Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Why Obasanjo may not hand over in 2007 – Gen. Rimdan

Posted by From MARIAM ALESHINLOYE AGBOOLA, Jos on 2006/11/20 | Views: 1073 |

Why Obasanjo may not hand over in 2007 – Gen. Rimdan


A retired General, Yakubu Domven Rimdan, says he does not see President Olusegun Obasanjo handing over power next year given the prevailing circumstances in the country.

A retired General, Yakubu Domven Rimdan, says he does not see President Olusegun Obasanjo handing over power next year given the prevailing circumstances in the country.

Rather than blame the Federal Government and its agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the trend in the states, however, Rimdan heaped the blame on corrupt governors and other government officials, who he accused of squandering the commonwealth meant for the development of their jurisdiction.

Brigadier Rindam, the Ubangarin Gani and Zonal Coordinator of the Association of Retired Army, Navy, Air force Officers (RANAO) in charge of Zone 3, made up of nine northern states said if the crises erupting in several parts of the federation were not checked "Obasanjo may not hand over by May 2007," as the atmosphere would not be conducive even for elections.

"By the time it happens in about four states and state of emergency is declared in those states, of course, there may be no elections. President Obasanjo cannot hand over the government when there is no peace and stability. He has to make sure that whosoever is going to take over does not take over crises," he declared.

Rimdan disagreed that the crises themselves were being masterminded by the Federal Government in continuation of the alleged plot to elongate the tenure of the administration. "The third term agenda has come and gone. As far as I am concerned third term is dead and it should not be the reason why we should be having problems here and there. Third term agenda has nothing to do with corruption…"

The former Amy boss said the transition programme would be smooth sailing so long as corrupt officials kept their hands away from the public till and did not cause problems in their various states, adding: "But as long as there are problems here and there, Mr President through the use of the constitution will know exactly what to do and people should not blame him. We are the ones asking for trouble."
He defended the operations of the EFCC in states and the role of retired army officers in the evolution of the Fourth Republic, among other issues.

Excerpts:

How retired military men ushered democracy into the country. The association of Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers of Nigeria (RANAO) is a dynamic organization. It is non-political but we are working very hard to sustain democracy. We are very strong because I must say it to our credit that we ushered in the present democratic process in this country. We provided the platform for General Abubakar Abdulsalami and NADECO to work. At that time, NADECO was finding it difficult to reach Gen Abubakar.

RANAO, at that time, had General Abisoye as our President. We, the executive committee met Abubakar with the members of NADECO to chart a course for successful hand over in 1999. We contributed in mapping out a framework for the handing over and good enough, Gen. Abubakar worked so religiously to the guidelines we agreed on. NADECO members felt, at that time, that if they should go to Gen. Abubakar, they would be arrested and bundled into prison. But we assured them that nothing like that would happen. We met and discussed and at the end of the day, NADECO succeeded and there was a smooth handing over. From time to time we met and discussed and made suggestion to government on the way forward. We have been working very hard for the sustenance of this government

EFCC is doing a good job
The confusion being created in the country calls for certain measures to prevent crisis from taking place in the states. I do not think it is fair to blame Mr. President for all the things happening in the states. The EFCC has been going to states to make arrests because of the atrocities committed there. Some state governors have been so corrupt that if you should let them leave that way, the states would not be able to function properly after them. The governors have embezzled so much money meant for the development of the states and want to go scot free.

It is the issue of corruption that is leading to crises in the states and nothing else. If Mr. President has seen some states to be corrupt and has sent EFCC there to investigate, I do not think he has done anything wrong. For EFCC to have found that man wanting means it wants him to be brought before the law. I do not see Mr. President single-handedly calling on a governor to be removed. If he has done that, it means the legislature is not doing its job. These are people who have taken oath of office to work for the benefit of the people of the state.

If they failed to do their job, I do not see Mr. President doing it for them.
The EFCC has already submitted the reports with regards to each and every state it has visited. It is still going round other states to know who has done what. Look at what is happening in the local government areas. The chairmen have collected billions and billions of naira and have nothing to show for it. No hospitals, no roads, no culverts, no streetlights etc. Everything is still as it was before they were created even with those created between 40 and 45 years ago. If EFCC goes there to find out how they had utilized the money, is there anything wrong with it? I do not think there is anything wrong with it. After all, the money belongs to tax payers, to you and I. So, why should somebody be squandering it? Let them account for the money. If what EFCC is doing is what they regard as Mr. President’s interfering with the affairs of the states, then I say I agree with it. Let him interfere. If he does not do that, people will ask him why he kept quiet when people were stashing state’s funds in private accounts abroad and the people in the states were starving. I support what EFCC is doing. Anybody who thinks he is clean should come out and account for the money he handles instead of making noise.

Some state governors and even the legislators have to carry some of the blames. Look at what happened in Ekiti State. If a state of emergency was not declared, God knows what would have happened by now. If the various factions had been allowed to rise against themselves, there would have been destruction of properties and many lives would have been lost. Who is going to bear the brunt for that kind of illegality, selfishness, greed, favouritism and all things that make people do what is against the law?

Plateau’s case very pathetic
Plateau’s case is pathetic in the sense that out of 24 members of the State House of Assembly, 14 have been arraigned before the court to give account of money found in their accounts. Bayelsa had a problem. The state governor was arrested for embezzling money. We all know where he is today. Dariye was also accused of stashing money in overseas. He ran through Ghana and later came back to Plateau to resume as governor. Who is happy about it? It is our money we are talking about. The EFCC has asked him to account for the money. He should let us know from where he got the money. It is good for him to do that.

Why President Obasanjo may not hand over
The truth is like a bitter pill but we have to swallow it. If the situation is getting bad and what happened in Ekiti is allowed to happen in other states, we may not have handing over by May 2007. By the time it happens in about four states and state of emergency is declared in those states, of course, there may be no elections. President Obasanjo cannot hand over the government when there is no peace and stability. He has to make sure that whoever is going to take over does not take over crises.

The third term agenda has come and gone. As far as I am concerned, third term agenda is dead and it should not be the reason we should be having problems here and there. Third term agenda has nothing to do with corruption. What we are saying is that some governors have become so corrupt, so much that EFCC is asking them to explain where they got the money and why they have not utilized the money meant for development of their states. People say the president is doing this in order to elongate his stay in office but I do not think so.

Election will take place in 2007 provided people do not cause problems in the various states they are governing. But as long as there are problems here and there, Mr. President, through the use of the constitution, will know exactly what to do and people should not blame him. We are the ones asking for trouble.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (1)

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.