Monday , 21 May 2018
Latest
Home » Tag Archives: Goodluck Jonathan

Tag Archives: Goodluck Jonathan

Osinbajo lists details of grand corruption under Jonathan

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s office has revealed details of mind-boggling corruption during the Jonathan era and even called them a tip of the iceberg.

The details were published last night in a reaction to the accusations by spin doctors of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who claimed Osinbajo made unsubstantiated allegations about grand corruption during the Jonathan era.

The statement by senior special assistant on media, Laolu Akande, said the Vice President did not at anytime accuse Jonathan in person, but only said the blatant corruption cases were committed during his presidency.

The full statement:

WE have read reports attributed to “a media office of former President Goodluck Jonathan”. It is clear from the foul language of the authors that the statement could not have come from the former President, but from the motley group of loud and rude characters whose brief seems to be to deny all and anything said against the former PDP government and to do so in the crassest possible language.

The alleged spokespersons of the former President say that facts long in the public domain, some even being used to prosecute several corruption cases are lies and that those of us in government restating these well known facts are liars.

They accuse Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, of lying against the former President or his government citing their involvement in the stealing of three billion dollars, while speaking recently at The Platform event on the 1st of May.

Just for clarity, I quote the Vice President “Grand corruption remains the most enduring threat to our economy. Three Billion US dollars was stolen in what was called the strategic alliance contacts in 2013, three Nigerians were responsible, today three billion dollars is one trillion Naira and our budget is 7trillion! ….”

Two issues emerge. First, no mention is made of the former President.

Second, the story is not only true, it has been in the public domain for almost three years and it is the subject of criminal investigation and trials both here and in the UK.

The spokespersons also say that the allegations of corruption against the PDP government are mere lies. For clarity, the facts are laid out as follows:

As the Vice President said, $3B was stolen in the so- called NNPC Strategic Alliance Contracts. The three persons involved are Jide Omokore, Kola Aluko and the former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison- Maduekwe. The companies of both Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko lifted Nigerian crude oil and kept the proceeds.

The total sums converted is in excess of three billion dollars including royalties, taxes and fees unpaid for the asset from which the crude was taken. The case is the subject of a trial in Nigeria, and criminal investigation in the US and UK, and the assets of all three individuals have been forfeited in Nigeria, the US and the UK.

The criminal diversion and theft of sums in excess of $2.5 billion meant for purchase of arms to prosecute the war against Boko Haram: The first phase of the investigations revealed several sordid details, many of the assets of culprits have been seized from them and they are facing trial.

The release of the sum of $289m in cash on February 25, 2015: Documents including cash vouchers indicate that the the sum of $289,202,382 was taken from the Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call Account No. 000-0000-11658-366 of the NNPC/NAPIMS with JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, USA.

N70 billion was released in parts from the national treasury between January 8 and February 25, 2015.

In another illegal disbursement, 25th August 2014, N60bn in cash in tranches of N40billion and N20billion: The sum was not tied to any project or procurement and was then shared between two security agencies under the supervision of the then NSA. Most of these sums ended up in the hands of senior PDP members some of whom have returned parts of the loot. Some are standing trial for these offenses. These facts are in the public domain.

There was yet another set of illegal fund withdrawals under one week between January 8and 16, 2015, where the sum of N1.5 billion was released in three tranches of N300m, N400m and N800m respectively. This money was released from the MEA Research Library Account

Another document showed that N10 billion was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on September 15, 2014. The money was released in tranches of foreign exchange of $47 million, $5 million, 4 million Euros and 1.6 million Euros. A letter from the Office of the NSA in November 2014 further showed that the monies were released as ‘funds for special services’. This particular release of N10B was sourced in November 2014 from a N40 Billion CBN released funds meant for Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. Investigators showed that this money was released for the PDP Presidential Primaries.

Lamido Sanusi, then CBN Governor was sacked for speaking up about the over $20billion missing from oil proceeds.

These cases of grand corruption and open looting of public resources pauperized Nigeria and left us with little or no savings in the years when oil was selling at 100 to 114 dollars a barrel and we were producing 2.1 million barrels a day. When in 2015 oil prices went even as low as between 28 and 35 dollars a barrel and oil production fell to less than one million barrels a day we had no buffer, no savings, to tide us through.

The amount released from CBN in cash on a single day, ie the US$289M ( N88.1Bn) is enough to fund 244,000 N-Power graduates for a year, or pay for 1.2Billion school meals or complete half of Lagos -Ibadan or half of Abuja -Kaduna -Kano roads.

The Vice President also made the point that in 2014 with oil prices as high as 120 dollars per barrel, the total capital released for Power, Works, Housing, Defence, Transport, Agriculture and Defence were just N152Billion for the whole year.

By contrast, the Buhari administration committed N578Bn to the same Ministries in 2016 with oil prices as low as US$28 per barrel as part of the strategy to end the recession. The government was able to do more with less by stopping grand corruption and impunity.

Recently, the Minister Coordinating the economy in that administration has written a revealing book : Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines. Who knows, perhaps her stories too are all lies!

Tell Osinbajo to stop lying, Jonathan asks Pastor Adeboye

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had reportedly asked the General Over Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG to tell Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to stop lying over allegations that he looted the country dry when he served as Nigerian president.

ThisDay newspaper in a report, allegedly based on a statement from the former president’s media office reported that Jonathan asked Adeboye who was a senior pastor of his RCCG to tell the Vice President to stop lying in respect his pastoral calling.

The former president said Osinbanjo has been peddling falsehood against his person and had ‘repeatedly ignored warnings asking him to stop his nasty habit of lying”Pastor Adeboye and Osinbajo

Jonathan’s immediate grouse was the allegation by the vice president at The Platform, a programme organized by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos last Tuesday that three unnamed persons stole $3 billion (N1 trillion) his administration.

But the former President also noted that Osinbajo had earlier also last month alleged that his government shared N150 billion two weeks to the 2015 elections while it spent a paltry N14 billion on agriculture in 2014; N15 billion on transportation and only N153 billion on infrastructure in three years.

Jonathan claimed that Osinbajo had also falsely alleged that he took N100 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in cash to his personal house in Abuja.

But he noted that the vice president was unable to provide evidence to back up his claims when he was asked to do so.

Calling the vice president, a liar Jonathan said,  “the vice president is a liar, forgetting or perhaps not caring that the devil is the father of all liars. I challenge him once again to prove me wrong by mentioning those three people and providing proof that they stole the amounts allegedly stolen.

“It is sad that at a time when the Buhari administration should be telling Nigerians what they have achieved after three years, they continue to blame and point fingers. The reason for this is because neither Buhari nor Osinbajo can point to any project that they have initiated, started and completed in three years,” he said

$3bn embezzled under Jonathan could have built 7 roads, says Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has fired yet another shot at ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, saying the $3 billion allegedly frittered away through the strategic alliance contracts could have been used in constructing seven major roads.

The alliance contracts are often derided by industry experts as the biggest organised scam in the history of Nigerian oil industry.

The alliance contracts were between the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts (AEDC) Ltd.

NPDC is the oil development and production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while Atlantic Energy is owned by Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko, believed to be cronies of Diezani Alison-Madueke, who served as petroleum minister from April 2010 to May 2015.

The deals were struck between 2011 and 2015.

Osinbajo listed the roads that could have been built as Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road; Enugu-PH road; East-West road; Sagamu-Ore-Benin road; Kano-Maiduguri road; Abuja-Lafia-Akwanga-Keffi road; and Lagos-Abeokuta.

He spoke at the 2018 Ogun investment forum which held in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“Yesterday at the Quarterly Presidential Business Forum, I said the main reason for Nigeria’s recursive growth is not just a matter of our relying heavily on a single commodity, it is the fact that the proceeds of that single commodity were regularly hijacked consistently by a few,” he said.

“So, for example in a so called strategic alliance contracts with the NDPC, the promoters of the companies made away with over 3 billion US dollars, almost a tenth of our reserves at a point!

“Here is a list of possible roads 3 billion dollars could have built, and at the moment we are in the course of getting 3 billion dollars to build these roads.

“We talk of the Nigerian economy without talking about the blight that was caused years ago by people simply stealing the resources of this country.”

Despite the controversy which trailed his remarks on Monday, Osinbajo maintained that Jonathan shared N150 billion two weeks to the last general election.

Critics of the immediate past president had attacked Osinbajo over the comment on Jonathan.

Referring to Osinbajo’s comment as lies, Reno Omokri, a former media aide of Jonathan to substantiate his claim.

But Osinbajo fired on, saying: “In one single transaction, the sum of N100 billion and 289 million dollars in cash were released a few weeks to the 2015 elections, it was not released as such, it was the money embezzled.

“When you consider that, in 2014, when oil prices were an average of 110 dollars a barrel, only N99 billion was spent on Power, Works and Housing. Agriculture and Transportation got N14 Billion and N15 billion respectively.

“So, the total spends on capital in these critical areas I have mentioned was only N153 billion, and over N150 billion was released and shared within three days. This is enormity of what we are talking about; there is no country in the world that can survive on grand corruption on the scale that we are talking about. And that is why it is important for the federal government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse that grand corruption.

“So, we spent, in 2017, N1.3 trillion on capital, the highest spend in the history of the country, earning almost 60% less than we were earning in 2014. So, you can do far more with less if we are prudent with the resources of this country.

“Today, with less revenue but no leakage, we have increased funding capital in power, works and housing, defence, transportation and agriculture by as much as 400%.

“Today, we are two quarters out of the recession and firmly on the path of recovery. Our external reserves are at their highest levels in five years. Inflation has dropped for 13 consecutive months, manufacturing confidence is on the rise and in 2017, Nigeria moved ahead 24 places on the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Index. And the World Bank reported that Nigeria is among top ten reforming economies in the world.”

Implementation of APC restructuring report will move Nigeria forward, says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the sincere implementation of the recommendations of the All Progressives Congress (APC) restructuring committee will move the nation forward.

The committee led by Ahmad Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, submitted its report last week.

Speaking when Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa, led a delegation to the former president on Thursday, Jonathan said the implementation would also encourage inter-ethnic harmony.

According to Fidelis Soriwei, spokesman of Dickson, Jonathan said the issues which the committee deliberated upon were exhaustively treated during the 2014 national conference.

He said it is a good idea that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas which featured prominently in the deliberations of the 2014 conference.

He commended Dickson for playing the role of coordinating the thoughts of the Ijaw people on the sensitive issue of restructuring.

The Nigerian leader said the governor must be appreciated for ensuring that the Ijaw nation did not speak with discordant tones on the issue of restructuring.

“I am pleased with the caliber of people who came with the governor to brief me on the issue of the recommendations of the APC committee on restructuring,” he said.

“I must say that I am happy with the role being played by the governor on this issue of restructuring.

“Ethnic nationalities must not speak with discordant tones on such pertinent issues. I am pleased that Dickson is coordinating the Ijaw nation.

“I am also pleased that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas to come up with these recommendations. When we were in government, we came up with a confab and several issues were addressed which if sincerely implemented would encourage relationship in the country. A sincere implementation of the recommendations on these grey areas will make the country to move forward.”

On his part, Dickson said he led the delegation for a consultative meeting and to brief him on the steps the Ijaws had taken to build bridges of understanding in the pursuit of what is right in the country.

He explained the meeting focused on the issue of restructuring and the moves being made to bring about a just, fair and egalitarian Nigerian society.

Dickson noted that the recommendations contained in the report of the APC committee were the same as those contained in the 2014 confab.

“As you all can see, this is a high-powered delegation of Ijaw elders and leaders from all the zones from Ijaw nation,” he said.

“I am leading them to meet and consult with our respected leader, the former president and also to brief him on steps we are taking; steps we will continue to take to unify our people to build bridges of understanding and to support all that is right and good, not only in this region, but across the nation.

“As you are aware, there is a raging issue of restructuring and moves made to bring about a fairer, egalitarian, stable and prosperous Nigeria. And here, in this state and in this region, we are proud to have our leader, the former president and so today we came to brief him about the steps we are taking to study all the reports, including, the reports of the 2014 Confab which was rightly empanelled by Mr. President and it is gratifying to note a number of the recommendations given by the APC panel are the same conclusions that the 2014 Confab arrived at.”

The meeting was a follow up to an earlier one at Kiagbodo, the country home of Edwin Clark on January 20, 2018.

Jonathan disowns comment on El-Rufai

Former President Goodluck has dissociated himself from a report saying the ex-President claimed he contributed to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, campaign fund.

The ex-President, in a statement issued by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, described the report as fake news fabricated by some mischievous elements.

He also advised media houses to avoid offering their platforms for spread of false information.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a fictitious comment on Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, purportedly made by the ex-President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in which the former President was assumed to have spoken on his alleged contributions to El-Rufai’s campaign funds.

“This falsehood which was obviously fabricated by some mischievous elements and first circulated early last year by a shady online publication, has unfortunately resurfaced again. This time, a credible online group is sadly the one giving it prominence.

“We will again wish to entirely dissociate Dr. Jonathan from this fallacious comment which is lacking in all attributes of reason and credibility. We will also like to advise media organisations, especially those that serve as credible sources of information for the public, to always confirm their stories before publishing, to avoid misleading their readers.”

Convention: PDP governors revolt against IBB, Jonathan

To have a rancour-free convention and install the national chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors will compile a “unity list” of candidates who delegates will vote for, The Nation reported.

The list is said to be the governors’ joker to checkmate the influence of ex-military President Ibrahim Babangida and former President Goodluck Jonathan on delegates.

The “unity list” may be out on Friday, about 24 hours to the December 9 convention.

It was learnt that the North’s delegates had become divided over two candidates – former Acting National Chairman Uche Secondus and former Education Minister Prof. Tunde Adeniran.

Before the split, Adeniran was having a clear edge in the North over Secondus whose campaign has changed the game.

But the governors’ grip on the party has caused anxiety in the camp of ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar whose main backers are Babangida and Jonathan.

The tension in Atiku’s camp is over the fear that if the governors seize the machinery of the party, they may determine its choice of a presidential candidate.

Babangida on Sunday raised the alarm on huge deployment of cash to woo delegates.

The governors have reached out to ex-governors, ex-ministers, National Assembly caucuses and some members of the Board of Trustees (BoT).

They are believed to have allayed the fears of stakeholders who think that they are out to hijack the party. Their mission, the governors are quoted as saying, is to change the old order.

To carry all stakeholders along, the governors have chosen to consult and agree on a Unity List, which will be “representational”.

A governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “We want to have a stress-free elective national convention. We have been spending the past few days to build consensus on how to preserve the unity of the party.

“As I talk to you, we are working on a “Unity List” which will accommodate all interests and make the convention great.

“The list will also correct the perception of the loyalists of Babangida and Jonathan that we are out to destroy the party. This is our own way of checkmating the forces who have held the party hostage since 1998.

“The speculations about use of money are unfounded. As a new generation of leaders in PDP, we know what is good for the party too. We won’t allow the imposition any pre-determined agenda on delegates.”

Asked of who the governors will support for national chairman, the source, who pleaded not to be named for “strategic reasons”, added: “We are working on Secondus but the delegates will have the final say because we will allow a free and fair process.”

A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) said: “Some of us are in agreement with the governors on the Unity List to douse the tension surrounding the convention.

“I think the governors will release the Unity List on Friday. What is important is for peace and harmony to reign in our party.”

Northern delegates are split over two Secondus and Adeniran.

“Initially, the Northern delegates had agreed on block voting but things have changed in the last 72 hours.

“Delegates from Plateau, Benue, Jigawa, Taraba, Gombe and Kano may not go ahead with block voting. The intrigues have been intense,” another source said, adding:

“As it is now, Northern delegates cannot talk with one voice at the convention on Saturday.”

It was gathered that the recourse to unity list by governors has caused anxiety in Atiku’s camp because the method may whittle down the influence of Babangida and Jonathan who lured the ex-Vice President back into PDP.”

A former governor said: “Once the governors take over PDP structure, it will be difficult for Babangida and Jonathan to impose Atiku as the party’s presidential candidate.

“This is why Babangida and his loyalists have been jittery about the activities of the governors. Even Atiku is aware of the danger ahead because he knows the capacity of governors.

“The same Atiku used the governors to hold ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to ransom in 2003 before the ex-President could get a second term ticket.”

Jonathan blasts Shettima: You frustrated Boko Haram war, failed to secure Chibok girls

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has accused Kashim Shettima, Borno state governor, of frustrating the war against Boko Haram during his administration.

He said the governor exposed the girls of Chibok Secondary School to danger by failing to heed the federal government’s directive to relocate them while writing the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE).

Jonathan said this in reaction to Shettima’s claim that he nearly removed him as governor in 2014 over the disappearance of Chibok schoolgirls.

In a statement issued on Friday by Jonathan spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president also described ‘On a Platter of Gold- How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria’, a book written by Bolaji Abdullahi, as “sore grapes and full of lies and gossip”.

THE FULL STATEMENT

Our attention has been drawn to the claims made by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima on Thursday at a book launch to the effect that former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan wasted the goodwill he commanded because of bad governance and poor choices in office. He was also said to have accused Jonathan of believing that he was behind the kidnap of the Chibok girls.

As a man who had never seen anything good in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan on account of party and other differences, it has remained our considered view that in a democracy, Governor Kashim Shettima and others like him are entitled to their opinion, no matter how jaundiced.

However, it is a sad commentary on the character of some of our politicians that they go to any length to make spurious statements, in pursuit of the sad narrative to remain politically correct. We cannot be deceived by his crocodile tears and patronizing claim that “Jonathan is essentially a decent man”, which is a ploy he deployed to justify his false allegation of a lost glory.

The man who today speaks of squandered goodwill should be able to tell Nigerians what percentage of the votes Jonathan got in 2011 from Borno State at the height of that his envisaged glory according to Shettima, and what it became in subsequent elections. What was obvious yesterday and has remained so today is that Governor Shettima and those who think like him never liked Jonathan based on some parochial and paternalistic sentiments.

We didn’t expect anything less from Governor Shettima, knowing the ignoble roles he played in frustrating the war waged by the past administration against Boko Haram, even in his own Borno State.

He should be able to tell us if it was Jonathan’s poor choices that led the Governor to expose students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok to avoidable danger, in total disregard of a Federal Government directive to the Governors in the three states most affected by Boko Haram to relocate their students writing the West African School Certificate Examinations to safe zones.

The Governor is now denying that he had no hand in the kidnap of the Chibok girls even before anybody accused him of culpability. However, we share the view of those who insist that the Governor had other things up his sleeve when he promised the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that he would secure the girls, and ended up doing the very opposite, by deliberately abandoning them to their fate, without any security presence in their school.

It is instructive that while other Governors in the zone heeded the security advice, Shettima remained the only one that flagrantly flouted it. Should we also fail to point out that his decision to reward the principal of Chibok Secondary School, who was uncharacteristically absent on the night terrorists stormed the school, with the post of a commissioner, did throw up more questions than answers?

Talking about accountability, perhaps, Shettima should also do well to explain to the good people of Borno State and Nigerians what he did with the over N60 billion Local Governments fund, left by his predecessor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

We understand Governor Shettima and those who spoke like him accused Jonathan of bad governance and poor choices, and we would like to know if it was bad governance that led Jonathan to assemble a-yet-to be matched crop of dynamic cabinet and economic management team made up of tested technocrats like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Finance ministry, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman in Planning, Mr Olusegun Aganga in Trade and Investments as well as Dr. Akinwumi Adesina leading the charge in Agriculture. The efforts of the Jonathan administration in repositioning Nigeria’s economy remain self-evident and it must have indeed been poor choices at their best for Jonathan and his team to have recorded the following key achievements:

* Nigeria’s Gross domestic Product rose to $503bn in 2013 and became Africa’s largest economy and 26th in the world; from 3rd and 46th respectively.

* Nigeria became the number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment in Africa under former President Jonathan, with the numbers rising from US$24.9 million as at 2007 to over US$ 35 billion in 2014.

* Jonathan Government delivered over 25,000 kilometres of motorable federal roads from just a quarter of that number in 2011.

* The Jonathan Administration resuscitated the railways in the country after about 30-years of hiatus

*Jonathan’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda ended fertiliser racketeering, encouraged more young Nigerians to take to farming, boosted local food production and took the country closer to self-sufficiency in food production by recording more than 50% reduction in food imports. It was as a result of this that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, for the first time, voted Nigeria the largest producer of Cassava in the world.

* Power generation under Jonathan was boosted to about 5,000 megawatts in 2014 up from 2,000 megawatts in 2011.

* Prices of food and other household items remained stable and inflationary pressure was down to a single digit.

* Under Jonathan, Nigeria controlled clinically Ebola outbreak to the admiration of the whole world, became Guinea-worm-free and also eradicated polio, with United States billionaire and renowned philanthropist Bill Gates, praising Nigeria’s successes against polio as one of the great world achievements of 2014. Sadly polio has returned to the country with the likes of Shettima in charge of the endemic states.

* Under Jonathan Life expectancy in Nigeria rose from 47 years in 2010 to 54 years in 2015.

*Just before Jonathan left office, CNN Money projected that Nigeria’s economy in 2015 would become the third fastest growing economy in the world at 7% behind China at 7.3% and Qatar at 7.1%.

Was it bad governance and poor choices that reformed the political and electoral processes to the extent that the United Nations is now pleading with the government of the day to strive to maintain the standards established by Jonathan?

Fortunately, Nigerians know where they stand with all of their leaders. All those who are calling Jonathan names today, and accusing him of having become quite unpopular, should simply take a walk on the streets of any Nigerian city as real leaders do. That way, they will accurately gauge their own approval and test their popularity with the Nigerian people.

On the book entitled “On a Platter of Gold- How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria” written by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, we have watched for some time as some outrageous fabrications are extracted from its pages day after day by the media. When the publication of the book, with an ominous title was first mooted, we knew it will be full of bile and sour grapes. We didn’t expect truth, sincerity and accuracy of narration, given that the author who was sacked from his ministerial position by the subject of the book, is now the spokesman for the ruling APC.

We will therefore like to dissociate former President Jonathan from the book’s salacious contents, with all the obvious distortions, lies and exaggerations. Its pages are populated with gossip, politically influenced newspaper articles, uncoordinated raw data and unproven claims. Sadly, the author did not help matters, as there was no rigor or indepth investigations towards establishing the veracity of the allegations the book contained. For instance, it is ridiculous for the author to have claimed that the President was forced to sack a certain minister by another cabinet member when the obvious truth known to all key members of the administration was that the President acted based on the recommendation of an internal committee that investigated the matter. This, unfortunately, is the kind of baseless claims and narrative that run through the entire book, and it would be pointless devoting our time towards making a case by case response to all its ridiculous allegations.

We will like to remind Nigerians of what former President Jonathan said earlier in the year when a similar book was published, that only the key actors in his Government and in the 2015 Presidential elections could give an exact account of what transpired, not speculations and conjectures by third party spectators. That time will come someday.

PDP chairmanship: Jonathan, Wike fall apart over Secondus

Ahead of the make or break convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on December 9, former President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State are at daggers drawn over Prince Uche Secondus’ bid to become the party’s national chairman.

Jonathan, our correspondent gathered, is mobilising serious opposition against Secondus, a frontline chairmanship aspirant in the party who hails from the Ijaw-speaking part of Rivers State.

The former President is said to be determined to scuttle the ambition of Secondus, who enjoys the support of Wike and other South-South governors.

Wike is a key supporter of Secondus, a former acting Chairman of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC).

He was said to be angry that instead of closing ranks with him and other South-South governors to ensure that his fellow Ijaw brother becomes the next chairman, the former President was busy working against Secondus.

It was gathered that Jonathan’s moves against Secondus were borne out of his cold war with Wike and another South-South governor, following his belief that the duo frustrated an initial plot by his key loyalists to return him as PDP’s Presidential candidate in 2019.

Credible party sources said there was a failed grand plan by Jonathan’s loyalists, especially former ministers and other key aides who served under him, to hijack the party’s structure and pave the way for him to return as its standard bearer.

A stalwart of the PDP, who spoke in confidence, said: “Jonathan has continued to blame the failure of the plan on Wike and the other South-South governor. He believes that the duo frustrated his ambition to return as the party’s presidential candidate.

“His next move is to stop any aspirant for the position of national chairman who has links with Wike.

“He does not want Secondus, knowing that Wike is the one behind his ambition.

“Unknown to many people, Jonathan and Wike have fallen apart and Jonathan’s wife is no longer close to the governor of Rivers State.

“If Secondus is out of the way, Jonathan and his wife, Patience, will go for the structures of the PDP, especially in Bayelsa and Rivers states, to enable them to play key roles in the 2019 elections.”

It was gathered that Jonathan was aligning with the PDP elements in the north against Secondus.

The former President reportedly held various meetings with PDP stakeholders in the north, which has significant number of the delegates for the convention, to extract commitment from them that they would not cast their votes for Secondus.

The party source added: “Jonathan is serious with his anti-Secondus campaign in the north. The north has many of the delegates and presidential aspirants, and Jonathan is reaching out to all of them.

“While he is openly backing a former minister, Nenadi Usman, to become the national secretary of the PDP, Jonathan wants any chairmanship aspirant other than Secondus to emerge victorious at the party’s national convention.

“His actions are creating divisions in the party ahead of the convention. The Ijaw stakeholders in the party and the South-South are not happy with the former President for not supporting their own.

“But like he failed in his previous plots, he will definitely fail again, because Secondus is unstoppable.”

A group, the South-South Coalition for Good Governance, yesterday confirmed that Jonathan’s clandestine moves against Secondus was real, and condemned the actions of the former President.

ýThe group, in a statement signed by its Co-ordinator, Mr. John Boma-Harrison, said theý grand plot was being hatched by Jonathan, using some of his northern allies.

The group said that the former president was mobilising northern delegates against the candidacy of Secondus, despite Secondus being a southerner and a proud son of the Niger Delta.

While condemning the former President’s “divisive attitude”, they wondered why he would move against his own Ijaw brother who enjoyed the overwhelming support of majority of PDP supporters across the country.

They observed that Secondus was tipped as the possible winner because of his popularity and his rich profile in party politics, adding that nothing would stop him.

They advised the former president to desist from his anti-Secondus campaign, especially his attempt to mobilise northern delegates to vote against the candidacy of Secondus.

They also called on the former president to concentrate on playing the role of a statesman rather than engage in “subterfuge and unbridled politickingý” that would further dent his image.

They said: “We have uncovered a plot by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to scuttle the chances of the most accepted candidate for the position of national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondusý.

“We have it on good authority that the former president is using northern delegates to mobilise against Secondus who hails from the south, and an Ijaw man like him.

“We are disappointed in him, but we want to use this medium to advise him to retrace his steps.

“He is a statesman, and he should play that role.”

2015: How plot to abduct Jega failed

Unknown to many Nigerians, there was a plot to abduct a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, in the thick of the announcement of the results of the 2015 presidential poll.

Jega was to be forced to resign or declare the election as inconclusive.

Another dimension to the plot was botched plans to bomb the International Conference Centre(ICC) where the results of the poll were collated.

Also, the idea of a military takeover was mooted by Jonathan’s men to scuttle the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, but the two most senior military officers at the meeting said it was too late.

Worried by the failure to truncate Buhari’s victory, a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal, Alex Badeh, was said to have sent a terse text message to a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, in which he accused the ex-IGP of treachery.

But the book clarified that Jonathan was not aware of the multi-dimensional plots.

These facts were contained in a book, ‘On a Platter of Gold: How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria,’ written by a former Minister of Sports, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, who is now the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress(APC).

The book implicated some top military officers, a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Sotonye Wakama (who is from Okrika like the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan), heads of security agencies and senior politicians from the South-South.

According to the book, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, was to spearhead the plot to cause chaos in ICC while others, including policemen will withdraw and allow a mob to cause the commotion which will lead to the abduction of Jega.

But while Orubebe acted his script, the ex-IGP Abba chose to uphold the rule of law and instead of deploying policemen to the ICC to disrupt the collation of results, he reinforced security.
Abba overruled a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Sotonye Wakama, who was allegedly part of the plot.

The scuttling of the plot made Orubebe to carry the can alone because no one else joined him in the plot.

The book reads in part: “In the early hours of Tuesday, 31st April, an urgent meeting had just been concluded in a private house in the Maitama area of the nation’s capital. At the meeting were some top military and security chiefs believed to be loyal to President Jonathan and some senior politicians from his South-South region.

“The meeting had been convened to save what was turning out to be a disastrous situation for their ‘son’. Something had to be done and it had to be done quickly. The situation appeared desperate, truly, but all was not lost yet. As long as the final results had not been officially announced, there was still a chance to do something.

“The first option on the table reflected the desperation of the moment. If an explosion were to go off near the International Conference Centre (lCC) where the results were being collated, this would create the situation that could allow some agents to move in and remove or burn election materials.

“This option was, however, rejected. Not only was it considered extreme. It carried a high risk of unintended consequences, especially with the menace of Boko Haram running wild and loose in the country, it could also lead to loss of lives.

“If the goal was to render the election inconclusive and stop the announcement of the final results, there must be some other way of achieving this.

“The other way was to mobilize as many people as possible to invade the venue and disrupt the collation process. This was seen as a better option. It was low risk and had the added advantage of live television coverage to show the whole world the injustice that had happened in Nigeria and how the lNEC was part of the conspiracy.

“No matter what happened, President Jonathan could not he informed of these plans. Everyone agreed that they had to save the President, even against his own will. It was a moment of blind passion. But this was not all about Jonathan. Apart from the personal benefits that had turned many of them into millionaires overnight, they saw the Jonathan presidency as the culmination of the Niger-Delta struggle that had started many years earlier and cost so much in human lives.

“It was the ultimate recompense for so much bloodshed, which would, perhaps, require more blood to preserve. But they also knew that President Jonathan was no militant. To some of them, he wasn’t even ljaw enough.

Therefore, if he knew what was being planned, he would no doubt stop it. The only way to get him to act ‘more presidential was to keep everything away from him till the last minute, thereby forcing his hands.’ For the plan to succeed however, the inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) had to withdraw their officers from the International Conference Centre. While they did not envisage any problem with the DSS, the same could not be said of the police. This was why the Deputy inspector General, Sotonye Wakama, was invited to the meeting instead of the Inspector-General himself. Wakama was an ljaw man from Okirika in Rivers State, just like the First Lady. He could be trusted. The same could however not he said of his boss, Suleiman Abba, from Jigawa.

“About the decisions arising from the meeting he had been invited to, Abba declared in no uncertain terms that the police would not be party to such obnoxious plan. Instead of withdrawing his men, he decided to send in reinforcements. This was a major setback, but not enough to scuttle the entire plan.

“Text messages had already been sent out to some key people, inviting them to join the protest at the International Conference Centre. Even though only a few had acknowledged the text messages, they believed everyone would turn up. After all, those invited also had a lot to lose with President Jonathan out of power.

“Unknown to the plotters, a few of those that received the text messages planned to heed the call. Not having attended the meeting, they had little or no background information about the protest they were being invited to participate in.

“Many also wondered who the brains behind the plot were. The Jonathan campaign had been fractious and disjointed and it was often difficult knowing who was doing what.

“Those within the party hierarchy were particularly bitter at their perceived alienation from the presidential campaign. Therefore, they were not going to join a battle they were not considered important enough to be part of in the first place. A good number ignored the call to am because they did not want to make a spectacle of themselves live television transmitting to the whole world. And so it was that almost everyone stayed away. Except one man, Peter Godsday Orubebe.”

The book also revealed the botched plans to abduct the ex-INEC chairman, Prof. Jega.

It says: “The stoic calmness displayed by Jega during the stormy session soon attained the metaphorical status believed to have contributed in upending the plot hatched to truncate the electoral process,

“What the INEC chairman probably did not know at the time was that part of the plan was to abduct him under the smokescreen of the confusion that would ensure the moment the police began to fire tear gas canisters into the venue.

“Once abducted, he would either be forced to resign or to declare the election as inconclusive. However, with other actors not playing their part and the police not reacting as envisaged, all had gone awry within minutes.”

Having failed in all fronts, some loyalists of the ex-President came up with the idea of a military takeover to prevent Buhari from becoming the President.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestLinkedInWhatsApp

Jonathan described subsidy scam as ‘oily business’ – Saraki

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said former President Goodluck Jonathan was never desperate for power, but got there by providence.

He stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the unveiling of a book titled, “On a Platter of Gold: How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria,“ written by the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mallam Bolaji Abudullahi.

Saraki, who was the chief host on the occasion, said “a country produces the kind of leadership it gets.’’

“I think it is us Nigerians, that produce the kind of leaders we get; no matter what you say about Jonathan, I don’t think he was someone who was desperate for power,“ he said.

He added that Jonathan was not someone that was prepared for leadership but became the President of the country either by “misfortune or fortune.“

Saraki added that it was unfortunate that Nigerians knew the right things to do, but would not do it but would keep playing the blame game.

Saraki, who expressed optimism that the book would be cherished by Nigerians going by its quality, used the occasion to share two experiences he had with Jonathan.

The Senate President said, “I like to share one or two things that will probably summarise the former President Jonathan. I remember when I was then a PDP senator and I came across this issue of fuel subsidy and the way the country was losing close to about N1.3tn.

“In the history of this country, I don’t think of any singular kind of level of corruption as huge as that. I had a motion already that I wanted to present on the floor of the Senate. But I felt as a member of the ruling party at that time, it was only proper I discussed it with the President (first) maybe some action can be taken so that I can step down the motion.

He added, “I booked an appointment to see Mr. President and I went with my paper.

“I started with the background of how people brought in petroleum products. I said Mr. President, in the past, people use to get award letters from the NNPC to bring in PMS, DPK, and make 10, 20 per cent profit. I said sir, they’ve taken it to another level, now, and they get an order to bring in products and they don’t want to make 10 or 20 per cent any more.

“They will get an offer to bring in a cargo of 20,000 litres they will bring in 5,000 litres but stamped it for 20,000 litres and instead of making 10 per cent; they make ten times the amount. I was telling the President thinking the President will get very agitated, but he only said, ‘Senator Saraki, you know this oil business is very oily.”’

The Senate President said he was stunned.

Saraki, however, conceded that that was the kind of person the then President was.

While recalling the second encounter, Saraki said, “The second encounter I will recollect was the day I decided I am going to contest to be President. I felt that I didn’t want Jonathan to hear it as news.

“I booked an appointment to see him. I went to the Villa and he said ‘come in, come in. how can I help you? I looked at the President of a third world country and said Mr. President I came to tell you that I am going to be contesting for your seat.

“Jonathan looked at me and said ‘oh, okay, good luck, good luck.’ If it were any other person may be I would not have left the Villa but that again sums up Goodluck Jonathan.”

The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, who was the chairman on the occasion, said Jonathan squandered the unprecedented goodwill he enjoyed at the beginning of his Presidency to the calibre of persons he surrounded himself with as well as a series of terrible choices he made.

Abdullahi challenged those who had a different perspective to write their own accounts.