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Again, Obasanjo Attacks Buhari, Says Using EFCC, Others To Intimidate Opponents

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Former President, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

  • Accuses FG of using EFCC, agencies to witch-hunt opposition

Nkechi Chima, Abuja

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies to witch-hunt and intimidate other opponents.

Obasanjo alleged that some judges are already being intimidated; to prepare them to do the biding of the ruling party, in petitions that would arise from next year’s election.

He disclosed this in Abuja, at a colloquium titled Nigeria’s democracy: The journey so far and the role of women, which marked the 70th birthday anniversary of Mrs. Josephine Anenih, former minister for Women Affairs and Social Development.

The former president described the situation as a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.

He said: “Some institutions created for normal administration and dispensation of Justice, like the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Ministry of Justice are being directed to witch-hunt and pursue political opponents can only undermine survival of democracy.

“The use of intimidation, violence and physical attacks have started in some States.

“It is understood that judges are already being intimidated so as to prepare them to do the ruling party’s bidding in election petitions.

“All there are visible in today’s practise of democracy in Nigeria.”

Obasanjo noted that for democracy to endure and produce the desired gains, nobody should be unjustifiably treated and the rule of law must be observed by those in power.

He charged Nigerians to tolerate one another and stressed that though Nigeria has recorded some strides in her democratic journey it is not yet uhuru.

The former president also said democracy should not mean shutting those who did not vote for you and explained that it is a government of the people by the people.

“For me, that after almost twenty year’s of the beginning of the present dispensation, it has not been derailed, is enough a development in progress, even though there are many unpalatable practises and dangerous signs that have shown their ugly heads, which is the strongest indication that our democracy is alive but, it cannot be said to be hale and hearty.

“Practitioners of democracy must be democrats, if you have a lot to be desired.”

On women’s involvement in governance, Obasanjo advocated 40 percent representation for women at all levels of government.

He decried the current situation where Nigeria is yet to meet the 35 affirmative action.

“In this present administration, there are 15 women members in the House of Representatives.

“It is not only unacceptable but makes mockery of gender balance. There must be amendment of our constitution, not to allow any gender to have less than 40 percent in any parliament.”

Obasanjo congratulated the celebrant, Mrs. Anenih, on her birthday and also applauded her for the great success she has recorded so far in life.

He also sang a song for the her titled: “What shall I render” and danced to it as well. (The Sun)

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Obasanjo Makes Surprise Appearance At PDP Rally |RN

Olusegun Obasanjo

Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta

In a dramatic manner, a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, stormed the rally of one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, Oladipupo Adebutu.

Adebutu, who is currently representing Remo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and his supporters were at the rally held within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library when the former President arrived in his Toyota jeep in a convoy of other cars.

This threw the supporters into a wild jubilation, as Obasanjo alighted from the vehicle.

The former President, who is also an in-law to the aspirant, said, “I am just passing by and decided to say hello and wish you well.”

Immediately he extended his pleasantries, he jumped into the jeep and he left with the convoy of cars in his trail to his residence situated within the premises.

Obasanjo had reiterated that he had quit partisan politics when he established his Coalition for Nigeria Movement, which later fused into the African Democratic Congress.

He, however, said his doors remained open for consultations by all Nigerians who shared his views of a united country.

Before the rally, Adebutu had earlier visited the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in his palace to seek the monarch’s support and blessing.

He was accompanied on the visit by some PDP chieftains in the state and he had earlier donated electricity transformers to four communities in the Abeokuta metropolis.  (Punch)

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Obasanjo Is Nigeria’s Most Hypocritical Former Leader – Soyinka

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Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of being the most hypocritical former leader of the country, following his attempt to hijack the movement for political change.

He stated this in Abuja on Friday at a dinner organised by the International Press Institute.

“Obasanjo has crossed the red line and I will launch a publication to expose him on July 3 at Freedom Park in Lagos,” Soyinka stated.

He is trying to hijack a recovery process he is least worthy to lead.

According to Soyinka, Obasanjo is not the right person to lead any movement for reform on change of leadership in the country in 2019 and that Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigerian Movement should not be glorified.

He said Obasanjo and other geriatric leaders of his generation should step aside and allow a new generation to lead the nation.

Responding to a question that he has not been critical of Obasanjo as he had been of other past leaders, especially late General Sani Abacha, Soyinka said, “As for Obasanjo, I have news for him. And it has been a progressive thing.

“I believe Obasanjo has really crossed the red line because he is trying to put himself as the head of a recovery process. He is trying to hijack the recovery process in this nation and I say that he is one of the least worthy of one of the former heads of States to lead that kind of movement.

“I have brought out a publication about that, the title is in Latin but it means; who watches the watchmen. That publication is coming out simply because I will like to see new blood in governance in this nation and I think these corrupt and hypocritical geriatrics should stop recycling themselves and they should stop trying to co-opt their former cronies to take over the reigns of governance in this nation.”    (Punch)

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Why Buhari Won’t Arrest Obasanjo |The Republican News

Obasanjo-and-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari and Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, has cried out that President Muhammadu Buhari plans to arrest him.

 

I consider it the mother of all false alarms: Buhari lacks motivation for such an action.

But according to Obasanjo’s June 6 statement, which was signed by an aide, the plan arises from “(Buhari’s) desperation to frustrate, intimidate and blackmail him into abandoning his divine mandate to protect the rights of the people to better life and living” because of Obasanjo’s indictment of his administration in January.

Expressing disgust with Buhari’s abysmal performance in office, Obasanjo had urged him not to seek re-election.  Ordinarily, Obasanjo’s status as a statesman ought to be enough for him to speak out on matters of national interest.  But having squandered that, he now mistakes his six-month-old university diploma for God’s very mandate.

But to be clear: in a normal polity, the prosecution—not persecution—of Obasanjo should have started on or right after May 29, 2007, following his loss of presidential immunity, for a truckload of offences that are now well-known to Nigerians.  But he had carefully planned his future, handpicking those who took over from him, thereby foreclosing the option of justice when Umaru Yar’Adua took office in 2007.

Mr Goodluck Jonathan, who eventually assumed the presidency in 2010, ought never to have been anywhere near that office, considering his abysmal record as governor of Bayelsa.

Still, Obasanjo shoehorned him onto the express path to the presidency, and when he made a mess of it, accused his creation of being fake and ineffective.

But he was fake and ineffective by design: Obasanjo’s.  But Obasanjo knew if he had made the patriotic choice and allowed the emergence of a strong and popular president, he might have wound up in prison rather than as a larger-than-life political deity forever trying to define Nigeria in his image.

But the man with a “divine mandate” (to protect Nigerians) has never apologised to Nigerians for his chicanery in manipulating the political process for his own purposes.

Now that in Obasanjo’s eyes, Buhari has descended to the same political lower life form—even if so in the eyes of many disappointed Nigerians—we must remind ourselves not only of Obasanjo’s responsibility for our suffering but also of other crimes as president that he has yet to pay for.

Crimes that, despite Obasanjo’s “alarm,” Buhari has no intention of making him pay for, nor can make him pay for.

And then there are those that he selfishly continues to commit. In the June 6 statement, Obasanjo said, among others, “We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same government they serve.”

This illustrates the double standards and arrant hypocrisy by which Obasanjo has perennially divided and cheapened Nigeria.

Bukola Saraki may have other issues with the executive branch, but at the heart of his troubles are allegations of false declaration of assets from his governorships of Kwara State.  Lest we forget, in 2006 during Obasanjo’s second term, 15 governors, including Mr Jonathan, were indicted for similar offences by his Joint Task Force and recommended for trial.

But Obasanjo personally rubbished the report and instead, gave Mr Jonathan the vice-presidency.  In that light, Obasanjo is consistent: the only side he has ever been on is Obasanjo’s, not justice.

To hear Obasanjo tell it, however, he is clean, and he was absolved by everyone, particularly the EFCC.  On that score, here is how he attempted to handcuff Buhari in his statement: “The same EFCC that had conducted a clinical investigation on the activities of Obasanjo in and out of government…would now be made to stand down the existing report that gave Chief Obasanjo a clean bill of health on the probes…”

Obasanjo never says that it was his EFCC that “cleared” him while he supervised it.  Or acknowledge that Nuhu Ribadu, who chaired the commission at the time, subsequently declared publicly that his government was more corrupt than Sani Abacha’s had been.

One more example: in April 2010, a report of the United States confirmed that over 80 Nigerians had collected bribes, some of them in the millions of dollars, from Halliburton.  They included former heads of states, notably Ibrahim Babangida, Abdusalam Abubakar…and Obasanjo!

That report, and a local one two years earlier by the Mike Okiro panel set up by Yar’Adua, reached the same conclusions that are well-known to Buhari.  But no Nigerian leader, certainly not Buhari, has had the courage to do anything about it.

That is because Buhari is not interested in fighting corruption symptomatically.  His corruption does not involve people who are as “important” as Obasanjo.  He also appears to be working with the template that leaders don’t harass former leaders, an EFCC official describing last year an arrangement under which Buhari will not arrest Jonathan or his wife.

Note that until Obasanjo shot Buhari’s re-election plans full of holes, Buhari never expressed one negative thought about him.  Only then did Buhari dig up Obasanjo’s infamous expenditure of $16bn in the power sector between 1999 and 2007.

But it is the same Buhari who had always vowed to recover all the funds looted since 1999. “We want to have everything back – all that they took by force in 16 years,” he swore in November 2015.

And yet, in the three years during which he has borrowed externally by the billions, he has not set about recovering any part of that $16bn.  Or any major accounts and scandals of real magnitude.

In other words, Obasanjo symbolises the duplicity and emptiness of Buhari’s mythical onslaught on corruption.  Obasanjo is proof that Buhari’s war is not blind; to investigate Obasanjo would open Pandora’s Box.

But now there may also be another reason why Buhari appears to be playing with parallel agendas: his own record.  In “Petroleum Trust Fraud,” last week, Ray Ekpu, one of Nigeria’s most accomplished journalists, explored Buhari’s sordid tenure as Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund under Abacha.  It is not an insult to say it diminishes Buhari considerably.

The irony of the power-play between Obasanjo and Buhari is that, in the end, a man without a conscience wants to be the conscience of a people. Had Obasanjo Nigeria at heart, he had eight full years to serve Nigerians with distinction.

He didn’t grasp the opportunity: the same test Buhari is failing as we speak.

(Akahi News)

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IBB, Jonathan, Danjuma, Others On Buhari’s Gov’t’s Target – Fani-Kayode

Jonathan-and-Obasanjo

Former Presidents, Goodluck Jonathan, and Olusegun Obasanjo

Sunday Ani

Former minister of Culture and Tourism as well as Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government has perfected plans to silence all opposition voices, starting from the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In a statement he signed yesterday, Fani-Kayode warned that such move would not augur well for the country’s democracy.

Fani-Kayode was reacting to Obasanjo’s allegation that Buhari was planning to arrest him.
He described as disturbing, reports about Buhari’s plan to frame up, arrest and detain Obasanjo on trumped-up and politically-motivated charges.

“The government is also planning to target other key opposition figures and elder statesmen as we get closer to 2019 such as General T.Y. Danjuma, General Ibrahim Babangida, former President Goodluck Jonathan and a handful of others. It appears that Buhari will stop at nothing in order to ensure that all his critics are silenced.

“The plan to implicate and silence all these leaders, together with key figures in the PDP, such as Ayo Fayose, Emmanuel Udom, Ibrahim Dankwabo, Nyesome Wike, Darius Ishaku, Godswill Akpabio, David Mark, Ike Ekweremadu, Lyle Imoke, Uche Secondus, Sule Lamido, Ibrahim Shekarau, Abubakar Suleiman, Kabiru Turaki, David Jang, Atiku Abubakar, Dele Belgore, Jumoke Akinjide, Nenadi Usman and others is condemnable.”

The former minister also accused the government of planning to give him and potent voices against the government “the Nnamdi Kanu or El Zakzaky treatment.” (The Sun)

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Why APC Will Get A Second Term – Orji Uzor Kalu |The Republican News

By Wale Elegbede and Temitope Ogunbanke reports

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The former governor of Abia State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, believes that the ruling party has so far done well and would be re-elected in the 2019 general elections. In this interview monitored on Channels Television, he also spoke on the planned probe of the power sector and other issues. Wale Elegbede and Temitope Ogunbanke reports

 

You recently met with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the state of your party. What exactly is the state of the All Progressives Congress (APC)?

The APC is in a very good state. The party is doing well. In every democratic process, there must be agreement and disagreement. I am sure Nigerians are watching. The APC is only three years old. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power for 16 years. I don’t see anything that is happening in the APC that does not happen in civilised democracies. Since all of us are not from the same father and mother, we are bound to disagree to agree. But, we are on course, there is no problem.

You are likely to be the only one that thinks the APC is doing well. There were parallel congresses in many states and members of the National Assembly and the state governors are in disagreement. Also, members of the nPDP are currently threatening to leave APC. Are you saying that all is well with all these?
I think there will be a lot of dialogue because, in a democracy, people must dialogue to agree and disagree. That is why we are in a democracy. If you are in a democracy and there are no challenges, you would not move forward. I was a member of the PDP. I know what we went through. There were disagreements here and there. In a democracy, no one man or woman can say, ‘I am totally right.’

When such disagreements happened in the PDP, there were breakaways and some people joined other parties. Do you see an implosion in the APC?

I read about that in the papers, but I don’t think anybody is going to leave the APC because of any problem. There will always be problems anywhere there are different people. Even the Democratic Party and Republican Party in the United States have problems. But their members always come together and settle. That is part of what our party’s hierarchy is talking about today because it is right to settle the problem in order to have adjustments in our party.

You were governor for eight years during the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Do you think it is fair now to probe what was done during that administration regarding funding of electricity?

It is not only electricity that should be probed. There are many things that should be probed in terms of what people in government did. There were many things that government did. Import licenses were issued to people that didn’t deserve them and a lot of money was given to different businessmen, which was not accounted for by that government.

Do you think it would be easy for the Buhari government to probe Obasanjo’s administration?

If anybody is probing, he should know that other people will probe him. If Obasanjo’s government deserves to be probed, then it should be probed. I don’t see anything wrong in probing any government when money is involved. The money does not belong to Buhari; it belongs to the Nigerian people.

Critics say the anti-corruption crusade of this administration is simply a witch-hunt and that when some people like you cross over to the APC, they are no longer ‘sinners,’ they become ‘saints’ overnight. How correct is that assumption?

I’ve never been one; I went to Abia and served my people with all sincerity of purpose. Even in the PDP, when Obasanjo ran for president, I gave them the first N500 million in 1998 and I also gave him N500 million to stand as a candidate. Some people came into office with N20,000 and today they are billionaires and have all kinds of mansions. It is not acceptable. Some of the probes may look like witch-hunt but some are not. The government that left power a few years back is a PDP government. They cannot come and probe me as a private businessman. It is the class of people leaving office at a particular time that will be able to answer questions about governance and things that have to do with governance at the time.

Do you think there was corruption in the power sector during the Obasanjo administration?

There was huge corruption, not only under the Obasanjo administration. I remember I wrote him a letter when he said all the governors were corrupt. I wrote him a letter and said ‘I am an exception.’ I can re-publish that letter, which was carried in the national newspapers at the time. Nigerians remember how our national assets were sold, they were not properly done; they were ‘dashed’ out to people loyal to Obasanjo.

What exactly is the problem with electricity in Nigeria, is it an impossible task to attain stable power?

It is not an impossible task. You will remember that when Obasanjo was there, we had only about 3,000 megawatts, but today, we have gone up to 7,000 megawatts and nobody is talking about that. It is unfortunate that we are still talking about electricity; electricity should be a thing of the past. South Africa generates approximately 58,000 megawatts. At 7,000 megawatts, which is far above what Obasanjo generated, we are still far behind.

The Nigerian Coalition Movement (NCM) formed by former President Obasanjo has fused into a political party, African Democratic Congress (ADC). Are you not worried that they could take power from APC?

No, I’m not afraid because Obasanjo always serves himself and not the people. Nigerians don’t know this; Obasanjo is only thinking about himself and not the masses of Nigeria. I know him better than most Nigerians. He knows I know him. Anything Obasanjo is not good for Nigeria. I saw a clip where my friend and in-law, Femi Fani-Kayode, was talking about former President Umaru Yar’Adua and the electricity projects of Obasanjo. Those are not true; Fani-Kayode is not a student of history, because I know for a fact that $16 billion was earmarked for electricity by Obasanjo. There was no project done with that money; the money was shared among people loyal to Obasanjo.

Are you confident that Nigerians will not vote out APC in 2019?

The answer is total no! I say so because the party has done well. Mind you, APC came to power only three years ago, when there was a major drop in the price of crude oil and when the party leaving power, looted the treasury. Even foreign countries knew that the treasury was looted. There was no money to start the government and nobody has asked questions as to what happened.

Does the APC deserve to be returned in 2019?

Absolutely! APC has done well. Look at the security issues; when Boko Haram was bombing churches, I told people that they would extend it to the mosques. If not for the way Buhari confronted Boko Haram and provided weapons for the military, Nigeria would have long ceased to exist.

The PDP is getting itself together once again. Do you think the party can return to power in 2019?

PDP cannot return to power in 2019. It is going to be very difficult. The PDP has not shown the right reason it should return to power because going back to power means returning to power to open our treasury for them to continue the looting.                      (New Telegraph)

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Buhari, Obasanjo’s Verbal Fight, Good For Nigeria, Says Gen. Ikponmwen |RN

By Onwuka Nzeshi
Obasanjo-Buhari

Buhari and Obasanjo

The raging war of words between President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been described as a healthy development for Nigeria. A former Provost Marshal of the Nigeria Army, Brig. Gen. Idada Ikponmwen (rtd), made this view yesterday in a chat with Saturday Telegraph in Abuja. Ikponmwen said the cross-fire between the two retired military leaders would enable Nigerians to know the truth about certain issues affecting the country.

There has been apprehension in some quarters that the scathing criticisms launched by Obasanjo against the current administration and the reaction it had triggered from Buhari could hit up the polity ahead of the 2019 general elections. Ikopnmwen, who denied knowledge of any attempt by the fellow retired military top brass to mediate in the altercation between Obasanjo and Buhari, said even such a mediation was not necessary as it could abridge the unfolding revelations from the drama.

He said: “If there is an altercation, let it be. The more there is altercation the better for us to know who is who. Let there be altercations. In fact, President Buhari should not just let the matter lie low. We expect that he should pursue the issues to a logical end.

“The issue of $16 billion invested in the power sector has come up. President Buhari said $16billion was committed to power during the regime of one former President. He didn’t mention names but then Chief Olusegun responded that it was directed at him and said Buhari is ignorant of the issues. He said nothing was traceable to him from past investigations on the matter. An investigation by who?”  (New Telegraph)

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