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Obasanjo to Atiku: You can’t blackmail me * Resign now — VP

Posted by ROTIMI AJAYI, WALE AKINOLA, with agency report on 2006/09/17 | Views: 1071 |

Obasanjo to Atiku: You can’t blackmail me * Resign now — VP


THE President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice-President Atiku Abubakar feud deepened, yesterday, as the president declared that he would neither be intimidated nor blackmailed in his on-going effort to rid the country of corruption and sanitise it.

THE President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice-President Atiku Abubakar feud deepened, yesterday, as the president declared that he would neither be intimidated nor blackmailed in his on-going effort to rid the country of corruption and sanitise it.

Obasanjo spoke in far away Tokyo, Japan where he insisted that business would never, again, be as usual in the country.

At home, Atiku called on the National Assembly to probe the president’s handling of the oil ministry since 1999, just as he asked Obasanjo to resign from office over alleged acts of gross misconduct.

Speaking when he received the executive members of the Nigerian Union in Tokyo, yesterday, Obasanjo said that his administration would remain focused and would not be diverted or distracted by anybody or organisation, adding that he was determined to bring a positive change to the country.
He said that government was well aware that “change might be a little bit painful, but we meant what we said when we came in and many people have begun to agree that it was indeed no longer business as usual.

“The direction has changed and the country is changing, people are saying it is no longer the same Nigeria that they used to know,’’ he said. The president commended Nigerians in Japan for coming together to set up one umbrella union and for identifying with their country.
He said that the federal government had evolved a policy of procuring properties wherever it had missions, pointing out that under the new policy, a new chancery building had just been purchased in Japan.

“As much as possible, government would try to purchase its chancery building anywhere we are,’’ he said, noting that, very soon, government would make effort to also purchase houses for its diplomatic staff. He said that the initiative would go a long way to enhance the image of the country.
The president of the umbrella union, Mr Isibor Uwa, in a welcome address earlier, said that Nigerians in Japan were proud of Obasanjo for the “many good deeds that you have been doing in the country”.

He said that, in particular, the Union was happy with the on-going fight against corruption, which, he said, had given the country a new positive image across the world.

Yesterday, Atiku called on the National Assembly to investigate Obasanjo’s management of the oil ministry since 1999, just as he asked the president to resign as Nigeria’s leader over alleged acts of gross misconduct.

He made this call in Abuja through a statement issued by his spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu as part of the on-going efforts by the vice president to defend himself against the indictment contained in the Investigative Reports submitted to the National Assembly.

The statement hinted that Obasanjo had equally engaged in abuse of office while overseeing the petroleum ministry.
According to the statement: “The campaign wants the National Assembly to particularly probe Obasanjo’s handling of the oil ministry in the last seven and a half years. It should be recalled that the president has single-handedly run the oil ministry since 1999.

“The Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation holds the view that President Olusegun Obasanjo is not morally fit to remain in office for a day longer following continued revelations of financial misdeeds and abuse of office.”

“In the last 24 hours, Nigerian internet sites have inaundated the Campaign with shocking disclosure of a payment credit advice from Mr Bodunde Adeyanju, special assistant to the president, transferring the sum of 110,000 US Dollars to the president’s woman friend, on October 31, 2003 in NATWEST Bank, UK,” the statement alleged.

It further alleged: “The money was transferred from the same Marine Float account to which the President has consistently denied any link.
The statement went on: “The latest disclosures have further damaged the President’s credibility and reinforced the general belief that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been selective in its anti-corruption crusade. The EFCC has become a willing tool in the hand of the President for the harassment of his political opponents.

“In the last one week, the Atiku Campaign has provided unassailable evidence of Obasanjo’s sleaze through transactions in Otunba Oyewole Fashawe’s MOFAS Account at Trans International Bank, Abuja.

“It is therefore ironic that the president would declare the vice president unfit to rule when mounting evidence shows that he, rather than his deputy, has corruptly enriched himself.

“The president has made futile attempt to distance himself from the account even as evidence provided by the Campaign shows that he made regular lodgements and withdrawals of huge sums of money from the account to take care of his personal, business and political activities.
“The Atiku Campaign has called for a probe of the account which it believes will show Nigerians how the president has been mishandling public funds. The Campaign rejects suggestions that both Atiku and Obasanjo resign from office.

“We believe that it is the president who should go for corruptly enriching himself. The vice president is an unfortunate victim of a hypocritical and vindictive boss who is desperate to halt his presidential ambition in 2007 on the basis of a fabricated indictment by a kangaroo panel.”

Responding to a statement issued by the new special assistant on public affairs to the president, Mr Uba Sani, which called on the vice president to resign following his indictment, the Atiku camp pointed out that the call was misplaced .

“The Atiku Campaign Organisation welcomes Mr Uba Sani, the new special assistant on public affairs to the president, to the ‘big shoes’ of pioneer Chief Femi Fani -Kayode.

“The statement that ‘Atiku cannot be president’ confirms our suspicion that the motive behind the witch-hunting of the vice president using a malicious EFCC Report and Report of an adhoc panel had a pre-determined political purpose.

“Before Uba Sani, other spokesmen had pretended that this was not so. Our problem with President Olusegun Obasanjo and his camp is their arrogant and unyielding belief that God and 130 million Nigerians have no role in determining who succeeds Obasanjo in 2007.
“They demonstrate unyielding conviction that, as they do in the conferment of chieftaincy titles, there is a cabal sitting in government and party that can allocate the Presidency of this country to any man or woman after their heart.

“That is not democracy. In a liberal democracy, of the kind Nigerians desire, the important choice of who is to be President is a matter to be resolved through a free, fair and competitive election.

“Again, those who insist that we are not addressing the issues raised by EFCC and the Ad-hoc Panel give the impression that they are simply not prepared to listen to our comment on the crux of the matter.

“The facts have not changed, which is that PTDF money invested in ETB with the approval of council, has been returned with interest while that invested in TIB is in the custody of SpringBank, which acquired TIB.
“For emphasis, we restate that there has been no diversion, no loss of a single kobo and the vice president has not personally benefited from any transaction.”

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding