United Ijaw * Welcome to United Ijaw on the web. Our preference is national self determination, the independence of Ijawnation as a Sovereign State. A state that promotes sustainable economic and social development, democratic principles, liberty, free enterprise, equal rights and justice. This is our story, this is our struggle. **** On Kaiama Declaration We Stand **** United Nations Under Secretary-General, Dr. Antonio Maria Costa, in Abuja condemned the theft of Nigeria's assets by past corrupt leaders. He said that kleptomaniac leaders stole more than 400 billion dollars from the Nigerian treasury between 1960 and 1999. **** IJAWNATION THINK! THINK. **** Almost $170 billion of the country’s wealth disappeared and ended in the private accounts of individuals between 1999 and 2003 alone... Priye Torulagha ****Nigeria has failed Niger Delta – Nnamani **** Resource Control: Niger-Delta governors are traitors – Evah **** Only the fear of a volcanic social eruption from below can stop barbaric behaviour by holders of political power – Gani Fawehinmi ***** “ if the Confab and Nigerians are not willing to heed to Resource Control, they will take it by force” - Oronto Douglas We Dare To Be Different.
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How Obasanjo introduced graft to Nat'l Assembly —Atiku

By Emmanuel Aziken & Ise-Oluwa Ige
Posted to the Web: Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ABUJA — VICE President Atiku Abubakar alleged, yesterday, that President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the use of money to influence National Assembly members and revealed that their working relationship showed its first crack just 24 hours on assumption of office in 1999.

He spoke on a day he, General Muhammadu Buhari  and six other presidential candidates in the last election formally filed their petitions with the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal challenging the declaration of Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua as winner of the April 21 poll.

The VP speaking through his campaign organisation narrated how party cohesion began crumbling  within the PDP Senate caucus after President Obasanjo overturned the decision of  PDP Senators who had endorsed the late Senator Chuba Okadigbo to head the first Senate.

He said: “On May 29, 1999, the day the new civilian administration was sworn-in, the PDP called a meeting of its Senators-elect at Agura Hotel in Abuja. At the meeting, which minutes were taken, the party said it wanted to involve the Senators in the choice of their presiding officer and other principal officers. When the choice of the Senate President was put to vote, the overwhelming majority cast their votes for Dr Chuba Okadigbo. In fact, only four Senators declined to support Okadigbo, saying three of them harboured similar aspiration while the forth dissented.

“When the President got the result of the votes, he said ‘no,’ he was not going to have Okadigbo as the President of the Senate. He then invited the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and Gen. T.Y. Danjuma to join him for breakfast the following morning.

“The President told the two that Okadigbo smoked marijuana and was a womaniser for which reasons he was not going to have him as the President of the Senate. He, therefore, asked the Vice President to tell Okadigbo to step down from the race, and in his place, he said, he wanted Evan Enwerem.

“The Vice President advised that apart from the fact that Enwerem was not known to him, this man that the President wanted had just joined the PDP from the All People’s Party (APP) and needed time to acclimatise.

“The Local Government Elections in Imo State returned the PDP with a big margin. This overwhelming victory necessitated the key political figures in that state, who had hitherto positioned themselves in APP rethinking their positions. Chief Ifeanyi Araraume as APP chairman, along with Chiefs Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Arthur Nzeribe and Enwerem moved over to the PDP three weeks to the elections. Enwerem had a Senate seat concessioned to him.

“The Vice President argued that while he knew Okadigbo as a cigarette smoker, the Senator did not smoke marijuana. Atiku jokingly told the President he (the President) was a worst offender on the issue of womanising. The President stormed out in anger. General Danjuma found himself talking to the Vice President, asking such questions whether ‘this is the way you civilians treat the Commander-in-Chief.’

"In the presence of a former National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, Danjuma explained that in the military, whenever the Commander-in-Chief took a position, everyone queued behind him. The Vice President responded by saying that this was not a military government and that if this was the way the President wanted to run the country, the VP was ready to leave the government, or at best, go to his office and sit down to read newspapers. It was clear that the government was already in crisis, 24 hours after coming into office.

“That evening, May 30, the party Chairman, Chief Solomon Lar, called a meeting of stakeholders including Alhaji Lawal Kaita, Dr Alex Ekwueme, and leading founding members of the party at the Villa. He announced that ‘tomorrow this government will start and we cannot begin like this’.

“The President charged at Ekwueme, asking him ‘is this how you worked with Shagari?’  going on to state that this government will have only one C-in-C.
“Ekwueme replied by saying that before any decision was made by their government, he was invited to a discussion by the President and that his views were taken. Whenever a decision was reached thereby, everyone stood by the decision taken.

“As a solution to the deadlock, the meeting resolved that the principal actors, the President and the Vice President give up their respective choices of Enwerem and Okadigbo, for a neutral candidate to emerge. At this stage, the South-East caucus led by Dr Ekwueme, Dr Sylvester Ugoh and the former National Treasurer retired to Ekwueme’s Suite at the Hilton to produce a new consensus candidate. “They arrived at an early decision in the person of Senator Adolphus Wabara and the former Vice President was mandated to deliver the name to the President at the Villa.”

Continuing, the Vice-President disclosed that delegates coming out of the meeting were shocked to see a businessman from the South-East, a frontline PDP member from Katsina State who is now an estranged friend of the President ferrying Ghana-Must-Go bags in naira and dollar to the Senators.

“Not one to be prevailed upon to give up on a given course of action, the President, unknown to them, had bought some Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) (both defunct) Senators in addition to about 40 per cent of the PDP membership to overturn the decision of his own party (PDP).

“Enwerem won the Senate Presidency. With that emerged what came to be known as ‘PDP 1’ (made up of AD, APP and a few PDP Senators) and ‘PDP 2’ who were in talking terms with their party. “From this point, there was no party loyalty anymore. From that day, party discipline died a natural death. As Chairman, Board of Trustees, Vice President Ekwueme did everything to reconcile the President with the Senate dominated by their party but alas, this was to no avail.

“This was the beginning of Obasanjo’s meddlesomeness in the affairs of the National Assembly. The consequences of course were instability in the National Assembly and a rapid turnover in its leadership. The President had been misadvised, obviously to have his own man at the helm of affairs at the National Assembly instead of allowing PDM stalwarts as Deputy and President of the Senate. Obasanjo took the advice because it suited his own instinct to control and dominate all institutions of government. In furtherance of this desire, he was willing to use everything, including money, to get his way.”

Buhari, Atiku, 6 others challenge Yar’Adua’s victory

All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and Action Congress (AC)  presidential candidates, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have challenged the victory of the President-elect, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, at  the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Apart from the duo, six other parties— ANPP, NAC, APLP, PMP, HOPE Democratic Party and APGA— have also filed separate petitions challenging the outcome of the April 21 presidential election in which Yar’Adua was declared winner.

In  separate petitions filed by their respective counsel yesterday, both Buhari and Atiku prayed the Tribunal to nullify the result of the election and order for a fresh election.

In his ground of appeal, Buhari alleged that as at the time of the election, Yar’Adua was not qualified to contest the election as he was indicted by a commission of inquiry set up by the Abia State government.

The government of Abia, according to him, had accepted the indictment and issued a white paper, which was not set aside by any court of competent jurisdiction. He contended that Yar’ Adua was not competent to contest the election based on section 137(1)(i) of the constitution and, therefore, the election was null and void.
The election, he argued, was invalid as its conduct had not complied with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2006.

He further alleged that the election was marred by electoral malpractice which rendered its outcome invalid.
On his part, Atiku urged the cancellation of the election based on his unlawful exclusion by INEC as the validly nominated Presidential candidate of the AC.
Like Buhari, the Vice President  complained about the alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2006, and corrupt practices in the conduct of the election and, therefore, seeks the nullification of its outcome.

The two candidates prayed the Tribunal to disqualify INEC Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu, from conducting another election that it might order.
Among the defendants in the two petitions apart from Yar’Adua are the Vice-President-elect, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; Professor Maurice Iwu, INEC Chairman;  PDP; President Olusegun Obasanjo; Inspector-General of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero; and all the 36 states Resident Electoral Commissioners.

Presidential election already rigged - Atiku

By Tope Abiola and Adebayo Waheed - 20.04.2007 Nigerian Tribune

PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the Action Congress (AC), Vice President Atiku Abubakar, yesterday alleged that the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for tomorrow have been compiled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Alhaji Abubakar disclosed this while featuring in an African Independent Television (AIT) interview programme in Abuja. According to him, “opposition parties in the country wanted tomorrow’s elections to be postponed for adequate preparation” and added that “the proposal was rejected by the ruling party.”

He alleged that he knew that the political rallies banned by the police was targetted at him and his party following his victory at the Supreme Court over his candidature.

He lamented that his boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, could not achieve much in his eight years in office because he failed to take credible advice from his subordinates.

According to him, “Obasanjo is the most difficult person to advise, because he believes that he is the only person that has solutions to all problems confronting the country.”

On the issue of corruption, he said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was established with a good intention, but derailed along the line.

He said if voted in power, he would ensure that EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies were given free hands to operate. He regretted that Obasanjo’s government could not succeed in completing some of the projects embarked upon because some of the officials in his government were corrupt.

“Many roads we contracted out could not be completed because some of the government officials had taken the larger share of the mobilisation free off-front,” he said.

Abubakar, who decried the last Saturday’s election results as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), warned against turning the country to a one-party state.

Atiku Demands Probe of N1.34 trillion
By Lemmy Ughegbe, Guardian 31/1/07
Jan 31, 2007, 12:11

The verbal cross-fire between President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over their public conduct continued yesterday with the vice president's camp calling for a probe of funds spent by the Federal Government on roads, power, refineries and the debt cancellation deal.

In the estimation of the Atiku's camp, the government had since 1999 spent N1.34 trillion on roads, refineries, power and other infrastructure that have refused to work.

It gave the breakdown as N300 billion spent on the roads, N37.4 billion ($300 million) investment in the refineries and another N1 trillion for the power sector.

In a statement, the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation equally raised dust over the anti-corruption crusade of the Obasanjo administration.

Describing it as selective and targeted at perceived enemies, the Vice President urged the President not to fail to explain what happened to the billions of naira appropriated for the nation's sleeping infrastructure.

The Atiku camp, claimed that the President was yet to investigate the N83 billion fraud at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the N30 billion alleged kick-back from the debt-buy back initiative with the Paris Club of Creditors and the alleged use of the presidential jet by former aide of Obasanjo to smuggle $170,000 into the United States (U.S.).

The campaign group said $55,000 of the smuggled money was used to import equipment for the President's farm.

The team feared that the President may have withdrawn the N2 billion from the N50 billion agriculture fund facilitated by the Federal Government.

Atiku was reacting to a defence put up by presidential spokesman, Mallam Uba Sani, that Obasanjo secured a N2 billion loan from banks to revive his farms. Sani's explanation was prompted by earlier questions raised by the Atiku's camp on the President's rising financial profile when only in 1999 he reportedly had just N20,000 in his account.

"The fact that the loan was itself supplicated only about six months ago means that it cannot explain the geometrical expansion of the Ota Farm alone much less the five other multi-billion naira farms established by the President in six states," it claimed. Besides, the organisation said, the monumental transformation of Obasanjo Farms predated the N2 billion the President collected from the banks.

The group went on: "General Obasanjo should tell Nigerians how a farm which was moribund in 1999 and had to be bailed out of impending liquidation became so rich to generate the collateral for a N2 billion loan.

"Everyone conversant with the banking system knows that you need a collateral of about N6 billion to raise a N2 billion loan. President Obasanjo should tell Nigerians how he transformed from a man who his closest minister said had less than N20, 000 in his account in 1999 to someone who now has N6 billion collateral to take a N2 billion loan.

"We are however, hopeful that President Obasanjo will be honest enough to tell Nigerians what date he took the loan, on what conditions and with what collateral. Were these loan advances without his knowledge as was the case with the loan he purportedly collected from UBA to buy the 200 million shares in Transcorp.

"Nigerians will be glad to know if President Obasanjo solely took N2 billion loan from the N50 billion agriculture fund facilitated by the Federal Government when there are millions of Nigerian farmers who should access the loan but have been crying for access since the introduction of the loan last year. If President Obasanjo collected N2 billion from N50 billion agriculture fund approved by his government, does this portend conflict of interest or corruption? These are the questions President Obasanjo should answer to rescue his sagging integrity.

"We also wish to note that in spite of spirited attempt to confuse Nigerians about the issue of corruption, the President has maintained a loud silence on the issue raised about the N700 million cheque he paid into the account of Mofas Shipping Line.Where was this one borrowed from?

"Or, was the N700 million sourced from the N2 billion agriculture loan? We re-state our challenge: President Obasanjo should tell Nigerians how he was transformed from a man of N20,000 savings to such a wealthy man who could issue a single cheque of N70 million. Where did the money come from? What was the money meant for since he has claimed ignorance of the Mofas account?..."

The group also said that if the President was truly fighting corruption, why has he been reluctant to take action on the N83 billion allegedly embezzled in the NPA which was uncovered by his own Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)?

It added: "If President Obasanjo is truly fighting corruption, why has he not investigated why Nigerians still work and live in darkness after sinking over N1 trillion on Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) (formerly NEPA)?

"When did Obasanjo start fighting corruption? Is it after the Ministry of Energy (formerly petroleum) which he, (the President) personally supervised for seven years, and in the views of many, a cesspit of corruption where after over $300 million (N37b) investment, there is no single refinery functioning? back initiative?

The group also pointed to the fraud, rigging, gerrymandering and molestation that characterised the primaries in the President's own party, the PDP, the commandeering of INEC Direct Capture Machines by chieftains of his own party, used at their homes for the register of ghost voters", it said.

The Atiku's organisation also accused the President of over-personalisation of public assets and facilities.

Atiku could not use the presidential plane and lounge over the weekend when he visited Yola, Adamawa State, to condole Agriculture Minister, Adamu Bello, on the death of his brother, Bashir. He flew to Yola in a chartered plane to and from the local wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja

Atiku Demands Probe of N1.34 trillion