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Atiku camp raises posers on Obasanjo’s wealth

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE on 2007/01/25 | Views: 380 |

Atiku camp raises posers on Obasanjo’s wealth


The Atiku Campaign Organisation has taken the Presidential spokesman, Uba Sani, to task over insinuation that Vice President Atiku Abubakar is corrupt and impoverished the 19 northern states to build his vast economic empire.

The Atiku Campaign Organisation has taken the Presidential spokesman, Uba Sani, to task over insinuation that Vice President Atiku Abubakar is corrupt and impoverished the 19 northern states to build his vast economic empire.

Rather, the group maintained, it was Uba’s principal, President Olusegun Obasanjo, who stood in the way of the north’s development. It also tasked the President’s aide to explain the sources of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s new found wealth having been confirmed bankrupt at the onset of his administration in 1999.

Sani had, while reacting to an intervention by former Communications Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, in the protracted face-off between the President and his deputy, said that Atiku, who Rimi appeared to be siding could not count on the region’s support in the conflict, as he (Atiku) allegedly "impoverished the north "by diverting funds meant for its development to build his ABTI Empire."

But the campaign group, in a five-page reaction Wednesday, described Sani as misguided, accusing the Presidency of renewed attempt to distract the Vice President’s presidential campaign with "frivolous and baseless allegations."

Attacking the plank of the President’s aide’s allegation, the group querried rhetorically: "We presume that these funds were budgeted by the Federal Government, appropriated by the National Assembly, and then released to the Vice President for the development of "The North."
Or, perhaps the funds are federal allocations to the 19 Northern States which the governors may have met in secret conclave and decided to donate to Atiku Abubakar to build the University?"

It observed that after three and half years of elaborate criminal investigation spanning all corners of Nigeria and all corners of the globe, it was instructive that the only thing EFCC found on Atiku was that he authorized an agency under his supervision to place idle funds in a bank to yield interest.
The ACO said save for the ABTI university, all the ABTI institutions that Sani mentioned in his tirade were there before 1999, adding however that the source of funding for the university was common knowledge.

On the contrary, it noted that: "It is public knowledge that in 1999 when Atiku and Obasanjo ran for their joint ticket, the President was bankrupt, and it was Atiku that raised the N100 million needed to pull him out of bankruptcy in order to qualify to run as candidate of the PDP. According to Minister Nasiru el Rufai, the president had only N20,000 in his account when he came into office.
It therefore challenged Sani to explain to Nigerians the following posers and allegations against his principal:

• How and by what means did one man who had a failed farm in 1999 come to acquire six extensive, flourishing commercial farms in all the political zones of the country? – The farms are located in Oyo (2), Ogun, Taraba, Cross River , and Ondo States. The President is getting set to commission one of these farms at Olokoda, which is reportedly capable of producing 10,000 broilers per day!

• How and where did President Obasanjo get the N700 million which he paid back into the Mofas Account, after overdrawing this account long after the 2003 elections?

• Up to now, the Presidency has not denied that Bodunde Adeyanju, the President’s personal assistant, collected huge sums of money from the Mofas Account, on behalf of his principal. Who was this money given to, and for what purpose?

• Is it possible for the President to purchase 200 million shares of Transcorp from his salary and allowances when, according to the account of Minister Nasiru el Rufai, the President had only N20,000 in his account in 1999?

• How and by what means did a retired military officer with not more than N20,000 in his account in 1999 come to allegedly acquire major shareholdings in commercial banks, insurance firms and airlines in Nigeria , as a weekly medium, Leadership, exposed two weeks ago?

• "Uba Sani is yet to deny the magazine cover story that his principal contributed to the collapse of Hallmark Bank by overdrawing a campaign account which he (the principal) solely managed, to the tune of billions of Naira, long after the campaign ended."

Describing him as "misguided and shortsighted." The ACO said Sani seemed to forget that the person on whose behalf he was strenuously throwing stones lived in a glass house.
The organization said while Atiku was leader of 36 states, where the north, his immediate constituency, had problems, he had always made extra efforts to resolve them, as can be seen from his efforts at restoring peace after communal clashes, raising education to a priority issue, and galvanizing the north to revive its industries.

On education, it recalled that the Vice President mobilized 19 governors in 2000 to an annual workshop that adopted AGENDA OF ACTION - a compendium of measures geared towards taking full advantage of the UBE scheme to increase enrolment and expand education to take in a higher percentage of kids left out.

"This effort was meant to rapidly close the gap between North and South and remove the "education disadvantage" tag from the North. Atiku personally made the most important contribution in setting up a secretariat in Arewa House, Centre for Research and Documentation, under ABU, in Kaduna , named Northern Education Research Project under Professor Adamu Baikie and Dr Mataimaki Tom Maiyashi. The gains of the project include higher enrolment, revival of inspectorate divisions to raise and maintain standards, among others.

"On industrial development, following about a decade of religious and communal clashes that shattered the once harmonious social atmosphere in the North, a study undertaken by an NGO that was inspired and funded by the Vice President’s associates, Abuja-based National Development Project (NDP) found out that by 2001 over 70 per cent of the industries in the belt of Kano-Kaduna-Jos had collapsed and rampant unemployment, social discontent, exclusion and poverty were ravaging the 19 states and may be fuelling the unrest. A conference was called to adopt an agenda to revive the industries. This conference was aborted on the explicit orders of Obasanjo that stopped both the follow-up meetings and weaned off the interest of governors on the issue.

The group reminded Sani that: "It is on record that the president publicly stopped the VP from attending the conference convened to restore harmony and prevent future communal clashes in the north. Despite this, the conference held and it was successful, to the extent that the Vice President was able to galvanize the governors to restore harmony and prevent further clashes.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.