy, and seek the experts—not politicians—to get the job done.

Obasanjo may have failed the test of the disciplined and patriotic leadership he professes, but Buhari can still uproot trees and remold philosophical foundations.  But you cannot score a goal for your team with a back pass to your goalkeeper.

The dream on which Buhari was elected is of a new Nigeria where talent and effort—not chicanery and nepotism—defines who lives or thrives.  To that end, his responsibility it is to seek the answers, using capable men and women who are neither intimidated by challenge nor excited by unearned wealth.

There is no other gift he can offer the masses who granted him the opportunity to open to them the doors that had been slammed against them.  Through those doors lie Nigeria’s fate, for that is where the best of the people can go to work.

Buhari’s choice has never been clearer.
Twitter: @SonalaOlumhense

Gowon, Obasanjo, Shonekan, Osinbajo grace Villa Chapel thanksgiving

The Aso Villa Chapel on Sunday organised its annual end of the year thanksgiving with former Heads of State, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ernest Shonekan in attendance.

The service which took place in the chapel was also attended by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, former Chiefs of General Staff, Ebitu Ukiwe and Oladipo Diya, and host Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Vice President Osinbajo said the service was an exciting time to thank God for all he had done for the country during the year.

“Today is a special thanksgiving for the end of the year and as you have seen, all the former Presidents and Vice Presidents are here for the special thanksgiving service.

“They have been specially invited to come, we also expected President Jonathan, but unfortunately, he had to cancel at the last moment.

“So we are all extremely excited that we have been able to bring everyone together to thank God for our nation and to give Him thanks for the great future ahead of us,’’ he said.

Mr. Gowon said he was delighted to be at the service with other former colleagues and thanked Mr. Osinbajo for facilitating his attendance.

Mr. Gowon said he was more excited with the children who came also to do their thanksgiving and prayed to God to bless the children in a special way.

He enjoined the children to keep the faith with other Christians “to always make sure that we keep this country one and together.’’

He urged Christians to love every Nigerian in spite of their faith following the injunction of Jesus Christ to love your neighbour.

“Our neighbours are Christian, Muslim, traditional religions, among others. Whatever we do, we make sure that we live up to the expectation of what Christ expects of us,” he said.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, thanked the Vice President and organisers of the service for bringing the past and present leaders to the service.

He said the nation was expecting good lead from the leadership in the coming year, noting that the event was specifically to thank God for helping the country to steer the economy of the country.

The Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Seyi Malomo, in his message said thanksgiving was an injunction from God, adding that everyone in spite of status must thank God in all circumstances.

According to him, thanksgiving is an acknowledgement that God is alive, adding that each time the faithful gave thanks they demonstrate their faith in God.

“As we thank God, He will restore the good days to the nation,” he said, and predicted that time shall come when people will queue in embassies to visit Nigeria.

You’re Grandfather Of Corruption, House of Reps Fires Back at Obasanjo.

Members of the House of Representatives have described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the grandfather and architect of corruption in the National Assembly when he was Nigeria’s president.
The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on media and publicity, Abdulrasak Namdas, offered the description when he addressed reporters at the National Assembly in Abuja in reaction to a statement credited to Mr. Obasanjo to the effect that the National Assembly was Nigeria’s most corrupt organ of government.

In addition to characterizing Mr. Obasanjo as the grandfather of corruption, the legislator stated that the former head of state was responsible for introducing corruption into the affairs of the National Assembly. Mr. Namdas also accused former President Obasanjo of constituting himself into a permanent opposition figure to every government, adding that the ex-president was out to pull down the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Below is the full text of Mr. Namdas’ statement:

1. Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo at a lecture he delivered recently, wherein, in his characteristic manner, [he] accused everybody but himself of corruption.
2. He ventured to accuse the National Assembly of budget padding, accused the House of criminal activities of threatening the life of a “whistleblower”, lampooned constituency projects which he approved as President, ventured to discuss the budget of National Assembly which is highly underfunded.

3. The House of Representatives would ordinarily not join issues with the former President as he has held an office that deserves respect and reverence. However, because of the material misstatement of facts, outright lies and falsehoods, and mischievous innuendo introduced in his statement, we are left with no option but to correct him.

4. We have repeatedly maintained that there was no “padding” of the 2016 Appropriation Act, which is a legitimate document passed by the National Assembly, authenticated by the Clerkto the National Assembly as provided in the Acts Authentication Act and assented to by Mr. President. It is most unfortunate that a former President of Chief Obasanjo’s stature would allow himself to be hoodwinked and procured by a renegade member of the House, who embarked on massive propaganda and lies just because he was removed from office. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no crime that was committed by the National Assembly by exercising its constitutional function of appropriation. If Chief Obasanjo has an issue with the execution of the 2016 Budget or indeed other Appropriation Acts, he should direct his anger elsewhere.

5. He claimed that the National Assembly Budget is very high, when by all standards, the National Assembly is grossly underfunded and is hampered from effectively and legitimately carrying out its Constitutionally assigned functions. The National Assembly Budget funds a bureaucracy of about 5,000 civil servants. It has some other agencies under its preview such as the National Assembly Service Commission with its own staff of about 500, even the Public Complaints Commission is now a parastatal of the National Assembly. National Assembly Budget also funds the National Institute for Legislative Studies, which is a legislative think-tank and highly rated academic institution that serves both National and State Houses of Assembly and even international legislators. All these agencies also have their capital budget including development of their headquarters, procurement of office equipment, procurement of regular items for running their offices; the National Assembly maintain legislative aides of about 3,000 in number, that aid the work of the Assembly; it also conducts regular public hearings involving the media and stakeholders and oversight activities, involving huge sums of money. The cost implications of running the National Assembly is high because of the nature of our Presidential democracy.Then of course, there are 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives, that require proper equipment to function effectively. They require adequate travel and transport support to carry out legislative functions. The National Assembly also has buildings and offices to build and maintain. National Assembly staff and members attend conferences, trainings, seminars to keep abreast of legislative developments worldwide. The activities are very encompassing and expensive.

6. It is also unbecoming of a former President to quote figures of sums of money that are factually incorrect. No member of the House of Representatives receives N10m every month. The salaries and allowances of members of the House are as determined by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).Of course further sums of money are spent as running costs, that is, the cost of running the office of a member. If a Minister, Chief Executive or Director in a Ministry travels on official duties, for instance, do you include the cost of his ticket and accommodation as part of his salary or allowances? Does the cost of stationeries and maintenance of equipment like computers used in their offices, form part of their salaries and allowances? These are some of the costs that must be taken care of by the National Assembly and the media calls these costs “jumbo pay”. For goodness sake, the National Assembly is an arm of government, not just an ordinary agency of government.

The Budget of many agencies in the Executive Branchare indeed higher than the current Budget of the National Assembly that is an arm of government. Examples abound, CBN, NNPC, NCC etc. Allowances paid to even junior staff of some of these government agencies cannot be compared to what members of National Assembly enjoy.

7. Undoubtedly, the former President Obasanjo is understandably angry with the National Assembly as an institution having foiled his ambition for athird-term in office even after trying to corrupt the members with a bribe of at least N50m each. Lest we forget, the person who introduced corruption to the National Assembly is Chief Olesugn Obasanjo. He birthed the 4th Republic National Assembly with corrupt practices from day one; indeed the first day of the Republic. He bribed both PDP, ANPP and AD legislators on their inauguration in 1999 to vote against the majority candidate of PDP, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. That was how Senator Evan Enwerem became Senate President.

Have we forgotten the sacks of money displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives being bribe money paid by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to some Honourable members to impeach Speaker,Rt. Hon. Ghali N’abba?

Have we forgotten that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo used his position as President to extort money from businessmen and contractors with his government to build his presidential library?
The list of his corrupt acts while in office is endless. Unquestionably, he is the greatest corrupt person ever to hold office in Nigeria. He remains the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria and lacks the moral authority to discuss corruption or indeed abuse of office in Nigeria as he remains the most corrupt Nigerian on record.

8. It is unfortunate that he has started his very familiar method of bringing down governments. He did it to Alhaji Shehu Shagari, he did it to Gen. Buhari, he did same to Gen. Babangida, he attempted to bring down Gen. Abacha before he imprisoned him for treason; he made frantic efforts to derail the government of PresidentYa’ardua when he couldn’t use him. He supported President Goodluck Jonathan but when he refused to take dictation, he turned against him. He supported President Buhari, but since he has sensed that Nigeria is having economic difficulties under him, he has pounced to derail his government.

9. The way Chief Obasanjo talksgives the impression that he is a lifetime opposition leader who has never held any office. What did he do about the issues he raised in his 8 years as President?

10. This is a man with unlimited access to President Buhari. Or is it because he has not appointed all his cronies as requested? We may never know. Hisstuck in trade is blackmail, subversion and treachery.

11. We wish him well.

Reps hit back at “greatly corrupt” Obasanjo, say ex-president plotting to derail Buhari

The Nigerian House of Representatives on Thursday described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the “most corrupt” Nigerian on the record.

The lawmakers said the “greatly corrupt” and “morally bankrupt” former leader is effectively plotting to derail the government of Muhammadu Buhari in the same manner he allegedly did to successive presidents since 1979.

“It is unfortunate that he has started his very familiar method of bringing down governments,” House spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, said in a statement Thursday.

“He did it to Alhaji Shehu Shagari. He did it to Gen. Buhari. He did same to Gen. Babangida. He attempted to bring down Gen. Abacha before he imprisoned him for treason.

“He made frantic efforts to derail the government of President Ya’ardua when he couldn’t use him. He supported President Goodluck Jonathan but when he refused to take dictation, he turned against him.

“He supported President Buhari, but since he has sensed that Nigeria is having economic difficulties under him, he has pounced to derail his government,” the lawmakers said.

The House was responding to the former president’s stinging criticism of the level of corruption in the National Assembly.

At a forum on Wednesday, Mr. Obasanjo said the National Assembly had become “a den of corruption” controlled by “a gang of unarmed robbers.”

The former president also backed the campaign of Abdulmumin Jibrin, a whistleblowing lawmaker who was suspended in September.

Mr. Obasanjo also called on President Buhari to end the corruption in the National Assembly with a clampdown similar to the one against senior judicial officers last month.

“If the Judiciary is being cleaned, what of the National Assembly which stinks much worse than the Judiciary?” Mr. Obasanjo queried.

The House responded to the attacks on Thursday afternoon through its spokesman, Mr. Namdas.

Mr. Namdas said Mr. Obasanjo lacked the moral authority to speak against corruption, adding that his allegations were devoid of any credibility.

“He remains the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria and lacks the moral authority to discuss corruption or indeed abuse of office in Nigeria,” Mr. Namdas said in a statement.

Mr. Namdas said Nigerians would not forget in a hurry the loads of cash Mr. Obasanjo allegedly bribed members of the House of Representatives to impeach a former Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba.

“Have we forgotten the sacks of money displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives being bribe money paid by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to some honourable members to impeach Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ghali Na’Abba?” Mr. Namdas queried.

Probe Obasanjo’s $16b Spending On Electricity, SERAP tells CJN

Anti-corruption organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked Justice Water Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), to appoint an independent counsel to investigate alleged corruption in the spending of $16 billion on power projects between 1999 and 2007 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.


SERAP’s request was contained in a letter addressed to the CJN. Dated 24 November and signed by Mr. Timothy Olawale, the organisation’s Senior Staff Counsel, the letter explained that the request was based on Section 52 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 as well as the letter and spirit of the Act, and the object and purpose of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).


SERAP recalled that a parliamentary hearing by the House of Representatives into the spending of $16 billion on the power project between 1999 and 2007 revealed, through testimonies of witnesses, that the amount budgeted for the power project may have been stolen by some government officials and others and cannot be accounted for.


It pointed out that the parliamentary hearing, which took place between March 11 and 12 March, 2008, revealed that Mr. Bernerd Mensen, the Chief Executive Officer of German firm, Lameyer, was paid N370 million (out of the total contract sum of N600million) just for a feasibility study on a power station. Mr. Mensen, SERAP recalled, however, confessed that he had never visited the site of the Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Project in Taraba State.


Similarly recalled was the revelation that N200million of the N370million collected was spent to build a bungalow at Gembu, apparently to create the impression that work was in progress, but the project was later abandoned.


A witness, who testified at the hearing, recollected SERAP, said that the ground-breaking was done at Gembu, about 25kilometers from the Mambilla, and that they never got to the Mambilla. He also disclosed that the sample of oil Lameyer collected for test was dumped at somebody’s compound that the company did nothing to implement the project, which was expected to generate 2,600 megawatts of electricity.


The investigative committee, SERAP reminded the CJN, was equally told that the contracts awarded for the Kainji, Egbin, Afam and Ugehlli power stations were never executed despite being included by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in its report to the hearing on how it spent its budgetary allocations between 1999 and 2007.  The hearing also revealed that there were about nine of such contracts, with an aggregate value of $142million.


“Section 52 of the Corrupt Practices Act requires the Chief Justice of Nigeria to authorise an independent counsel to investigate any allegation of corruption against high-level public officials at the federal or state level-and to report his findings to the National Assembly or appropriate house of assembly,” SERAP stated in the letter.


It expressed the belief that the findings by the parliamentary hearing provide sufficient ground for the CJN’s intervention in the matter.


“We therefore urge you to interpret this provision robustly and flexibly in the light of the unique role of the judiciary in the efforts to prevent and combat corruption and its destructive effects on the society.


“We believe your urgent intervention will contribute to improving the integrity of government and public confidence and trust in their government. It would also serve as a vehicle to further the public’s perception of fairness and thoroughness, and to avert even the most subtle of influences that may appear in an investigation of highly-placed executive officials,” the organisation said.


SERAP advised the CJN to be guided by the overall public interest of the right to uninterrupted power supply and the spirit and letter of the constitution, not by technicalities of ICPC Act.


“In particular, Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution dealing with Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, high-level public officials have a clear obligation to eradicate all corrupt practices and abuse of power,” it further stated.


SERAP observed that inadequate electricity supply has compelled many Nigerians to use contaminated surface water for drinking and robbed them of the ability to boil, purify, disinfect and store water. It further argued that the situation has affected Nigerians’ ability use irrigation to boost agricultural productivity, thereby limiting food supplies and shrinking employment opportunities.


The organisation also pointed out that the constitution prohibits the exploitation of the country’s human and natural resources for any reasons other than collective interest, a position that it said is backed by the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.


“In exercising your statutory and constitutional responsibilities, we urge you to work very closely with both the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC),” SERAP counselled.


The organisation equally noted that successive governments have failed to tell the public that the $16 billion expenditure on power supply amounts to failure.


It added that corruption in the energy sector have resulted in the epileptic power supply and corresponding deprivation and denial of access to quality healthcare, adequate food, shelter, clothing, water, sanitation, medical care, schooling and access to information.

Buhari, SSS acted right on raid, arrest of judges – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has backed the State Security Services’ invasion of the homes of some Nigerian judges last month, saying the action was necessary to cleanse the judiciary.

Delivering a speech at the First Akintola Williams annual lecture in Lagos Wednesday, Mr. Obasanjo saluted the executive branch’s “necessary wisdom and courage to clean the dirty stable of the Judiciary.”

“Three weeks before the first three judges were arrested for corruption, I was talking to a fairly senior retired public officer who put things this way, ‘The Judiciary is gone, the National Assembly is gone, the military is sunk and the civil service was gone before them; God save Nigeria.’ I said a loud Amen,” Mr. Obasanjo said in the speech titled ‘Nigeria Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Governance and Accountability.’

“Three weeks later, the process of saving the Judiciary began. And if what I have gathered is anything to go by, there may be not less than two score of judicial officers that may have questions to answer. That will be salutary for the Judiciary and for the Nation.”

An overnight assault, in early October, on some senior judges in six states across the country by the SSS resulted in the arrest of some of the judges.

Officials of the SSS told PREMIUM TIMES at the time that the operation was ordered after months of investigation, during which the secret police established credibly that the affected judges were involved in questionable financial dealings.

The crackdown on the senior members of the judiciary had generated heated debates across the country, with government critics accusing the executive arm of overstepping its powers.

But Mr. Obasanjo, who was president between 1999 and 2007, said the judiciary left the executive with no choice in the incident.

“While one would not feel unconcerned for the method used, one should also ask if there was an alternative,” the former president said.

“The National Judicial Council, NJC, would not do anything as it was all in-breeding. As now contained in our Constitution, the President of Nigeria cannot influence or make any appointment to the Judiciary at the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court level.

“He can only transmit the decision of the NJC to the Senate even where Senate confirmation is required.
The Constitution which was heavily influenced by the Judiciary ensured that. And yet a drastic disease requires a drastic treatment. When justice is only for sale and can only be purchased by the highest bidder, impunity and anarchy would be the order of the day and no one would be safe.”

Last Monday, Sylvester Ngwuta, one of the judges whose homes was raided by the SSS, was arraigned before a federal court in Abuja.

Mr. Ngwuta, a Supreme Court judge, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of money laundering.

Mr. Obasanjo said a drastic action was needed to save the situation in the judiciary, adding that an alternative that would serve the same purpose would have been preferred if it was available.

“In the absence of that alternative, we must all thank God for giving the President the wisdom, courage and audacity for giving the security agencies the leeway to act,” he said.

“And where a mistake was made in the action taken, correction must take place with an apology, if necessary.”

The former president also lashed out at Nigerian lawyers, saying that there would be virtually no corrupt judge without being aided by a member of the bar.

“The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has the responsibility to clean up its own house and help with the cleaning of the Judiciary,” he said.

“It is heartening though that some members of the NBA have recently called for judicial reform. Such reform must be deep, comprehensive and entail constitutional amendments as appointment and disciplines of Judges are concerned.

“May God continue to imbue the Executive with the necessary wisdom and courage to clean the dirty stable of the Judiciary and the Bar for the progress and the image of our Nation.

“It must also be said that the good eggs within the Judiciary must be proud of themselves and we must not only be proud of them but also protect them and their integrity.”

Epe Ko, Won O Le La – By Pius Adesanmi

Genuine democracies are incompatible with building personal wealth. That is why the White House does not know what to do with about Donald Trump’s billions. It’s a unique situation.

The Americans have been treating Donald Trump’s billions like a curse, a headache. Where will he put his wealth? How will he avoid this and that conflict? How will he do this? How will he do that? It’s almost like his wealth is a liability for their democracy, their presidency.


They have evolved a democracy in which government is not an advisable destination if you seek wealth. That is why the White House has such a high turnover of staff. Once they enter, they discover that they are bound to their salaries by all kinds of rules and ethical imperatives. They cannot make money. They cannot build personal wealth.


They hold a rapid dialogue with their feet and go back to the corporate world to make big money – time spent in the White House then increases their earning power.


Ari Fleischer, Dave Axelrod, etc, etc. The list is long. They get to the White House and discover that the place is not compatible with serious money, they pick race.


About ten thousand kilometres away, in Abuja, it is the opposite. You go to the Villa to build great wealth. You invite pastors, marabouts, and babalawos to help secure your wealth while you build it from scratch in full public glare in the Villa. You send witches to weaken the balls of your competitors so that their wives and concubines will become dildo-dependent. If their wives are grumbling about having to use dildos, how will they enjoy the peace of mind to disturb your wealth?


And if you enter the Villa a pauper and do not exit a billionaire, we advise your family and your kinsmen to go and wash your head. Some will say that you did not carry the head of wealth into the world and that is why you could have gone to the Villa and exited the way you entered. Some will say that the possibility of anybody in your lineage and family ever “making it” again is a function of “boya”. (Boya ni molebi ati irandiran won le la mo).


Then they will conclude: Epe ko, won o le la mo. No be curse, dem family no fit make am.


Obasanjo entered the Villa in 1999 with about N5000 in his account and exited eight years later as one of Africa’s most formidable billionaires. Had he exited without stealing everything in sight and building great wealth – part of which included looting our electricity funds to ensure that we have remained in darkness till today; had he exited without becoming a billionaire, his hometown, his ethnic nationality, would have become the subject of national snide remarks and stereotypes.


These Owu people sef. See as their son comot for Villa naked.

Na so we see am o. I hear say dem wicked well well for Ogun state o. How can their son have been president for eight years and left without money?


From Ibadan to Ilesha via Ogbomoso, you will hear that only Ogun State is like that o. They are different. Won ti buru ju. They “did their son” so that he could not make money.


This national psychology is partly responsible for why government house is a do-or-die destination for building personal wealth and fortune in Nigeria. This is why access to government house involves witches, guns, machetes, and dildos.


You need to work on your attitude. You need to stop expecting government house to be a factory for manufacturing overnight billionaires. This is the attitude which predisposes you to justifying and rationalising corruption.


And this is why you, ordinary Nigerian, are a valid alibi for the thief in government: if he comes out of government a pauper, you will blame him, you will say that he is cursed. He knows this. You shape and condition his psychology. He is already a thief. He already has corrupt genes. But you activate it because there is no way he can come out of government house to face your contempt and stereotyping.


Since Nigeria was created, you will say to him, people have been going to government to make money, why is your own different? Are you cursed? Who did you offend in your village? Then you will hiss, spit, and say shior to him for not having stolen from you. So he steals to prevent your contempt.


Genuine democracies are incompatible with building personal wealth. That is why the White House does not know what to do with about Donald Trump’s billions. It’s a unique situation.


Pius Adesanmi, a professor of English, is Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada.

BREAKING: Obasanjo strikes again, attacks Buhari, NASS, Military.

The honeymoon between President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo seems to have ended.

For the one and a half year that Mr. Buhari has been in power, Mr. Obasanjo remained one of his staunchest backers, visiting him repeatedly and publicly defending most of his actions.

But speaking in Lagos Wednesday, Mr. Obasanjo served signal that the era of being soft on the administration Mr. Buhari leads is over.

Delivering the keynote at the First Akintola Williams Annual Lecture, Mr. Obasanjo lashed at the Buhari administration for repeatedly lumping the country’s three previous administrations together and then accussing them of misgovernance.

He also advised Mr. Buhari to stop dwelling on the past, saying since he was elected to change the country, he should concentrate on clearing the mess he inherited.

“Now that we have had change because the actors and the situation needed to be changed, let us move forward to have progress through a comprehensive economic policy and programme that is intellectually, strategically and philosophically based,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

“It is easier to win an election than to right the wrongs of a badly fouled situation. When you are outside, what you see and know are nothing compared with the reality.

“And yet once you are on seat, you have to clear the mess and put the nation on the path of rectitude, development and progress leaving no group or section out of your plan, programme and policy and efforts. The longer it takes, the more intractable the problem may become.”

The former president also criticised plans by Mr. Buhari to take about $30billion loan to fix critical administration.

“I am sure that such a comprehensive policy and programme (that will move Nigeria forward) will not support borrowing US$30 billion in less than three years. It will give us the short-, medium- and long-term picture.

“Adhocry is not the answer but cold, hard headed planning that evinces confidence and trust is the answer. Economy neither obeys orders nor does it work according to wishes. It must be worked upon with all factors considered and most stakeholders involved.

“The investors, domestic and foreign, are no fools and they know what is going on with the management of the economy including the foreign exchange and they are not amused. The Central Bank must be restored to its independence and integrity. We must be careful and watchful of the danger of shortermism.

“Short-term may be the enemy of medium- and long-term. We must also make allowance for the lessons that most of us in democratic dispensation have learned and which the present administration seems to be just learning.”

The former president did not spare the National Assembly which he says stinks to high heavens and the Nigerian military, which he said needed to be purged.


Read full speech below.

Lecture by
His Excellency President Olusegun Obasanjo
At the First Akintola Williams Annual Lecture
Lagos, November 23, 2016


When my sister, ’Toyin Olakunri, phoned to alert me about this Lecture, the telephone connection was poor and I could hardly hear her but I got the name of Mr. Akintola Williams which has always struck reverence and awe in me.

Mr. Akintola Williams has seen active days and has been an active participant in Nigeria of the past, Nigeria of the present and by God’s grace, will be part of Nigeria’s future for some time to come.
’Toyin, who was a tremendous help to me when I was in government as she served as the Executive Chairperson of Education Trust Fund, knows that any request by her is taken as an order by me. But that request being made to honour a great man of Mr. Akintola Williams calibre cannot be refused. And what is more, the topic assigned, “Nigeria Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Governance and Accountability”, is so relevant to the time we are in that it is irresistibly attractive and befitting for an occasion like this where we celebrate an icon, Mr. Akintola Williams, who is a paragon of propriety, rectitude and integrity.

This afternoon, I will reflect with you on this topic which will take us on a time travel into a bit of Nigeria’s past, cruising to the present and with a quick peep into the future.

Looking around the hall, I can see among the audience by age, yesterday, today and future or put in the title of a hymn book, “ancient and modern”, with the future sprinkled within. I hope you will all go along with me on this enchanting journey. But before we embark on our journey, let us do first thing first.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here purposely to celebrate and honour an unusual specimen of human being, Mr. Akintola Williams, a nationally-renowned and globally-acclaimed accountant. He was the first African to qualify in that profession as a Chartered Accountant.

Apart from him being the first African to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, he founded the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa, at the time the accountancy business was dominated by foreign firms. As some clips from his enviable biography goes, Mr. Akintola Williams played a leading role in establishing the Association of Accountants in Nigeria in 1960 with the goal of training accountants. He was the first President of the Association. He was a founding member and first President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Let me commend ICAN for establishing Akintola Williams Foundation, in perpetuity, in honour of our celebrant. He deserves this and more.

He was also involved in establishing the Nigerian Stock Exchange as well as being Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON). He is still actively involved with these organisations even in his resplendent old age. He is a founding member of this prestigious Club hosting this meeting, the Metropolitan Club of Lagos. There is something unique about Mr. Akintola Williams for all his momentous achievements and contributions to nation-building and national development. He has never been in government and yet his contributions surpassed those of many others who passed through portal of government without much positive achievement or contribution to show for it.

I must confess that my interactions with Mr. Akintola Williams were tangential for a number of reasons. When those of us in the military in the province like Kaduna, where I was, came to Lagos in the mid-1960s, we were looking at the likes of Mr. Akintola Williams at a distance with great administration and in awe.

My longstanding friendship and close relationship with one of his junior associates, friends and brothers, who turned ninety earlier this year, provided me with the leeway or the alley through which I managed to tiptoe to the presence of our celebrant. Over the past fifty years, I have directly and indirectly enjoyed his advice and support. In his cucumber-cool, sober and unruffled disposition, he inspires you and warms you to himself. His reflections and piercing insights and insistence for truth and accountability cannot but inspire anyone close to him. I often admire his calm mien and disposition and when I asked a friend, “why is he always so calm, composed and methodical? He answered, “it is because he has strong internal antenna for control!”

Now back to our journey of reflection on the past, present and future of Nigeria, from good governance and accountability point of view. I will gravitate my reflections today on the important subject of accountability in governance. As I begin, it is helpful to say a few words on the terminologies that will ring throughout this address. These are good governance, accountability, transparency and trust. Like the web of a spider, the four concepts are interwoven and intertwined in their dependencies. I intend to touch briefly on democratic underpinning of governance, particularly good governance and I cannot conclude without a word on the economy.

There is no single and exhaustive definition of “governance” and “accountability” nor is there a delimitation of their scopes that command universal acceptance. But I take good governance to mean legitimate, accountable, and effective ways of obtaining and using public power and resources in the pursuit of widely accepted social goals. Good governance is essentially about the adherence to the laid-down processes for making and implementing decisions. Good governance is not about making ‘correct’ decisions, but about adherence to the best possible process for making those decisions. In effect, a good decision-making process, and therefore good governance, share several characteristics. All have a positive effect on various aspects of government including consultation policies and practices, meeting procedures, service quality protocols, role clarification and good working relationships.

The major hallmarks of good governance are:
– Transparency,
– Accountability,
– Adherence to the rule of law,
– Responsiveness to needs and demands of the citizenry.

Good governance, properly nuanced, is highly participatory and as a fall out of that, good governance is equitable and inclusive. That is why good governance is effective and efficient.

Accountability, which is one of the cornerstones of good governance, is the degree to which government has to explain or justify what it has done or failed to do. Accountability ensures that the actions and decisions taken by leaders, public officials or persons in authority are open to oversight so as to guarantee that government initiatives meet their outlined aims and objectives and respond to the needs of the society. Accountability and transparency are intertwined. They both promote openness, truth, morality, free flow of information and forthrightness in the running of governmental affairs particularly the budget and financial aspects of government affairs.

Let us take the issue of trust. Trust is a crucial element for the existence of good relationship between the governed and the authority. A society that lacks trust between the ruler and the governed is founded on false foundation. A government that is not trusted by its citizens will definitely not get the cooperation and confidence of the generality of the citizens; hence its ability and capability to achieve development will be curtailed. The product of an admixture of good governance, accountability, transparency and trust is development, all round development for all. This mixture ensures that resources are judiciously allocated and expended, that authority is properly exercised in conformity with the rule of law for the benefit of the society.

Let us now begin our time travel with the past. For the purpose of this address, I define the past as the period between 1914 and 1999. The narration of accountability in governance within this 85-year period will take hours but as I hinted in my opening statements, I will only provide brief highlights. I will begin with what I consider to be the most important tool for accountability in governance. This is the Constitution. All previous Constitutions gave a lot of prominence to accountability. For instance, the 1999 Constitution made provisions for separation of powers as a mechanism for checks and balances and as a plank to leverage accountability.

The British parliamentary system, sometimes called cabinet government, operates essentially through elected representatives of the people in parliament. The representatives in parliament exercise sovereign power on behalf of the people, with the actual conduct of the government being in the hands of the leading members of the majority party (Ministers) which form the government, thereby constituting the cabinet. To assist the executive (Ministers) in carrying out their responsibilities to the people through formulation of policies and implementing same, is a group of people called the civil servants whose tenure, unlike the politicians, is permanent and who man the administrative structure called the bureaucracy. Despite the assistance of the bureaucrats, the ministers are still individually and collectively held responsible to the parliament for the activities of the government.

This is the doctrine of ministerial responsibility and accountability, a fundamental part of British parliamentary system. The exclusion of the bureaucrats from this responsibility rests on the assumption that the ministers as heads of their respective ministries are totally in charge and must be abreast of everything happening there. Second, the bureaucrats who are expected to observe the ideals of anonymity, impartiality and political neutrality as enunciated by Max Weber in his conceptualization of the ideal bureaucracy, are not responsible for policy making but only for policy implementation under strict watch and directives of the ministers.

Put differently, the ministers are not expected to lose touch or political control of their ministries. As former prime minister, Harold Wilson puts it in1966, “civil servants, however eminent, remain the confidential advisers of ministers, who alone are answerable to parliament for policy; and we do not envisage any change in this fundamental feature of our parliamentary democracy” (Adamolekun 1986). However, the concepts of accountability and control measures were engineered when it was realized that public servants may need some restraints in their dealings with the public especially during the execution of their official duties.

Thus, the word ‘control’ as used in reference to administration signifies administrative control, measures aimed at restraining and checking the behaviour of civil servants with a view to preventing the abuse or misuse of bureaucratic power. Accountability, on the other hand, “focuses attention upon the sanctions or procedures by which public officials may be held to account for their actions” (Gould and Kolb, 1964). Thus, although, accountability as a concept is broader than administrative control since its scope includes both political and administrative officials, we are using it here as a synonym to administrative control.

The British, therefore, introduced certain systems of controlling the administration which became a legacy that the colonies inherited. The parliamentary control of the administration was effected through such political and devices as question time, letters by members of parliament to the ministers, and parliamentary committees. In addition to these, the British system also employed two other methods which were also inherited by the colonies.

These were internal and judicial controls. The internal control measures refer to certain internal arrangements peculiar to the bureaucracy and which was aimed at preventing the abuse of bureaucratic power by superior on the subordinate. The measures are, therefore, connected with the hierarchical structure of the bureaucracy, and they mediate the kind of relationship between superior and subordinates, career expectations and penalties for contravening rules and regulations governing the conduct of government work. Judicial control was put in place as a form of legal accountability which provided judicial remedies to any citizen who may be adversely affected by administrative actions or inactions contrary to law.

By independence in 1960, the existing colonial “West minster model” and the methods of parliamentary control not only remained unchanged, but there were also no doubts that the indigenous politicians also accepted them as the norm. After all, there were no other alternatives they could choose from, not after being exposed to these methods since the colonial days. Thus, it was a wonder to note that shortly after independence, the methods that had worked for generations in Britain and which had constituted the backbone of British democratic system, suddenly became ineffective in Nigeria, with the politicians who were ‘schooled’ in its use, deliberately thwarting its implementation and effectiveness.

All these could be seen as deliberate and not due to problems accompanying transplantation of models or ideas from one locale to another. For example, the tradition of question time in parliament which had been an effective instrument for turning the searchlight on the public service and for probing the conduct of administration in the inherited British model was the first to be stifled. The reasons for this are as numerous as they were personal to the politicians who were interested in ‘killing’ everything that would have hindered them from their primary preoccupation of self-perpetuation and enrichment.
Consequently, the absence of these parliamentary methods which would have called the civil service to order through the political ministers in charge of them paved the way for the abuse and misuse of bureaucratic power and subsequently corruption.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, tribalism, sectionalism, gombeenism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. Thus, the link between political and bureaucratic corruption was further concretized. Theoretically, many reasons could be adduced for the abandonment of the question time. The first was that the majority of the questions asked were mainly concerned with the distribution of amenities such as electricity, postal services, water and roads instead of how the service was doing in implementing decisions and their relationship with the citizens. Second was the short duration in which the parliament sat for business. This was because the politicians preferred to be busy looking for opportunities to feather their nests. There was, therefore, no adequate time for serious business to be discussed or searchlight turned on the conduct of the public service. Records have it that between 1960 1965, the Nigerian parliament sat for about 38 days per annum.

When compared with the British equivalent of about 160 days for the same period, there is no doubt that the Nigerian parliamentary members preferred other preoccupation to the one they pledged to and which they were voted for by the citizens. Third was the fact that the question time session took an air of inquisition, an opportunity which the opposition saw to ridicule and castigate the ruling party for inefficiency. Therefore, the majority of the ministers were unfavourably disposed to answering questions such that their continued absence at such sessions eventually led to its abandonment.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), another control method, was rendered ineffective also as a result of almost similar reasons. Between 1960 and 1965, the effective functioning of the PAC was hampered by the uncooperative attitude of the senior public servants, the limited knowledge of the members concerning their responsibilities, the high turnover rate of membership and more importantly the preponderance of pro government members on the committee including the chairman (Adamolekun, 1974).

The Nigerian judicial system operates at three levels, the Federal Courts, State Courts and Customary Courts. There is no public law system. Therefore, the courts have responsibilities for settling conflicts between private individuals and between private individuals and the state. The remedies used in settling disputes include the order of mandamus, prohibition, order of certiorari, habeas corpus, injunction, doctrine of ultra vires, natural justice and the rule of law. In Nigeria, this system of judicial control and remedies has persistently proved ineffective in curbing instances of bureaucratic and judicial corruption. A major factor for this was the long time it takes for justice to be done in our courts. It is not impossible for a case in court to drag on for years until the aggrieved party loses all interests in the case or he dies before the final verdict is given. Of more importance is the cost of litigation which in Nigeria, is now not mitigated by a system of legal aid.

The ineffectiveness of all administrative control measures in Nigeria, some have argued, is due to imperfect imitation and transplantation (Adamolekun, 1974). The confusion can be traced to the doorstep of the colonial government. For example, the introduction of a quasi parliamentary system of government in Nigeria in 1952 was not based on the established British model of a government and an opposition. Instead, a national government was formed in Lagos whose composition reflected a search for national consensus that was expected to emerge from the sharing of power by the three broad interests groups represented by the country’s three regions at that time.

However, at the regional level, the political arrangement was that of a government and an opposition. By independence, the national consensus arrangement was jettisoned for the government and an opposition arrangement and without question, this feature proved inappropriate for the Nigerian milieu. This was because at independence, two of the prominent political parties – the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) and the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) – formed a coalition national government with the third major party, the Action Group (AG) acting as the opposition party. However, this may not be a sufficient justification as the politicians had enough time to learn and master their workings under the British colonial government.

Rather, it should be seen as more of a deliberate action on the part of the culprits. The politicians’ deliberate move to stifle all possible control measures that may hinder them from realizing their purpose of using their position for self-enrichment also enabled the administration to do likewise. As a matter of fact, the preoccupation of the political class to consolidate their hold on their positions while enriching themselves left the bureaucracy without political direction and monitoring, hence the bureaucrats were able to become a power onto themselves.

Thus, the collapse of every form of political control of the bureaucracy enabled the bureaucrats to hijack power and in most cases acted as a decision-making organ, thereby resulting in the bureaucracy’s unholy romance with politics. This was particularly the case on the incursion of the military into the politics of Nigeria. Bureaucratic power now provides veritable opportunities for self-aggrandizement of the civil servants and this realization had necessitated that the system should frustrate every control measure that may hinder this possibility. The bureaucracy has become a festering ground for corruption and the age long Weberian norms governing administration are no longer respected. Ministers started collecting 10 per cent of the contract sum as money for administration of their political parties. One ugly example of this was a Minister of Communications inviting all contractors wanting to do business in his Ministry and saying to them “To get contracts in this Ministry, there will be 10% for the party and 10% for me and all of these must come through me.” The eras of First and Second Republics witnessed unprecedented level of venality by high-ranking politicians. Corrupt practices were also manifested in the manipulation of the electoral process, politicization of the judiciary and resort to false accusation charges to intimidate political opponents of the government.

Who will guard the guardians? Deriving from the discussion so far, therefore, it becomes very clear that the British colonial elite who supervised the political development of Nigeria did bequeath to the post independent Nigeria certain political cum administrative legacies which the metropolitan dominant elite held sacrosanct and which they had become committed to. These legacies provided the post-independent leaders and politicians the opportunity and a framework within which to operate. As we have been at pains to show, these legacies did not survive the immediate period after independence. The reality was that the interest of the political and bureaucratic elite changed drastically after independence. This change of interest could also be interpreted to imply a change in support of liberal democracy, its institutions and the process of government.

The increasing level of intolerance that has characterized political rule in Nigeria since 1960 and the entry of the military into the political arena are pointers to the abandonment of the values of liberal democratic values and institutions. It is our candid opinion that the abandonment of all values of liberal democracy by the political elite was deliberate and was a prelude to the removal of all administrative checks on excesses. This leads to only one conclusion, that the political elite accepted the liberal form of democracy under British colonial rule mainly because of the constraining effects it had on the colonial administrators. On the other hand, they rejected its continuation after independence precisely because they did not want such constraints on their own rule.

Democracy in the western style, wherever it is being practised, has certain desirous effects. More than any other form of government, liberal democracy of the western type increases the probability that government will follow or be guided by the general interest. This is because, how governments act is affected by the constitutional systems through which they emerge and democracies will ensure that governments pursue policies in the general interest or for the common good (Lively 1975).

In both parliamentary and presidential systems of government, the locus of competition rests with the political parties and normally victory is ensured if a political party can produce good policies that will satisfy the majority of the citizens. This notwithstanding, the dictates of good governance requires that government should submit itself to periodic assessment and renewal of mandate. Within the framework of alternative choices, this implies that the government in power and which wishes to retain power must be responsive to the wish of the governed. Second, the liberal democratic form of government also imposes some restraint on the state. The state’s right is limited by the constitutional provision that it must respect the rights of individuals and groups in the society.

Thus, in this regard, the “temptation of the political leadership to wield absolute power is restricted by the competitive nature of democracy” (Perry, 1969). Thus, by definition, liberal democratic government is a limited government as arbitrary use of power is curtailed. This probably provides us with one of the reasons that endeared liberal democracy to the generality and that it protects them from arbitrary state interference. Third is that competitive democratic system compels attention not just to the form of government but also to the substance of politics in as much as political parties compete on the basis of what they have to offer to the electorate. A fourth one is that democracy provides the citizenry with more opportunities to get involved in political decisions. The literature on mass society and political participation suggests that citizens’ participation in decision can be either as individuals or members of groups. It is only in this sense that representative democracy encourages “a belief by the masses that they exercise an ultimate self determination within the existing social order…a credence in the democratic equality of all citizens in the government of the nation” (Anderson, 1977).

Finally, the primary concern of democracy with the formal political equality of all citizens, majority of whom are economically disadvantaged, provides for the economically advantaged and powerful groups to dominate and often times hijack the system thereby undermining the notion of political equality. Perhaps more than any other reason, this particular advantage made democracy quite attractive to most elite. As Nairn (1977) has rightly observed, the representative mechanism converted real class inequality into the abstract egalitarianism of citizens, individual egoisms into an impersonal collective will, what would otherwise be chaos into a new state legitimacy.

It is right to conclude, therefore, that the Nigerian elite were very interested in restraining the power of the state when they were not part of the state government, but very reluctant to have their power restrained once they became part of the government. Deriving from our analysis, it becomes easy to note that all subversion of democracy, its tenets and institutions have taken the form of elite reluctance to conduct itself within the prescribed rules of the democratic game. These rules are intended to restrain and compel the elite to subject their performance to the judgment of the masses.
This becomes possible in liberal democracies and perhaps impossible in our own democracy because as Mayer et al. (1996) have postulated, democracy seems to require a cultural context within which to operate, a cultural context in which the democratic format has acquired a deep seated legitimacy that exceeds one’s commitment to any given set of political outcomes. Within this cultural context, politics is generally thought of as conflicts of interests rather than conflicts between right and wrong or good and evil.
Politics based on considerations of class and the distribution of material well being leads to greater tolerance of opposition and the propensity to compromise with one’s opponent than does the politics of symbols emanating from such divisions as linguistic, religious, ethnic or cultural cleavages. This seems paradoxical because experience has shown that it is primarily because of these same considerations of class and the distribution of material well being, who gets what and how, that have generated a culture of intolerance thereby causing the political elite to subvert all democratic tenets which the same elite in western liberal democracies hold sacrosanct.

Deriving from this point, it should be realized that accountability is essential for the efficient functioning of the bureaucracy especially as it is the primary and major implementation arm of government. Accountability acts as a quality control device for the public service and so the public as citizens and consumers in the public realm can expect to receive the best service. Accountability also underscores the superiority of the public will over private interests of those expected to serve and ensures that the public servants behave according to the ethics of their profession. The public expects nothing more or less and it is in this regard that the argument has been made that where professional ethics and accountability have been eroded or abandoned, the servants become the master and corruption thrives. On the other hand, the concept of accountability cannot be excised from democracy and the enjoyment of the democratic life by the public. This is basically because democracy implies the supremacy of the public will and the citizens in the governing process. The idea and notion that appointed and elective officials of government be accountable is at the very core and root of democracy. This is very important in the face of the tendency by these officials to abuse and misuse their positions for personal gains and accumulation of wealth (Ekpo, 1979; Reno,1995). As Olowu (2002) has further pointed out, accountability is very necessary now especially in the face of a sharp decline in resources available to most African states and aggravated by the rising expectations of the citizens which has further imposed tremendous pressure on governments to ensure that they give the citizens minimum possible value for their money. Finally, it is pertinent to reiterate that the peculiar character of the Nigerian democracy has made it possible to defy all attempts at instituting control and accountability measures mainly because the dominant groups’ support for democracy, even where it ever existed, was purely instrumental rational in that it continues for as long as the institutions enable them to protect and promote their material or sectional interests.

Their support for democracy and its institutions, especially the control and accountability measures, ceases when the exercise of these measures begin to threaten the basis of their economic and political power and dominance. This may explain partly the reason for the various cover up acts and secret cult like attitude of the elected representatives of the people at the national and state levels when it comes to their various acts of corruption, demands and sharing of illegal money. This may also explain in part the present attitude of the Executive who has discovered that the only way to tackle the problem of corruption at this level is to personally intervene and expose them since the various control and accountability measures instituted in the Constitution have been rendered inoperative or impotent by the same people who are expected to make them work. This was what partly informed the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to combat acts of corruption by both public and elected officials of the state by my Administration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The 1999 Constitution that we are operating today, though partially amended, provides for the establishment of some institutions to set the ground rules and promote accountability. These include the Offices of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Auditor-General of the Federation. We also have the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, the Public Complaints Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Bureau for Public Procurement, the Office of the Ombudsman and several others. With all of these being put in place to ensure checks and balances within the system, little could be achieved. What is starkly and shamefully lacking is compliance.

Let me comment on recent issues concerning corruption and accountability. Three weeks before the first three judges were arrested for corruption, I was talking to a fairly senior retired public officer who put things this way, “The Judiciary is gone, the National Assembly is gone, the military is sunk and the civil service was gone before them; God save Nigeria”. I said a loud Amen. Three weeks later, the process of saving the Judiciary began. And if what I have gathered is anything to go by, there may be not less than two score of judicial officers that may have questions to answer. That will be salutary for the Judiciary and for the Nation.

While one would not feel unconcerned for the method used, one should also ask if there was an alternative. The National Judicial Council, NJC, would not do anything as it was all in-breeding. As now contained in our Constitution, the President of Nigeria cannot influence or make any appointment to the Judiciary at the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court level. He can only transmit the decision of the NJC to the Senate even where Senate confirmation is required. The Constitution which was heavily influenced by the Judiciary ensured that. And yet a drastic disease requires a drastic treatment. When justice is only for sale and can only be purchased by the highest bidder, impunity and anarchy would be the order of the day and no one would be safe.

A drastic action was needed to save the situation, albeit one would have preferred an alternative that would serve the same purpose, if there was one. In the absence of that alternative, we must all thank God for giving the President the wisdom, courage and audacity for giving the security agencies the leeway to act. And where a mistake was made in the action taken, correction must take place with an apology, if necessary. There is virtually no corrupt Judge without being aided by a member of the bar. The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has the responsibility to clean up its own house and help with the cleaning of the Judiciary. It is heartening though that some members of the NBA have recently called for judicial reform. Such reform must be deep, comprehensive and entail constitutional amendments as appointment and disciplines of Judges are concerned. May God continue to imbue the Executive with the necessary wisdom and courage to clean the dirty stable of the Judiciary and the Bar for the progress and the image of our Nation. It must also be said that the good eggs within the Judiciary must be proud of themselves and we must not only be proud of them but also protect them and their integrity.

If the Judiciary is being cleaned, what of the National Assembly which stinks much worse than the Judiciary? Budget padding must not go unpunished. It is a reality, which is a regular and systemic practice. Nobody should pull wool over the eyes of Nigerians.

Ganging up to intimidate and threaten the life of whistle blower is deplorable and undemocratic. What of the so-called constituency projects which is a veritable source of corruption? These constituency projects are spread over the budget for members of the National Assembly for which they are the initiators and the contractors directly or by proxy and money would be fully drawn with the project only partially executed or not executed at all. The National Assembly cabal of today is worse than any cabal that anybody may find anywhere in our national governance system at any time. Members of the National Assembly pay themselves allowances for staff and offices they do not have or maintain. Once you are a member, you are co-opted and your mouth is stuffed with rottenness and corruption that you cannot opt out as you go home with not less than N15 million a month for a Senator and N10 million a month for a member of the House of Representatives. The National Assembly is a den of corruption by a gang of unarmed robbers.

Like the Judiciary, the National Assembly cannot clean itself. Look at how re-current budget of the National Assembly with the so-called constituency projects has ballooned since the inception of this democratic dispensation. What were their budgets in the 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015? The revelation was both alarming and scandalous. Once, when I was President, I asked outside auditors, both normal and forensic, to audit the account of the National Assembly, they frustrated it on the basis of separation of power. They claimed they had oversight responsibility for their corruption and misdemeanour and nothing can be done. It is like asking a thief to watch over himself. There must be full disclosure of all relevant fiscal information in a timely and systematic manner at all levels.

Budget transparency is a precondition for public participation in budget processes. The combination of budget transparency and public participation in budget processes has the potential to combat corruption, foster public accountability of government agencies and contribute to judicious use of public funds. The National Assembly budget process is not only carried out in opaque and corruptive manner but also in grossly unconstitutional manner. Hence, our lawmakers are lawbreakers. They are the accused, the prosecutor, the defenders and the judge in their own case. Most of them conduct themselves and believe that they are not answerable to anybody. They are blatant in their misbehaviour, cavalier in their misconduct and arrogant in the misuse of parliamentary immunity as a shield against reprisals for their irresponsible acts of malfeasance and/or outright banditry.

We should not continue to live with the impunity and corruption of the National Assembly. Yes, I believe that something can and should be done. The President should ride on the crest of the popularity of what is happening in the Judiciary to set up a highly technical team of incorruptible investigators to look into the so-called constituency projects of the past and the present and bring culprits to book. The President has overall responsibility and accountability for any fund appropriated under his watch. There would be many of such projects and the National Assembly would try to frustrate such necessary investigation. But the project sites are known and magnitude of funds voted for them are known. The investigation will reveal the true situation.

Nigerians will be shocked with what such enquiries would unearth. Measures to be taken should include stopping spurious constituency projects with immediate effect. And if our lawmakers-turned-lawbreakers manage to smuggle any so-called constituency projects into the budget, money should not be released for such scandalous projects. They would, as they tried with me, threaten impeachment. But a clean Judiciary and a cheated Nation should stand with the President. There should be no going back.

By our Constitution, the Revenue Mobilisation, Fiscal and Allocation Commission should be responsible for fixing the remunerations of the Executive and the Legislative arms of the government. Any salary, allowance or perquisite not recommended by the Commission should not be budgeted for; but crooks and crocked that most of the members of the National Assembly are, they will try to find other ways which must be blocked. In the past, they even instructed the Clerk of the National Assembly not to reveal to the Executive details of their remuneration. May God give the President the wisdom, courage and audacity to be able to do with the National Assembly what is being done with the Judiciary. Mr. President must be assured that he will earn the accolade and support of most Nigerians and indeed most friends of Nigeria within and outside Nigeria.

Another means by which the National Assembly embarks on corruption spree is their so-called oversight responsibility. They instigate and collude with Ministries, Departments, Parastatals and Agencies to add to their budget outside what was submitted by the President with the purpose of sharing the addition or they threaten such units to reduce what was submitted by the President unless there is a promise of kickback. They can also set up a spurious committee to investigate a project while they call on the contractor to pay them or the executive officer in charge of the project to cough up money, otherwise they would write a bad report.

The National Assembly stinks and stinks to high heavens. It needs to be purged. With appropriate measures, the budget of the National Assembly can be brought down to less than 50% of what it is today. God will help Nigeria, but we must begin by helping ourselves.

How I wish that the military has not descended into what it has descended to in the last seven or eight years! It is sickening! When the military is corrupt, it affects its fighting ability in many ways. Poor, used and inappropriate equipment and materials are purchased by the military for the military at the expense of the lives of fighting troops in the warfront. In some cases, nothing at all is purchased. How callous, for a General, an Air Marshall or a Naval Admiral to be so cruel and unpatriotic as to buy such inappropriate weapons, equipment, ammunition and materials for men facing the rigour and ruthlessness of an enemy force like the Boko Haram!

It is more damnable for nothing to be bought and yet the money disappeared into their private personal pockets. I can only say to these officers that I am not proud of them, rather I am ashamed of them. Whether they are alive or dead, their family members should also be ashamed of them. And what is more, the blood of those men who died because of their nefarious and sordid acts and actions would be on their hands. I know what it could be to be poorly equipped or starved of essential weapons, ammunition, equipment and materials to fight a war. Surely, God will deal with such offenders and capital sinners, but, in addition, those who have responsibility for dealing with them here on this side of the veil should not fight shy otherwise they become accomplices.

Finally on the military, the procurement system has to be streamlined and taken back to what it used to be. The military is not a buyer of its own weapons, equipment, ammunition and materials. It is only a recommender and a tester of the weapons and equipment that could perform the role and function assigned to it. The procurement is normally by a Committee which includes defence, finance, legislature, foreign affairs and the military only as observer or adviser to ensure quality and standard. With ridiculous statements and claims that insult the intelligence of Nigerians by immediate past leaders in government and their collaborators and accomplices either outside government or still within the corridor of power, all reports must be made public for Nigerians to know the truth and be able to make up their minds about the past and the future. With some shocking revelations and magnitude of stolen money so far reported, it will be absurd and insensitive to extreme for anybody in charge to claim innocence or show no remorse, especially when the Central Bank was prepared and staffed to bankroll the Presidential campaign of 2015. Such action and reaction is height of insults to this Nation and its citizens. That cannot be the right way to go.

It is heart-warming and certainly encouraging that the President has taken the bull by the horn by taking the first right step. He has ordered thorough investigation. But the next step is the immediate and appropriate actions on the reports no matter who is involved, and this requires greater wisdom, courage and cold decision. May God grant the President all the attributes he will need to clean the augean stable of the military. If not done as it should, it will undermine the fight against corruption and the President will not escape the charge of weakness or leniency towards his former constituency, the military.

Apart from the recovery which is most important, selective and symbolic prosecution should be made to serve as permanent deterrence. Otherwise, it will be a game of denial or litigations in future by shameless culprits. As the old saying goes, “Charity begins at home”. The President’s action against offenders in the military should strengthen his hands against offenders in other constituencies, i.e. judicial, political, executive, police, para-military, educational institutions, diplomatic, civil service and parastatals.

The anti-corruption war in the past has landed some Governors in jail while some still have their cases pending in courts. Justice delayed is justice denied. To my surprise, I found out that most State Governments prefer not to always take advantage of funds made available as counterpart fund by Federal Government or what they have access to on the basis of rendering previous accounts. The simple reason is that they do not want to account to the Federal Government for such funds because it will open them up to outside party scrutiny because they don’t want to be transparent and be held accountable. This situation has led to money being available but not being utilised by States in such areas as basic education, UBEC, where the Federal Government provides counterpart funding. UBEC is one example, there are others. Incumbent Governors should be reminded that there will be accountability and judgement after the government house. EFCC and ICPC must buckle up.

If corruption is continued to be fought courageously and relentlessly, there will be substantial recovery from within and from without coupled with plugging the holes of wastes in Ministries, Departments, Educational Institutions and parastatals and we will need less borrowing if we would need borrowing at all, to get us out of recession than we might have thought. Of course, we must be ready to bite the bullet of spending less on luxuries and the unneeded and what we can do without and earning more on production, services and trading. I believe that going for a huge loan under any guise is inadvisable and it will amount to going the line of soft option, which will come to haunt us in future.

We immediately need loans to stabilise our foreign reserve and embark on some infrastructure development but surely not $30 billion over a period of less than three years. That was about the magnitude of cumulative debt of Nigeria which we worked and wiped out ten years ago. Before that debt relief, we were spending almost $3 billion to service our debt annually and the quantum of the debt was not going down. Rather, if we defaulted, we paid penalty which was added on.

The projects listed for borrowing are all necessary in the medium- and long-run for our economy but we have to prioritise. Railway is a necessary service but it is not profit-making anywhere in the world today. We need steady and continuous but manageable funding on the railway project. Mambilla hydro is the same; necessary but it cannot pay itself, especially with the global energy sector of shale revolution, hydrogen fuel and increasingly cheap renewable energy such as solar. OPEC itself has projected that the price of oil will be hovering in the region of $50 per barrel for the next fifteen years or so.

The argument of concessional mixed with commercial does not hold water. When the concessional and the non-concessional borrowings are put together, interests alone will be in the region of 3% to 4%. The bunching of debt service will be a problem to confront other administrations in future. Soft option alone is not the answer, a mixture of soft and hard options is the way to go. Telling us that those projects will pay themselves cannot be the whole truth. We were told there was rainy day when we lavished our reserve and excess crude on frivolities. When we now have the rains beating us, there is no umbrella over our heads.

Again, now we are being told the projects will pay themselves when we know damn well they will not. If we borrow some thirty billion dollars in less than three years, we would have mortgaged the future of Nigeria for well over thirty years to come. There may also be the problem of absorptive capacity which will surely lead to waste. A careful scrutiny of the projects with priotisation and avoidance of waste and taking into account avoiding bunching of debt service in future especially when no one can accurately forecast the global and national economy, will indicate less than thirty per cent of the foreign loan being requested as prudent.

We must not be unmindful of internal borrowing either. It impacts somewhat differently on the economy but it must not be allowed to crowd out the ability of the private sector to borrow to grow the real economy which is to lead us out of the recession.

We must be hard and harsh on those who stay outside, whether they are Nigerians or expatriates, and piece inside our economic house through smuggling, dumping and cheating on duty payment and lying on custom classification. We must make our neighbours realise that encouragement of acts to undermine our economy by allowing their countries to be used a smuggling route and dumping grounds for entries of unwanted commodities into Nigeria will be treated as an act of hostility. We must be ready to close our borders with such neighbours to protect our economy. We must also empower customs to close the shops and factories of cheaters and immigration to deport hostile expatriates within our midst. The act of underpinning and destroying our economy should be regarded as an act of hostility and treated as such.
If we do not fix the economy to relieve the pain and anguish of many Nigerians, the gain in fighting insurgency and corruption will pale into insignificance.

No administration can nor should be comfortable with excruciating pain of debilitating and crushing economy. Businesses are closing, jobs are being lost and people are suffering. I know that President Buhari has always expressed concern for the plight of the common people but that concern must be translated to workable and result-oriented socio-economic policy and programme that will turn the economy round at the shortest time possible. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect things to change. That will be a miracle which normally doesn’t happen in normal national economies. We have people inside and outside who can be brought together to help device the right economic policy and programme to get us out of the pit before we fall over the precipice into a dark cave. Economy requires a great element of trust to get it out of the doldrums let alone out of negativity. That trust and confidence has to be created.

Coming back to the issue of corruption, there is always need for institution reform to go along with recovery to make gains from fight against corruption last. Such reforms may have to be strengthened by legislation like the military procurement I mentioned earlier. But where the guard is the thief like we have seen in recent times, it makes things difficult, if not impossible.

All in all, everybody must be held accountable. There should be no sacred cow or witch-hunting or untenable excuses to let the camel through the needle eye. Those who must be made accountable must be made accountable with stick and carrot. However, I remain optimistic even though the grounds for optimism keep shrinking. Or, how do you explain having to go into any debate at all whether or not a judge found corrupt should be properly and lawfully dealt with or not? Worse still, how do you explain the situation where people are shamelessly protesting in favour of a person being arraigned in court for corruption offences? Whether those protesters are put to it or they put themselves to it, it is the greatest disservice to the Nation. It is shamefully disgraceful for both the culprit and the protesters. And it is an indication of how much our values have been debased. We cannot be a strong, great and respected nation in the world without political stability and cohesion, strong economy, robust and enduring values.

The Media should be more discerning, sensitive and responsible in reporting and commenting on corruption issues. We should realise that the entrenched interests, internally and externally, in corruption, will not go away. We need to discover and find permanent solution, otherwise some will bend, others will lie low while some others will be dormant; but all of them will spring up later and move on with vengeance as if nothing had happened. That has been our experience in the past. We must put an end to that. Part of sustenance of fight against corruption will be moral rearmament and resurgence of core values of integrity, honesty, fairness, justice, hard work and sense of shame, not impunity and indignity.

We must think and act out of the box to put the monster of corruption and impunity behind us permanently. For some unclear reasons, the government at the centre has not been able (I hope not lack of willingness) to present to the Nation the true position of our economy and our finances. For instance, how much did we receive from major revenue earning and collecting points – petroleum and gas, FIRS, maritime, aviation, VAT, etc. And how much should we have received. If there was any discrepancy, why, how and how much? How was the receipt distributed and how was the Federal allocation spent? Such a clear picture will let Nigerians and their friends know where we are.

It will help people to understand exactly the position of government with true economic and financial situation, and what more pains and sacrifices we have to take and make to get us out of recession. Nigerians must know the truth to work our way out of recession. Easy options will not get us there. Blanket cover or cover-up is no accountability. I was shocked to know that the ECOWAS’ money collected out of 0.5 per cent import surcharge for ECOWAS was spent by Nigeria in the last five years or so. How was that for responsibility and accountability and particularly leadership within ECOWAS?

The blanket adverse comments or castigation of all democratic administrations from 1999 by the present administration is uncharitable, fussy and uninstructive. Politics apart, I strongly believe that there is a distinction between the three previous administrations that it would be unfair to lump them all together. I understand President Buhari’s frustration on the state of the economy inherited by him. It was the same reason and situation that brought about cry for change, otherwise there would be no need for change if it was all nice and rosy.

Now that we have had change because the actors and the situation needed to be changed, let us move forward to have progress through a comprehensive economic policy and programme that is intellectually, strategically and philosophically based. I am sure that such a comprehensive policy and programme will not support borrowing US$30 billion in less than three years. It will give us the short-, medium- and long-term picture.

Adhocry is not the answer but cold, hard headed planning that evinces confidence and trust is the answer. Economy neither obeys orders nor does it work according to wishes. It must be worked upon with all factors considered and most stakeholders involved. The investors, domestic and foreign, are no fools and they know what is going on with the management of the economy including the foreign exchange and they are not amused. The Central Bank must be restored to its independence and integrity. We must be careful and watchful of the danger of shortermism. Short-term may be the enemy of medium- and long-term. We must also make allowance for the lessons that most of us in democratic dispensation have learned and which the present administration seems to be just learning. It is easier to win an election than to right the wrongs of a badly fouled situation. When you are outside, what you see and know are nothing compared with the reality.

And yet once you are on seat, you have to clear the mess and put the nation on the path of rectitude, development and progress leaving no group or section out of your plan, programme and policy and efforts. The longer it takes, the more intractable the problem may become.

There is one aspect of accountability in governance in Nigeria that I consider paramount and which is often overlooked. That is accountability for our unity, cohesion, peace and security. All other issues can be fairly well attended to, addressed and dealt with if our unity, cohesion, peace and security are unassailable. It is normally the responsibility of government to mobilise the citizenry for all hands on deck to ensure good governance and accountability. All men and women of goodwill in Nigeria must be part of the exercise.

The fundamentals to achieving such a situation are justice, fairness, equity, popular participation and equal opportunity. In the last seven to eight years, we have slipped back on these fundamentals. The result is that our country is today more factionised than we were ten years ago. For the purpose of nation-building, it is not a satisfactory situation to be in especially when we need all hands on deck to work and walk our way out of recession. For those at the helm of governance, accountability, for unity, cohesion, peace and security as basis for development, growth and progress is not any less important than accountability for management of resources. It must be seen as the symbol of any political administration and what the welfare and well-being of the people hang on. Accountability in governance is the litmus test of any administration. It is the accountability of institutions which is the hallmark of democracy that promotes both political and economic good governance. Open government must be seen and made to work as partnership in which all have a stake and an interest.

Consistent with the law and policy, government must take appropriate action to disclose information rapidly and timely in form that members of the public can easily access and utilise. With the latest in digital technology, information about government operations and decisions should be readily available online. The public should be solicited for feedback to identify information of greatest and most vital use to the public. When I was President of Nigeria, I adopted regular public discussion on radio and television with questions and answers as one means of achieving this objective. The value of openness in government engagement with citizen to improve services, manage public resources, promote innovation and create safer and more secure communities must be upheld.

There must be ‘disciplined nationalism’ to manage resources, internal or foreign, for maximisation of growth and for the benefit of all. A torrent of money in the hands of weak, corrupt and incompetent government is a disastrous waste for a nation. Nigeria has experienced that in the not-too-distant past.
Apart from the reforms necessary in all arms of government, for the immediate and the future, we must embark on very close x-ray of all people seeking elective offices at any level and all political, judicial and legislative appointees.

The x-raying must be open and transparent and the burden of proof must be that of the person seeking elective office and/or any of the public appointments mentioned.

In the past, we have not done enough background checks and enquiries about the past of people seeking elective offices or being appointed to public offices. The same is the case of people being awarded national honours and awards to the extent that national honour and award have been cheapened and debased. I know an officer who was removed from the Army for embezzling N300,000 of troops’ salary and was given national honour under the last administration.

I dare say also that a situation where a person supposed to be screened by the National Assembly for public appointment is told to give a bow without any screening because he or she had been a member of that Assembly amounts to dereliction of duty on the part of the national body. If people know that their total past will be x-rayed and the burden of proof will be theirs, they will be guarded, careful and more circumspect. Public office is public trust of integrity, honesty, incorruptibility and total good conduct and good behaviour. Therefore, anybody with a question mark should be considered ineligible for elective office or for appointment into public office.

Before I conclude, let me commend all the foot soldiers in the war against corruption – the different panels of enquiries, the ICPC but particularly the EFCC which is now showing that it is a bull dog that can bite. It has, of course, continued to get rid of bad eggs within its rank. We must appeal to the Judiciary not to frustrate the efforts of these soldiers through flimsy technicality and interminable adjournments. Corruption is corruption and it cannot be explained as the proceeds of sale of rice and gari by a judge nor can millions of dollars be explained as medical fee or gifts without identified sources by a public officer or spouse of such a public officer.

The foot soldiers in anti-corruption war must be encouraged to soldier on through commendation and appreciation of their efforts. In the final analysis, we must ensure that by law, review of our Constitution, convention, advocacy and awareness-raising, we stamp out brazenness, impunity and utter irresponsibility in governance and ensure accountability in any arm, ministry, department, parastatal or unit of government.

Let me conclude on a note of optimism with caution. Nigeria has shown great resilience and capacity to bounce back from the edge of the precipice in the past and our people, boldly and courageously, went out to seek greener pasture with remarkable success. Events in the world are showing that the opportunities are diminishing. If we do not get it right in good governance and accountability, the fuze of anger of the citizenry particularly the youth may be getting shorter.

Correction must be made while there is still time. If that correction is timely made, Nigeria has the quantity and quality of resources particularly human resources to make it a great nation to be counted among the comity of nations within two generations as the undisputed leader of Africa and the black race in all ramifications.
May God continue to give us what we need in governance at every level and accountability for now and in future.

Thank you for listening.

Atiku: Obasanjo wanted to be president for life but I stood in his way.

Former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar has insisted that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to pave the way for a lifetime presidency and not just a third term in office.

Atiku said this in an interview with a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Zero Tolerance.

The former vice-president said, initially, it was assumed that the plan was to modify the constitution so that Obasanjo could serve a third, four-year term as President.

He, however, said the aspect of tenure limitation was carefully removed so that Obasanjo could be President for life.

When asked why he and Obasanjo were at loggerheads towards the end of their tenure, he said, “My offence was that I disagreed with him on the amendment of the constitution to remove tenure/term limits or what was popularly called the ‘third term agenda’.

“In fact, he sent the then Attorney-General and Prof. Jerry Gana to my office to bring the draft amendments to the constitution. After going through (them), I found out that tenure limits had been removed. In other words, he could be President for life.

“I then asked them that ‘if I send you to the President, can you deliver this message?’ They said yes. I said ‘go and tell him I will not support it and (I) will fight it’.”

Atiku said due to his disagreement with Obasanjo, the ex-president decided to tag him as a corrupt person.

The former vice-president said the then Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, accused him of corruption but later came to him to apologise.

He said, “When he came to ask me for forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you, Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now (have) realised that I am not corrupt.

“Then he said ‘sir, you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly without them going to TV stations to apologise to you’ and I said, ‘your case is different because first of all, I helped to found the EFCC’.

“I was instrumental to your appointment, so, I believe I have contributed to your development and this is how you are paying me back. In any case, he kept on apologising and I said, ‘okay, no problem. That closed the chapter’.”

Atiku denied media reports that a United States Senate report accused him of laundering $40m in the US between 2000 and 2008.

The former vice-president confirmed that he did transfer money to the US but it was not illegal.

He added, “It was an allegation which was not proved. It was my legitimate money which I transferred to the US; there was nothing (wrong) about it. More so, I was not indicted in that report. They only said suspicious funds but I proved before the Senate committee that they were not suspicious.”

Atiku explained that the accusations emanated from his dealings with a Louisiana congressman, William Jefferson.

He explained that Jefferson had approached him for a communications project but he referred the American to the minister of communications.

Atiku said the US lawmaker collected $100,000 from a woman under the pretext of using it to bribe him (Atiku).

The ex-vice-president said he, however, rejected the money which he described as too little for a man of his status.

He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation subsequently searched his wife’s US home but nothing incriminating was found.

Atiku said, “Apparently, I didn’t know he (Jefferson) had duped a lady and collected marked money from her in my name. Unknown to him, the FBI were on his trail. But, of course, there was no way he could give me money because what was $100,000 to me?

“Eventually, my wife’s residence was searched and nothing was found but when his residence was searched, of course, the money was found there and he was convicted. I was not even called as a witness.”

I Did Not Tear My PDP Membership Card- Obasanjo

News  emerged  on the alleged tearing of the Peoples’ Democratic Party membership card by  former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Sources who spoke recently to the aide of the former President of Nigeria in Abuja, Nigeria said  Chief Olusegun Obasanjo did not openly tear his PDP membership card as widely reported by the Nigerian press.
Recall sometime in 2015, the ex-president while speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum, (GESF) in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate, said he did not tear his PDP membership card adding that he is not aware, maybe somebody else did it if the story that made the rounds then was anything to go by.
According to the former President, ” “I didn’t openly tear my PDP membership card; somebody else tore it because I said to him, ‘Here is the card, do whatever you like with it.
“If you like keep it; if you like tear it, if you like burn it. Here it is because they say it is giving them concern and they don’t know what is happening.
”I did that to prove to them what is happening; I could not have torn the party’s membership card.”
This is in wake of the alleged threats made by Nigeria’s literary giant , Prof Wole’s Soyinka to tear his American Green Card if Donald Trump wins the US presidential election.
 Obasanjo’s aide faulted the threat adding that it amounts to a criminal offence which is not only actionable but also punishable that is capable of earning Soyinka a custodial sentence if the threat is by any act of omission or commission carried out.
Speaking further, our source produced a photograph of the former president where he publicly displayed his PDP membership card saying that Obasanjo though no longer an active member of the former ruling party did not tear the party’s property knowing full well what it would amount to.
On the contrary, pictorial evidence in the photograph below shows where what looks like the card in contention was actually torn. What is being called in question here, however,  is if the damaged property belongs to the former President.
Credit: dailytimes

Court cleared me of corruption charges cooked up by OBJ, El-Rufai, Ribadu – Atiku

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has given himself a clean slate from corruption tag, saying that court has cleared him of the corruption allegations “cooked up” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and gazetted by a government white paper during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.


Atiku stated this in the interview granted to the editorial team of the EFCC, which was published in the latest edition of their in-house Magazine, “Zero Tolerance”.


He noted that he is one of the strongest advocate of the anti-corruption war, having pioneered the establishment of the major anti-graft agencies including the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).


He said: “Well, if Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts.


“I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court. The court rightly dismissed all those indictment as being mere political; and till today nobody has ever indicted me of corruption.”


The Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also spoke on his relationship with the then Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, saying he has rested their differences.


He said that Ribadu apologised to him on several occasions and that he has forgiven him despite the fact that he refused to do so publicly as he demanded.


“I can recall when he (Ribadu) came to ask for my forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now realised that I am not corrupt. Then he said sir, ‘you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly, without them going to TV stations to apoligise to you. Why is my own case different?’ I said, ‘your case is different because first of all I helped to found the EFCC; I made sure that even when you had no budget, I took money from the privatisation council and gave you as a loan so that you can function before the National Assembly approved your budget. I was instrumental to your appointment, so I believe I had contributed to your development and that is what you are paying me back with’.

“In any case, he kept apologising and I said ‘okay’, no problem’. That closed the chapter”.


Atiku however, insisted that it was Ribadu and the then Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and current Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, that Obasanjo “used in cooking up the indictment that was eventually thrown out.”


“So where is the evidence of corruption? Its not just fair for you to say somebody is corrupt without substation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV that he worked with me as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for four years and there was never a time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those years. So, how am I a corrupt person? This is the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as Vice President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them officially to it was unethical of me to have accepted those offers. So, where is the corruption toga coming from?,” he queried.


Atiku debunked the allegations made by El-Rufai in his book: “Accidental Public Servant”, that he spearheaded the N50 million bribe scandal involving Senators Ibrahim Mantu, Jonathan Zwingina and others during his ministerial confirmation screening.


He said that the former DG of BPE might have “misconstrued what happened”, saying “He actually ran to me to say that he was denied confirmation by the Senate”.


“Of course, I called Mantu and others and confronted them, and they admitted that yes they denied him because they do not see him as a Minister. It is also on record, because I controlled the campaign funds; and el-Rufai now went and said those campaign funds were meant to be a bribe. This is how he came about concocting that story. Of course, my boss, the President (Obasanjo), investigated the story and found out that indeed every Senator got contributions from the campaign fund which I was managing.


“So where is the corruption in that? Had he discovered that there was corruption, he would have used it against me because he was looking for anything to nail me. But he couldn’t get it because I brought him evidence of all those that benefited from the fund”, he explained.

Obasanjo interrupts Emir Sanusi’s speech in a dramatic entry at the #SokotoDurbar

In a twist of events, a mild drama ensued at the Shehu Kangiwa Square, the venue of the 10th anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar.


Despite provisions made available by protocol officials that President Muhammadu Buhari was to be the last guest to enter the Durbar ground to mark the commencement of the event, Ex-President Obasanjo, just like an uninvited guest, came out of nowhere and caused a distraction that forced the speech of the Sarkin Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to be halted midway.


This mild drama made all in attendance wonder if that was meant to happen. While some of the dignitaries clearly felt the entry made by the Ex-President was intentional, dramatic and unneeded, a lot of other people will beg to disagree as they cheered the controversy-loving former Head of State.


Dressed in traditional Sokoto regalia, with green turban, Obasanjo upon his arrival immediately climbed up to the pavilion where dignitaries comprising of President Muhammad Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, traditional rulers from all over the country and other important personalities were seated.


Obasanjo’s entry into the pavilion elicited several round of cheers from the teeming crowd as he moved to exchange pleasantries with some of the already seated guests.


In furtherance of his protocol breach, the former president drew the attention of all when he mounted one of the houses lined for the Durbar.


As the Yanlabai of Sokoto, a traditional title conferred on him by the Sokoto caliphate, he led a delegation of horse riders at the commencement of the #SokotoDurbar

EXCLUSIVE: Obasanjo, Okorocha, Sanusi, Ooni of Ife, Others slay at the #SokotoDurbar

Omojuwa.Com was ably represented at the Durbar ceremony organized to commemorate the 10th coronation anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muammad Sa’ad Abubakar, which kicked off on the 2nd of November.


In attendance were all dignitaries including politicians and royal fathers from all parts of the country. The Durbar which came in last in a 4-day long celebration drew international attention to the Seat of the Caliphate, Sokoto State.


Among some of the dignitaries were; Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, HOR Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Kwara State Governor Abdulfataah Ahmed, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Former Deputy HOR Speaker Emeka Ihedioha amongst others.


Apart from the ceremony, the event was an opportunity for the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal who was the speaker of the house representatives in the last administration to showcase and publicize some of his legacy projects which after inspection were commissioned by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.


Security was top-notch as armed forces in conjunction with other sister agencies ensured the state was under adequate security due to the ravaging Boko Haram attacks in the state in recent times.


Sokoto state, heavily laden with a vast and rich historical and cultural background seized the opportunity to show off some of it’s heritage to visitors and tourists from all parts of the world. The Caliphate happens to be one of the biggest in northern Nigeria. However, with untold stories of the Jihad among other historical struggles.


It is rumored that over 700 Horses and Camels participated in the colorful event. And with confirmation from the Omojuwa.Com correspondence, that rumor is not far from the truth.


The Durbar, like this one is usually a common event set up to celebrate special occassions in northern Nigeria. It is also an event that dates back to the pre-colonial history of the Hausa-Fulani people across the country.


Below are some of the pictures from the event:



































Mild Drama As Ex-President Obasanjo Enters Venue Of #SokotoDurbar

A mild drama ensued at the Shehu Kangiwa Square, Splits, venue of the 10th anniversary durbar of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar.

Obasanjo, who arrived the venue of the Durbar after President Muhammedu Buhari was already seated elicited cheers from the crowd who hailed his entrance.

He arrived about 10 minutes after President Buhari was already seated at the venue, a development clearly against protocol. The president according to protocol is supposed to be the last dignitary to arrive at any public function.

The cheers from the crowd heralding Obasanjo’s arrival forced the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammad to temporarily halt the welcome speech he was delivering at the time.

Dressed in traditional Sokoto regalia, with green turban, Obasanjo upon his arrival immediately climbed up to the pavilion where dignitaries comprising of President Muhammad Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, traditional rulers from all over the country and other important personalities were seated.

Obasanjo’s entry into the pavilion elicited several round of cheers from the teeming crowd as he moves to exchange pleasantries with some of the seated guests.

As if that was not enough, the former president drew the attention of all when he mounted one of the houses lined for the Durbar.

As the Yanlabai of Sokoto, a traditional title conferred on him by the Sokoto caliphate, he led a delegation of horse riders during the durbar.

EFCC Probes Former Minister of Justice, Aondoakaa Over $182m Halliburton Scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday grilled a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), for his alleged role in the $182m Halliburton scandal.

It was learnt that Aondoakaa, who served as AGF under the late President Umaru Yar’adua, arrived the office of the EFCC around 10am and was grilled for about eight hours.

As of 7pm, he was still in EFCC custody, an indication that he may spend the night at the commission.

A source at the anti-graft agency said, “Aondoakaa has been in our custody since morning and has been answering questions on his alleged role in the Halliburton scandal. More details will be revealed later.”

Aondoakaa’s alleged involvement in the scandal could not be immediately ascertained as of press time.

However, he had been accused of frustrating investigations into the case during his time as the AGF between 2007 and 2010.

The Halliburton case relates to an alleged $182m contract involving a four-company joint venture to build a liquefied natural gas plant on Bonny Island.

Earlier in 2009, KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, agreed to pay $402m after admitting that it bribed Nigerian officials, and Halliburton paid $177m to settle allegations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting any wrongdoing.

In mid-December 2010, the case was settled when Nigeria agreed to drop the corruption charges against the company’s former boss, Dick Cheney (and former US Vice-President); and Halliburton in exchange for a settlement of over $200m settlement.

However, no Nigerian official involved in the scandal has been jailed.

The Office of the AGF under the leadership of Mohammed Adoke (SAN) set up a team of five lawyers which would ensure the swift recovery of the funds.

However, $26m was said to have been paid to the lawyers as legal fees to the lawyers under controversial circumstances.

The lawyers include a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu (SAN); Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN) and Mr. Roland Ewubare, who have all been quizzed by the commission.


Let Us See Results, Obasanjo Tells FG

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to ensure that the results of its development initiatives are felt by Nigerians.

Obasanjo, who was one of the keynote speakers at the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum, which held on Saturday in Lagos, commended the government for its programmes aimed at creating jobs and diversifying the economy.

Also addressing Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Deputy Governor, Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, at the event, the ex-president said there was the need to support entrepreneurs in their states to develop products that would be fit for export.

Obasanjo said, “What you say you are doing is commendable, please let us see the results. We have to ensure that doing business in Nigeria is easy. We have to make them (investors) come to Nigeria. We need to be able to register a company at a one-stop shop.”

Earlier, the Minister for Information and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, stated that the government was moving the economy from being a mono-product economy to investing in agriculture, mining and solid minerals sectors, among others.

Also addressing the 1, 000 entrepreneurs of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Group Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group, Folorunso Alakija, advised them to pursue their businesses with passion, adding that they should be ready to take risks.

She said, “The hallmark of any entrepreneur is the ability to take risks. You need to fight yourself, friends, competition and government in order to succeed.”


“Herdsmen And Farmers’ Clashes is the Governors’ Responsibility” – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday said it is not the responsibility of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the lingering clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

Obasanjo also decried the increasing level of hunger in the country, stressing that it was sad to note that about 65 per cent of Nigerians were faced with food insecurity.

The former president spoke during the 23rd Annual LAPO Development Forum with the theme, ‘Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities’, organised by the Lift Above Poverty Organisation in Abuja.

Obasanjo said, “Some of the words that have been coming from our leaders, particularly from state governors are not helpful! This issue is not a federal issue and another thing, I don’t like about it is that when you talk of Fulani herdsmen, people talk of the President.

“Now because the President of Nigeria is a Fulani man, you expect him to solve the problem immediately, that is not his job. And when people make comments like this, it annoys me.

He noted that during the colonial era, there were grazing reserves in most parts of the North, but wondered what had happened to them.

Obasanjo said, “I need to state that it is the responsibility of local governments to take care of them. Now, states should have even done better, but they haven’t, and then when you have cattle rustling, herdsmen and farmers conflict, you try to make it a national issue. It is not really a national issue.

“For me, the herdsmen are entitled be able to look after their animals but they are not entitled to destroy the crops of the rural farmers, it is unacceptable.”

Evil spirits exist everywhere, not only in Aso Villa–Presidential Chaplain.

The Chaplain of Aso Villa Chapel, Seyi Malomo, has explained his stance on recent media reports alleging Aso Villa was infested with evil spirits and demons.

Rather than take the report as truth, Mr. Malomo said on Sunday, Nigerians should dedicate themselves to praying for God’s righteousness to take over the land.

“I am not saying there are no evil spirits. I am also not saying there are,” he said.

“I don’t know what people believe. For me, I believe it is only righteousness that exalts a nation.

“Evil spirit is everywhere. Even the street you live, don’t you have witches and wizards there?” he added.

Mr. Malomo said his advice was for citizens to pray for Nigeria and its leaders, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari, his family and all those working in the presidential villa, for God to cleanse the Nigerian seat of government of all alleged demonic influences.

The Chaplain was speaking in Abuja in a exclusive chat with PREMIUM TIMES shortly after delivering a sermon as guest preacher during the African International College (AIC), Abuja thanksgiving/welcome service for its 2016/2017 freshers.

Despite allegations the presidential villa was full of evil spirits, Mr. Malomo said there was nothing above prayers to seek God’s intervention to restore righteousness in Nigeria.

“All we need to do as Nigerians is to pray that wherever evil exists, God should make His righteousness to take over.

“As Nigerians, our responsibility is to continue to pray for the president and his cabinet, and every part of the country, particularly the Villa, for righteousness to take over,” Mr. Malomo said.

The claims of evil spirit at the presidential villa heightened when a former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati, said in an article in the Guardian that he was “totally convinced Aso Rock Abuja is full of evil spirits.”

Mr. Abati recalled several incidents of fire outbreaks at the Aso Villa during his stay there.

“Around the Villa while I was there, someone always died or their relations died. I can confirm every principal officer suffered one tragedy or the other. It was as if you needed to sacrifice something to remain on duty inside that environment,” he said.

“Even some of the women became merchants of dildo because they had suffered a special kind of death in their homes … and many of the men complained about something that had died below their waists too.

“The ones who did not have such misfortune had one ailment or the other that they had to nurse. From cancer to brain and prostate surgery and whatever, the Villa was a hospital full of agonizing patients.”

A former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, agreed with Mr. Abati, saying “a lot of very strange things happened there” when he worked at the villa as spokesperson to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He listed some of the strange things he noted happened as the death of Mr. Obasanjo’s assistants, Tunji Oseni and Remi Oyo, who he said contracted terrible terminal illnesses whilst in office and died few years after leaving office.

Mr. Fani-Kayode also said several other aides who worked in the Villa at the time were also afflicted with strange diseases and a sudden and tragic end. He mentioned such people as Mr. Obasanjo’s ex-aide de camp, Solomon Amu, and former Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications, Stanley Macebuh.

Mr. Fani-Kayode had made a similar allegation about the aviation industry. He said that during his time as minister there was a “blood sucking cult” in the ministry that believed shedding human blood brought power and wealth.

“There is definitely a spiritual aspect to this (plane crashes). In my view, there has always been a blood cult operating in the ministry of aviation. There are some people that are very strange,” he said.

Obasanjo Blames Jonathan For Recession

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, declaring that his advice on the prevailing economic crisis was ignored two years ago.


Obasanjo also blamed Jonathan for lifting the ban on importation of products like toothpick, which he said could have been taken over by local industries without encumbrances.

At the official opening of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta yesterday, Obasanjo said the only way Nigeria could urgently step out of the current economic recession is for it to seek foreign loan.
Obasanjo, who was the Father of the Day at the opening session, said he had warned the former President on the impending recession in November 26, 2014 When he joined others to celebrate the birthday of retired Justice Akanbi.
I reminded the government that we were spending more than we were earning. that very soon, the country would not be able to fund the budget. Unfortunately, the government then refused to listen to my advice,” he told the gathering.
Obasanjo shocked the gathering when he recalled how it was discovered that the ban on the importation of toothpick was reversed by the Jonathan administration, saying he had visited Jonathan in Abuja to ask why he lifted the ban on toothpick and Jonathan said he did not read before he approved.
Speaking further on the way out for Nigeria, Obasanjo said there were three options, explaining,
“The three options are we have to spend less, we must endeavor to earn and then the last one is to borrow, and this if we must, we do it fast and now. “


He however cautioned against doing the bidding of the World Bank and Inernational Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pictures: Buhari, Jonathan, Shonekan, Others At Council Of State Meeting

The Council of state meeting took place at the state House Abuja today. It was presided over by President Buhari and had in attendance were former president Goodluck Jonathan, former interim president Ernest Shonekan and former military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Also in attendance were some state governors and former Chief Justices of the Federation. 

7 Ex-Convicts who became Heads of State.

While it easily can be argued that they are all not saints, the sacrifice made by these people has to be respected. These modern-day Josephs, driven by love for their country or ambitions, risked their lives to secure a better future for their people.

Here are seven presidents who rose from prisoners to becoming the leaders of their nations.

1. Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi [India]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state


The first and only female Prime Minister of India, Indira was the daughter of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. She first served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977, before losing her seat to the Janata alliance.

She later won a bye-election in 1978 but was arrested along with her son Sanjay Gandhi by the Janata government on some trumped up charges but was released after the collapse of  the Janata coalition.

In 1980, Indira Gandhi once again became Prime Minister but was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984 for ordering the storming of the Harmandir Sahib as a countermeasure to the Punjab insurgency.

2. Fidel Castro [Cuba]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state


The son of  his father’s maid, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz and his brother Raul were captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison, after their group “The Movement” staged a failed attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953.

Released in 1955 they traveled to Mexico, where they met Ernesto “Che” Guevara who helped them mount a series of successful military campaigns, that eventually led to the collapse of General Fulgencio Batista’s government in January 1959.

Manuel Urrutia was then installed as president while José Miró Cardona became  prime minister. But after just a month Miro resigned, and Castro was sworn in as prime minister at the age of 32.

3. Dilma Vana [Brazil]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, Dilma Rousseff joined various guerilla groups which fought against the dictatorship in 1964 before she was captured, tortured, and locked up between 1970 and 1972.

The Mensalao corruption scandal in 2005, saw her become the Chief of Staff of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and in March 2010 she resigned to run for president.

Dilma Rousseff became Brazil’s first female president in 2010 and was re-elected again in 2014, but was suspended by the senate for six months on 12 May 2016, before she was finally impeached on 31 August 2016.

4. Kim Dae Jung [South Korea]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Referred to as the “Nelson Mandela” of Asia, Kim Dae-Jung was arrested in 1980 and sentenced to death. But the intervention of the United States and the Pope John II, saw his sentence changed to 20 years in prison, then to an exile in the US.

In 1985, Kim returned to South Korea and was once again put under house arrest, before losing the first transparent elections held in a long time by dictator Chun Doo-hwan after succumbing to pressure.

Finally, after trying four times, Kim Dae-Jung defeated Lee Hoi-Chang and was sworn in as the eighth President of South Korea on 25 February 1998.

5. Nelson Mandela [South Africa]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

A lawyer by profession Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela joined the ANC in the late 1940s, co-founded its Youth League and before being appointed President of the ANC’s Transvaal branch.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 1962 for conspiring against the state after his militant group Umkhonto we Sizwe, launched a sabotage campaign against the government but was freed in 1990 after serving 27 years.

In 1994 Mandela became the first black President of South Africa after winning a multiracial general election. A true statesman, he only served one term before handing over the reins to Thabo Mbeki.

6. Patrice Lumumba [Congo]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Hailed by Malcolm X as the most impressive black man to ever walk the African continent, Patrice Lumumba was handed a 69-month sentence in 1959 for his anti-colonial fight but was released after serving only nine months and became the Prime Minister at the young age of 34.

He only lasted three months as Prime Minister before being ousted in a military coup fronted by Mobutu Sese Seko but orchestrated by the US, England, and Belgium their former colonial lords.

Lumumba’s believed to have been shot multiple times, before his body was dissolved in acid, by the Belgian military in a bid to cover a full-scale investigation. Belgium later apologised in 2002 for its role in his death.

7. Olusegun Obasanjo [Nigeria]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Credited with bringing the civil war to an end, Olusegun Obasanjo first became the President of Nigeria after the death of Murtala Mohammed in the failed Dimka coup.

In 1995, Obasanjo an outspoken critic of the Abacha regime was arrested on trumped up charges of plotting a coup but was released after the sudden death of Abacha in June 1998.

After his release, Olusegun Obasanjo contested for and won the presidential elections held in 1999, under the Peoples Democratic Party and also won a second term in 2003.

Sheriff In Closed-door Meeting With Obasanjo

A factional national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, is holding a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in his Abeokuta Presidential Hilltop residence this morning.

Sheriff arrived at the former president’s residence at 11.04am in a convoy of four Sport Utility vehicles.

He rode in a Mercedez Benz AMG with the number plate AAA 673 BL.

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Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan’s Reckless Decisions, Cause Of Recession; APC Tells PDP

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday hit back at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accusing the party and Nigeria’s past presidents produced under its platform of bringing the current economic recession upon the nation.
Faulting PDP’s call for Present’s resignation, the APC said the 16 years misrule of the PDP plunged Nigeria into the current economic chaos. PDP’s several years in power produced ex-presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
It said, the statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday “is the latest in the party’s insensitive plot to deflect attention from the voodoo economics and reckless fiscal policies the country was subjected to during its 16-year rule.
“The warning signs were glaring to the immediate-past administration but it choose the path of economic sabotage by looking the other way and squandering the country’s commonwealth – a reckless decision that has brought the country to its knees”, APC stated.
The party in the statement signed by its national scribe, Mai Mala Buni was formally reacting to attacks by the PDP on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s lack of capacity to steer the economy.
Following the official declaration by the National Bureau of Statistics NBS that Nigeria’s economy was in a recession, the PDP had taken APC to the cleaners, saying the ruling party is confused as to how best to manage the economy and reverse its dwindling fortunes.
Two former governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo and Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II had recently taken a swipe at the economic trajectory of the APC-led administration, describing it as archaic, indefinite and rudderless. ‘President Buhari Committed To Resuscitating Economy’ However, the APC assured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration remains solidly committed to resuscitating the economy in the quickest possible time and in the best interest of the people.
“For the umpteenth time, the PDP lacks the moral basis and credibility to comment or condemn the government on the economy after the mess it left behind. Instead, the PDP must apologize to Nigerians.
“Nigerians will recall that even the immediate-past finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, confessed that the zero political will to save under the immediate-past administration is responsible for the challenges facing the country”.
APC listed several achievements of the Buhari administration, saying the nation was well on the path to quick economic recovery.
It added, “Happily, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has embarked on well- thought economic agendas, policy actions, appropriate fiscal, governance, and socio-political reforms to revamp the economy and tackle the nation’s current challenges in the short to long term.
“Under the new flexible foreign exchange policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2016, we now have a single market-determined exchange rate which enables suppliers of foreign currencies to bring in their money and take the same out at market-determined rates. The new foreign exchange policy being implemented will ensure our economy recovers in the medium to long term.
“As contained in the assented 2016 National Budget, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is aggressively formulating and implementing policies aimed at diversifying Nigeria’s economy from oil to other sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
“The administration is also proactively tackling increased attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region which has led to disruptions in crude production.
“The President’s shuttle diplomacy has yielded positive effects on the country’s economic policies. As a result, several agreements concluded during the visits are positively impacting on key sectors of the Nigerian economy including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.
“The fight against corruption remains a top priority for the President Buhari APC-led administration. In spite of desperate attempts by some partisans to discredit anti-corruption efforts in some quarters, the war against corruption is being won and has been well-received and supported. The generality of Nigerians agree that the days of impunity are over.
“Through the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration, revenue leakages have been greatly plugged.
“The new petroleum products supply and pricing framework which eliminated corruption-tainted subsidy payments has among others greatly solved fuel scarcities by ensuring availability of products at all locations in the country; reduced hoarding, smuggling and diversion substantially and stabilise price at the actual product price; encouraged investments in both Refineries and Retails; provided Government more revenue to address social and infrastructural needs of the country.
“In line with the critical infrastructural focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, an unprecedented 30 per cent of 2016 budgetary provision has been committed to capital projects.
“As the administration works assiduously to build a new solid foundation, credible image and pull the country out of the present hardships, the APC appeals for patience and cooperation from Nigerians”, APC pleaded.

Know Your History – Obasanjo Tells Nigerians

Nigerian former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lamented the poor level of awareness of the nation’s history and cultural heritage amongst Nigerians.


Speaking during the launching of educational toys designed to teach Nigerian and by extension African history by Ethan & Harriet, former President Obasanjo who was the special guest of honour at the event applauded the company for developing learning tools that will expose Nigerians across social status and background to the country’s cultural values and heritage.


Obasanjo called on Nigerians to imbibe cultural values and norms so as to promote the nation’s heritage. He regretted that present upbringing was disappointing, as many children do not know enough about their states of origin let alone the country.

I have understood that history is no longer thought in school, which is unfortunate. Not knowing the history of your country, family or locality is to lose memory and if you lose your memory, you won’t remember even what you ate last night. You can see that it is a disaster,” he said.


Obasanjo stressed that Nigerians must “go back to make our children know what matters about our country and ourselves so they can be inspired for tomorrow.”


Chief Obasanjo said, “I like the fact this product will impact the students to know more about our culture, immediate environment and Nigeria’s heritage at large. Even the parents can make use of it to know the history about the Federation.


This is a product that will impact everybody; young, old, men and women, what they need to know about their country, each State and what they produce or what they are known for.’’


It is a learning material for Children, teenagers, adults and teachers as well.

“It’s Good Night For The PDP” – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the recent crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has shown that the party’s era had come to an end.


Mr. Obasanjo disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists in Jalingo, the Capital City of Taraba, during a tour of some projects in the state.


When asked to comment on the ongoing crisis in his former party, the PDP, Mr. Obasanjo simply said “in the part of the country where I come from, there is a saying that you cannot say ‘good night’ and come to say ‘good evening’ in the same place.


“So for me, it is good night for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that’s all,” he said.


Mr. Obasanjo. who was one time Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, had torn his membership certificate before the 2015 election denouncing the party in its entirety.


Recently when a picture and story went out in the media that he was at a PDP event at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, he also made it very clear that he was done with the party and with partisan politics.


Attending PDP Event


A wrongly captioned photograph by NAN had set tongues wagging and the rumour mills busy as to the mission of the former leader, who in 2015 tore his membership card of the PDP.

NAN can confirm that the former leader did not go near the ceremony inaugurating the National Convention Committee of the PDP faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.


Rather, Mr. Obasanjo was at the centre to take part in an agricultural stakeholders meeting, Zero Hunger in Africa-Nigeria chapter


Some news reports had gone ahead with speculations that the former president was making political realignment for 2019 elections.


The PDP event was meant to inaugurate the party’s national convention and financial committees.The party convention, downgraded to be non-elective after a court ban, held on Aug. 17 in Port Harcourt.


According to a statement by Tunde Arosanyin of the Zero Hunger in Africa in Abuja on Saturday, it was just a coincidence that the two meetings were holding at the same venue.


”He came for zero hunger in Africa-Nigeria chapter meeting with commodity Association stakeholders.


”At closing, some PDP members came to greet him at the boardroom of the hunger meeting venue,” Mr. Arosanyin said.

Obasanjo’s Book, ‘My Watch’ To Be Adapted Into Hollywood Movie

Former Nigerian president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s book, titled ‘My Watch’ has been adapted into a movie which will be directed by award winning director Jeta Amata alongside other Hollywood partners. ‘My Watch’ which chronicles Obasanjo’s life and presidency, was launched in 2014 and caused quite a stir during the period for the commentary on past leaders, as well as then serving president Goodluck Jonathan.


The movie will be featuring Nollywood and Hollywood actors, and will be shot in locations both within and outside the country. Jeta Amata, together with American actress Vanessa Martini and Nollywood actor Enyinna Nwigwe met with the former president yesterday where the deal was finalized.

‘I Will Not Step Down For Bode George’ – AIT Boss Says

The chairman of the Africa Independent Television (AIT), Chief Raymond Dokpesi has said he will not step down for anyone.

Dokpesi is in the race to become the chairman of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The AIT boss, in a meeting with members of the party in Ekiti state, said he will not step down for Chief Bode George.

Dokpesi also said George is part of the old school, adding that it is time for youths to take over the affairs of the PDP.

According to the AIT boss’ media team, “High Chief Dokpesi is busy meeting the delegates and outlining his programmes for the reformation and rebuilding of the PDP. He is not considering stepping down for anyone as he is widely accepted by delegates across the country. He remains the candidate to beat.

” As at noon of Saturday, 30th July, we have visited all the states in the Southern region, except Ekiti, which we are heading to now. We will be meeting delegates from the Northern region as from Sunday so High Chief Dokpesi is committed to the campaign and he is confident that he will win by the grace of God and the support of the delegates.”

Chief Raymond Dokpesi was arrested for allegedly receiving funds meant for the purchase of arms from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

Opinion: Obasanjo Initiated Abuja-Kaduna Rail Project Not Jonathan

People tend to forget continuum in governance! Supporters of former President Goodluck Jonathan have been giving the credit of the Abuja-Kaduna rail project to him. It was commissioned yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari.


Here is the historical timeline on the project:


? The Modernisation programme commenced in 2006, with the signing of agreement between Nigeria and the CCECC for construction of a new standard gauge rail network Lagos-Kanoand Port Harcourt – Maiduguri and the Lagos Calabar lines to replace the existing narrow guage lines, at a cost of $8.3 billion, over a 25- year period.


? The counterpart funding was faulty on the part of Nigeria, while it contravened the law.


? The government of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua discovered that the contract did not follow due process and that the project was inflated.


? Yar’Adua visited China and re-negotiated and re-scoped the entire project. Partners agreed to first, get the services back by rehabilitating the two narrow guage lines first, then construct the standard guage lines thereafter. The standard guage project was segmented and the Abuja -Kaduna component was added. The completion date of rehabilitation of Lagos-Kano and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri lines was December 2011…


? Rehabilitation work started while a Chinese delegation came to Nigeria to commence on-site assessment and preparatory work on first phase of the now segmented standard gauge Abuja-Kaduna line in July 2008 and to finalise it in 2009. When Yar Adua died, Jonathan rescoped the Lagos-Calabar line by adding Otuoke to it.

? Contract for the Abuja-Kaduna standard rail project was awarded in 2010 but the actual construction did not start till 2011. It is an 874 million dollar project with the Exim Bank of China’s facility of $500 million, while Nigeria was to pay the rest. The Project was scheduled for completion in 2014.


? But Jonathan’s administration reneged on counterpart funding of the project, leading to extension of completion period. It was typical of the Jonathan’s government. Almost all capital projects inherited by the administration were not adequately funded in spite of their strategic importance to the nation, and in spite of the large amount of monies Nigeria made from the high price of crude oil throughout his regime.


? Jonathan did not initiate the project, not to talk of completing it. He indeed, inherited it and had the opportunity of completion to take the glory, but he blew the opportunity.


? When Buhari came in 2015, there were outstanding payments which stalled the project. Buhari paid off and worked commenced and is now completed due largely to the seriousness Buhari attached to it.


? The Second phase of betrayal of terms of agreement befell the Rail Modernisation project, Lagos-Ibadan dual track standard gauge line. The contract was awarded in 2012 and to be completed in 2015…


? Federal Executive Council on July 18th, 2012 approved the sum of $1.457 billion as the project contract sum on 36 months completion period. The project was abandoned by Jonathan after 13 billion naira was appropriated in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 budgets with nothing to show for the sums.

Obasanjo Should Apologise For Calling Us Thieves, Rogues – Senate

Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, has lashed out at former President, Olusegun Obasanjo for saying the National Assembly was made up of “armed robbers and rogues.”


Obasanjo while addressing State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said the padding scandal rocking the National Assembly confirmed his earlier notion about the current federal lawmakers he described as thieves and rogues.


Urhoghide, in his reaction said the lawmakers deserved an unreserved apology from the former President.


According to the senator, “I believe former President Obasanjo has premised his denigrating comment on the on-going sordid accusations on 2016 budget between Hon Abdumumuni Jibrin, the erstwhile Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations and the leadership of the House of Representatives.


“What is going on in the media is indeed disgraceful if actually the mentioned House members did the padding of the 2016 budget. I and others in the Senate deserve and demand unreserved apology from Chief Obasanjo for casting aspersions and denigrating our individual integrity and the institution we represent.”

Why I Visited President Buhari – Ex-President Obasanjo

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday delivered messages from the Presidents of Liberia and Gambia to President Muhammadu Buhari during a visit to the presidential villa.


Obasanjo made this known while answering questions from State House correspondents at the end of the closed meeting.


Although the former president did not divulge the content of the message, he said he updated president Buhari on the outcome of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Africa Export-Import Bank, which he attended in Seychelles Island.


“I have some messages for the president.


“Not too long ago, I was in Liberia and The Gambia and the presidents of these two countries had some messages that they would want me to deliver to the President.


“Also, only yesterday I came back from Seychelles Island, where I attended this year’s Annual General meeting of Africa Export –Import Bank.


“And there were aspects of the proceedings during that meeting that I think I should update the President on.’’

Obasanjo Urges FG To Promote Use Of Natural, Liquefied Gas

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday urged the Federal Government to promote the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country.

Obasanjo made the plea during a courtesy visit by the management of NIPCO Plc to Obasanjo Hilltop Estate in Abeokuta, on the need by the the Federal Government to promote use of CNG as a vehicular fuel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CNG is natural gas under pressure which remains clear, odourless, and non-corrosive.

According to Obasanjo , in a bid to promote cleaner environment, the idea why the use of CNG was signed during my tenure as the President in 2006, was to develop gas as a vehicular source of fuel.

“If other government had promoted the use of LPG and CNG in Nigeria, half of the country’s vehicles would have been converted to gas.

“The essence is to provide alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol at a reduced cost and to boost national socio-economic growth,’’ NAN quotes him as saying.

Obasanjo said that aside the economic gains, CNG targeted reduction of unfriendly automobile emissions and exposure of Nigerians to the innovation of powering vehicles on gas.

The Managing Director, NIPCO Plc, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy, said that Nigeria would have saved government over two billion dollars yearly, if the use of CNG is promoted in Nigeria.

Venkatapathy said that globally, the natural gas industry was increasing its focus and efforts to support natural gas transport.

He said that the CNG project was between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and NIPCO, through a joint-venture scheme called Green Gas Ltd.

Venkatapathy explained that the initiative, which is the first of its kind in West Africa, is ushering in a new era of vehicles running on the CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits

He said that CNG “is a superior auto fuel alternation to liquid fuels, mainly petrol and diesel specifically for countries like Nigeria which is blessed with abundant availability of natural gas remains untapped.’’

According to him, to replace 20 per cent of current petrol consumption of Nigeria, Natural gas required is less than five per cent of the total domestic gas consumed currently and less than one percent of the current gas production.

“This will save the country over two billion dollars yearly in foreign exchange.

“In Benin City, Edo State, over 4,000 vehicles run on CNG which resulted in replacing 20 million litres of petrol from 2012 to 2015 and which also saved over nine million dollars for the country,’’ he said.

The managing director said that CNG had more benefits than petrol, adding that some of the benefit include low operating costs, lower maintenance costs and it reduces harmful vehicle emissions that cause local air pollution.

He said that on mile to mile basis, CNG would be cheaper than petrol by over 50 per cent and as compared to Diesel (on dual fuel mode), it would be over 45 per cent cheaper.

Meanwhile, some motorists plying Lagos-Ibadan Expressway described CNG powered vehicles as economical, safer, flexible and eco-friendly.

A commercial motorist, Mr Kazeem Odunayo, said that the conversion of his vehicle to CNG in early 2015, had saved him money.

“I converted my bus to gas early this year and I am happy to tell you that I saved up to N3,500 daily on my fuel consumption.

“Before now I spent N6, 000 to travel to Ibadan from Lagos but now with just N2, 500, I will travel to Ibadan and come back with ease, NAN quotes Odunayo as saying.

Another commercial vehicle operator, Mr Sunday Adeyemi, said that most of the commercial vehicles operating between Lagos and Ibadan had converted to CNG because of its availability and the economy of scale.

“Most of us here have converted our vehicles to CNG because of the installment payment created by the company.

“They are aware that we cannot run away once you got converted.

“What we would have used on petroleum is being used to balance our debt. By next month, I would have completed my debt,” he said.

Adeyemi said that he used the opportunity of having CNG in his vehicle during the period of petrol scarcity to make more money.

“When others did not get petroleum for transportation during the fuel scarcity, I was busy making money because gas was available and cheaper,’’ he told NAN.




What Buhari, Obasanjo Discussed In Closed Door Meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met behind closed door with former President Olusegun Obasanjo inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting, which was held inside the President’s office, lasted about an hour.

Obasanjo, who was driven into the forecourt of the President’s office in a black Sports Utility vehicle, cracked jokes with journalists on his photographs with the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, which went viral on the Internet recently before entering the President’s office.

At the end of the meeting, the former President told State House correspondents that he used the opportunity of the meeting to share his experiences on some of his recent international engagements with Buhari.

“You know that not too long ago, I was out there. I have come to share some of my experiences with him (Buhari),” he said.

When asked to disclose some of the experiences he shared with the President, Obasanjo said, “Ha! Ha! If I say I shared experiences with my wife, you will ask me wetin I talk with my wife?”

The former President also feigned ignorance of the recent claim by the National Assembly that he signed budget before getting the details.

“Eh-en? I signed budget without details? Anybody who told you that, go and ask him again,” he advised.

When asked to comment on the 2016 Appropriation Bill, Obasanjo said he could not do so until he would have read the document and known what it contained.

On Buhari’s delay in signing the budget, he said, “The constitution allows you (the President) to continue with the budget provided you did not go beyond the previous year. That can be done up to the middle of the year,” he said.

When Obasanjo was asked to comment on Buhari’s anti-corruption war, he simply said, “Eh-en?”

When also asked for his view on the ongoing trial of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the former President said, “Eh-en? What is wrong with him?” as he walked towards his waiting car.

Credit: Punch

Intensify Mop-up Operations In Northeast, Obasanjo Tells Military

Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged the military to intensify mop up operations in liberated villages in northeast Nigeria, as displaced persons prepare to return home.

The former president, who is in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on a two-day familiarisation visit in the University of Maiduguri, said although the war against insurgents was far from over, there was evidence that the Nigerian Army was winning.

Obasanjo’s last visit to Maiduguri was in September 2011 at the heat of the six year old insurgency.

He believes that security in the troubled town has greatly improved compared to the situation during his last visit.

“We are not out of the woods yet but it will appear we can see the light beyond the tunnel.

“There is no doubt that with the combined efforts of the local, state, federal and the community level that our security forces are on ascendency over the forces of destruction.” Obasanjo told the State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in a meeting held at the Government House.

The octogenarian is positive that “at this rate all Internally Displaced Persons should have vacated makeshift camps and return to their towns by December this year”.

Credit: CahnnelsTv

‘Jonathan Called Me 19 Days After The Chibok Girls Had Been Kidnapped’ – Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima

Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, says former President Goodluck Jonathan, called him 19 days after the Chibok girls were kidnapped from their school in April 2014. Shettima said this while playing host to former President Obasanjo who arrived Borno state yesterday on a 2-day visit.

“In our own case, Your Excellency, after the Chibok abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in April, 2014, it took 19 days for me to receive a call from the Presidency. I brought this mainly to show the difference, because we will only appreciate scenarios when we make comparisons.”he said

He added that Obasanjo would have rescued the abducted girls if he was the president at that time.

President Buhari Congratulates Obasanjo At 79

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a congratulatory message to former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR), as he turns 79 years old on March 5, 2016.

The President affirmed that the former president, who is approaching the octogenarian cycle, has contributed immensely to the institutionalization of democracy in Nigeria and Africa through his personal sacrifice, extensive local and international networks, and God-given wisdom.

According to his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President believes that Chief Obasanjo’s place in global history is assured for successfully handing over power to a civilian government in 1979 after serving as a military Head of State, and returning to power in 1999 through elections to stabilize the polity, during which he most remarkably negotiated a debt relief for Nigeria.

“The President warmly commends Chief Obasanjo’s vision and commitment to the growth of Nigeria and Africa, which translated into a historical growth rate of 6% for the Nigerian economy after a long period of slow growth, and also created a rippling effect that buoyed other African economies.

“As he turns 79, the President avers that the former president’s regular shuttles across Nigeria and Africa to counsel on economic, social and political issues, and his willingness to head election monitoring teams that have heralded smooth transitions in many countries are legacies for which generations will remain grateful,” he said.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Breaking : Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan Govts Must Account For Recovered Loot – Court

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos in a landmark judgment has held that successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999 “breached the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability for failing to disclose details about the spending of recovered stolen public funds, including on a dedicated website.”


The court then ordered the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to “ensure that his government, and the governments of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and former President Goodluck Jonathan account fully for all recovered loot.”


The judgment was delivered on Friday by Hon Justice M.B. Idris following a Freedom of Information suit no: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011 brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).


The details ordered by the court to be disclosed include: information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets by each government; the amount of recovered stolen public assets spent by each government as well as the objects of such spending and the projects on which such funds were spent. Justice Idris dismissed all the objections raised by the Federal Government and upheld SERAP’s arguments.


Details later.


Credit : Vanguard

Obasanjo Calls For Peaceful And Transparent Election In Uganda

As Commonwealth observers began deploying across Uganda, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for a peace and transparency in Thursday’s election in the country


This is contained in a statement by Will Henley, Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, released in Abuja on Tuesday.


The statement said that Obasanjo, the Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, joined the team in Kampala on Monday ahead of the presidential and parliamentary polls.


“As observers, we hope to see a transparent and credible election process. Our eyes are open, and we will report what we see without fear or favour. All stakeholders, including party candidates and supporters, election officials, police and security forces, should play their part in ensuring voters are free to express their preference at the ballot box.


“They should ensure that the election is conducted peacefully, without resort to intimidation or violence,” it quoted Obasanjo as saying.


He expressed the group’s determination to be utterly impartial and objective in conducting its observation duties, acting in the group’s individual capacities as independent commonwealth citizens.


“Our assessment will be our own, and we will aim to be as constructive as possible.

“I wish the people of Uganda well and pledge the unwavering solidarity of the Commonwealth family to the strengthening of the country’s democracy,” Obasanjo said.


The statement said that on Tuesday, Obasanjo and heads of other international observer missions in Uganda cautioned Ugandan stakeholders over the elections.
It stated that the group called on them to “refrain from any act, statement or dissemination of information that may cause tension, ill-will, disturbance, intimidation and adversely affect the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections.”
It stated that the Commonwealth Observer Group had been in Uganda since Thursday, adding that the 13-member team had Senator Amos Wako, a former Attorney-General of Kenya, as vice chairman.
It explained that since its arrival, the group had met the Electoral Commission to discuss preparations for polling day.
The statement added that the group had also heard from political parties, citizen observer groups, human rights, gender and youth groups, as well as resident High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries.




Obasanjo Awarded Abuja Rail Project Without Design, MOU- Senate Panel

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the Abuja Rail Project in 2007 with neither a design nor a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), according to the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The then Minister of FCT and current governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, was said to have signed the contract based on an uncalculated estimate.

The revelation came as the committee discovered the contract, which stood at 60.67 kilometres, was inflated by $10 million (about N2 billion at N200 per dollar) per kilometre even as the length was later reduced to 45 kilometres without the refund of the cost for the 15.67 kilometres dropped.

To this end, the Senate committee, led by Dino Melaye has demanded the refund of the of $195,878,296.74 ( about N392 billion at N200 per dollar) being the amount for the 15.67 kilometres cut out from the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), handling the project.

The Project Manager of the company, Etim Abak, who answered questions from members of the committee when they undertook an oversight assignment to the project site, said the contract was signed by the then FCT minister without design and MOU, saying it was carried out based on what he simply identified as a conceptual design.

“The contract was awarded based on a conceptual design and estimates were not properly done. There was no formal design submitted and rail bridges and crossover bridges were not captured in the contract, “he told the committee.

According to him, the contract sum was $841.645,898 and project completion period was 48 months while the scope of work was 60.67km standard gauge, with double railway tracks and associated permanent way within FCT.

Melaye , who alleged the whole project may be shrouded in fraud, wondered why the project, whose length initially stood at 60.67 kilometres was later reduced to 45.245 without cut in the cost of the project initially paid for.

Credit: Guardian

I Never Referred To Obasanjo In My Speech– Saraki

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has denied referring to former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he spoke with the Senate Press Corps on Tuesday. A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja on Wednesday described reports that Saraki referred to ex-president as “mere mischief and misrepresentation’’.

Olaniyonu said the Senate president would not use the media to respond to Obasanjo directly or indirectly but would only write officially to him as he had earlier said. He said Saraki only responded to two questions which bordered on the feasibility of the 2016 budget and whether the details of the National Assembly Budget would be made public. “The Senate president’s answer on the first question was that the success of the 2016 Budget will depend less on oil price but more on the non-oil and independent revenue.

“That is why the Senate will lay emphasis on the scrutiny of these areas as well as ensure that leakages are blocked so that the budget can be realised without any hitch. “On the second question, he reiterated his earlier position that the Senate budget will no longer be a one-line item. “He said details of the budget of the National Assembly will be provided for all to see what goes to what budget head.

“He urged all Nigerians to realise that mistakes have been made by all stakeholders in the past and that we should all move forward by ensuring those mistakes are not repeated. “In fact his position that mistakes have been made by all of us in the past was a reference to all stakeholders like political office holders, the media, civil society, professional and business groups, among others.” The statement said the president of the Senate had maintained that he would only write a formal letter to Obasanjo to explain efforts made on some of the issues raised by the former president.

It restated that Saraki would not use any public event or the media to give any direct or indirect response to the legitimate points raised by the elder statesman and father of the nation. “The president of the Senate further urged the media to refrain from sensationalism which leads to twisting and misrepresentation of the position of public officers. “The urge to sell newspapers should not override the need for ethical standard and accuracy in presentation of news to be maintained.

“The media should equally be sensitive to other people’s feelings,’’ the statement added. Saraki addressed newsmen on Tuesday when he opened the newly refurbished Press Centre for journalists covering the activities of the Senate.

Credit: Vanguard

Governors Have Become Emperors- Obasanjo

According to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, some governors in the country are not really engaged in the business of governing their states with the overall objective of improving the lives of the citizens. Rather, they have turned themselves into emperors in their states.

Equally lamenting the state of affairs in the country, former Commonwealth Secretary- General, Emeka Anyaoku, has said that for Nigeria to survive the harsh effects of its political structure amid dwindling government revenue, it must revert to regionalism, such that the six geo-political zones will become federating units.

Obasanjo who spoke at the inauguration conference of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan yesterday said some state governors had turned themselves into emperors and that they had even appropriated the funds belonging to the local councils in their states into their private estates.

Credit: Guradian

What Dino Melaye Told Obasanjo Over Letter To National Assembly

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, on Thursday reacted to the letter written by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, describing it as “a misplacement of anger.”

Arguing that Mr. Obasanjo’s regime exposed the National Assembly to corruption and easy money, Mr. Melaye (APC Kogi West), in a statement in Abuja, said he expected the former resident to have forgiven all those who “defrauded him in 2007, those who collected his money and refused to implement the 3rd term agenda.”

He said, “I have tremendous respect for President Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo. Elder statesman, respected pan Africanist and committed patriot. I went through the letter written to all senators and members of the House of Representatives. The letter I can see is a misplacement of anger.

“Our leader is mistaking the 8th National Assembly as the same Senate Assembly that defrauded him in 2007: Those who collected his money and refused to implement the 3rd term agenda. I appeal to Baba that we are not the ones please. After nine years of that bribery saga, the first of its kind, I expect forgiveness to have taken place.

“There was the case of bribery introduced by the Obasanjo’s regime in the desperate attempt to remove Speaker Ghali Umar Na’abba from office then. In fact, there was open display of that bribery money on the floor of the house.

“That government exposed the National Assembly to corruption and easy money. I hope this is not an attempt to cover up and distract attention from the Halliburton and Siemens corruption allegations.

“While I am against corruption anywhere in Nigeria, I will not support accusations based on anger and vindictiveness. The 8th Senate should also look inwardly and purge herself of all the deliberate misgivings of the past. Nigeria must work and we must support the anti corruption stand of the Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Saraki Replies Obasanjo Over Corruption Allegation

The senate president, Bukola Saraki, has reacted to a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to Mr. Saraki and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in which Mr. Obasanjo accused the National Assembly of corruption, greed, impunity and lawlessness.

Mr. Obasanjo’s letter, published  on Wednesday, said most members of the 469-member National Assembly were receiving constituency allowances without maintaining constituency offices as the law requires of them.

The former leader said he was distressed by the massive corruption and lawlessness at the National Assembly and other arms and tiers of government.

In Mr. Saraki’s statement, obtained from his media office on Thursday, the senate president assured that the Senate under his leadership was committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation.

“It is for this reason that the legislative chamber has introduced bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly,” he said.

He also said he was canvassing making the National Assembly budget open to the public.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Halliburton, Siemens’ Scams: Fayose Wants Alleged Culprits Prosecuted

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has advised the Federal Government to disabuse the minds of Nigerians that its crusade against corruption is not selective by re-opening the Halliburton and Siemens corruption scandals.

Commending the Federal Government over its declaration that the case was not dead,   Fayose said it was not enough to tell Nigerians that a case like the Halliburton and Siemens, in which many people have been jailed in other countries, especially the United States and investigations concluded in Nigeria with those alleged to be involved questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was not dead, rather, those already found wanting should be prosecuted.

Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said; “As it still appears, the statement made by the Federal Government on the Halliburton and Siemens corruption scandals may not be more than another decoy to shift the attention of Nigerians from the selective nature of President Buhari’s fight against corruption.”

The governor described the publicised arrest of President Buhari’s associate and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Jafaru Isa, and his reported refund of N100 million to the EFCC as the first trick used by the Federal Government in its attempt to deceive Nigerians into believing that the fight against corruption was not selective.

Obasanjo Bags MA Degree In Christian Theology, Graduate Next Week With 5,000 Others At NOUN Convocation

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is among over 5,000 students that would be graduating from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). He would be conferred with MA degree in Christian Theology.
The MA degree is under the School of Arts and Social Sciences and Obasanjo studied at NOUN Abeokuta study centre. His two are supervisors, Prof Isaac Ayegboyin, Head of Department of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan and Dr. Philip Tachin, lecturer in Systemic Theology Department.
Attempt by Saturday Sun to get the title of Obasanjo’s MA project proved abortive but it was learnt that the former President concluded his studies during the 2014/2015 academic session.
The graduation ceremony scheduled for Abuja next would attract stakeholders including the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, official of the National Universities Commission as well as associates of former President Obasanjo.
With his bagging of MA degree, the former President is one set to his desire to acquire PhD degree. Obasanjo while registering for his Postgraduate course in Lagos on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, promised to go for his PhD.
Obasanjo who his tenure as President resuscitated the National Open University of Nigeria, would be the star attraction at the 5th convocation ceremony scheduled to hold at University Village, National Open University of Nigeria, Cadastral Zone, Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway, Jabi-Abuja.
The Management of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has concluded arrangements to host the 5th Convocation Ceremony of the University.
The ceremony, which is slated for Friday and Saturday, 15th and 16thJanuary, 2016, will hold at the permanent site of the University, University Village, 91 Cadastral Zone,NnamdiAzikiwe Expressway, Jabi, Abuja.

Credit: Sunonline

FG To Re-Introduce Toll At Federal Roads – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has hinted that the Federal government will be re-introducing tolls at Federal roads in Nigeria. Fashola says the money generated from the tolls will be used for the maintenance of the roads. He said this during his first news conference tagged ‘Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change’ in Abuja today December 8th…

“Maintenance would be our watchword. We are setting up a robust maintenance regime to keep our highways in good shape. This shows that tolling is necessary to support government funding. So, it will not be too much if we ask every road user to pay little to augment government funding for road maintence. It is eminent commonsense for us to find that money. We will use technology; so if we don’t pay cash, you will pay by tokens or tickets and the money is accountable and it will go to the right place. We will manage that fund properly and we will hold those who we put there to account.” he said

Tope Adesipo: “Babatunde Fashola Must Reverse Privatization Of The Power Sector”

Much excitement has greeted the announcement of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola as the minister of Power,works and housing. Fashola who is a former governor of Lagos,has earned a reputation for being a performer from his time as Governor of that state.whether rightly or wrongly, I dobt doubt his competence but the truth is I’m not one of Fashola’s fans. i don’t usually agree with him I’m one of those who thinks there is so much hype around his works in Lagos which are in sharp contrast with the reality of the state and the average Lagosians. nonetheless, i badly want him to succeed in his new role. Nigeria can not afford not to get electricity right once more. it has been the bane of our development.electricity is central to the development of any Nation and Nigerians, almost six decades after independence still live in perpetual darkness while millions are not even connected at all.
Two years after the privatization of the power sector, Nigerians still depend on  generators for their power needs. so much cheer and excitement came with the privatization in 2013, all that optimism are now starting to is no news that electricity supply has failed to improve since the power sector was privatized. The former Government of Jonathan blamed vandals and insufficient gas to power but that was a spurious excuse. the truth is the cronies they handed over power distribution and generation to are clueless.  The private cronies have shown an obvious lack in capital base, technical knowledge, history/experience and the will to turn around the sector. Virtually all the private companies that bought the power sector borrowed a large chunk of money used in acquiring Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) subsidiaries in what is seen as one of the biggest scam perpetuated in Nigeria. These sharks first hurriedly registered companies for the purpose of bidding for the distorted and balkanized power sector, got some international energy company to agree as their technical partners and secured loans from the banks.despite the obvious degenerating power supply, the Nigerian electricity regulatory commission (NERC) has continued to increase tariffs.
The history of Nigeria’s electricity crisis itself reflects the history of failure of Leadership in Nigeria. In spite of the enormous wealth that accrued to the country since independence, the country’s electricity supply has not left its colonial height. No new power plant was built by successive administrations (both military and civilian) between 1980 and 2005. Yet several billions of dollars were committed to the power sector in this period. In 2005 when the Obasanjo regime tried to build some new power plants, it was clear that it was to become another conduit pipe for massive looting of public wealth. While over $10 billion was committed to building new power plants, less than 700 MW of electricity have been added to the national grid. The failure and then virtual collapse of NEPA/PHCN allowed the government to claim that nationalisation was the obstacle to providing electricity and that privatization was the answer. while that may be true,it was not only about nationalisation, NEPA failed because it was looted from within and from without. Outside contractors made millions from contracts which often were never implemented while elements within NEPA looted it for themselves. But despite many promises privatization has not improved supply but it has quickly brought price hikes.
The power sector is one sector that is heavily capital intensive and requires planned coordination and synergy amongst the different component (generation, transmission and distribution) of the power sector. According to the International Energy Association (IEA) around $6.1 billion (about N1 trillion) is needed in investment annually for the next ten years to provide electricity for all Nigeria. when you look at how much the investors have invested it is peanuts compare to how much is needed yearly to provide universal access to electricity for all Nigerians. how do you describe a situation where government sustained expenditure in the sector is more than what was pre privatization. The private companies at a time, were finding it difficult to maintain the staffs they met on ground  While generating companies (Gencos) also found it difficult to pay for gas to power the plants and replace obsolete parts of plants at some point.
The stark improvement that we saw shortly after Buhari came in, was as a result of the fear of reversal of the privatization. Now it is becoming clearer to them that Buhari government may not reverse the privatization program which the investors feared Buhari may undertake initially. it is now clear to them that the president is going to continue with it and they have gone back to their old ways. In the past two years of privatization, Nigerians have had to pay stupendous amount of money to the DISCOS in form of fixed charge of N750 by over 25 million households and a regime of crazy/estimated bills that could be as high as N20, 000 monthly for residential consumers. It is clear that with the power privatization, the government handed us over for exploitation and super profit drive of the DISCO’s and GENCOs’ who have no capacity to generate and distribute stable electricity to Nigerians at an affordable price. Why are we using estimated billing? where are the prepaid meters they promised will be supplied?
To solve Nigeria’s electricity problems the new minister must reverse the privatization program for starters . what happened is not privatization it is cronyism. going forward, we must also begin to look at sustainable form of energy generation. the NIPP projects seems to be contributing more power than the legacy Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) power plants to the national grid today. While the NIPP projects are under the government, the legacy PHCN power plants are the ones that have been sold to the private generation companies (genco’s).
Tope Adesipo
Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Rotimi Fabiyi: The New Ooni Of Ife, The Tinubu Connection, And The Obasanjo Disconnection

  On 28th July, 2015, the multibillionaire king of Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II was officially announced on several news media as being confirmed dead in a hospital in London, United Kingdom after a brief illness. The race to replace him with another prince among the hundreds of Ife princes available (both the late king’s sons and the sons of his extended paternal family members) began in earnest.

   The selection of a new king for Ile Ife was termed a “race” because of how important the ancient town of Ile Ife is in the culture and history of the Yoruba nation. According to the book authored by the multi-talented 19th century historian Reverend Samuel Ayinla Johnson, edited by his younger brother Dr. Obadiah Ajagbe Johnson (who was the 2nd Nigerian to qualify as a medical doctor after Dr Adeniyi Jones broke the record of being the 1st), and titled A History Of The Yorubas From The Earliest Times To The Beginning Of The British Protectorate (a book recognized worldwide and described by as “… a book of great merit … and a pioneering historical study…”), Ile Ife has been a very sacred town for the Yorubas for hundreds of years before the European colonials started arriving in Yorubaland because there is no king of other Yoruba towns that will ascend the throne of his ancestors without performing (as part of his many traditional rites) a secret spiritual rite that must be administered by representatives of the king of Ile Ife. Briton Professor Robert Sydney Smith likewise wrote in his own groundbreaking book titled Kingdoms Of The Yoruba that “… in ancient and even comparably recent pre-colonial times, the king of Ile Ife was regarded as more than just a king. He was in addition the chief priest of the whole Yoruba nation; what the Archbishop of Canterbury is to Great Britain and the Anglican Church was what the Ooni of Ife was to the Yoruba people …”

   Traditionalism and indigenous spiritualism aside, the social status of the Ooni of Ife is very high and the position he occupies is well respected in Nigeria and beyond. The penultimate Ooni of Ife Oba Adesoji Aderemi (who ruled as Ife king from 1930 to 1980) broke national and international records by being the 1st Nigerian to become a governor (after he replaced the tactful Briton Sir John Dalzell Rankine as governor of Western Region, Nigeria) and also the 1st black man to become a governor in the whole British Commonwealth. He was also a Nigerian federal minister even while still the Ife king; he was involved (with the illustrious political genius Obafemi Awolowo) in encouraging Anthony Enahoro to move the motion for self government for Nigeria in 1956; he was involved in the several constitutional conferences held in London, United Kingdom in the 1950s to determine the future of Nigeria, and he played an important role in the numerous attempts to settle the rapidly exacerbated Action Group Political Crisis of the early 1960s in Nigeria (see the article “Where Were You … When Oba Adesoji Aderemi Became The First Governor In Black Commonwealth Africa” by Banke Adelaja, Historical Flashback Nigerian newspaper, April 1 – May 5, 2015, pages 15 – 19 for more details). The progressive Nigerian politician Chief Obafemi Awolowo never in his lifetime hid the fact that the moral supports and beneficial advices he received from Oba Adesoji Aderemi were partly responsible for his (Awolowo’s) own imperishable political achievements so when Ooni Adesoji Aderemi died at 91 years of age in 1980, Obafemi Awolowo tried his best to make sure his own former employee and close junior friend multibillionaire Prince Okunade Sijuwade became the next king.

   35 years later in 2015, Ooni Okunade Sijuwade died and the present day power brokers in Yorubaland immediately started a race to get their own favourite Ife prince to ascend the Ile Ife throne. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (who erroneously and self-deceptively sees himself as the most prominent Yoruba alive today even though he has no tangible political structure that is well grounded in Yorubaland or in Nigeria at large) initially struggled to find a way of influencing the selection of the new king but it was the favourite of the real Yoruba leader Bola Tinubu (who is the Asiwaju of Yorubaland and the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom, whose political structures include 4 state governors out of the 6 states in Yorubaland, and whose brainchild of a political party All Progressives Congress broke records by defeating an incumbent Nigerian president and therefore achieved what no other political party in Nigerian history has ever achieved) that emerged as the present Ooni of Ife. When the 85-year-old multibillionaire Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade (who was the employer of a certain Gabriel Igbinedion that later became a multibillionaire) died on Tuesday, 28th July, 2015, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (who has been described by as “… an astute politician …”) initially wanted his long-term friend and close confidant multibillionaire Ife Prince Dipo Eludoyin, MFR (the chairman of Paragon Group that owns the popular Ikeja Mall in Lagos State, Nigeria and several other business interests in China) to be the next Ooni of Ife but Prince Eludoyin politely refused to be the next king of Ife, preferring the life of a quiet and unpublicised international multibillionaire he lives to that of a king of Ile Ife with its expected concomitant publicity and quasi-regimentation. When the pressure from his friends (particularly Asiwaju Bola Tinubu) encouraging him to become king was approaching crescendo, Prince Eludoyin quietly jetted to China (where has a multi-billion naira business empire), vowing to come back to Nigeria only after a new Ooni is installed. It was while Tinubu was looking for another Ife prince to replace the late Ooni Sijuwade that a certain Yoruba king Oba Saheed Elegushi (the Elegushi of Ikate Land, Lagos State, Nigeria) introduced a certain multibillionaire Ife prince known as Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

   Before becoming a king in 2010, Oba Saheed Elegushi (who has been a cordial business partner of Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi for many years) was a personal assistant to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during Tinubu’s 8 years as Lagos State governor from 1999 to 2007 and he (Oba Saheed Elegushi) was a Senior Special Assistant On Special Duties to Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola from 2007 to 2010. This Tinubu Connection would later make the secretary to the Government of Osun State Alhaji Moshood Adeoti announce on 26th October, 2015 on behalf of Tinubu’s political protégé Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Nigeria that the next Ooni of Ife is the multibillionaire Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. 2 days later on 28th October, 2015, Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Ogunwusi rode in a convoy of more than 100 cars from Lagos State (where he was hitherto based) to Ile Ife (where he is being made King), part of the convoy including Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who had once again been bested and humiliated by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (because the victorious and celebrated Ooni Ogunwusi was Tinubu’s choice, not Obasanjo’s choice) but who was trying his best to play to the gallery by  not to showing his disconsolation and dismay which was why he seemed to be “happier than the celebrant’’ during the home-coming car procession of the new Ooni of Ife. On 30th October, 2015, the new Ooni of Ife proceeded to the sacred traditional ritual grove at Ile Ife to commence the compulsory 21-day rites that every new Ooni must do and which some sources said involved eating 401 different light repasts (each representing the 401 traditional gods allegedly worshipped in Ile Ife) made of special secret ingredients from 401 different food saucers while other sources  insist that the number of the secret meals that the new king will consume during the 21-day period will be only 364 in number, not 401 (because the traditional gods of Ife are allegedly 364 in number, not 401) but all these could be safely dismissed as guesses because none of the rumour-mongers will be with him during the rites to know how many special meals he would eat to appease how many traditional gods or if he would even eat any special meal at all.

   Now that the new Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has been proved to be a Tinubu’s choice, one would be mistaking to see him as a pushover, an underling, a minion, or a toady because he himself is an achiever in many directions even though he is just 41 years old.  Born at exactly 1pm on Thursday, 17th October, 1974, Prince Adeyeye Ogunwusi obtained a higher national diploma, HND in Accountancy from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.  His further professional efforts made him become a full member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, an associate accounting technician, a certified member of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria, an active member of Global Real Estate Institute, GRI, a full director on the Board Of Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited (formerly GT Homes which was a subsidiary of GT Bank Plc), a director of Fina Trust Microfinance Bank Limited, and the sole founder and Managing Director of Gran Imperio Group which is the holding company for many of his multifarious business interests which include real estate, civil construction, manufacturing, facilities management, leisure and tourism, etc within and outside of Nigeria.

   Apart from being an unpretentious philanthropist (he donated rice and tilling equipments to Oyo and Ogun States chapters of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria; funded the purchase and installation of power transformers and electricity poles in many rural communities across Nigeria; granted scholarships to scores of indigent students; and single-handedly paid for the reconstruction of a 6.5 km road with 1.1 km green extension in a community in Nigeria without any financial intervention from the government), Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi has had very close working relationships spanning several years  in the direction of multiple business partnerships with several top-notch kings in Yorubaland some of whom include late Ooni Okunade Sijuade of Ile Ife, Osun State; Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikate Land, Lagos State; Oba Adedapo  Tejuosho of Abeokuta, Ogun State; Oba Oloruntoyin Saliu of Oworonshoki, Lagos State; Oba Akinloye of Ajiran Land, Lagos State; Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi of Ofa, Kwara State, etc.  A husband to 1 wife (Mrs, now Olori Adedokun Adebisi Ogunwusi) and a father to 1 daughter (Adeola Aanuoluwapo Ogunwusi), he has 450 direct employees and over 3,000 indirect employees in his numerous companies even though he celebrated his 41st birthday on 17th October, 2015 (9 days before his name was announced as the next Ooni of Ife).

   Notwithstanding the petition written by a certain non-governmental organisation named Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice, CHRSJ (chaired by a certain Mr Adeniyi Suleiman) and forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC requesting it (EFCC) to immediately arrest, detain and prosecute the new Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi for an alleged forgery, fraudulent conversion, and obtaining of 400 million naira, history will be made when history repeats itself when the Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Ogunwusi is coronated plausibly in late November 2015 by the bespectacled Governor Rauf Aregbesola who is an Ijesha indigene and who is a political protégé of a bespectacled Lagos-based political giant Bola Tinubu (the same way the late Ooni Okunade Sijuade was coronated 35 years earlier in 1980 by a bespectacled Governor Bola Ige who is an Ijesha indigene and who was a political protégé of a bespectacled  Lagos-based political giant Obafemi Awolowo) and it is expected that Ooni Ogunwusi will have a very long and peaceful reign filled with several unique achievements like the reign of late Ooni Adesoji Aderemi (who became an Ife king at 41 years of age like the present  Ooni Ogunwusi) though nobody wants history to repeat itself with the way the hitherto-healthy, flamboyant money-spraying Lagos multimillionaire socialite Ladipo Bobo Doherty (who was a close friend of Ooni Sijuwade and who married Tejumade, the daughter of Lagos multimillionaire Rex Ibikunle Alakija) suddenly collapsed and died within few seconds after spraying some hard currency during the party organised in honour of Ooni Okunade Sijuade during his coronation ceremony in December 1980 (see the article ‘’Bobo Doherty Is Dead’’, Sunday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, December 7 ,1980, page 1 for more details), fuelling a series of rumours in the direction of the Abobaku Myth(i e the mythical belief that at least one human being must die a strange, sudden death as a spiritual sacrifice during the coronation of a Yoruba king).

   The emergence of multibillionaire Ife Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi as the new Ooni of Ife clearly happened through Tinubu Connection (as detailed above) and it clearly sequelled into a serious Obasanjo emotional disconnection.  Nothing needs to be further said.

                         Engr Rotimi Fabiyi, MNIM, MNSChE, MNSE, COREN Reg,

                        P.O Box 1709, Ikorodu Town, Lagos State, Nigeria

                          +2348184741410, +2348129698326



                        whatsapp@08184741410, 08129698326

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates


MASSOB Replies Obasanjo: ‘Nothing Will Stop Biafra’

Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB0, yesterday said the self-determination struggle remained on course despite efforts by some ‘bad eggs’ to discredit genuine activists,the Sun reports..

Reacting to a recent statement by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that the Biafran struggle had become an avenue to defraud people, MASSOB’s Director of Information, Uchenna Madu said the struggle remains a genuine movement despite the activities of few ‘bad eggs’.
Contrary to Obasanjo’s claims, Madu noted that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director Biafra Radio, was totally committed towards realising Biafra.
Madu said:

“After our monthly national officers’ meeting at MASSOB headquarters at Freedom House, Okwe, we have decided as follows: Olusegun Obasanjo’s assertion that Biafran activists are fraudsters and General Yakubu Gowon’s statement that Biafra is a closed issue, were all made because of their conviction on a certain individual’s betrayal and deviation from the Biafra struggle.

Obasanjo Pays Homage To New Ooni Of Ife

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday visited the new Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi at Ile-Ife. Obasanjo visited and paid homage just as the new king was presented to his people.

An aide of the former president said that Mr. Obasanjo had to visit Mr. Ogunwusi on Wednesday because he had an overseas trip scheduled for Thursday.

During the visit, Mr. Obasanjo congratulated the new king, and wished him well as he mounted the throne of his forefathers.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Engr Rotimi Fabiyi: ‘Why Professor Wole Soyinka Has Issues With Olusegun Obasanjo’

 On a certain day in August 2015, the internationally respected Nobel Literature Prize winner Professor Wole Soyinka told the world that he has commenced the writing of a book that will be titled Republic Of Liars and that will be based on some of the numerous lies of Nigeria’s ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (who is presently a doctorate degree student of National Open University of Nigeria) had earlier written in his 2014 autobiographical book titled My Watch that Professor Soyinka is not as intellectual excellent as he has make himself believe because he actually is an expert in only 2 directions which are that he is a wine connoisseur and a guinea fowl hunter.

   Expectedly, Wole Soyinka was angry at this Obasanjo’s trivialising description of him but instead of engaging in verbal quarrel with Obasanjo, he has elected to reply Obasanjo in writing and specifically in book form. Professor Soyinka’s forthcoming book will not be the first book to counter the content of a book written by Chief Obasanjo. A certain Nigerian brigadier general named Godwin Alabi–Isama used 163 pages out of his 621-paged book titled The Tragedy Of Victory. On-The-Spot Account Of The Nigeria- Biafra War In The Atlantic Theatre to debunk and disprove much of what Obasanjo wrote in his own first published book titled My Command while a certain politician named Ebenezer Babatope (who was the director of organisation of Obafemi Awolowo’s now defunct political party Unity Party of Nigeria) wrote a whole book titled Not His Will. The Awolowo – Obasanjo Wager to counter (a) most of what Obasanjo wrote against the illustrious Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his book titled Not My Will and (b) most of what Obasanjo said against the selfsame Awolowo in an interview with The Guardian Nigerian newspaper.

   Before Professor Soyinka releases to the general public this his forthcoming book titled Republic Of Liars, myself Rotimi Fabiyi have elected to tell the world few of Obasanjo’s many untruths, falsities, fibs and lies. It is important to note that the lies of Obasanjo as listed and explained in this article are not arranged based on their importance, nor were they listed chronologically

(1) Obasanjo Claims He Never Had 3rd Term Ambition. This is a wicked lie. In her autobiography titled No Higher Honour, former United States Secretary Of State Ms Condoleezza Rice stated that she was physically present when then-Nigerian President Obasanjo told then US Prsesident George H.W Bush Jnr. at the White House that he (Obasanjo) wanted to go for 3rd term. Bush told him not to do such but he went on to do it and ridiculed himself by failing woefully with his 3rd Term Agenda

(2)Obasanjo Claims In His book Titled My Watch That He Never Knew That Umar Yaradua Had A Terminal Sickness. This is another lie. He has been close to Yaradua family since the 1970s when Shehu Yaradua (Umar Yaradua’s elder brother) was his deputy head of state when he (Obasanjo) was Nigerian military head of state so he clearly must have known about Yaradua’s ailment but lied as usual

(3)Obasanjo Claims He Built FESTAC Town, Lagos State, Nigeria. Another lie.  Festac town was fully paid for by General Yakubu Gowon before he was deposed as Nigerian ruler, Obasanjo only commissioned the building upon completion. Gowon copied this method of fully paying for a project from Chief Obafemi Awolowo (who was Gowon’s finance  minister for 5 years) because Awolowo used the same method to pay for Nigeria’s 1st skyscraper Cocoa House a decade earlier

(4)Obasanjo Claims He Built National Theatre. Another lie. Gowon made a full payment for National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos State, Nigeria (it was Awolowo that told Gowon to design National Theatre in the shape of a military cap called peak cap). Obasanjo simply commissioned it on completion and till today claims the glory (see the book The Nigerian Year Book 1975 by James Ojiako (ed.) for evidence that Gowon started and nearly completed the construction of National Theatre)

(5)Obasanjo Claims He Stopped The 1967 Agbekoya Riots In Western State, Nigeria. This is a strange lie. The price of cocoa was rapidly declining in 1967 and the cocoa farmers in Yorubaland (then known as Western State) were infuriated that the Federal Government of Nigeria apparently didn’t give a damn (obviously because all the attention of the Federal Government was on winning the then ongoing Biafra War). The cocoa farmers eventually decided to stage a protest and march to the State Government House at Ibadan. Even before they reached their destination, they had started destroying everything they met on the way and even overpowered the guards at Agodi Prisons and freed all the inmates. When the head of the Nigerian Army Garrison stationed at Ibadan Olusegun Obasanjo was contacted by the governor Robert Adeyinka Adebayo to help disperse the rioting farmers, he simply gave the excuse that he had no equipment for such a task. It was a civilian Mr. C.S Akande that summoned courage and blew up the bridge between the state government house and the rioting farmers’ route (with dynamites used to break rocks) and saved the day so Obasanjo should stop lying (see the books Onward Soldier Marches On: A Biography Of Major General Adeyinka Adebayo and The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama for more details)

(6)He Claims He Knows Nothing About The Burning Down Of Fela’s House In 1978 .Another Lie. In February 1978, musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s house was besieged by hundreds of soldiers of the Nigerian Army obviously because of Fela’s endless criticism of Obasanjo’s military junta. Fela and other residents and visitors to his multi-storey house on that day were not only beaten to pulp, his mother Mrs. Ransome-Kuti (who was the 1st Nigerian woman to drive a car and also the 1st Nigerian woman to form a political party) was thrown from the 4th floor by the soldiers (she died of multiple fractures few weeks later) and the whole 4-storey building with Fela’s clothes, 500 pairs of shoes, money, musical instruments, master tapes, motor cars, etc were burnt to ashes (see the book A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon for more details). How can such a dastardly act by hundreds of soldiers happen in daylight in Lagos right under the nose of then Lagos-residing General Obasanjo and yet he claims ignorance of it?

(7)He Sees Himself As A Paradigm Of Accountability. This is a lie. During Obasanjo’s military rule from 1976 to 1979, Buhari was the petroleum minister but at a stage he was required to go oversees for a 1-year military course so head of state General Obasanjo took over the petroleum portfolio. Throughout the 12 months that Obasanjo took charge of Nigeria’s oil, the 1-year oil money (about 2.8 billion naira which was equivalent to 4 billion US dollars because Nigerian currency was at that time stronger that U.S currency i e US $1=54kobo) Nigeria made could not be found till today. This was why Awolowo told Nigerian in 1979 that he will probe Obasanjo if he (Awolowo) wins 1979 Presidential Elections and that was why Obasanjo made sure Awolowo lost that election. Part of that money allegedly strayed to Idi Amin’s Uganda on its way to Swiss banks and the whole episode was analysed in books like A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon, Watch The Watcher. A Book Of Remembrance Of Obasanjo Years by Yinka Odumakin, Beckoned To Serve by Shehu Shagari, Nigeria. 20 Years Of Independence by Financial Times Of London, Out Of Nigeria by J.K Brandler and also in individual books by British author Jeffry Archer and Nigerian author Oba Otudeko

(8)Obasanjo Usually States That He Created A Level Playing Ground During 1979 Elections. This is a vicious lie. Just before the 1979 Presidential Elections, Obasano was asked by a journalist who he thought would win. His reply that “…the best candidate [obviously Awolowo] may not win the election …” made many confirm even before the election that Obasanjo did not want Awolowo as president (see page ix of the book Watch The Watcher. A Book Of Remembrance Of Obasanjo Years by Yinka Odumakin)

(9)Obasanjo Claims 1979 Presidential Elections Was Free And Fair. Another big lie. FEDECO (which was an equivalent of today’s INEC) was then led by an Obasanjo stooge named Chief Michael Ani. In that election, the myth of “indivisible north” was shattered because 3 candidates from 3 parties came out for president from the north (i e NPN’s Shehu Shagari, GNPP’s Ibrahim Waziri, and PRP’s Aminu Kano). With the votes in the north divided into 3, Awolowo’s party UPN made giant strides and clearly won the election but when FEDECO saw that Awolowo’s vote was at 4.92 million while Shagari’s vote was at 5.7 million, FEDECO simply stopped counting the ballot and declared Shagari winner because the states remaining to be counted (Kano, Borno, Bauchi, Gongola, etc) will never vote Shagari. Apart from Yorubaland, Awolowo’s party UPN won several senatorial and representative seats in states like Gongola, Bendel, Cross River, Kaduna, Kano and Kwara which means Awolowo’s party was truly national (see the books Nigeria Returns To Civil Rule by Okion Ojigbo,, The 1979 Elections by Lai Joseph, Nigeria: Shadow Of A Great Nation by Lai Joseph, 13 Years Of Military Rule. 1966 –1979 by James Ojiako, and  Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotosho for more details)

(10)Obasanjo Claims He Never Knew President Shehu Shagari Would Be Ousted By Coup. Another big lie. Ibrahim Babangida would later state in an interview that when he and his coupist clique told Obasanjo of their plan to depose Shehu Shagari by a coup, “… he [Obasanjo] said he was not stopping us from going ahead with the plot …” (see page 14 of the book Soldiers Of Fortune by British-Nigerian author Max Siollun for more details)

(11)Obasanjo Claims He Encouraged MKO Abiola In His June 12, 1993 Presidential Bid. This is a discouraging lie. Multibillionaire MKO Abiola and former Nigerian Army General Olusegun Obasanjo were truly secondary school mates at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria and they were both respectively the editors and deputy-editors of the selfsame school’s magazine but Obasanjo was not too enthusiastic about Abiola’s emergence as Nigerian president as shown not only in his actions at that time but also by his statements. Not only did Obasanjo avoid been seen with Abiola during the latter’s massive presidential campaign in 1993, it was also recorded on page 569 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama that “… during Chief [MKO] Abiola’s June 12 issue in Nigeria, General Obasanjo then said that Chief Abiola was not the messiah that [Nigerians)]were looking for…” Unsurprisingly, Abiola’s clear presidential mandate was cancelled few days later by General Ibrahim Babangida, proving that Obasanjo worked against MKO Abiola’s presidential ambition but lies to the contrary

(12)Some Think Obasanjo Formed People’s Democratic Party. Another thoughtless lie. General Sanni Abacha died on 8th June, 1998 and was immediately replaced by General Abdulsalam Abubakar whose first acts in office included the release of Obasanjo, Bola Ige and 7 others from prison on 15th June, 1998. Even though Obasanjo told journalists on that same day that “… I am willing to serve …”,  he did not immediately join (much less form) any political movement of the time. As for Bola Ige, he immediately started the formation of a political party tentatively known as G-34 and by 15th July, 1998 when he officially announced the formation of the G-34 party, he named the leaders of the party as himself Bola Ige, Alex Ekwueme (an eastern Nigerian) and Solomon Lar (a northern Nigerian) to give it a national outlook. On 25th August, 1998, the same Bola Ige & Co led G-34 announced its final official name as People’s Democratic Party but few days later, Bola Ige, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and several others willingly (and angrily) left PDP to form another party called All Progressive Party, APP because they were infuriated by the large numbers of anti-progressives (including many conservatives like Ibrahim Babangida and his military boys who worked against democracy by cancelling June 12 Elections years earlier) rushing to register with PDP. APP was officially registered on 31st August, 1998 but on 2nd September, 1998, almost half of the members of the newly formed APP left the party as a protest against the acceptance of “Abacha Politicians” (i e those Nigerian politicians that openly supported the Gestapo regime of General Sanni Abacha) like Lamidi Adedibu into the party. This break-away group (led by Bola Ige) immediately formed Alliance for Democracy and it was on 16th September, 1998 that PDP announced that Obasanjo had registered with the party which means that Obasanjo joined PDP 21 days after the party was officially registered (for more details, see the article “Let’s Rewind: The Story Of Our New Democracy. The First Obasanjo Years” by Yemi Ogunjobi , Historical Flashback Nigerian newspaper, June 3 – June 30, 2015, pages 22-25) so he and his cronies should stop acting as if he (Obasanjo) formed and owns PDP

(13)Obasanjo Claims He Never Promised In 1999 To Spend Only 4 Years As Nigerian President. A strange lie. Obasanjo’s open promise in 1999 that he does not need to be Nigerian president for more than one term of 4 years was what made Babangida publicly and boldly state just before the 1999 Elections that he also was ready for politics but he only wanted to wait for his boss (Obasanjo) to go for it first, so Obasanjo should stop lying to the contrary

(14)Obasanjo Claims He Respects Nigerian Constitution. This is a lie. When Lagos State Government created additional local governments during the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, then president Obasanjo insisted that Governor Tinubu should immediately scrap the new local governments even though Section 8, Subsections 3(a), 3(b), 3(c) and 3(d) of the 1999 Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria clearly state that any of the 36 states in Nigeria has the right to create new local governments. When Tinubu refused to rescind the local governments (because their creation was legally backed by Nigerian Constitution), Obasanjo went further in his rascality to illegally seize the budgetary allocation of Lagos State in an effort to financially destabilize the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu but Tinubu proved himself to be a superior administrator by making Lagos State survive and even excel financially without federal allocation

(15)Obasanjo Claims He Has The Right To Remove A State Governor During State Of Emergency. This is a brazen lie. Section 305, Subsections 1 to 6 of the Nigerian Constitution has clearly explained the procedure for declaration of state of emergency but there is no provision whatsoever therein that states that the president of the Federal Government of Nigeria has the right to remove a governor in whose state a state of emergency is declared. Section 188, Subsections 1 to 11 provide for the removal of a governor or deputy governor from office but no provision therein states that a state governor can be removed from office by the president or because a state of emergency is declared in his state

(16)Some Persons Believe That If Obasanjo Had Supported Jonathan In 2015 Presidential Election, Jonathan Would Have Won. This is another lie. If Obasanjo had stood with Jonathan throughout the 2015 elections, he would have been disgraced with Jonathan by Nigerian voters.  Obasanjo does not command votes as some of his toadies would want Nigerians to believe-his daughter was thoroughly defeated by Tinubu’s ACN candidate when she contested to be a senator in Ogun State in 2011, his stooge General Olurin (rtd) was completely defeated by a Tinubu’s ACN candidate in the 2011 Ogun State Governorship Elections (Olurin openly congratulated Amosun when the latter defeated him so it was not Jonathan that was the first PDP candidate that failed in elections and yet congratulated his successful opponent as some liars want us to believe), his candidate Debo Dosumu was defeated by Tinubu’s ACN candidate in 2011 Lagos State Governorship elections (Mr  Dosumu promptly congratulated Fashola that defeated him when he learnt  of the latter’s election success), all the PDP governors he imposed on Southwest Nigeria did not last very long, and he himself lost elections in his state and even in his local government in 1999 Presidential Elections

(17) After Tearing His PDP Membership Card, Obasanjo Joined APC . Another lie. After instructing the chairman of PDP in his ward to tear his PDP membership card on 16th February, 2015, Obasanjo did not join APC as some people have made themselves believe

(18)Obasanjo Claims That He Never Liked Tinubu Because Tinubu Is Too Corrupt. This is a pernicious lie. As far back as November 2000, Obasanjo tried to cajole Tinubu to leave his then political party Alliance for Democracy, AD and join the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. This was because of the serious cleavage that developed in the AD on 1st November, 2000 when the party strangely held 2 different conventions and 2 different party chairmen strangely emerged (viz  Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadri and Alhaji Yusuf Mamman). As INEC announced that it recognized Ahmed Abdulkadri (instead of Yusuf Mamman as widely and normally expected), everybody knew AD was set to ruin itself with an intra-party power tussle so Obasanjo reportedly sent delegates to Tinubu to encourage him to decamp to PDP but Tinubu refused and instead formed his own party Action Congress, AC  sometime later. In other words, Obasanjo proved himself to be a liar by saying he never liked Tinubu because he once tried to woo Tinubu to PDP

(19)Obasanjo Claims He Had No Hand In Bukola Saraki’s Crooked Emergence As Senate President. Another lie. Few days after the political coup that crookedly made Saraki a senate president , he (Saraki) visited Obasanjo at his Hilltop Mansion located in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria in the company of die-hard “Obasanjo Boys” like Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Ahmed Sanni Yerima, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Tayo Alasoadura and Senator Andy Uba (the very set of persons that made Saraki crookedly become senate president) and held a closed door meeting with him (Obasanjo) for about 2 hours. That meeting clearly showed that Obasanjo was actually the brain behind Saraki’s crooked emergence as senate president even though he wants us to believe otherwise (see page 4 of Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 20 June, 2015 for more details)

(20)He Portrays Himself As A Nationalist .  Another barefaced lie. Obasanjo likes to state that his supports of Shehu Shagari in 1979 Presidential Elections, Umar Yaradua in 2007 Presidential Elections and Jonathan in 2011 Presidential Elections show that he is a nationalist, not a tribalist but a close look at his political shenanigans shows that he only supports candidates loyal to him. Remember that he himself connoted in one of his pronouncements before 1979 Presidential Elections that Awolowo was the best candidate but made sure Shagari “won” obviously because of Awolowo’s promise that he will probe him (Obasanjo) when elected

(21)When Ooni Of Ife Okunade Sijuwade Died In 2015, Obasanjo Spoke Of Him As If They Have Always Been Good Friends. This is another lie. Multibillionaire businessman Prince Okunade Sijuwade (who was an employee of Chief Obafemi Awolowo from 1951 to 1953) was coronated as the king of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria in December 1980 by Oyo State Governor Bola Ige (who was an Awolowo political protégé and who became governor on the platform of Awolowo’s political party Unity Party Of Nigeria, UPN). Before, during and after the coronation, Obasanjo was one of the few persons that ceaselessly excoriated the emergence of multibillionaire Prince Sijuwade as the king of Ife, denouncing the whole episode as an Awolowo-orchestrated affair in which he (Awolowo) imposed his boy Bola Ige (who was elected and sworn-in in 1979) as Oyo State Governor and imposed another of his boy (Prince Sijuwade, who was the employer of a certain Gabriel Igbinedion that later became a multibillionaire) as the Ooni of Ife even though Bola Ige became a governor after contesting against and defeating several political opponents in the governorship election held on 28th July, 1979 while multibillionaire Prince Sijuwade became a king after all the kingmakers in Ile-Ife unanimously decided to pick him as the king. With Obasanjo’s excoriation of King Sijuwade on record, he (Obasanjo) simply confirmed himself as a liar by suggesting that they were close friends

(22)Obasanjo Usually States That, As A Pastor, He Always Has A Clear Mind With Every Human Being. This is a patent lie. If he truly has a clear mind with every human being, he wouldn’t have ridiculed Awolowo (he once described Awolowo as “… a failed politician whose many election losses have made him lost touch with reality…” in an interview with The Guardian Nigerian newspaper), sabotaged Abiola (by openly stating that Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria was looking for), victimized Tinubu (by illegally and unconstitutionally seizing the financial allocation of Lagos State during the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu), trivialised Soyinka (by calling him an empty-headed fellow that knows nothing except how to hunt guinea fowl and how to identify a wine by its taste), etc

(23)He Usually Implies That He Never Had A Questionable Source Of Fund While In The Nigerian Army. This is clearly a lie. In 1963, a certain Nigerian Army officer named Alani Akinrinade took his military friend Godwin Alabi-Isama to visit another military friend named Olusegun Obasanjo. Alabi-Isama was surprised to see that Obasanjo (then a mere 2nd lieutenant) was living in his own house not in a small village where land will be very cheap but in a big cosmopolitan city like Ibadan where land was sure to be expensive so he (Alabi-Isama) promptly asked his friend Akirinade “… how could a 2nd lieutenant … build a house in Ibadan for himself …?” (see page 401 of the Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama). If ownership of a house by a 2nd lieutenant of the Nigerian Army in a big city as at 1963 is not a questionable affair (on page 444 of the same book, Alabi-Isama wrote that “[when I was a 2nd lieutenant], … the [Nigerian] Army did not approve of my marriage on the presumption that I …. would not be able to maintain a wife on the salary of a second lietenant…”), Alabi-Isama clearly would not have expressed the type of surprise he spontaneously expressed

(24)Obasanjo Farms Is His Brainchild .  Another lie.  According to the book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo (who Olusegun Obasanjo married on 22nd June, 1963 at Camberwell Green Registry, South East London, United Kingdom when she was just 21 years old and he was 26 years old), the idea to start a poultry farm business was that of Oluremi Obasanjo (not of her husband Olusegun Obasanjo) when she started a poultry farm in Ogun State with her own money but (to her greatest mistake) on her husband’s piece of land. By the time she started making huge sums of money (particularly from egg sales) from the poultry farm, Obasanjo arranged for her to be arrested (while transporting a truckload of eggs and fowls to Lagos State for sale) and accused of stealing eggs and fowls. She was detained at Lafenwa Police Station, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria for several days and when she regained her freedom, she wisely left the poultry farm for her strange and estranged husband and the farm later metamorphosed into Obasanjo Farms, Nigeria

(25)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That He Is A Prude Or Even A Celibate. This is a clear lie. According to his wife Oluremi Obasanjo (who has HND in Institutional Management) in her book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo, “… [Olusegun Obasanjo’s] womanising knows no bounds …” and she also wrote that he has “…  monumental moral indiscipline …” due to his multiple sexual relationships with many women of different extraction (women older than him, wives of other army officers, etc) though she was honest enough to explain in her own words that whenever it became necessary, she wasted no opportunity to slap, beat, kick and even bite other Obasanjo women (all of whom she named and described in details in the book) so Olusegun Obasanjo should stop behaving like a prude or even a celibate because the details emanating from his wife confirm the exact opposite

(26)He Gives The Impression That He Quelled The 1976 Dimka Coup . Another blatant lie. In a military setting, the proper thing is for the second-in-command to immediately take charge when the commander is suddenly incapacitated by wound or death but when General Murtala Muhammed (then Nigerian head of state) was shot dead by Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Sukar Dimka on Friday, 13th February, 1976 as part of a coup d’etat, his (Murtala’s) second-in-command Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo simply disappeared and left the command structure leaderless but not rudderless because Colonel Ibrahim Babangida volunteered to reconnaissance the military strength of Dimka while Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma arranged the strike force (from Bonny Camp, Lagos State, Nigeria) that effectively neutralized the Dimka Coup (based on Babangida’s eventual intelligence report). It was about 5pm (several hours after the coup had been smashed by his subordinates) that Obasanjo surfaced after spending hours hiding without his military uniform (to avoid being detected) in the sprawling mansion of Lagos multimillionaire businessman Chief S.B Bakare which means he was not in any way involved in quelling the coup but actually ran away during the coup (see the books The Tragedy Of Victory  by Godwin Alabi-Isama, Not My Will by Olusegun Obasanjo, Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotosho, and Oil, Politics And Violence. Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966 – 1976) by Max Siollun for more details

(27)Obasanjo Usually Implies That All Northern Nigerian Army Officers Supported Him When Murtala Died In 1976. This is a big lie. According to page 437 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama, Colonel Ibrahim Babangida and Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma initially wanted to form a new government when Murtala was killed during Dimka Coup because they were the 2 persons directly responsible for smashing that coup on 13th February, 1976 mainly because Murtala’s second-in-command (Obasanjo) that supposed to immediately rally soldiers to counter-attack the coupists himself ran away but Brigadier Alabi-Isama and Brigadier Alani Akinrinade insisted that “… the next senior officer must be the next head of state, and that was Obasanjo…[but Danjuma and Babangida immediately asked if it made sense for]… the senior officer who ran away during a coup against the government in which he was number two [to]come back to lead those who put the coup down …” Danjuma and Babangida later accepted Obasanjo’s emergence as head-of-state but it is on record that they initially refused to support (with tangible reason) the emergence

(28)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That He Willingly Chose To Go To War Front In 1969. Another lie. When the Nigerian Supreme Military Council headed by General Gowon decided to replace then Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Adekunle with Lieutenant Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo as the commander of the 3rd Marine Commandos of the Nigerian Army during Nigerian Civil War, Gowon told Major Alani Akinrinade and Major Godwin Alabi-Isama to go and inform Obasanjo (who until then was not directly involved with the ongoing war) of the new post and also to inform him of the Commandos’ efforts till that time and what was expected of him when he becomes the commander of the 3rd Marine Commandos. After Akinrinade and Alabi-Isama spent four and a half hours to brief him, “… Obasanjo … [surprisingly] told us that he was an engineer, and that he was not going to war front! …” which made Alabi–Isama “ …[grew] so annoyed that I went on pouring venom on this officer [Obasanjo], asking [him]what engineering university he did attend anyway…[and]reminded him also that engineers like Bayo Onadeko, Oladejobi and Duke who were university graduates [were] at the war front …” It was only when General Gown announced on the news media Obasanjo’s new post that he choicelessly went to war  front though in the company of the then Nigerian Army chaplain Colonel Father Pedro Martins, an act which turned him into a laughing stock because he clearly had the puerile belief that he was brought to the war front to die (see pages 40 5–409 of The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama for more detailed information about this episode)

(29)Obasanjo Always Portrays Himself As An Epitome Of A Good Soldier. This is an epitome of a bad lie. Obasanjo officially took over command of the 3rd Marine Commandos on Friday, 16th May, 1969 and, within a week, he ordered that Nigerian soldiers should attack a Biafran town named Ohoba (despite the fact that his subordinates Alani Akinrinde and Godwin Alabi–Isama told him how disastrous such a venture would be). Within an hour of battle, 1000 Nigerian soldiers were dead (see pages 659–660 of The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama) and Obasanjo himself wrote that “… [when we attacked Ohoba] causalities (sic) were high, some one thousand and four hundred killed, wounded and missing at the end of the operation …” (see page 97 of My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo). Only a novice commander would lose 1400 soldiers in a single battle and only a novice soldier will become a novice commander so Obasanjo should stop seeing himself as an epitome of a good soldier

(30)He Openly States That He Devised The Plan That Ended The Nigerian Civil War. This is a planless lie. In his book titled My Command, Obasanjo told the world that Nigerian Civil War ended by his actualization of his self –devised war plan named Operation Tail Wind but he curiously forgot to include detailed maps and sketches that any original military commander will surely include in a military book like My Command. A deeper research however shows that his bogus Operation Tail Wind was a carbon copy of his subordinate Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier  General) Alabi–Isama’s Operation Pincer 2 war plan as minutely detailed in Alabi–Isama’s book The Tragedy Of Victory (which contains about 500 maps and pictures). In other words, Nigerian Civil War was won by Nigeria with Alabi–Isama’s Operation Pincer 2, not by any plagiarism called Operation Tail Wind by Obasanjo

(31)Obasanjo Is Fond Of Referring To Himself As An Engineer. This is an engineered lie. Because he was an army sapper (a sapper is a soldier whose job is to build or repair roads, bridges, etc), Obasanjo is fond of calling himself an engineer but for a Nigerian to be qualified to call himself an engineer, he has to be registered with the Council For The Regulation Of Engineering In Nigerian, COREN after passing a series of examinations set by the Council. Obasanjo till today is not registered with COREN and an eyewitness to one of his projects as an army sapper wrote that “ … even in army engineering, when Colonel Obasanjo [who was the head of Nigerian Army Engineering] tried to build Ojuelagba Bridge …  in Lagos [State] after the [Nigerian Civil] War, the bridge collapsed in … front of all invited guests on the day of opening. Why did the bridge collapsed? …” (see page 614 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi –Isama. See also the book A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon for more details)

(32)Obasanjo Usually Gives The Impression That He Detests and Despises The Coup Plotters Of January 1966. This is a detestable lie. In his book titled My Command, Obasanjo angrily (and rightly) wrote damnable things about the perpetrators of the 15th January, 1966 coup (in which Nigerian politicians like Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and his pregnant wife named Zarumi, Festus Okotie – Eboh, and Ladoke Akintola and Nigerian senior military officers like Abogo Largema, Zakariya Maimalari, Yakubu Pam, Mohammed Kur, Samuel Ademulegun and his pregnant wife named Latifat, Ralph Shodeinde,  etc were brutally but needlessly shot dead) and in the biography he (Obasanjo) wrote about one of the culprits named Nzeogwu and titled Nzeogwu, Obasanjo rightly called the coup plotters “ … reactionaries … ” but according to Adewale Ademoyega (who was part of the perpetrators of the bloody coup and who remained impenitent for the needless multiple murders till he died in 2007), “ … for… two days, I stayed very warmly with  … Nzeogwu [who led the coup] … , Anuforo [who was also part of the coup plotters, and] …  Obasanjo … [who] had just arrived back in Nigeria [2 days after the coup from] … a military course in India. [Obasanjo] was full of praise and admiration for Nzeogwu and for all the officer and men [that staged the bloody coup]…, he believed that is a high level achievement in spite of our subsequent failure to take over the government of the Federation. Obasanjo regretted that he was not around to have taken part in the [coup]…, gave us his unqualified support and hoped that things might yet turn in our favour … ” (see pages 136 and 137 of the book Why We Struck. The Story Of The First Nigerian Coup by Adewale Ademoyega). In other words, Obasanjo actually gave retroactive moral support for the unnecessary (and unnecessarily bloody) coup of 15th January, 1966 but wants Nigerians and the world to believe otherwise

(33)He Presents Himself As A Warrior That Led His Soldiers By Example. This is a good example of a lie. Throughout the 6 short months he spent at the war front during the Nigerian Civil War, Obasanjo was never present with his soldiers on the battle field (compared with his immediate predecessor Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle who always led his soldiers on the battle field) but always several hundreds of kilometers away mostly at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. See several evidences to back this fact in the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama and also in the book Not My Will by Olusegun Obasanjo in which he himself indirectly declared himself a coward when he wrote of how he ran away (instead of immediately organising in a counter-attack strike force) in 1976 when Australia-trained Dimka shot Muritala dead (see the book Oil, Politics And Violence. Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966–1976) by Max Siollun for additional information about the coup)

(34)Obasanjo Usually Talks Of How He Easily Forgives People That Offend Him. This is an offensive lie. When  a certain Brigadier–General Godwin Alabi–Isama tendered his willful resignation letter to the Nigerian Army in May 1977, General Obasanjo-led Federal Government of Nigeria kept mute but when the Federal Republic Of Nigeria Official Gazette was published in December 1977, the selfsame Alabi-Isama (who called Obasanjo a fake engineer to his face 8 years earlier because Obasanjo was trying to dodge going to war front) was not listed as resigned from Nigerian Army but as “… dismissed from Nigerian Army …” and therefore deprived of pension and gratuity (see pages 445,455 and 462 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama). So much for Obasanjo’s ease of  “forgiving” people

(35)Obasanjo Speaks Of Meritocracy As If He Became Nigerian Ruler Through Merit.  Another meritorious lie. From the 1967 Agbekoya Riots, Nigerian Civil War, 1976 Dimka Coup to 1977 FESTAC, 1999 Presidential Election, etc, Obasanjo has always surfaced towards the end of an event and simply take the glory. This is why an online news media Sahara Reporters published an article which declared Obasanjo as “ … the luckiest Nigerian ever … ” In other words, Obasanjo achieved all he achieved not because of merit  but  simply because of luck

(36)Obasanjo Parades Himself As Being Humble And Knowledgeable. Another humble lie. In his book titled Not His Will. The Awolowo–Obasanjo Wager, Ebenezer Babatope described Obasanjo as “ … suffering from a complex problem which makes him think only him can solve Nigeria’s problems … ” while in his book titled Beckoned To Serve, Shehu Shagari wrote that “… [Obasanjo falsely] sees himself as a super administrator, super diplomat and a military genius …”  So much for Obasanjo’s alleged humility and knowledgeability

(37)Obasanjo Portrays Himself As A Quintessence Of A Good Family Man. Another quintessential lie. In the book titled Bitter-Sweet. My Life With Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo, she wrote of how she once sold some of her gold jewelries to pay the school fees of 2 of her children attending Corona Schools, Victoria Island, Lagos State, Nigeria because their father Olusegun Obasanjo bluntly refused to pay and on page 81 of the same book, she explained that when Enitan (their 6th child) fell ill and was hospitalised, “ … it was [former Inspector General Of Nigerian Police Force] M.D Yusuf who paid the hospital bill … ” Obasanjo’s daughter Iyabo Obasanjo–Bello would also write in The Vanguard Nigerian newspaper of 18 December, 2013 that “ … of course [my father] is the great pretender, making people believe [he] has a good family life and a good relationship with [his] children but once in a while [his] pretence gets cracked …”

(38)Obasanjo Speaks Of Himself As Being A Fearless Old Soldier. This is a fearless lie. When then-Nigerian ruler General Sanni Abacha sentenced Obasanjo to death for his alleged role in a planned (but not yet executed) coup, Obasanjo openly burst into tears in front of the press both national and international. No fearless soldier will weep openly  because of being sentenced to death (Iraqi General Saddam Hussein, Nazi German Reich Marshall Herman Goering, etc were sentenced to death in front of world press but they did not weep like Obasanjo but rather accepted their fate like any original fearless soldier does). Obasanjo’s profuse tears plausibly touched a soft spot in the usually-ruthless Abacha because few days later, Abacha commuted Obasanjo’s death sentence to life imprisonment. So much for a crying ex–general

(39)Obasanjo Once Accused Tinubu Of Nepotism. Another lie. Tinubu has never been a nepotist because after he spent 8 years as a governor (which he contested with several candidates of other political parties), his wife Oluremi Tinubu became a senator only after contesting against and defeating candidates of other political parties and his daughter Folashade Tinubu–Ojo (who studied marketing in a respectable international university) emerged as the Iyaloja (market leader) of Nigeria only after delegates from each state in Nigeria voted her in but as for Obasanjo, his daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello became a Commissioner Of Health in OgunState, Nigeria without contesting for the post while his son Gbenga Obasanjo was appointed presidential special adviser by Olusegun Obasanjo himself during his (Obasanjo’s) 8-year presidential tenure. In other words Obasanjo is the real nepotist, not Tinubu, so he (Obasanjo) should stop calling others nepotist

(40)Obasanjo Usually States That He Willingly Handed Over Charles Taylor To International Criminal Court. This is another lie. Despite all the war crimes of Charles Taylor in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and even Senegal (watch the U.S movies titled Lord Of War and Blood Diamonds for more details on Charles Taylor’s direct and indirect contributions to mass killing), Obasanjo initially resolved to protect Charles Taylor from prosecution (which has always been a common behaviour among African leaders even when there is overwhelming evidence of foul play by the person being defended. See page 187 of the book Survey Of Nigerian Affairs, 1975 by Oyeleye Oyediran (ed.) to see how Nigeria’s external affairs minister Colonel Joseph Garba passionately defended the human flesh-eating mass murderer Idi Amin of Uganda when U.S Secretary of State Dr Henry Kissinger verbally attacked Idi amin at the 30th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1975) which was why he gave him (Charles Taylor) political assylum in Nigeria and pampered him like a king. It was until U.S President George H.W Bush, Jnr humiliated Obasanjo by refusing to see him (when he went on a state visit to USA) unless he handed over Charles Taylor to the International Criminal Court that Obasanjo reluctantly handed over Charles Taylor to ICC (google the article “Charles Taylor. A Man Betrayed” on the internet to see more details)

(41)Obasanjo Stated In His Book My Watch That Yorubas Never Had A Single Leader i e No Asiwaju. This is a blatant lie. 2 weeks after being released from Calabar Prison (and at the exact prison cell the record-breaking multi-talented Herbert Macaulay was once locked up) by General Yakubu Gowon in 1966, the enormously popular Chief Obafemi Awolowo was unanimously elected as the Asiwaju (the overall leader) of Yorubaland during a meeting convened on 12 August , 1966 by the military administrator of Western Nigeria General Adeyinka Adebayo and having in attendance all the traditional rulers in Yorubaland and all the politicians(both Awolowo supporters and opponents like Dauda  Adegbenro, Lateef Jakande, Dr Koye Majekodunmi, Chief T.O.S Benson, Chief Adisa Akinloye , Dr Tunji Otegbeye, etc ) in Yorubaland (for more details , see the books(a) Onward Soldier Marches On : A Biography Of Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (b)Adventures In Power Book One : My March Through Prison by Obafemi Awolowo, and (c) the article titled “Obasanjo Is Distorting History” by  Olusegun  Osoba , Saturday  Tribune Nigerian  newspaper, 15 August , 2015 , page 20) . In other words, Obasanjo ‘s claim in his book My Watch that Yorubas have  never had a single leader (i e  Obafemi Awolowo and Bola Tinubu respectively have never been or is an Asiwaju )  is blatantly false and simply confirmed him a liar

(42)Obasanjo Usually Tells The World That He Supports Gender Equality. This is a quality lie. In the book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo, Olusegun  Obasanjo’s wife Oluremi Obasanjo wrote  in details how he (Obasanjo) slapped her , kicked her, assaulted her endlessly, tortured her psychologically, drove her out of her matrimonial home , once got her arrested and detained, and even once threatened to kill her younger brother , all because of her complaints about  Obasanjo’s ceaseless extramarital sexual adventures.  Obasanjo’s daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello would also write in The Vanguard Nigerian newspaper of 18 December , 2013  that “… getting back to my mother, I still remember … [my father Olusegun Obasanjo] beating her up continually  when we were kids . What kids can forget that kind of violence against their mother? [My father’s] maltreatment of women is legendary. Many of [my father’s] women have come out to denounce [him] in public but since [his] madness is also part of the madness of the [Nigerian] society, it is the women that are usually ignored and mistreated …’’ So much for Obasanjo’s support of gender equality

(43)He Portrays Himself As A Truth Teller. Another lie. During his 70th birthday in March 2007, Obasanjo stated on a national television that he has 6 children but 7 years later in his 2014 book titled My Watch, he wrote that he has 21 children. So much for Obasanjo’s penchant to tell the truth

(44)The Title Of His Book This Animal Called Man Was Self-Given. Another very big lie. Due to the repeated maltreatment and humiliation she suffered from her husband Olusegun Obasanjo , Mrs Oluremi Obasanjo was the person that first used to refer to her husband  Olusegun Obasanjo as “the animal called man” both in his presence and in his absence (she probably adapted this phrase from the title of the popular 1972 U.S cowboy movie titled An Animal Called Man ). Years later, Obasanjo would later light-heartedly adapt the derogatory phrase for the title of his book This Animal Called Man even though the book had nothing to do with the story of his family’s internal troubles

(45)He Gives The Impression That He Was A No-Nonsense Soldier. Another nonsensical lie. Obasanjo was truly part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Congo during the bloody Congo Crises of the early 1960s but on a certain day during his tour of the duty in Congo, a group of militiamen captured him, locked him in the boot of a car and drove the car around town till the evening before they later decided to release him from the car boot. Obasanjo himself wrote (in the book titled Nzeogwu and authored by himself Olusegun Obasanjo) that his captors were heavily drunk and that he had in his belt a fully-loaded army pistol yet he strangely made no attempt whatsoever to escape from his captors for a whole day until released (fast-drawing his gun and shooting some bullets up would have scared the heavily drunk militiamen away). So much for Obasanjo’s no-nonsensical soldiering

(46)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That As A Soldier, He Stayed Away From Politics. Another lie. Many of the statements General Obasanjo  made before the 1979 Nigerian Presidential Elections clearly showed that he was openly in support of National Party of Nigeria’s Shehu Shagari ( who eventually “won” ) and therefore was a political soldier and his insistence when he  became the commander of Nigeria’s 3rd  Marine  Commandos in 1969 during Nigeria Civil War  that combat soldiers should be paid their full salaries at the war front (as opposed to standard military practise since  soldiers at the war front have nothing to buy on the battle field and plenty money in their pockets will only divert their attention from winning the war to safeguard the contents of their pockets, which might in turn make them orchestrate self–inflicted injuries on themselves to be able to be discharged from the war front to spend their money) showed that he was very political even as a soldier because it earned him cheap popularity among the rank and file soldiers but deep scorn among the officers (both commissioned and non-commissioned) because it contributed to the protraction of the civil war

(47)Obasanjo Claims He Has No Grudge Against Awolowo.  Another grudging  lie. Just before the 1979 Presidential Elections, Obasanjo said that “ …every Nigerian has the right  to vote for the candidate he or she chooses , including the candidate that promises free education and free wives … ” This clearly was a mockery of Awolowo whose party Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN manifesto  promised free education , free health care , etc if voted in. If Obasanjo had no grudges against Awolowo, he wouldn’t have mocked him in such a puerile manner

(48)Obasanjo Presents Himself As Being Free Of Financial Corruption. This is a corrupt lie. In his autobiography book titled My Watch, Obasanjo described Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (who is the Asiwaju of Yorubaland and the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom) as being “… corrupt to the marrow…” even though he gave no factual evidence of the so-called “corruption to the marrow” but Obasanjo himself is yet to explain to Nigerians how he garnered 8.5billion naira to build himself the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (which made the Bruno Kreisky Prize-winning human rights activist lawyer Gani Fawehinmi sue him to court) so Nigerians should ask themselves who is really the corrupt-to-the-marrow personality

(49)Obasanjo Believes He Is Internationally-Respected.  This is a lie. International film company Sony Pictures released a highly commercially–successful movie titled District 9 in 2009 which featured an unkempt South Africa-based paraplegic villain named Obesandjo (which was pronounced exactly as Obasanjo) who was a superstitious Nigerian illegal arms dealer, who ate human flesh for ritual purposes, who was a pimp that had several prostitutes under his control and who was the leader of a heavily-armed criminal gang. Even though the Nigerian ministry of information (then having Dora Akunyili as its minister) banned the film in Nigeria because of the way it indirectly ridiculed Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, the movie still enjoyed huge commercial success worldwide. Due to this fact, it could be firmly established that Obasanjo has been accorded international disrespect in addition to the few international respect he has been accorded

   The thousands of words above (that explained the 49 points above) are enough for any person that is initially not sure to now clearly understand why Wole Soyinka is quarrelling with Olusegun Obasanjo. This is article, as thoroughly fact-checked against several sources of information as it is, should not be seen to mean that Obasanjo is the only Nigerian that lies even when confronted with facts (Nigerian ex-president Jonathan stated on a national television that he will not re-contest his presidential seat but few years later, he denied ever saying such even when confronted with video recordings of his initial promise), nor should it be construed to mean that Obasanjo had never spoken a word of truth (his description of Nigerian ex-president Jonathan as “ … [a very dangerous] moving train who was providentially stopped [by the 2015 Nigerian Presidential Election] from bringing down Nigeria … ” was exact and correct as stated in the article “Jonathan’s Train Would Have Crushed Me” by Olusegun Obasanjo, Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 25 April, 2015, page 5) but the present article is based on Obasanjo’s numerous lies (other researchers are encouraged to write about his truths, or the truths or lies of any Nigerian or non-Nigerian they have facts on), two of which are the reasons why Wole Soyinka is quarrelling with him (Obasanjo). Nothing needs to be further said about why Soyinka is quarrelling with Obasanjo

                                                                Engr Rotimi Fabiyi (MNIM,MNSChE, MNSE, COREN Reg),

                                                                P.O Box 1709, Ikorodu Town, Lagos State Nigeria

                                                                +2348184741410, +2348129698326



                                                                whatsapp@08184741410, 08129698326

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

My New Book Will Draw Blood – Soyinka Warns

Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday vowed to “draw blood” with his latest book, InterInventions. 

The book ,InterInventions, Between Defective Memory and Public Lie, A Personal Odyssey in The Republic of Liars, was presented to the public at the June 12 Cultural Centre Kuto, Abeokuta by the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiohmole.Soyinka said.
“(InterInventions), it is the nastiest book I have ever written. It is so truthful that it hurts… it is my vengeance against public lies. It is not one of the butterfly books. No, it is not a butterfly book.
“I want to draw blood (with it). I’m warning all of you, if you feel vengeful, read this book and you
will be alright. It is like homeopathic medicine.”

How I Survived Road Accident- Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday spoke on his accident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Saturday, saying he had a lucky escape.

Reliving how it all happened, Chief Obasanjo said the accident was caused by a burst tyre.

He said he was on his way to attend the 80th birthday celebrations of billionaire businessman Chief Kessington Adebutu in Lagos.

A statement by his media aide, Vitalis Ortese, reads: “The Office of … Obasanjo wishes to clarify that he is hale, hearty and away in Abidjan, Cote Ivoire, where he is observing the Presidential Elections holding in that country.

“The office also wishes to confirm, that on Saturday, October 24, 2015, Obasanjo was indeed involved in an accident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, after Sagamu roundabout, while he was on his way to join in the celebrations of the 80th birthday anniversary of Chief Adebutu in Tinubu Methodist Church, Lagos.

“The vehicle, he was travelling in suffered a burst left tyre at the rear and swerved several times but did not hit any curb or any car in front or behind until it did a 180-degree turn and faced where it was coming from, and he had to change vehicles.

“Obasanjo wishes to convey his deep appreciation to all those, who by way of calls, personal messages and prayers, and indeed members of the general public, who have shown overwhelming concern about his welfare.”

Credit: NationOnline

Obasanjo blames colonialism for Africa’s underdevelopment

?Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday in Ibadan identified colonialism as an impediment to Africa’s progress and development.


?Obasanjo spoke at the first edition of the International Conference of the African Studies Association of African? (ASAA) held at the University of Ibadan.


The theme of the conference was “African Studies in the 21st Century: Past, Present and Future.”


“As we are all aware, colonialism devastated and depopulated the continent through transatlantic slave trade,’’ the former president said.


?He said that even after independence, colonial hegemony was not totally blurted out in the area of trade and economy.


?” The ice is broken with this first step of bringing together the island of associations of African Studies dotted all over the world under one roof as ASAA,’’ Obasanjo said.


The former president said African studies should be increasingly strong in the production of knowledge on ?Africa.


” I would like to see African studies that is truly interdisciplinary and which integrates the three branches of humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences.


” Also, African studies should not be satisfied with merely contributing to the? accumulation of knowledge about Africa.


“Scholars should have novel priority which should slant toward indigenous-based tradition of knowledge, ” he said.


The Chairman on the occasion, Prof. ?Akin Mabogunje, called for effective cooperation among African intellectuals.


” I wish to emphasise that the field of African studies in the 21st century can no longer ignore tropical issues of trade, migration, insurgency,’’ he said.


The President of the association, Prof. Lungisile Ntsebeza, said that the aim of the conference was to ensure that the continent became Africa- based.


Ntsebeza, who is of Cape Town University, South Africa, said that the objective of the association was to profound solutions to the problems and challenges facing the continent and to chart a new course for the future.


Also speaking, participants and experts at the conference said that the forum would enable them to identify more productive ways for Africa to attain real independence.




We Can Win War Against Boko Haram- Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said Nigeria can win the war against Boko Haram, stressing that the military was already having upper hand in the security measures taken so far.

Obasanjo spoke with State House Correspondents after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the mission of his delegation to Colombia to study its 50-year experience in the fight against rebels.

The former president, who led a delegation of a foundation headed by him to the Presidential Villa, explained that Columbia’s experience was important because the experience of the long period Columbia government has been fighting rebels would assist in tackling the present security challenge in the country.

According to him, the foundation produced a book from its findings, which prompted him to bring members of the foundation to meet with President Buhari to discuss their experiences, which could assist in defeating the Boko Haram.

He noted that the ultimatum given by Buhari to the military to end Boko Haram insurgency in three months was realistic, saying if the nation could win the civil war, it was possible to defeat Boko Haram.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Activists, Social Critics Slam NANS For Naming Kashumu ‘Golden Man of the Year’

Social critics and activists have slammed the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) for naming troubled Senator , Senator Buruji Kashamu representing Ogun-East senatorial district, for naming him the ‘Golden Man of the Year’.

Tijani Usman, NANS National President had presented the award to Kashamu last week for his ‘untiring, exemplary and compassionate leadership style’.

While presenting the award to Kashamu in Ogun State, Tijani said, “We decided to honour Senator Kashamu because we know that he is neither the richest businessman nor politician in Nigeria, yet we constantly hear of his philanthropic gestures to Nigerians of all shades and colours, especially the less-privileged.”

“We are fascinated at his large-heartedness even in the face of needless distractions. We reckon that if all wealthy Nigerians are like Senator Kashamu, the country will be a better place for us all. That is why we decided to encourage him by giving him this award.”

The award has however been condemned saying it will help other politicians in Kashamu’s shoes feel they are on the right track which is bad for the country. Some also said the students association has been destroyed through corruption and it is heartbreaking.

Corruption Must Be Kicked Out Of Nigeria – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on all Nigerians to work towards kicking out corruption in the country. He made the call while speaking with journalist at his home in Abeokuta, Ogun state to mark Nigeria’s 55th independence celebration yesterday October1st. According to him;

“Corruption must not have resting place within our society. We must kick corruption out because it destroys almost everything and I am not talking about corruption of money.
Corruption of attitude, nepotism, favouritism, they are corruption in different forms and all aspects of corruption must be kicked out of our society”he said He said at 55, Nigeria had not done badly as a country “.Fifty-five years in the life of a nation is comparatively young, growing and when you look at the life and history of those that you may call settled societies or reasonably mature countries, we are not doing too badly. They have had missteps just like we are having missteps; they have made mistakes and most of them have learnt from their mistakes” he said.

Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye?: Revisiting Governance By Propaganda In Nigeria

Nigeria is a geographical entity blessed with abundance of human and natural resources. However, despite the enormous resources at the disposal of the people saddled with the insignia of power in Nigeria, her life expectancy has drastically reduced from 52 to 41. The economy is crumbling. The banking industry is wailing. Vision 2020 is now a mirage. Unemployment is alarmingly increasing. Maternal child birth death is jumping up. Despite the current campaign against Corruption, the menace is still booming like the wave of ocean while the judiciary and legislatures, the presumed hope of the common man, have turned against the common people.
Despite the abundance of crude oil, countless-fertile hectares of land and rational and critical thinkers which liters the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, over 80million Nigerian people are still wallowing in abject squalor and filth, largely occasioned by the tactlessness and thoughtlessness of those saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s financial and economic lacunas (Omoruyi 2012).
My stance is that the nation of Nigeria is currently in awry because she has been under the siege of propagandists since independent. Liars, deceivers, hypocrites, rogues, pen robbers and pseudo-democrats have governed Nigeria more than those with genuine intentions.
The flood gate of mumbo-limbo was formally commissioned in Nigeria during the Murtala/Obasanjo Military administration and second republic and the trend has not ended. Nigerians were deceived with many degrees of projects that have ended in shamble.
The Ajaokuta Steel Company conceived during the Third National Plan from 1975 to 1980, to me, marks the beginning of propaganda in Nigeria. According to a Nigerian former Finance Minister, Okonjo Iweala’s Finance book titled- REFORMING THE UNREFORMABLE, The Ajaokuta Steel Company has gulped five billion US dollars (One trillion naira) from the nation’s purse with no useful steel produced from the company in the last 25 years.
The Obasanjo/Muritala’s OPERATION FEED THE NATION and GREEN REVOLUTION programmes designed with the aim of bringing relieve to the poor, eradicate poverty, hunger and abrogation of emptiness in the Nation of Nigeria was another propaganda that swelled the nation dry. The policy ended up putting Nigeria more in poverty and starvation. It was a ruse, a perpetual disaster.
The Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) invented by the Babangida Military Administration was another propaganda that still rings bell in the memory of Nigerians. The Policy designed to redesign, reshape and reform Nigerian economy ended up ruining the economy. SAP led to more inflation and devaluation of naira and embarrassing fall in price of Premium Medium Spirit (PMS). SAP was a hoax propagated by the Ibrahim Babangida (IBB)’s administration to enslave Nigerians to the western powers.
The much publicized National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) initiated by the Obasanjo’s administration was another humbug that rocked the pages of Nigeria’s dailies with an amazing ease. NEEDs, according to Obasanjo was derived from the urgent requirement for value orientation, the objective of which is to sound the message clearly, that it is not business as usual. Therefore, the bedrock of NEEDS is its vision of a Nigeria with a new set of values and principles, which will facilitate the achievements of national goals of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction. NEEDs was basically planned to work in the following areas of the economy -Public sector reforms, Privatization and Liberalization, Governance, Transparency and anti-corruption, as well as service delivery by government agencies.
However, Obasanjo left Nigeria more impoverished than he met it. The administration spent $16billion on power supply without giving Nigerians electricity to enjoy. Massive funds were invested on Ajaokuta Steel Company with no significant achievement recorded. All public landed properties were sold by the administration under the guise of privatization. The properties sold then were allegedly bought by those who are currently echoing CHANGE.
Nigeria under Obasanjo was rated by the Transparency International as the second most corrupt country in the world. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) set up to wage war against corruption ended up becoming a tool in the hand of Obasanjo to punish perceived political enemies.
Also, the Obasanjo led administration is reputed for conducting the worst general elections ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria’s democracy. The pump price of PMS witnessed 600% increment during Obasanjo’s reign. Many high profile politicians were gruesomely assassinated under the watchful eyes of Obasanjo. Inflation increased while the integrity of naira declined. As the Niger/Delta region was boiling due to insecurity caused by militants’ unrest, so also unemployment was increasing with a wide margin. Sachet water replaced pipe-borne water. Illiteracy increased from 45% to 61%. Agriculture was jettisoned for crude oil which could now be regarded as a curse rather than a blessing to the Nigerian people. Obasanjo killed the Nigerian telecommunication (NITEL), selling the nation to a South Africa owned firm-The MTN
Furthermore, the vision 2020 invented by the Yar’adua’s administration is another propaganda which the Nigerian bourgeoisies have been using to wheedle Nigerians. Vision 2020 was a policy designed, aiming that by 2020, Nigeria would be one of the 10 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena. Today, the story of vision 2020 is a confirmed delusion, and an illusion commissioned to swindle Nigerians.
The late Professor Dora Akunyili’s rebranding project has not been forgotten by Nigerians. Akunyili, the main propagandist of the Yar’adua’s administration, toured all the states of the federation to publicize and make known the phony achievements of her boss to credulous Nigerians. Billions of tax payers’ money was wasted on the project with nothing achieved.
The YouWin programme designed by the Jonathan’s government was a lingo. YouWin, according to its initiator, stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria. It is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youths in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas. YouWin was designed to produce at least 1,200 millionaires monthly. However, the Jonathan admisntration ended with YouWin not producing 100 known millionaires.
The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) was another propaganda which those at the corridor of power under Jonathan used to loot the common patrimony of Nigeria. SURE-P is a policy designed by theJonathan’s administration to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians following the partial removal of fuel subsidy on January 2012. About three hundred billion naira (N300billion) has gone to SURE-P with no significant achievement recorded till date. Most of the 1,600 buses said to have been purchased to ease the problem of transportation across the nation have not arrived the country four years after the programme was inaugurated. The then Christopher Kolade led SURE-P committee expended two billion naira (N2billion) on renting and furnishing of office accommodation for SURE-P across the nation.
In reality, what did the immediate past government of Jonathan successfully  transformed in Nigeria? He reformed the power sector yet, Nigerians did not enjoy constant power supply. Jonathan invested heavily on the education sector, yet, no Nigerian university was ranked among the best 1000 in the world. The then Information Minister, Labaran Maku led a good governance tour bankrolled by the Jonathan’s administration to over 20 states. Media reports have it that about two hundred million was expended daily by the Maku’s group. The tour ended in shamble!
The newly invented propaganda in Nigeria is CHANGE and FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION. Some politicians preached change to Nigerians prior to the last general elections and they (Nigerians) bought to their preaching. Same politicians who sold the nation’s properties to their cronies; who spent $16billions on power supply without giving Nigerians light to enjoy; who were indicted in Halliburton and Seimen scandals; who ran their states aground; who were indicted for pension fraud; who spent N138m to sink two boreholes; who allegedly spent N98bn on his party’s presidential campaigns; who liquidated Society Generale Bank; who have bought 40% of what is good and glitters in their state, who plunged their states into generational debts etc are presently entertaining Nigerians with fight against corruption and the word “Change”.
Today, we have a regime who claimed to be fighting corruption, yet, no looter has been convicted till date. Those who allegedly looted their states and the nation dry are now being granted bail on self-recognition. A former governor who was accused of stealing N280m was recently granted bail for N280m. A former National Security Adviser whom the Change Agents accused of treason and felony against Nigerian state was recently  granted bail on self recognition. The change agents claimed to be fighting terrorism, yet, over 1000 Nigerians were murdered within their 100 days on the corridor of power.
Today, the members of the most corrupt youth organization in Nigeria-the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) are now being paid by our Change Agents to stage anti-corruption rally. The members of the most corrupt interest group in Nigeria-the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are now being engaged by our Change Agents to shout no to corruption.
Today, only the thieves who stole YAM under the Jonathan’s administration but refused to support the campaign for change prior to 2015 general elections are being accused of stealing. Those who wrecked their states and the nation but supported the change crusade with their ill-gotten wealth have been pardoned. Only those against the interest of Abuja are being persecuted.
Today, the leader of the change movement whom we were told was poor prior to his electoral victory on March 28 presidential election has just declared assets worth N3bn. Today, nothing has been added to the nation’s megawatts. The economy is crumbling under the change agents. The stock market is dying. The banking industry is now on RED ALERT. The organized private sectors are sacking and retrenching yet, the media is a-wash with noise of Change and fight against corruption. Which way Nigeria?
Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye sent this piece from Magodo, Lagos.
@adefolamax on Twitter
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Obasanjo Writes Story Book For Children

Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, launched a children’s story book on peace to celebrate the 2015 International Day of Peace.

The former president said he decided to launch the story book entitled, “Peace Story for Children” to ensure the entrenchment of sustainable peace in the country.

Obasanjo, while launching the 14-page booklet illustrated with various cartoons at an event held at the OOPL, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, attended by pupils from different secondary schools in the state, said that it had become imperative to sow the seeds of peace in the minds of children whose minds were more receptive to ideas.

Read More: vanguardngr

Presidency May Relocate Villa Chapel, Mosque

It appears from last night that the Presidency has been put under pressure to relocate the Villa Chapel because the location of the Villa Chapel, which was built and inaugurated by President Olusegun Obasanjo, is said to be too close to Buhari’s bedroom and kitchen.

Sources close to the presidency said that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who inherited the Villa chapel from Obasanjo, had assured his predecessor that he would not relocate the location despite its proximity to his residence.
It was revealed that some overzealous aides of President Buhari were uncomfortable with the location of the church and had already made efforts to stop the use of the facility by Christian worshippers on August 30, 2015, thereby causing a national uproar in the process.

A source in the Presidency said that security agents prevented the Villa Chapel choristers from entering the building for their weekly rehearsal on Saturday, August 29, 2015.
According to the source, the plot was to erect canopies and have the church service there but the plan soon leaked and the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, had to intervene by reaching out to President Buhari before the security men gave way for service to be conducted that day.

The Presidency source said: “Osinbajo was uncomfortable with the plan and he had to reach out to the President before service could be held that day in the chapel.”

It was learnt last night as prelude to relocating the Chapel, the Children’s church, which forms part of the Villa Chapel, has been shut and some rooms, converted to shops for storing food items which forced the children to relocate to the office of the Chaplain, Seyi Malomo, for their normal service.

A source at the Presidency said on Tuesday, “As we speak, the children’s church remains shut and everything relating to the church has been removed. We had to beg them to allow us to remove our property. The children’s church has been turned into a store,” the official said.

“As a result of the unforeseen development, we had to collapse some facilities to accommodate the children and keep our worship going.”

That was why the Chaplain said that the church had not been shut but ‘we only had some procedural issues that needed to be sorted out’.

However the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina has denied the closure of the church by the Presidency.

Last week, when the issue came up, Adesina, posted pictures of the church service on his Facebook page.

The acting Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Pastor Joseph Sheyi Malomo also said that the church was not shut but did not make mention of the fact that his office was being used in the place of the shut children’s church.

Vanguard learnt that the Presidency is considering relocating both the Mosque and the Church from their present locations to a more spacious area in the Villa so as to prevent any accusation.

I Left N287bn Abacha Loot in Treasury – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he left in the national treasury over N287bn, made up of $2bn, £100m and N10bn in cash and property, being the loot recovered from the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Obasanjo left office as President in 2007 after serving two terms of eight years and handed over to the now late former President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The N287bn figure was arrived at using an average exchange rate of N125.88 to a dollar in 2007 and
an average exchange rate of N247.99 to a pound in the same year.

The former President said the funds were paid into the treasury through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Obasanjo’s revelation was contained in the Vol. II of his memoir, My Watch. His take on the Abacha loot is slotted under the sub-heading “Recovery of looted funds” on pages 494 and 495.

He said:

 “In total, by the time I left government in May 2007, over $2bn and £100m had been recovered from the Abacha family abroad, and well over N10bn in cash and properties locally. All were paid to the public treasury through the Central Bank.

“Enrico (Monfrini, a Swiss lawyer) told me by the time I left government that if he continued to get support for his work, there was still about $1bn he believed he could still recover from the Abacha family and cronies.”

The former President said that there was a time he got a report that £3m cash was seized from an agent of the late military dictator by customs officials at an airport in UK and that the British authorities asked the Nigerian government to prove ownership of the money.

He said the British government however refused to release the money to Nigeria despite showing details that it was taken from the CBN.

“I went to London to have a meeting on another important issue with (former British Prime Minister) Tony Blair and I took the opportunity to raise the issue of the £3m, using the Yoruba anecdote of the thief who stole palm oil from the ceiling cupboard by getting somebody to help him so as not to spill the red palm oil on himself or the floor. The man who assisted became an accomplice. Tony got the message and the £3m was released to Nigeria the following day,” Obasanjo stated.

A former finance minister in the Obasanjo administration, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told The PUNCH last year through her Special Adviser on Communication, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, that contrary to reports that the sum of $2bn was recovered from the Abacha’s loot, only $500m was recovered under her as Obasanjo’s finance minister.

The minister made the clarification amid differing figures on the actual amount recovered.

For example, the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had in November 2006, in London, said Abacha looted over $6bn from Nigeria and that $2bn of the loot had been recovered.

He mentioned same figure in the same month during the 12th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Guatemela and later in Dakar, Senegal, at the 2nd Annual High Level Dialogue on Governance and Democracy in Africa.

Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan spent N2.74trn on electricity in 16 years

The Senate was told, yesterday, that the Federal Government has invested a N2.74 trillion in Nigeria’s power sector over the last 16 years (1999 to date).

The investments were made during the regimes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; his successor, late President Umaru Yar’Adua, and President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, and the Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, disclosed this before a Senate Ad-hoc Committee probing the power sector from 1999 till date.

Furthermore, Olotu revealed that contrary to popular belief, the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPPs, which gulped about $8.23 billion or N1.64 trillion were actually being funded from the Excess Crude Account, rather than from ministerial provisions.

Power in military era

Speaking further, Ambassador Igali told the Senate that former military Heads of state, who ruled the country from the overthrow of former President Shehu Shagari, up to 1999, when democracy was reinstituted, crippled the power sector.

According to Igali, this is because the successive regimes not only failed to recruit the relevant engineers for 19 years, but also failed to invest in the power sector during their reigns.

He disclosed that out of the 79 power generation units, only 19 were functioning at that time, adding that no new power plant was constructed from 1991 to 1999.

He recalled that the last plant, Shiroro was built in 1991, long before the emergence of Obasanjo as president in 1999, adding that consequently, the power sector depreciated rapidly due to lack of consistent investment and funding until Obasanjo began the power reforms.

Democracy brought improvement

Igali said further: “When democracy came, the government inherited the sector that had not made capital investment for a long time and not a single engineer was recruited in 19 years. Despite the effort at investment by government, we have not been able to invest in a consistent manner in the power sector.

“Investment from government and the private sector must go up gradually but consistently, as fluctuation will not help our economic development. I do know that despite government’s effort at funding the power sector, the nation continues to experience epileptic power supply. However, it takes time to stabilise.”

He equally recalled that when Obasanjo came to power in 1999, electricity generation capacity was a mere 1,750 MW, noting that in view of the volume of investment required, the Ministry had to bring in the private sector which resulted into a reasonable improvement from what it used to be.

Funds appropriation

Igali further disclosed that despite the sector’s need, budgetary votes were seldom released fully, noting that the country cannot realise the full benefit of any investment in power unless the value chain elements – generation, transmission and distribution were also revamped.

He gave a breakdown of the appropriation and money released from 1999 to 2015 as follows:

*1999 – N11.206 billion appropriated, N6.698billion released;

*2000 – N59.064billion appropriated, N49,785 billion released;

*2001 – N103. 397 billion appropriated, N70.927 billion released;

*2002 – N54.647billion appropriated, N41.196 billion released;

*2003 – N55.583billion appropriated, N5.207billion released;

*2004 – N54.647billion appropriated, N54. 647billion released;

*2005 – N90.283 billion appropriated, N71.889 billion released;

*2006 – N74.308 billion appropriated, N74. 3 billion released;

*2007 – N100 billion appropriated, N99.8 billion released;

*2008 – N156 billion appropriated, N112 billion released;

*2009 – N89. 5 billion appropriated, N87billion released;

*2010 – N172 billion appropriated, N70 billion released;

*2011 – N125 billion appropriated, N61 billion released;

*2012 – N197. 9 billion appropriated, N53. 5billion released;

*2013- N146 billion appropriated, N49 billion released;

l2014 – N69.8 billion appropriated, N48 billion released; and,

*2015 – N5. 240billion appropriated, no money released yet.

However, he said that it was only in 2009 that the power sector witnessed a full appropriation, adding that the annual net funding shortfall ranged from 22 per cent to 67 per cent.

Intervention funds

According to Igali, about N155 billion intervention fund was released to the Ministry for the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, to cushion the effects of the shortfalls in expenditure for the power sector between 2009 and 2013.

The funds were given for a period of five years. A breakdown of the interventions funds are as follows:

*2009 – N30.8 billion;

*2010 -N43.2 billion;

*2011 – N37.0 billion;

*2012 – N11.5 billion; and,

*2013 – N32.6 billion.

Outstanding labour issues

Speaking on the defunct National Electric Power Authority, NEPA, the Permanent Secretary, who noted that every aspect of power has been sold, except for the transmission units, said that about 2,000 workers were yet to be paid off.

He noted that many who claimed to be staff of NEPA do not have valid documents, adding that parts of the proceeds from the privatisation exercise were used to settle labour claims of over 46,000 workers by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE.

He said the payments were made through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the National Pensions Commission.

Electricity operations

Speaking on the high cost of operations in the power sector, Igali who noted that a healthy infrastructure expansion programme required continual investment, said that about “60% – 70% is the typical utility debt to equity profile. Infrastructure projects should be fully funded over a three-year budget cycle.

“Typical Capital Cost (based on a 200:1 Naira/USD exchange rate), Gas processing plant N30 – N40 billion; each Gas pipeline N12 million per inch per km; Generation N200 million per MW; Double circuit 330 kV transmission line: N85million per km; Double circuit 132 kV transmission line N80million per km; Transmission transformer N16 million per MVA; Single circuit 33 kV distribution line N6.5million per km; Single circuit 11 kV distribution line: N6million per km; and Distribution transformer N2.5million – N6 million each.”

No witch-hunting

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari, APC, Borno North, insisted that the exercise was not to witch-hunt anybody, but a fact finding one in the interest of Nigeria.

Expected to appear before the Committee today are the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC; Bureau of Public Enterprises; BPE; Power Generating Companies, GENCOs and Power Distributing Companies, DISCOs.

It would be recalled that Senate President Bukola Saraki, had last month announced a 13-man ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into the management of funds appropriated to the power sector from the Olusegun Obasanjo civilian administration to date.

Senator Saraki had urged members of the committee to consider their reputation and integrity and come up with a report that would be acceptable to Nigerians. He lamented that a lot of money had been spent on the sector with no results, while Nigeria is still faced with the challenge of power supply.

The committee  was also saddled with the responsibility of looking into irregularities in the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN and to inadvertently probe how the Obasanjo, Umaru Yar‘adua and Jonathan administrations managed funds allocated to the sector.

It  was charged with the task of looking into the entire power value chain including generation, transmission and distribution with a view to identifying what the problems in the sector are.

Saraki who noted at the inauguration of the committee three weeks ago that the task before the panel is huge, had however frowned at the continued absence of regular supply of electricity despite the country’s huge investments in the sector.

Kyari, in his remarks during the inauguration detailed the nature of the investigation his committee is saddled with,saying, “ to have a close look at the entire power value chain (generation, transmission and distribution) calls for review of our policies in order to obtain optimum performances across the board.



The Desperation Of Youths To Leave The Country Is Worrisome – Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria, has expressed his concern over the current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe and the maltreatment they received from their hosts in African continent. Obasanjo in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, however, called for probe of the death of Nigerians and other immigrants in Libya, saying the incident is the direct action of Western powers which is responsible for the current anarchy in the country .

“It is thus a matter of considerable sadness for me when I witness the current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe and the futile efforts of European countries to deal with those who have already set sail or have even reached shores of the European continent.

“The current inflow of African refugees into Europe from Libya is a direct consequence. The government in Libya which in 2000 acted humanely and responsibly to stem the outflow of illegal migrants to Europe has been replaced by unconscionable bandits and terrorists who have forcibly seized the instruments of state to facilitate human trafficking and illegal migration for their own material benefit.

“It is time for the international community and particularly African leaders to take a good look at the factors responsible for the death and destruction with the Mediterranean by illegal migration of youths from Africa and address the causes in an honest, responsible, humane and holistic manner rather than the current futile attempt to half-heartedly deal with the symptoms rather than the cause.

“The sure way of prevention is the elimination of conflict and abject poverty and creation of employment in the countries where migrants originate. In the meantime, let AU form a bulwark to stem the spate of migrants from Africa across the Mediterranean to Europe. It can be done”.

Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan Spent N2.74 Trillion On Power Sector Since 1999

The successive regimes of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan committed N2.74 trillion to the troubled power sector in Nigeria.

The huge expenditure was disclosed by the Ministry of Power and the Niger Delta Independent Power Project (NDIPP) during the probe of spending in the sector by the Senate.

In his presentation before the Ad hoc Senate Committee on probe of power sector, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godswork Ighali said a total of N1.1 trillion was released for power project within the period under review.

He disclosed that for power projects, the Federal Government appropriated a total sum of the sum of N1.56 trillion, less the releases to the NIPP.

According to him, the amount represented a release of N948.2 billion and the sum of N155 billion as subsidy to cushion the expected shortfall in the revenue flow for the power projects.

Also giving account of spendings by the NIPP within the period, the Managing Director, Mr James Abiodun Olotu said the sum of $8.234 (N1.640) was spent on power generation, distribution, transmission and gas plants.

Details On: dailytimes

Obasanjo Blames Mediterranean Deaths On Fall Of Gaddafi

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the leadership of African Union, AU, to evolve a policy that will stamp out growing spate of youths from the continent, migrating to Europe through the Mediterranean in search of greener pasture.

The former president made the call in a statement he issued yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. He emphasised that the current outflow of Africans into Europe was a direct consequence of lack of effective governance in some African countries as precipitated by the direct action of Western powers.

Obasanjo, who expressed sadness over the current wave of deaths and untold hardships which African youths experienced in their desperate move to travel to Europe, also charged the international community, particularly the African leaders to take a look at the development with a view to finding solutions to the menace.

Read Morenationalmirroronline

Probe Obasanjo, Ijaw Youths Tell Buhari

Some youth of Ijaw ethnic extraction have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the ongoing probe of the administration of Presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan to include the two terms of President Olusegun Obasanjo, which began in May 1999.

Writing under the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, on Sunday, its president Udengs Eradiri in a statement said the group is aware Mr. Buhari has decided to probe weapons procurement from 2007 to date

 “While we are not against any effort of the President to investigate previous administrations and indeed take steps against the scourge of corruption in the society, we hereby state without equivocation that the period covered by this probe is a suspect,” the group said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Obasanjo Is A Traitor Who Likes Nobody, Gani Adams Fires At Ex-President

The National Coordinator of the Oo’dua Peoples Congress, Mr. Gani Adams, in an interview with TOBI AWORINDE has also condemned a former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, saying he does things to satisfy his own personal interest and has no interest of anyone at heart. He said a lot and even mentioned the names of some people the president has fought. Part of the interview below…

During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo displayed a strong dislike for the former’s leadership style. What is your view on Obasanjo’s criticisms?

Obasanjo did not normally agree with any President for a period of four years. If he is praising you at the beginning, within two years, he will have problems with you. There is no human being on earth that can satisfy Obasanjo. He is just like a father, but that is the truth. Even when former President Shehu Shagari was there, within four years, Obasanjo started nursing certain feelings towards him. When Buhari was there, from 1984 to 1985, Obasanjo refused to do anything with him; meanwhile, he was dining and wining tactically with (a former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim) Babangida. If you don’t come to Ota farm, even coming to him, he can set you up. Continue…

He had issues with (Gen. Sani) Abacha before he was arrested and later was saying (late Chief Moshood) Abiola was not the Messiah—the same Abiola, who had personally prostrated before Prof. Wole Soyinka in Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, begging him to let Obasanjo become the United Nations Secretary General. But when Abiola’s turn came, he turned his back on him.

He was in prison when Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar came to in power. In 1999, he (Obasanjo) was given power; he dealt with virtually 90 per cent of the people that assisted him from prison to power. He disagreed with (the late President) Umar Yar’Adua for befriending Daniel.

When Jonathan came into power, within two and a half years as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Obasanjo had issues with him. Before the end of Jonathan’s four years, he tore his PDP membership card. I have never seen any person on earth, who a party would bring from prison to become president for eight years. No matter the situation or issue, couldn’t he have been silent like Abdulsalami or Yakubu Gowon? Is it when one becomes an elder statesman that he should become an activist? If we, as activists, are heating up the polity, as an elder statesman, he should tactically caution us or persuade us. But when an elder statesman, who has been in power for 11 years, becomes an activist to the point that he campaigned publicly for the candidate of a party, then you can be sure something is wrong.

He also spoke about Tinubu’s hatred for him;

You have been very vocal about your conflict with the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Have you settled your differences?

I will tell you categorically, he (Tinubu) is a person I was so close to. But I realise now that he didn’t like me. He was just trying to manage me.

Why doesn’t he like you?

I don’t know. He was trying to identify with the group (OPC) back then, but he was not planning to repackage it to make it great. We tried our best for him. We stood by him when Obasanjo was trying to water him down. As a matter of fact, when Obasanjo detained me for 14 months, I got information from the (Presidential) Villa that one of my offences was that I was very close to Tinubu. It took the intervention of the law of the land to effect my release in 2006. Obasanjo wanted to keep me in detention till the 2007 general elections so that Tinubu (as Lagos State governor) would not hand over power to his successor, Babatunde Fashola.

I was blackmailed by even most of the leaders of the PDP back then because of my closeness to Tinubu. We later realised that he (Tinubu) did not want the group to exist. In the middle of our (OPC) crisis — though we had no evidence at the time that he was the one fuelling it — he couldn’t call us for reconciliation. He preferred to dine with (OPC founder, Dr. Frederick) Fasehun and I separately. Majority of OPC members were in Lagos, but Tinubu did not do it (resolve the crisis). After Daniel’s reconciliation process, Bayo Banjo called me and said, ‘Gani, Lagos is your base as OPC. We need Tinubu to put finishing touches to this reconciliation’. This was after we had held a press conference, where I was named National Coordinator of the OPC and Fasehun, founding father. (Osun State Governor Rauf) Aregbesola was then the Lagos State Commissioner for Works. Together, we drove to Bourdillion to meet Tinubu.

After we got to Tinubu’s office and Banjo presented his case, the first thing he (Tinubu) did was to bring out a magazine. He said we should look at the publicity that Daniel used the reconciliation to make. We said, ‘Your Excellency, what is the problem? Do yours for the sake of history in Yorubaland, after all the bloodshed that had happened within the group’. But he just went into a long rigmarole and that was how we left that place. Banjo was highly disappointed, but God has said He is happy with anyone who initiates peace.

Tinubu and I disagree politically. The last election marked the first time that we had to disagree openly and from the beginning of the election, I had made up my mind that anywhere Tinubu is, I will not go there. Even if he is supporting the right candidate, I will go for the wrong candidate. You can ask some of the Yoruba APC members; some of them accused me of not supporting (President) Muhammadu Buhari. I told some people, who are close to Buhari in Abuja, that I wouldn’t align with them as long as Tinubu is still APC leader in the South-West. I could have supported Jonathan without making a noise, but I knew Tinubu was so smart. If he realises you are not supporting him, he will strike your structure from underneath. So, we made sure that we blocked those holes to a certain extent and that is why since 2007, he has been asking some OPC members to say a lot of things about me. But I told people that you can’t expect me to be joining issues with parasites. Politics is a game of number. If someone is supporting a candidate against you, you look for a way to tackle him. One cannot drag me into supporting a candidate on the pages of the newspaper. We have to negotiate.

“You Have A Hidden Agenda Against Jonathan “, IYC Accuses Buhari

Ijaw Youths Council has called on President Muhammadu BUhari to extend his anti-corruption war to 1999 to cover the Obasanjo era so as to be taken seriously over his anti-corruption war.
The Ijaw youths, who are kinsmen of Jonathan, wondered why Buhari should skip the Obasanjo era and concentrate his probe on Jonathan’s administration, accusing him of having a hidden agenda against their son.

The National President of the IYC, Udengs Eradiri, who signed the statement released in Abuja last night, said it was suspicious for Buhari to choose to probe only the Jonathan’s administration and leave out Obasanjo.

The IYC noted that for the Buhari regime to be taken seriously in the anti-corruption war, the President must extend the probe to 1999 so as to probe the Obasanjo government and recover stolen wealth carted away at that time.

The IYC pointed out that while they were not opposed to the probe, they were however not happy that Obasanjo was being excluded from the probe because of the support he gave to Buhari during the last election.

“While we are not against any effort of the President to investigate previous administrations and indeed take steps against the scourge of corruption in the society, we hereby state without equivocation that the period covered by this probe is a suspect.

“It would have made a lot of sense for somebody who is genuinely interested in revisiting alleged cases of malfeasance which has held our nation back to either commence such an investigation from 1960 when the country became independent or from 1999 when Nigeria became a democracy after years of military dictatorship.

“The President’s decision to leave out the eight-year period covered by the Presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, from 1999 to 2007, suggests that the current anti-corruption crusade is being manipulated to spare some sacred cows. We hold that this is unfair and that the tenure of Chief Obasanjo is being exempted because of the role he played in Buhari emergence as President.

“In fact, if there is somebody that should be probed, it should be Chief Obasanjo who lacked foresight and failed in the critical job to adequately arm our military, in spite of the huge funds appropriated for defence under him. If he had done so, the menace of Boko Haram would have long been dealt with in the early stages. It took the administration of Goodluck Jonathan to buy the weapons we need.

“This plan to exempt other leaders from the probe, if not corrected, could send out signals that the President may have come up with an anti-corruption crusade designed to protect Nigeria’s biggest crooks and to deal with perceived enemies.

“The President should be reminded that some of Nigeria’s biggest corruption-related scandals which culminated in the jailing of some foreign collaborators took place during this period that is being deftly exempted from the current investigation.

“A genuine crusade against corruption cannot take place in this country without touching some of these great scandals that are waiting to be addressed.
“It defies logic that our Dear President by this particular decision, appears to have drawn the curtain on the bribery scandal involving the six billion Dollars Liquidified Natural Gas Contract in Bonny, the KBR and Siemens Bribery Scandal, the Halliburton Bribery Scandal, which involved billions of Naira among others.

“The President should be graciously reminded that while the then Administration looked the other way, the United States Department of Justice fined a Japanese Construction Firm, Marubeni, to the tune of $54.6 million for bribing officials of the Nigerian Government to facilitate the award of the NLG Contract to TSKJ.

“Avoiding a probe into the historical corruption scandals of monumental proportions between 1999-2007 would portray our President as a man lacking in courage to confront the monster of corruption.
“This is the better thing to do rather than probing a dead man in the person of Late President Umaru Yar’ Adua,” the youth group noted.

No Nigerian Can Say He/She Has No Access To Higher Education With NOUN – Obasanjo

A former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo today said no Nigerian has an excuse of saying  he/she has no access to higher education especially now that NOUN has come to stay. He explained that the institution since its take-off in 2005 while he was still the president had been a viable alternative to conventional institutions, especially for adults desirous of university education and admission seekers.

He disclosed this at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta while paying host to the executive of the NOUN alumni association led by its president, Mr. Phil Colman, and the vice-president, South-West, Mr. Ayeni Olutope.

He said, “Nobody in Nigeria will say he/she does not have access to higher education with NOUN, except he/she does not want. I saw some students complaining about law accreditation in NOUN, but I hope the Law programme has come to stay.”

The former President bagged a degree in Theology from the institution.

President Buhari Names 13-Man Panel To Probe Yar’Adua, Jonathan

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, set up a 13-member panel to probe two of his predecessors, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on procurement of arms and ammunition for the Armed Forces.

The investigative committee’s mandate is to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the Armed Forces.

The committee, which was constituted by the the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd), on the directive of the President, is headed by AVM J.O.N. Ode (retd.)
while Brig-Gen. Y. I. Shalangwa is secretary.

Other members are Rear Admiral J. A. Aikhomu (retd.), Rear Admiral E. Ogbor (retd.), Brig-Gen. L. Adekagun (retd.), Brig-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (retd.), Brig-Gen N. Rimtip (retd.), Commodore T. D. Ikoli, Air Commodore U. Mohammed (retd), Air Commodore I. Shafi’i, Col A. A. Ariyibi, GP Capt C.A. Oriaku (retd) and Mr. I. Magu (EFCC).
A statement from presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said

 “the establishment of the investigative committee is in keeping with President Buhari’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in Nigeria’s public service.
“It comes against the background of the myriad of challenges that the Nigerian Armed Forces have faced in the course of ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the northeast, including the apparent deficit in military platforms with its attendant negative effects on troops’ morale.
“The committee will specifically investigate allegations of non-adherence to correct equipment procurement procedures and the exclusion of relevant logistics branches from arms procurement under past administrations, which, very often resulted in the acquisition of sub-standard and unserviceable equipment.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency has declared that Buhari’s administration is not a government of probes but of due process, law and order.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who spoke with Vanguard, yesterday, also stated the administration of President Buhari will not shy away from probing the government of former President Jonathan in the face of alleged fraud and corruption.

He spoke following an accusation of selective probe against Buhari by a prominent northern leader, Tanko Yakassai.
The presidential aide said there are sensitive matters arising from briefings and official engagements, which the President cannot overlook and described as laughable the allegation that Buhari has excluded other former presidents like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo because he was close to them.
He said:

 “Let me say that officially, nobody is under probe, even Dr. Jonathan. People should not make mistakes about the fact that what is going on are routine investigations. These are matters that the President has found on the table.

So, there is nothing like a probe. If Jonathan will be probed, you would have heard of, may be, an administrative panel of enquiry or judicial panel of enquiry. But it hasn’t come to that. These are matters of routine engagements of due process of law and order.

“President Buhari in his campaign said his government was not going to probe into the past. We are not probing but as a responsible government, you cannot bring to the table matters such as we are dealing with and then, the President will wave them off.
“The Office of the President may be powerful but it is controlled, regulated by due process and the constitution of the country. The President cannot wave away matters that are arising from either handing-over or the routine briefings.

How can anybody say he was part of the Obasanjo military regime and that’s why he’s not probing them?

Speaking further, the presidential spokesman queried why the allies of former President Jonathan would wait until now to champion the cause of probing past governments before Jonathan.

He stated that it was Jonathan’s responsibility to probe the governments of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua.

“Let me tell you, if Obasanjo and Yar’Adua and all of the past governments before Jonathan needed to have been probed, why did Jonathan shy away from his responsibility? Why didn’t he probe them while he was in office? Why didn’t Tanko Yakassai ask Jonathan to probe Yar’Adua, Babangida, Obasanjo? Why do they have to wait for Buhari to come and do what he should have done?
“It is common sense. So, if he didn’t probe them, why should his people ask some other person to probe them? If they felt it was desirable to probe the past administration, as a party, why didn’t they do it themselves? Why do they have to wait for President Buhari?
“This is not a government of probes. It is a government of due process and law and order. President Buhari is dealing with the matters he has found on the table and he has no power under the constitution to wave them. If somebody had stolen Nigeria’s one billion dollars of oil, President Buhari is not authorized to wave it off under the law. He should ask questions. There is no probe going on now. People who are creating the spectre of probes in the country just want to create unnecessary fear.”


Jonathan’s Administration Better Than Obasanjo’s- Anya

Elder statesman and President of Ndigbo Lagos, Professor Anya O. Anya, yesterday, declared that Nigeria is not yet a nation but that a nation will emerge out of her soon.

Anya made the statement at Sam Ohuabunwa’s Outreach, in Lagos, to mark the 65th birthday of Ohuabunwa, former chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals.

The event was also to launch Ohuabunwa’s books, Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm: Thoughts on Contemporary National Issues and The Port Harcourt Volunteer.

The professor, who chaired the occasion, said it was sad that Nigerians are not learning from history, averring that the much-criticized immediate past administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was better than that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Read More: vanguardngr

Senate to probe power sector under Obasanjo, Jonathan

The Senate on Thursday set up a 13-member Ad-Hoc Committee to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the management of funds so far appropriated for the power sector since 1999.

The Committee, headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari, was also given the task of probing the unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria by the Federal Government.

The Upper Chamber took the decision while passing a motion sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, seeking the immediate reconnection of some parts of Borno State back to the national grid in view of the challenges the blackout was posing to his constituents.

The Senate urged the Federal Government to complete the Mambilla Power Project with the aim of improving electricity supply in the country.

It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Transmission Company of Nigeria to immediately reconnect Maiduguri to the national grid.

It also directed the committee to conclude its investigations and report to the Senate within two weeks.

The senators, while contributing to the debate, also condemned the inability of the TCN to provide uninterrupted power supply to all parts of the country.

Ndume had expressed concern that Nigeria, with a population of over 150 million, produced only 4,600 megawatts, while South Africa with a population of about 40 million people produced 40,000 megawatts.

He observed that the disconnection of Maiduguri , the Borno State capital, from the national grid, as well as the degeneration of power supply across the country had affected the economy negatively.

Ndume also expressed concern that with an installed power generation potential of about 5,000 megawatts, the output distributed currently was about 1,950 megawatts.

He added that it was disheartening to note that Iran with over 77 million people “generates about 42,000 megawatts, while South Korea with over 49 million people generates about 60,000 megawatts of electricity.”

Ndume, who said that Maiduguri and its environs had been completely disconnected since the emergence of insurgency, complained that the situation had grounded economic activities in the state.

He said, “I buy diesel to run my generator and that costs me N10, 000 per day. No country can be said to be near development when there is no power.

“This Senate needs to investigate this to give the government support. For some years now, a lot of money has been spent but there is nothing to show for it.”

Senator Danjuma Goje in his contribution said that the motion was apt in view of the untold suffering that lack of power supply had caused Nigerians.

Senator Godswill Akpabio lamented that many companies had shut down operation due to irregular power supply in the country.

He lamented that in spite of the financial contribution by some states in the South to improve power supply, Nigerians were still grappling with lack of electricity supply.

He said, “In 2015, we are celebrating 4,000 megawatts, for me this is worrisome. We cannot have employment without power and Nigerians are complaining about the high cost and some localities which have not seen light for months are asked to pay high tariff.”

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, noted that the inadequate power supply in the country was a cause for concern, saying it had affected the economic growth of the nation.

He observed that the lack of power supply had plunged the country into further hardship, besides corruption.

He said, “We thought that with the Power Reform Act and the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, we will begin to see improvement with regard to power supply; unfortunately, it is not so.

“The Ad Hoc Committee that we set up should look at the activities of the Discos and what is preventing Nigerians from benefitting from the unbundling of the PHCN.”

Source : Punch

Probe Obasanjo, Atiku, Tinubu, Others, LP Urges Buhari

If any probe of those alleged to have looted the nation’s treasury is to have any meaning and not be seen as a selective witch-hunt, then President Muhammadu Buhari should start with all past civilian administrations beginning from 1999.

This was the position of the Chairman, Labour Party of Nigeria (LP), Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, who yesterday urged Buhari to be holistic by extending such probes to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senate President Bukola Saraki and other former state governors.

Read Morengrguardiannews

Jonathan Told Me & Obasanjo He Never Wanted To Be Vice-President – Donald Duke

Former governor of Cross River state Donald Duke says former President Jonathan told him and former president Obasanjo he never wanted to be the Vice president of Nigeria when he was selected to be the running mate to late President Umaru Yar’Adua for the 2007 general election. Donald Duke said this in an interview with news magazine, The Interviewer

“You don’t give authority to an unwilling person, particularly in a country like Nigeria. Umaru never wanted to be president. He was dealing with his health issues and wanted to retire and go lecture in a university. He was really offered an appointment at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. Jonathan, on the other hand, had just been re-elected to be governor of Bayelsa and when he was picked, he was not so pleased. He said to Obasanjo and me, ‘I don’t want this job”.
If these two men never aspired to the office but were recruited to take on a responsibility as daunting as the management of Nigeria without mentally preparing for the office and having a grand vision of where they wanted to take Nigeria to, then there is a problem. The mental preparation is absolutely important. The vision can be scripted for you, but if you are not prepared and you have no capable team to help you follow through, it is grossly unfair. It is like converting a passenger on an aircraft to a pilot.”

“I Am A Nigerian, Without A Political Party” – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said he remains a ‘party-less Nigerian’ but will continue to be a statesman.

He said this on Monday at his Abeokuta Hilltop residence when a delegation from Kogi State, led by the state Governor, Captain Idris Wada (retd.), paid him a courtesy visit.

The former president, who was the former chairman, Board of Trustees, the Peoples Democratic Party, said despite not playing active partisan politics anymore, he would continue to work with any Nigerian with good intention and leadership traits to develop the country.

He noted that the personality and performance would normally rank above the party platform.

He said, “We should understand first that, not the party makes the person, but the person makes the party. It is who you are that you bring into the party.

“Though for now I remain a “party-less” Nigerian, but I will continue to welcome any Nigerian with good leadership qualities.

“It does not matter which party you are, either the PDP, the APC, Labour, APGA or any party at all, As long as you are committed, sincere and a purposeful leader, I am ready for you.”

Obasanjo, who commended Wada for engendering peace in Kogi State, said he was providing purposeful leadership.

He said, “Everybody is welcome. But, they must be with good leadership traits, with genuine intention to improve the country.”

Wada, on his own part, described Obasanjo as a father of the nation, stressing that those who believed in him would continue to learn from his commitment and dedication to the growth of the country.

He said, “Everywhere we meet Baba, we learn a lot and we shall continue to learn from him. He is a father of the nation. He is a figure we admire.

“We pray that we all will be like him, because he is a committed Nigeria who has devoted himself to the growth of the country. So, why not, if some of us decide to emulate him, be with him and appreciate him.”

Among those who accompanied the governor was a frontline women leader of the PDP in Kogi State, Olori Margaret Orebiyi, who also described Obasanjo as the landlord of the Nigerian nation.

I Remain ‘Partyless’- Obasanjo

Six months after leaving the PDP, former president and ex-chairman of the party’s  Board of Trustees, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said he remained a “partyless” Nigerian and would continue to carry the toga of a statesman.

Obasanjo who hosted a delegation from Kogi State led by Governor Idris Wada at his Abeokuta residence, said despite not playing active partisan politics anymore, he would continue to work with any Nigerian with capability of good intention and leadership traits.

The former president said, “Everybody is welcome. But, they must be with good leadership traits, with genuine intention to improve the country”.

He noted that contrary to the praises being showered on him for his performance as president, it was important to emphasize that personality comes before the platform one represents to achieve desired goals.

“We should understand first that, not the party made the person, but the person makes the party. It is who you are that you bring into the party. Though for now I remain a “party less” Nigerian, I will continue to welcome any Nigerian with good leadership qualities.

“It does not matter which party you are, either, PDP, APC, Labour, APGA any party at all, as long as you are a committed, sincere and a purposeful leader, I am ready for you. And that is what our brother is doing. I pray that this country will never be short of this type of people,” Obasanjo said.


Yoruba Leadership: Don’t Distort History, Osoba Tells Obasanjo

Former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, has condemned former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s position in his book, My Watch: Political and Public affairs, that there had never been any Yoruba leader, saying “He (Obasanjo) wants to distort the history of the Yoruba.”

Olusegun Osoba

Obasanjo made the assertion in chapter 31 of the  book, where he explained issues centered on Nigeria and Yoruba, arguing that there was no individual as Yoruba leader before and now.

Osoba, in an interview in Lagos, lamented that the declaration by the former President, who was present at the event when late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was ‘unanimously’ elected as the ‘Yoruba Leader,’ on August 12th, 1966, is worrisome.

According to him, “I disagree with the former President, on whatever claims he made that Awolowo was hand-picked by some of his supporters. In fact, the day he was elected as Yoruba leader was two weeks after  Awolowo was released from prison by the military.

“As the garrison commander in Ibadan at the time, Obasanjo was an active member of General Adeyinka Adebayo’s erstwhile cabinet. I do not think that Obasanjo would have forgotten so soon the sequence of events that threw up Awolowo as Yoruba leader.

“I was present at the forum where Late Chief Awolowo was unanimously elected the Yoruba leader. And the election involved all stakeholders, including political, cultural and intellectuals in Yoruba land. Some who did not belong to Awolowo’s political camp also endorsed him,” Osoba added.

Osoba however said that Yorubas cannot have a single leader under current political dispensation. “What we can have at the moment is ‘cultural’ leader not an overall leader. By our level of education, exposure and independent mindedness we like to express our views.”

“Even in family meetings, the Olori Ebi (head of the family), is challenged on issues affecting the family. So, each time the interest of Yoruba is threatened, we all gather under the leadership of an individual to solve the problem,” he added.

“Okonjo Iweala Became A Different Person When She Worked For Goodluck Jonathan” – Obasanjo

Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has revealed that immediate past coordinating minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, changed under the regime of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

Mrs Okonjo- Iweala who served under president Obasanjo as minister of fiance was accused of encouraging corruption under the regime of Mr Jonathan. She was also accused of approving funds not budgeted for, and rather than strengthen the Nigerian economy, she worked against the growth of the economy.

“But take Ngozi (Okonjo-Iweala), who worked for me. And who worked competently for me. Because I know Ngozi’s weaknesses, but I know her strong points. Her strong point is technical competence. But Ngozi needs to be led and to be supervised. Now will you comment on Ngozi who worked for me as the same Ngozi who worked for Jonathan? Will you? But it’s the same person” he said when asked by Premium Times that it is believed that he destroyed everything that he put in place with the successors you enthroned.

The former President also discussed the popular Halliburton case and denied interfering with investigation and prosecution of some of his aides indicted in the case.

“Look, anybody can make any allegation. Go and read the EFCC report on me. I’m the only leader who has left office who has had, I said they should carry out clinical… did you see that in the book? And if you haven’t seen that in the book then you haven’t read the book. So what else do you want? (Ndudi) Elumelu carried out a report. Did you see the report of the House and the action of the House? What more do you want? So it doesn’t matter the allegation you make, that’s entirely up to you. Halliburton, Bodunde (one of his aides) has been taken to court twice and the court has dismissed the case. What more do you want? The latest was the one Jonathan did. Just before he left, he took Bodunde back to court. He was discharged and the case dismissed the first time. The second time Jonathan took him to court and he was discharged again. So what do you want?” he told Premium Times.

Mr Obasanjo also spoke about his book, “My Watch” in the course of the interview.

Read the full interview here via : Premium timesng

Yar’Adua Cancelled Sale Of Refineries, Refunded Dangote’s $750M – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has explained that the sale of two of the nation’s oil oil refineries had been concluded before he exited office in 2007, saying his successor, the late Umaru Yar’Adua, reversed the sale due to “pressure”.

Obasanjo said this in his serialised interview with ‘Book Club’, a programme on Channels Television, monitored in Lagos on Wednesday.

The ex-President said business mogul, Aliko Dangote, leading a consortium of investors, had paid $750m for two of the refineries, as the Federal Government was finding it difficult managing the facilities at the time.

He, however, regretted that instead of the Yar’Adua administration to consolidate on the sale so that the investors could turn around the fortunes of the refineries, his successor succumbed to pressure and reversed the sale of the oil facilities.

Obasanjo equally revealed that not only did his successor canceled the sale, he also refunded the $750m paid by the investors.

He added, “The refineries are old and Dangote and some investors paid $750m for two of the refineries. My successor came to office and reversed the sale; he even refunded the money they paid.

“So, I went to him and said ‘why did you do this’? He said it was because of pressure. So, I said ‘so the pressure of some people was more important than the interest of the whole nation’!

“Right now, you will hardly be able to sell the refineries for more than $250m because they are very old.”

Obasanjo explained that most people, especially leaders, failed to analyse the decisions of those before them before upturning those decisions, pointing out that most leaders yielded to sentiment than informed opinions

Source –

Soyinka Is More Of A Successful Hunter Than A Political Critic- Obasanjo Re Echoes Opinion

Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has repeated once again that Professor Wole Soyinka is more of a successful aparo (guinea fowl) hunter than a political critic. He repeated it on a programme tagged ‘Book Club’ on Channels. It will be recalled that in his book, My Watch, the former president had said;

“For Wole, no one can be good, nor can anything be spot-on politically except that which emanates from him or is ordained by him. His friends and loved ones will always be right and correct no matter what they do or fail to do. He is surely a better wine connoisseur and a more successful aparo (guinea fowl) hunter than a political critic.”

The professor however replied him last year December, shortly after the book went public, in a piece titled ‘Watch And Pray, Watch And Prey’, where he vehemently protested the description of him, calling Obasanjo an expert liar, who lies to boost his ego.

But repeating what he had earlier said, Obasanjo in the interview said;

“Wole Soyinka is a gifted man. I have always acknowledged that but he is a bad politician and I have also always said that; and that is my own point of view. He may agree with it, he may not agree with it.

“But having said that, I also, in my book, bring out Wole Soyinka as I see him and that’s my own judgment; that’s my own perspective of him. He may agree, he may not agree but anybody can bring out his own perspective of me.

“For instance, I know that if I want somebody to give me the best wine, one of the people I will go to is Wole Soyinka and I know he has a taste for good wine and I said that in the book.”

Buhari Will Not Probe Obasanjo, IBB, Abacha’s Govt, Only GEJ’s – Presidency

The presidency says President Buhari will only be probing the immediate past administration and will not probe past administrations of Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and others. Speaking to newsmen, the special adviser to the president on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina says that President Buhari had stated during his campaign that his probe will only be limited to the immediate past administration.

“If you recall, that was already settled before he got inaugurated as president. He has said he will not waste time digging into the far past. The far past will includes Obasanjo and others. But the president has said he will not waste time to go that far.”he said

Former President Jonathan had stated before leaving office that any probe focused on his administration will only amount to witch-hunting.

Start The Corruption Probe From The 1999 Government Till Date, PDP Chieftain Challenges Buhari

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and an aspirant in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, Mr. Matthew Iduoiriyekemwen has insisted that if President Muhammadu Buhari must embark on probing the activities of past regimes in the country, he must not probe former President Goodluck Jonathan alone but extend it to 1999.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Iduoiriyekemwen, who spoke with Vanguard on Tuesday, in an interview in Benin said that while he welcomed the decision of the Buhari administration to probe Jonathan, it should not be a way to discredit the former President’s government.

“There is nothing wrong in probing. What is wrong in probe is when it becomes witch-hunt. Yes, we are in a democratic regime, if President Muhammadu Buhari wants to probe the activities of past regimes, he should look at what has been happening in this country from 1999.

“There has been a lot of maladministration and corruption, there has been a lot of stealing and wasting of government resources and if he wants to probe, he must extend it to 1999 till date,” he said.

“You Can Get Someone A Job But Can’t Help Them Do It” – Obasanjo

While delivering a speech at the convocation ceremony of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin city today, former President Olusegun Obasanjo spoke on GEJ’s presidency.

“You can help someone get a job but you can’t help them do it” he said

He also said that anyone who voted for Jonathan is as guilty he is “If you voted for Jonathan, you’re just as guilty as he is for what has happened” he said

Obasanjo pictured above at the convocation with Laurie Idahosa, left and Bishop Margaret Idahosa.

I Chose Yar’Adua Because Others Were Corrupt – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Wednesday that he chose the late former President Umaru Yar’ Adua as his successor because the others who wanted the post were corrupt.

Obasanjo said one of the people who wanted to succeed him in 2007 was “stinkingly corrupt” and that the only way he (Obasanjo) could justify himself before man and God was to go for Yar’Adua, who, he said, was the only one among the contenders then who was not corrupt.

The former President, who spoke in an interview with a private television station, Channels
Television, in Abeokuta, did not mention the ‘corrupt’ Yar’Adua rivals.

Among the prominent presidential hopefuls in the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007 were Obasanjo’s deputy, Abubakar Atiku; and ex-Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili.

Atiku later abandoned the PDP to contest the presidential election on the platform of the defunct Action Congress while Odili’s ambition fizzled out with the nomination of Yar’Adua.

The AC later metamorphosed into the Action Congress of Nigeria, which later merged with the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party to form the now ruling All Progressives Congress.

Obasanjo’s choice of successor died on May 5, 2010 from heart-related ailments. Many condemned Obasanjo for choosing a man who was manifestly sick to lead the country.

But in the Channels interview, PUNCH reports that Obasanjo said he only acted based on the information made available to him. He said:

“Even if you take your son as your successor, you are not sure of what he will do when he gets there. Don’t ever kid yourself. What do I know about any successor? What he presents. When he gets there, he presents it differently.

We did our best, but if you say our best is not good enough, I will say, when it comes to your turn, do better. With all the people that are available for successor, what we came up with was about the best that we could think of at that time.

One of those who wanted to do the job came to me and said, ‘Sir, I like your job, but I cannot do it the way you are doing it.’ Now, if he had told me that, should I then come and say, ‘okay, come, let me give you the job?’ He had told me that, ‘I like your job, but look, the way you are doing it, I haven’t got the stamina to do it that way.’ Then, what do you expect me to do?

Or the one that I know that, oh!, this one, before he gets the job, he’s stinkingly corrupt. Now will I be able to defend myself before God and man if with what I know I give this job or I encourage the man to have this job?”

Nigeria Can’t Be Fixed Overnight – David Umaru

Senator David Umaru representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly has said that the 16 years of destruction of Nigeria by the former ruling party cannot be fixed in a short period.

The senator who spoke over the weekend at a Thanksgiving service organised by the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Shiroro District Church Council (DCC) at Gwada area of the state, called for patience from Nigerians.

David Umaru assured that the present administration will soon find lasting solutions to the problems of underdevelopment and economic deprivation caused by several years’ negligence.

He, however, stated that the people must be patient and show understanding with the Senate and the federal government as they settle down to provide the real dividends of democracy that are sustainable to the country.

He stated, “My advice to Nigerians is that we should show understanding. It is said that Rome was not built in one day. It should be noted that we have had 16 years of initial neglect and destruction of our economy and that we have just come on board trying to find solutions to these problems”.

“This cannot be done overnight. So, I will advise that people should be patient with us and give us time to get ourselves organised both in the National Assembly and the federal government”.

He expressed appreciation to his constituents especially the leaders of ECWA Church for finding it appropriate to thank God for his victory at the 2015 Senatorial election.

The senator said he dedicated the victory to the people of Niger East, saying “in fact, they are the people that actually voted. For them to organise the Thanksgiving in appreciation of what God has done for us is heartwarming”.

“We are now charting a course whereby we have constant interactions for me to listen to their problems and for me to within the limit of what will be available try to address some of these problems. I am really grateful to God that they found it worthwhile to thank God for my success at the polls. I am really humbled by the expression of support by my people”, he said.

Earlier in a sermon entitled “Reflections after Victory”, Rev. Luka Turaki Zazzaga of the ECWA Church, said the defeat of the former Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by Barrister David Umaru was akin to that of the biblical David and Goliath.

Obasanjo Laments Non Celebration Of Worthy Nigerians

Former  president, Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday bemoaned the non recognition and celebration of worthy Nigerians by until foreigners begin to see the good in such persons.

Speaking at a send off lunch he organized in honor of Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon  on his appointment as the Secretary General of the World Anglican Communion  at the Obasanjo Presidential Library, the former President said that Nigerians should see the good things in themselves.

Read More: vanguardngr

What Saraki Told Obasanjo

Facts have emerged showing why Senate President Bukola Saraki led a delegation of Senators to meet former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his hilltop mansion, Abeokuta, Ogun state on Friday.

A source who was part of the meeting informed PREMIUM TIMES that the Senate President was in Abeokuta to beg Mr. Obasanjo to reconcile him with President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Saraki emerged as the president of the Senate against the decision of APC leaders. He was also elected when most Senators from the APC were at the International Conference Centre waiting to hold a meeting with Mr. Buhari to discuss the election of the Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

We also gathered that Mr. Saraki lamented that although the party leaders have stated that they have accepted his emergence, there was “complete communication breakdown between him, the president and the party”.

The national chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, had abruptly cancelled a scheduled meeting with Mr. Saraki last week without giving another appointment.

Likewise, we also gathered that Mr. Saraki had tried severally to meet with Mr. Buhari after his emergence, but was always denied audience.

Another source in the presidency informed us that the President was angry with Mr. Saraki and the management of the national assembly for going ahead with their election despite adequate knowledge of an invitation for a meeting with Mr. Saraki and his colleagues.

“The president considered it as a mark of disrespect for his office for Saraki to ignore an invitation to meet with him and his colleagues,” our source said.

In his response, Mr. Obasanjo promised to do his best to “ensure communication between all parties”.

However, the spokesperson for the president, Garba Shehu, said the Senate president did not seek to meet with Mr. Buhari.

“I am not aware of any request for a meeting, the president would have seen him, he represents a key institution in our democracy,” he said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Saraki Visits Obasanjo

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Friday morning met with former President Obasanjo in his residence at Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital. Saraki arrived at Obasanjo’s Presidential Hilltop Estate at about 9.10am and proceeded quickly to the ex – President’s inner chamber for private discussions.

The Senate President was accompanied on the trip by Senators Andy Uba, Danjuma Goje, Ahmed Yerima, Tayo Alasoadura and a former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

It is believed that Saraki came to consult with Obasanjo on how to foster unity in the Senate under his watch and to help him pacify aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) senators opposed to his emergence as the Senate President.

Read More: Punch

How Kashamu Saved Ex-President Obasanjo From Food Poisoning

This is a press statement. Read below…

Policemen from Zone 2 command, Onikan, Lagos, have arrested two persons who allegedly posed as daughter to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and an intelligence officer respectively, to Senator Buruji Kashamu, with a plan to poison the former President.

The suspects identified as Peter Uwakala and Victoria Alaegbu, it was gathered, were arrested following a complaint by Kashamu at Zone 2, last month.

The suspects, it was gathered, met with Kashamu at a hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, on May 8, 2015,where they allegedly called the former presidents unprintable names and offered to poison him. In response to the complaint lodged by Kashamu, the command reportedly swung into action and arrested the suspects.

According to a police report obtained by our correspondent: “The fact of the case was that the complainant alleged in his verbal complaint that the duo of Peter Uwakala and Victoria Alaegbu falsely represented themselves as an intelligence officer and daughter to the former President Obasanjo respectively to him under the pretence that they were going to resolve the political rift between him and Obasanjo.

“He stressed that the duo met with him at a hotel, where the latter who had collected N500,000 from his younger brother, made some uncomplimentary and derogatory remarks about the former president, while the former introduced herself as Yetunde ObAsanjo to him. He added that he had to report to the police upon his suspicion of foul play by the suspects. “Investigation conducted revealed that the duo were impersonators.

From the foregoing, it was established that both Peter Uwakala and Victoria Alaegbu actually committed the offences alleged by the complainant and have been charged accordingly in line with the prescription of the law.

“The suspects were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo at the Igbosere Magistrate Court, Lagos on June 5, 2015 and were remanded at Kirikiri Prisons. The matter was adjourned to July 31, 2015.” It was gathered that Kashamu’s gesture of reporting the matter to the police in spite of their political differences made Obasanjo to say he had forgiven Kashamu of any grudge he had against him.

It was gathered that the rapprochement led to Kashamu withdrawing the N20 Billion libel suit against Obasanjo.

Kashamu Withdraws Libel Suit Against Obasanjo

Senator Buruji Kashamu, has withdrawn a N20.1bn libel suit he instituted against former President Olusegun Obasanjo before a Federal Capital Territory court in Abuja.

The presiding judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, struck out the suit on May 26, 2015, following the notice of discontinuance of the suit filed by the plaintiff.

Kashamu had on February 6, 2014, sued Obasanjo for “maliciously and recklessly” publishing a letter titled, ‘Before it is too late,’ addressed to former President Goodluck Jonathan in December 2013.

He had asked the court to award him N20bn as aggravated and exemplary damages, and another N100m against Obasanjo for maliciously portraying him as a fugitive wanted for drug- related offences in the United States of America.

Read More: Punch

How Ribadu Was Poisoned – Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that the ex-chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was once poisoned in the course of his duties as anti-corruption czar.malam_nuhu_ribadu_11
Obasanjo disclosed this at an international forum on Third Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He also revealed that Ribadu created enemies for him because of the ruthlessness with which he carried out his responsibilities of tackling corruption in Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who spoke from the floor following a presentation on Illicit Financial Flow and Governance of Natural Resources made by Ribadu, affirmed that he had known from experience that
the fight against corruption attracts a lot of enemies.

The former president declared that he has no fear of anyone still living in Nigeria, adding, “it is rather them that fear me.”
Saying that Ribadu took on a lot of highly connected persons in his fight against corruption, Obasanjo said that the former anti-corruption chief was once poisoned, causing a scare among concerned quarters.

“It was a matter of life and death,” the former president said, though further details of the incident were not given.

Obasanjo said that once Ribadu was appointed, he gave him a free hand and that Ribadu investigated him, his late wife and several persons close to him at that time.

He also narrated a story of how a serving minister, who was his senior in secondary school, was indicted and prosecuted by the EFCC, adding that when the minister was found wanting, “there was no issue of seniority again.”

On leadership, Obasanjo, who is also the chairperson of the Tana Forum, re-echoed Ribadu’s submission that at the centre of anti-corruption fight there was the need for willing political leadership at the highest level.

He, however, added that the leader also needs relevant legislations to work with, narrating his experience with the bill establishing ICPC which, he said, was whittled down by lawmakers, who felt they could be victims of the law.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, thanked Ribadu for his presentation, which, he said, highlighted many good things about Nigeria different from what is portrayed in the media.

In his presentation, Ribadu offered measures African countries can take to tackle illicit financial flow and repatriate money already illegally taken out of the African countries.

He said that what Africa needs is honest and committed leaders who will set examples with themselves by eschewing corruption and close avenues of illicit financial flow.

According to him, it is the seriousness and commitment showed by the political leadership that will convince other foreign countries to work with them towards recovering looted monies stashed abroad.

Ribadu also emphasised the need for concerted effort among countries and a synergy between law enforcement agencies so that looters could be caught.

If You Probe Me, Probe Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Others Too; Jonathan Tells Buhari

President Goodluck Jonathan has advised the incoming president, Muhammadu Buhari, not to single his administration out for probe. He said if Mr. Buhari must investigate him and his administration, he should do the same for the past governments.

A probe centred only on the Jonathan administration will amount to a “witch hunt”, the president said Wednesday at a valedictory cabinet meeting attended by ministers ahead of his handing over to Mr. Buhari on Friday.

Mr. Jonathan said his comments followed calls from different quarters for his administration to be investigated. “Some people are even calling for the probe of the government, but I think in Nigeria, there are a lot of many things that will be probed, very many things, even debts owed by states and debts owed by this country from 1960 up to this time.

“They say it is Jonathan’s administration that is owing these debts. I believe that anybody that is calling for probe must also ensure that this probe is extended beyond the Jonathan administration.

“Otherwise, to me, it will be witch-hunt. If we are very sincere, it is not only the Jonathan administration that should be probed,” he said. He said his government has had to operate under the harshest of conditions, some of which were politically motivated.

Mr. Jonathan attributed the just abating fuel scarcity and the strike action by the oil union to sabotage. He noted that as a cabinet, all ministers had done their best despite the challenges faced during their tenure.

Noting that Nigeria has twice sat on the Security Council during the life of the outgoing administration, the president said it was obvious that the rest of the world appreciated the little contribution of Nigeria under his leadership.


Blame Obasanjo For The Failure In Power Sector- Atiku

Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, has blamed his former boss, Nigeria’s ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for the prolonged crisis in the power sector.

Atiku, who served under Obasanjo’s regime from 1999-2007, said this in an interview with Punch on Sunday, May 24, where he alleged that the latter’s adoption of a reform modeled after the gas power stations resulted in the lingering power crisis in the country.

Atiku said  he advised Obasanjo to adopt a short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to the power sector reform. He said the country had gotten foreign investors, who were prepared to come and invest between $250m and $500m to set up small and medium -size power stations.

He faulted Obasanjo’s  long term solution, which involved the building the of gas infrastructure.

“By now, we would have been self-sufficient, but he said, ‘Oh, we must go gas’ and I said, ‘Gas? There is a problem. It’s long term; a lot of investments. There is instability in the region (Niger Delta). You must bring peace, before they would allow you to evacuate the gas.”

Read Morenaij

State Of The Nation: I’m Concerned – IBB

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retd.) Monday expressed worry over the current state of the nation.

He expressed concern particularly on the worsening fuel scarcity and epileptic power supply.

Babangida expressed these concerns when he paid a farewell visit to the out-going Niger state governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, at the latter’s residence in Minna.

He was accompanied on the visit by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.)

“I am as concerned as you are. I urged Nigerians to support the incoming government on whatever measure it takes to provide solution. Government is doing all it can to make sure the problem comes to an end. We should endeavour to support them during this period”, he said.

Asked why the problem is coming at a time when Nigerians are looking forward to a transition from one administration to the other, the former Nigerian leader said the problem currently bedeviling the country was not peculiar as it was prevalent in all developing countries but it is the duty of the government to find a solution to the problems.

“Every developing country has one problem or the other, there have to be a government to solve the problem and the government is on ground”, he said.

In his remarks, Gen. Abubakar appealed to the general public to sustain the peace being enjoyed in the country, while he charged the outgoing governor to assist the incoming government with his wealth of experience.

In his remarks, Governor Aliyu commended the two elder statesmen for their support throughout his tenure and advised the incoming government not to relent on sustaining the level of security attained in the state, particularly at this period when the menace of kidnapping had reached the state.

Aliyu refuted claims that the outgoing administration was responsible for the continued epileptic power supply and fuel scarcity in the country, insisting that “nobody can be heartless to arrange such thing”.

He attributed the fuel scarcity to the difference of exchange rate, saying, “When the agreement between the marketers and the government was signed a dollar was captured at N150 but now the exchange rate was around N200”.

On power, he said there was water shortage in the hydroelectric dams, which forced the drop in electricity generation.

“Nobody can sit down to create this type of problem unnecessarily; nobody can arrange such a thing. It will soon come to an end. The problem is not deliberate”, Mr. Aliyu assured.

I Believe In Buhari’s Change, Jonathan Failed Us – Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed confidence in the leadership of the President-elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, advising him not to take Nigerians for granted in administering the country.

Obasanjo spoke while hosting a delegation of South West Women Leaders led by the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson, at his Hilltop Mansion in Abeokuta.

“When I came in 1999, there was no fuel and power. The situation was like this and I thought we have put that one behind us. The man that is coming on board has a lot of experience in terms of governance.

“He is not a green horn. We have both worked together in administering, then as a military Head of State and we did it well. Nigerians need to exercise patience because what have been destroyed in eight years cannot be re-build in a day.

“Let’s give him time. Let’s pray for him and let’s cooperate with him. We are all concerned about the present situation of Nigeria. The expectation is very high but at the same time, there is a lot of goodwill internally and externally for the in-coming government.

“Once the in-coming administration realises this and take every step, particularly in the first three months, when people will be watching and counting, I think for me, we will get there,” said Obasanjo.

He submitted that having been Head of State between 1984 and 1985 Buhari has the experience in terms of administering the country, adding that the outgoing government failed woefully.

Obasanjo added that with Buhari in charge of the country, Nigerians would experience a new dawn.

Obasanjo Loses Younger Sister

Adunni Oluniola Eweje-Obasanjo, a younger sister to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is dead.

She died at the age of 76 at a private hospital in Ota, Ogun State after a brief illness.

Mr. Obasanjo broke the news of the death when he hosted women leaders from the South-west at his residence in Abeokuta on Sunday. He said the visit would have been cancelled after he heard of his sister’s death, but for the fact that it had been scheduled.

Several well wishers also visited the former President on Sunday to condole with him, a PREMIUM TIMES’ correspondent observed.

A daughter of the deceased, Titi, who addressed journalists, said burial arrangements would be announced later.

Kashamu’s Attempted Arrest: NGO Calls For Due Process

A non-governmental organisation, One Child One Teacher Africa (OCOTA), has expressed concern about Saturday’s attempted arrest of Senator-elect Buruji Kashamu by operatives of the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Lagos.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its Media Consultant, Mr Richards Jude, the organisation said that it detested the manner in which the agency approached the attempted arrest.

It called for due process and rule of law in the matter by the NDLEA, insisting that fundamental rights of the senator-elect must be respected.

“The rights of every Nigerian regardless of his or her status must be not be violated in the guise of enforcing provisions of the law,” the statement said.

NAN recalls that NDLEA operatives visited the residence of the senator-elect Saturday to arrest him following a request for his extradition by U.S. authorities.

Bode George Denies Involvement With Buruji Kashamu’ s Arrest

Chief Bode George has described as a huge joke, the allegation that he was involved with the US inspired attempt to get Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu extradited to the United States.

George now in London, gave the denial in a telephone interview with Punch. George’s wife, Roli is the Executive Secretary of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The PDP leader said he did not have the power to give his wife orders because she was not the chairman of the NDLEA and the agency adheres to due process.

Buruji Kashamu

“I don’t understand what this is all about. How does Kashamu’s arrest affect the price of milk? My wife is not the chairman of the NDLEA, so how can I give her orders when she has a boss? Also, that agency always follows due process.

“I am happy that the NDLEA has issued a statement to the effect that Kashamu’s arrest has nothing to do with me or politics. I do not dabble into Ogun State politics.

“Kashamu is like a younger brother to me and he is not known to speak in such a manner. I am sure it is his media adviser that concocted this falsehood.”

Federal attorney general, Mohammed Adobe said NDLEA was acting on a request for Kashamu, who has a 21 year old drug charges in Chicago, Illinois, to answer.