When Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo, who as a military President had ruled Nigeria from 1976 to 1979, was imposed again on Nigerians for another run on the political leadership of the country, most were willing to give him benefit of doubt.
The word "imposed" needs explaination here. Obasanjo in his first adventure in power was imposed on Nigerians by the politico-military power mongering clique, when his boss, the then military President, General Murtala Mohammed was assasinated in a bloody coup d'etat. His second coming as civillian President(1999 to 2007) followed same pattern, the difference being that though the latter imposition was by same clique, they are now retired and desperately inclined to protecting their huge ill- gotten wealth.
The inclination to give the retired general, who was released from prison and hurriedly granted state pardon, benefit of doubt in 1999 came as a result of the mood of the Nation at that time. Nigerians were just coming out of a nightmarish five-year-rule by the worst military regime the country ever witnessed
since independence. The second reason was the positive credentials Obasanjo garnered for himself between 1979 and 1999. He was then the first and only military Presdient to willingly hand over power to civillians, his international statesman image also helped.
The retired General though did show some anti-democratic sentiments, like supporting the annulment of the june 12th 1993 presidential election believed to have been won by the flamboyant multi-millionaire businessman, Mr. Moshood Abiola. His anti-democratic sentiments were ignored, thus paving way for an eight-year-rule that can be rightly described as years of locust, in which the economy was privatized into the private pockets of Obasanjo, his political associates and hangers on.
The Nation is now being informed daily of massive frauds perpetrated by the regime. The wonder is that while these harvests of frauds were on, The news media in Nigeria, who prefers to be called the fourth estate of the realm(whatever that means}could not wear their investigative kits and expose these rackets.
We believe that if the so called fourth estate of the realm were proactive, the years of locust could not have happened, atleast to the magnitude it happened. The Obasanjo years of locust is certainly, our collective guilt.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
EDITORIAL: THE OBASANJO YEARS OF LOCUST(1999-2007) IS OUR COLLECTIVE GUILT
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 03:24
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
NIGERIA'S EX-PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER BLACKMAILS GOVERNMENT
The daughter of Nigeria's immediate past President, Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo, who is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC)in connection with alleged financial crime, Mrs. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has hatched a plan with her political allies to blackmail the Administration of Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua. The ex-President's daughter was at the weekend(19th and 20th April, 2008)hiding in a guest house at the Maitama Area of the Federal capital territory, said to belong to Mr. Andy Uba, her father's special Assistant on domestic affairs from 1999 to 2007.
Mrs. Obasanjo-Bello's current travail started when investigations into an alleged sharing of a 2007 unspent budget of the federal ministry of health by the Ministers and senior officials of the ministry, revealed that the ex-Presdient's daughter in her capacity as chairperson of the senate committee on health collected the sum of ten million naira from the fund for her committee's retreat in Ghana. The Ministers have since resigned and have been arraigned with senior officials of the ministry in court.
The ex-President's daughter we learnt was co-operating with the EFCC, till a plan was hatched by her political associates, most of whom were her father's godsons and daughters, who are not happy the way their principal is being rubbished,to blackmail the Government with the matter, disappeared after alleging threat to her life.
We were reliably informed that Mrs. Obasanjo-Bello and her friends want to use her current travail to potray the Government as callous and intent on using illegitimate means to eliminate whoever that is connected to Obasanjo.
We were also reliably informed that the Senate President and some Senators that are very close to her have been speaking to her on phone in their private capacities, since she disappeared. We have not confirmed if these senators know her whereabout.
A source in EFCC informed us that politicising the matter will not help the hiding Senator, "our office will take the matter to a logical conclusion" she concluded. The Senate as an institution has mandated some of its officials to locate the whereabout of its furgitive member.
The House of Representatives has however, advised Mrs. Obasanjo-Bello to come out of hiding and answer the charges preferred against her.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 05:03
Thursday, 17 April 2008
NIGERIA'S PRESIDENT SLIPS IN AND OUT OF COMA
Following recent serious deterioration in the health of the Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua, which necesitated cancellation of the public signing ceremony of the 2008 Appropriation bill into law, the President has been flown to a German hospital for treatment. We do not know the name of the hospital yet.
We learnt that on the eve of the signing of the bill, the President, who has been seriously ill before emerging as the country's leader, developed complications associated with kidneys and lungs malfunctioning, and consequently slipped into coma. He was rushed to Aso Rock clinic where he was eventually revived. Sources informed us that doctors at the clinic recommended complete rest and medical
"This was the reason why Mr. President signed the budget in a private ceremony," a source volunteered. We were further informed that after signing the Appropriation act, the President slipped into coma again and was revived by the first lady and his personal physician."This coma problem continued till Mr. President was flown to Germany", our source further volunteered.
It will be recalled that when the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP) presented the then Governor of Katsina state, as its presidential flagbearer for the 2007 presidential election, much was made of Mr. Yar'Adua's condition of health. It was alleged that his health could not withstand the rigors of Presidential schedules, infact the then PDP presidential candidate collapsed after one of his campaign rallies and was flown to Germany for medical attention. The PDP however, insisted that he was healthy and capable of discharging the responsibilities of the office of the President if elected. It maintained that its presidential candidate collapsed due to stress occasioned by the rigorous campaign schedules.
We have not been able so far to monitor the President's condition because we do not have source(s) in Germany where the President is currently undergoing treatment.
The President's chief publicist has however, said that his boss is responding to treatment and will be back on seat soon.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 04:48
Monday, 14 April 2008
INTELLIGENCE REPORT ON NIGERIA'S NIGER DELTA REGION A RUSE
The recent intelligence report by the joint taskforce on security(JTF), of imminient attacks by Niger Delta militants on major oil platforms and cities in the region has been described as a ruse by sources inside the various militant groups.
Our reporters who visited militants' camps under cover in Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states, report that the creeks are calm except for some flashes of sea piracy and other minor criminal activities.
This calm is attributable to serious depletion of weapons, occassioned by several months of heavy fighting with the JTF.
Another factor responsible for this calm is the lost of main sources of arms supply following the arrest and detention of Mr. Henry Okah in September, 2007. Okah, we reliably gathered was the militants' major contact with these supply sources.
On Ateke Tom, we learnt that he has been on the move since the invasion of his camp in December, 2007 by the JTF, which according to security experts, makes it almost impossible for him to organize for serious attacks of the magnitude described by the JTF. "the so called boylov said to be collaborating with Ateke is only a freelance fighter with no command experience", insisted a source.
We also learnt that Ijaw leaders are piling lots of pressure on the militants to stay calm atleast for now and watch the direction of the Henry Okah treason trial. Ijaw leaders are secretly pressing for a political solution to the Okah problem.
Pressed for reasons why the JTF released a ruse as an intelligence report, a source who is a retired Army captain, told us that these "bogus" intelligence reports are released from time to time, to paint a picture of insecurity, so as to get a sizeable chunk of the Governors' huge security votes.
We have independently confirmed that the JTF is now a money making machine for military officers from the western and northern axis of the country.
One of our editorial consultants, who sought to see the JTF spokesman for comments on this report was turned back by soldiers on guard duty who claimed to be acting on orders from the JTF commander.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 04:49
Monday, 7 April 2008
HUSTLINGS TO CONTROL NEW BODY OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS IN NIGERIA
Hustlings to control the new body of freight forwarders in Nigeria, named COUNCIL FOR THE REGISTRATION OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS IN NIGERIA, established under the COUNCIL FOR THE REGISTRATION OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS IN NIGERIA ACT,2007,being midwifed by the NIGERIA SHIPPERS COUNCIL(NSC)have started in full force. The act empowers NSC to form and co-ordinate the activities of the body.
The NSC after receiving and processing applications for membership, shortlisted and published names of corporate pioneer members.The country was divided into western maritime zone, eastern maritime zone and airport/border zone for effective co-ordination.
What sparked off the hustlings is the recent announcement of election into the governing body of the council scheduled to hold on friday, 11th April, 2008 in Abuja.
Freight forwarders were allocated eight slots in the body, thus: western maritime zone(6), eastern maritime zone(1),airport/border zone(1).
When our reporters visited Tin-can and Apapa seaports in Lagos and Onne seaport in Rivers State, top members of ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN LICENSED CUSTOMS AGENTS(ANLCA), NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT APPROVED FREIGHT FORWARDERS(NAGAFF)and NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MANAGING DIRECTORS OF LICENSED CUSTOMS AGENTS(NCMDLCA)were seen shuttling to and from meetings, whose agenda we learnt were to map out strategies to fill the few available slots.
Operators who did not want their names published told us that the leadership of these associations, especially ANLCA have been employing both fair and foul means to get the slots."Appeals to tribal sentiments and blackmails are their most prominent weapons", one source who pleaded for annonymity told us.
A top security source in Abuja informed us that many of those seeking election into the body have at one time or the other, got involved in imports and/or exports rackets and so may not make it if the NSC take the security factor into consideration.
We are aware that there were attempts by ANLCA leadership to compromise the leadership of the shippers' council but were unable to confirm so far if the attempts were successful or not. The NSC when contacted, however, said that it has always and will always follow the dictates of the enabling act.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 05:27
Saturday, 5 April 2008
LEADER OF NIGERIAN OIL MILITANTS AND CO-ACCUSED HELD IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN MILITARY FACILITY
Mr. Henry Okah, the erstwhile spokesman of MOVEMENT FOR EMMANCIPATION OF NIGER DELTA(MEND)and his co-accused, Mr. Edward Atatah have been moved to the Rukuba barracks of the 3rd Armoured division of the Nigerian Army in Jos, capital city of Plateau State.
Messrs Okah and Atatah, who were arraigned for treason at the federal high court Jos on thursday, 3rd April,2008 were moved into the military facility in the early hours of friday, 4th April, 2008. Both are now being held in separate underground cells in solitary confinement.
Sources in the office of the Minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation informed us that witnesses drawn mainly from military officers currently being court-marshalled for missing arms and ammunitions, have been lined up to substantiate the fourteen-count-charge against the accused persons.
We can now report that pressure is being piled on the lawyer for the accused persons, Mr. Femi Falana by some foreign countries to scale down his public comments
on the matter.
We were unable to unravel the identities of these countries at the time of writing this report.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 03:20
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
ASSOCIATES OF IMMEDIATE PAST NIGERIAN PRESIDENT UNEARTHS PRESIDENT'S ILLEGALLY FUNDED FAMILY TRUST FUND
Associates of the immediate past President of Nigeria, Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo after a period of serious brainstorming have come out with schemes to solve once and for all, what they call "the Yar'Adua problem".
Sources inside the Obasanjo caucus informed us that for sometime now, members of the caucus have been watching with subdued anger, the various actions of President Yar'Adua which they believe were all aimed at diminishing the political stature of their principal, despite the fact that the immediate past President single handedly installed him(Yar'Adua)as President.
Consequently, our sources continued, the Obasanjo think tank have come up with their own strategies to counter "the Yar'Adua onslaughts".
The first strategy in the Obasanjo caucus kitty is to use their members in the Yar'Adua administration to leak damaging information about happenings inside the administration to the news media. The recent damaging story on the President's wife done by an online news publication, is believed to have been leaked by an official of the foreign ministry on the instruction of the foreign Minister, Mr. Ojo Maduekwe, a close associate of former President Obasanjo.
The second strategy we were told, is for members of the caucus in the national assembly to be on the look out, through their oversight functions and to leak to the news media any inappropriate acts by any officials considered to be very close to the President.
The last but not the least strategy is to assemble facts about how the President's late elder brother, Shehu Yar'Adua got his stupendous wealth and where he invested them. The late Shehu Yar'Adua is believed to have illegally enriched himself when he served as military Vice-President in the first administraion of Obasanjo between february 1976, and september, 1979.
These facts our sources insisted, have been assembled, including a surprised finding that the late Shehu Yar'Adua registered a family trust fund outside Nigeria, in which the President is a beneficiary, with his illegally acquired wealth.These facts we were told, will soon be presented to the President.
We have not been able so far to independently confirm the exisence of a Yar'Adua family trust fund.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 05:01
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