Revisiting Atiku’s Disloyalty

Adeola Aderounmu

 If you are an ardent reader of The Guardian online or in print, you must have read the series that Abati dedicated to the Bolekaja (feud) Presidency of the Obasanjo-Atiku regime. The matter could at least be left to rest but it will always be interesting and historic to look into some aspects of the events that brought shame and ridicule to the position of highest office in Nigeria-The Presidency. 

For the records, Obasanjo was Nigeria’s civilian president from May 1999 to May 2007 while Atiku was his vice president for these 8 wasteful years. From my own opinion, both Atiku and Obasanjo share joint and equal blames for the entire events that occurred during their terms in office. As the third term agenda brewed, Atiku became opposed to the same government which he helped to come to power in 1999 and 2003.  

If there was no third term agenda and if Obasanjo did not plan to perpetuate himself in power for life, Atiku would not have seen anything wrong with his Master’s actions and inactions until the latter half of their joint mis-governance. Thanks to the third term agenda, we saw most of the rots (not all of it), corruption and mismanagement of the 2 men who swore to defend our constitution. The third term was the wind that blew which enabled us to see the anus of the chicken. 

Regarding the agenda of Obasanjo and the PDP which Atiku belongs to (until lately), Atiku was indeed a disloyal vice-president. Atiku as the vice-president of Nigeria could not have been blind when the PDP rigged elections in 1999 and 2003. He played along diligently and he was waiting for his turn to be president in 2007. Some school of thoughts regarded Atiku as the mastermind behind the success of the PDP at the polls in 1999 and 2003. If that is true, he must be a master rigger of elections! That does not justify the show of shame in April 2007 anyway. Instead it goes to show further that we have fools in power. 

In addition, Atiku did not tell us what Obasanjo and his friends have been doing with the treasury. How could we have known that they both connived with other people, family and friends to loot our common treasury? How could we have known how much money they both spent in bribing the National Assembly? If there was no third term agenda, would Atiku have remained forever silent?

By the way, I think the EFCC should be scrapped since these 2 men have not been successfully prosecuted. Someone suggested that Obasanjo should be tried for corruption so that it would be easy to try all the ex-governors that are now hiding or on the run. The days of the stupid immunity are over. 

I am not in support of the misdemeanor of Obasanjo and I am also against a vice president who could not resign from a corrupt government in the hope of reaping from the same garden of betrayal. The people Nigeria, more than 140 million were betrayed by Obasanjo and Atiku. While they looted, tour the world and make merry, the people languish in poverty, bitter pain and heavy frustrations. 

In 1999, the people embraced democracy and received hopes for better days ahead. All the hopes became hopelessness after more than 2, 900 days. They were promised that there will be no sacred cows but Atiku and Obasanjo left office with more sacred cows than any previous administration in Nigeria. The EFCC that should have been non-partisan became a tool in the hands of one man and chased one of its own-Atiku. What did mamma tell us about those who live in glass houses? 

These men are gone now and the evil and disloyalty that they portrayed will live with them for the rest of their lives. In the end what we are reading and hearing is Obasanjo’s legacy-most of it evil and anti-progress. Highly unpalatable! There were a lot of imaginary progresses that were never felt by the common masses.  

Atiku does not want to be associated with Obasanjo after parading himself as vice president to Obasanjo for 8 years. It is very laughable.  How then shall we write Atiku’s legacy or how does Atiku wants to be remembered? It will never be enough to say that he fought third term to a standstill. It will instead also be inclusive that he betrayed Obasanjo’s plan to be president for life, typical of African dictators.   

The issue beyond betrayal is the disloyalty of our leaders to the wish/ will of the people. For the common people, over 70% still begging or living from hand to mouth, these are all distractions and irrelevancies. Nigerians will continue to hope for better days. History has revealed that what successful societies are reaping today was a collective will of the good of all. This is my main gospel and this is the bane of our progress. I am as guilty as the next person; we are not standing up for our rights. When we do, we will make progress and secure the glory of this great country for our children’s children. We are already wasted, no doubts. 

Yar Adua:Inheritance of a burden

Adeola Aderounmu

Yar Adua has every right to be the president of Nigeria just like more than 140 million other persons in the country. He has been desribed as a humble man and I concur with that. The EFCC has declared him corrupt free (that I do not agree with since I have never been in  Katsina state to know how he ran his government or awarded contracts) and because the EFCC turned to be an instrument in the hands of the evil one. EFCC may have had an impact on Nigeria but the selectiveness of their agenda was too obvious. Ask the crying former governor of Borno State why he shed tears! If EFCC was neutral, Iwu and Obasanjo should be in jail by now. Don’t even look too far back because Babangida and the rest of them are still free men. What then is the job of the EFCC? Nonsense!

I have decribed Nigerian Politics as the worst tragedy of the 21st century. That opinion stands especially because of the wasting minds in Nigeria and abroad.  Nigerians are arguably the most intelligent people alive and they are ruled by nonentities and empty skulls.

That Yar Adua is now the president of Nigeria reveals that he is a corrupt man and he has no conscience. It doesn’t matter that he is the least corrupt among all the other top candidates!  The crux of this matter is not in the person of Yar Adua but the illegality and the non-acceptance of the process that brought him to power. Those who fail to see this simple point cannot be intelligent. They are part of the myriads of the Nigerian problems.

If he is the nice guy that they say he was, Yar Adua should have turned down the results of the criminalised selection (there was NEVER an election in Nigeria in 2007) on the platter of his honour.

Yar Adua may have noble intentions, but it would have been nice for him to care about following manners and attitudes that show civility, common sense and the respect for the rule of law.

He has just inherited a burden. He represents an offshoot of the remnants of our recent traumatised memory.

May Nigerians be delivered from the evil cabal and tropical juntas/gangsters.

The increase of petrol price

By Gani Fawehinmi

(From The Guardian, May 30 2007)

JUST as President Olusegun Obasanjo was asking for forgiveness in the Church on Sunday, May 27, 2007, he was inflicting a parting pain on the masses of our people by increasing the pump price of a litre of petrol to N75. Why should Obasanjo do this heinous act? The reasons which are legion include:

(a) He wants to stand out in history as the Nigerian leader who has punished the people of Nigeria most by increasing the petrol pump price eight times as a democratically elected leader from 1999 to 2007 from N20 which he inherited in 1999 to N75 forty-eight hours before his departure from power. As a Head of State from 1976 to October 1979, he was the first to introduce an astronomical increase from 8k to 15k on October 1, 1978, giving as one of the reasons that Nigerians were enjoying too much of stable oil price. He left office on the October 1, 1979 with the petrol pump price at 15.30k per litre.

(b) He undoubtedly wanted to put more money into the already saturated purse of his friends in the down stream oil business, many of whom contributed to his N8.5 billion at the launch of his private library on May 14, 2005 at Abeokuta.

(c) Even Transcorp in which Obasanjo has a substantial share holding will benefit from this mad increase.

But why should Obasanjo do this despite the fact that his government is making so much money from the sale of crude oil estimated at $200 million Federal Government revenue per day from the sales of crude oil in the international market which today hovers around $60 per barrel as against $40 per barrel on which the 2007 Budget was predicated? In any event what have we been doing with the oil money since the past eight years when Obasanjo came into the saddle of governance of Nigeria?

1. Obasanjo has retrenched more Federal workers than all other previous Heads of State put together.

2. Most of our infrastructures are in a state of decay.

3. Most of our roads particularly in the South-East, South-South, South-West, North-Central, North-East are death traps.

4. Our public institutions of higher learning are starved of funds and to a large extent comatose. As at today the government cannot even meet the minimal demands of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who are on strike.

5. Only few of our hospitals have been refurbished in a rush whilst most are in a state of neglect.

6. The security and welfare of Nigerians which under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 shall be the primary purpose of government are critically ignored by a self-serving, selfish and a bullying President with poverty wide spread all over the country.

It is inhuman and ungodly for the President to increase the fuel pump price to N75 per litre at a time he was pretending to be penitent in the Church. As long as General Obasanjo remains the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party even after May 29, 2007, so will he have the strangle hold on the affairs of this country. There is only one option for Labour and the Civil Society – let us call the people out on a long strike: (a) To reverse the increase of the fuel pump price; and (b) To cut off the stranglehold of the former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo, by ensuring he does not continue as a leader of the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

  • Chief Fawehinmi is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria