“When he [the president] keeps saying over and over again that I am corrupt, I keep looking at him. Because what I know is that he is richer than I am. He has made more money since he came into office than I have made.” Vice President Atiku Abubakar
Each time I write about the feud between the Vice President and his boss, I always have the feeling of being locked in the midst of two thieves engaged in a battle over the sharing of their illicit loots. How can you support an evidently corrupt Atiku without looking complicit in his battle against a power and yes, money hungry Obasanjo? Or how can you support a man with a whimsical reputation for plain vendetta and dictatorial tendencies against another whose ambition knows no bounds like Atiku? How can you stake a claim of equity and fairness between a double speak (read Obasanjo) and his vice who is a liar (read, Atiku)?
A popular saying goes that those who must come to the altar of equity must do so with clean hands. Is the hand of Obasanjo clean? Can Obasanjo honestly and truthfully tell us as a “born again Christian” that he has not used his office to channel favors to his best buddies, his friends, his relatives, his late wife relatives and even to his own benefit since he assumed office? Indeed, the crux of the allegation against the Vice President was that he deposited a certain amount running into a hundred million and some dollars in a bank after approval from Mr. President and that the Vice President’s friends somehow then obtained a handsome amount of loan there afterwards from the bank. Ridiculous! For one was Obasanjo complicit in the actions of his Vice when he approved such amount of money clearly meant for development of technical expertise in the oil industry for investment in some non-oil industry related enterprise? What exact purpose was PTDF created for and was Obasanjo’s approval in line with that purpose? Was the money meant to prosecute the forceful rigging of PDP into office in the 4-19 elections? What exactly did the President approve the fund for, people should please ask questions. This was the missing link the whole EFCC report; I smell something fishy!
Indeed, if those questions is not raising eye brows, shouldn’t we as prudent citizens inquest of the President why a deal in Nigeria Port Authority that was investigated by EFCC that led to a loss of twenty five billion naira and which indicted his bosom friend and political godfather and rigger in chief, Bode George was thrown out while this particular report built on very weak allegations is being celebrated? Why for God sake will a President who looked the other way while Lamidi Adedibu in Ibadan was demanding certain ransom from the state government will now see it fit to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate his own deputy. Why would a president that supported and accommodated crime in Anambra state and was in hundred percent support of the looting of the treasury of that state by his godson and looter in charge, Chris Uba now be suddenly more concerned about a deal that did not lose the nation a single naira that was undertaken by his vice president? Does this president get his priority straight?
It is sheer hypocrisy and indeed the height of elite idiosyncrasy for the president to be talking of abuse of office and conflict of interest when a clear cut case of abuse of office and conflict of interests (read with a “s”) have been established in his ownership of millions of Transcorp shares which till this day he has refused to clarify. The President indeed, should be the person facing corruption charges in the Senate and facing the threat of impeachment for gathering the top contractors, governors of states and men of industry that have benefited from one act of magnanimity of his or stand to benefit in the future to contribute to the building a “Presidential Library” for him in his home state. How can this highly corrupt ex-general, whose annual salary can hardly put up one acre of farmland yet he is the owner of one of the biggest farms in West Africa accuse another person of corrupt enrichment? How can a party leader that instructed one his governors (Joseph Dariye) to use the ecology fund as a donation to his party to fund the fraudulent rigging of the 4-19 elections suddenly style himself as Mr. Clean? How can a man that approved a private university for himself (Bell) and his vice (ABTI-American) accuse another of conflict of interest and abuse of office?
The litany of Obasanjo’s misconduct in office and corruption can fill a scroll from Abuja to Port Harcourt, and the fact remains that putting aside his various disrespect for the constitution he swore to uphold starting of course from his indisposition to defend the secularity of state provision in that constitution during his first term in his office to his botched third term attempt, it is a fact that his impeachment is long over due. Shall I start with his celebrated movement of public monies around illegally to pay debt contrary to the provisions of the constitution as well as his non-implementation of passed budget and law due to his own interpretation of what is clearly a matter of fact the law of the land?
It appears however, that the more OBJ tries to make Atiku appear corrupt and unfit for office (which I do not question since what else would I expect from a corrupt tag team like them); the more he makes himself appear as the king of the jungle and indeed the more corrupt party in this matter. I have a feeling OBJ had to resort to this weak allegation since he knows any stronger allegation of corruption against Atiku would eventually link back to him. I have a strong feeling that during their paddy first term they both stole conveniently. In this deal, was any money lost? NO. This is not to say that this is a prerequisite for establishing allegations of abuse of office, but he must also prove that Atiku did benefit from such actions- as far as I can read into the report there were no material benefits to Atiku from this deal: none. However, I think they are both drowning men; both drowning enough to warrant self destruction.
If the President wants us to believe that the man he chose to run on the same ticket with him for two consecutive elections, who he called his best friend and confident for two elections, is a corrupt man, we have no choice but to believe him. But if indeed, it is true that birds of identical plumage congregate to the nearest proximity (pardon my French), then it is safe to conclude that the President himself is a walking effigy of corruption, abuse of office and conflict of interest who should put the fire out in his own house before he tries to clean the dusty windows of his neighbor’s hut. To those that have not read the EFCC report, please read it- many innuendoes on the web have been based on hear say- it is at best a weak allegation as far as I am concerned especially now that the BNP Paribas have owned up to giving Globacom the seed money for investment. Clearly in the quote at the beginning of this article the Vice President did not deny making money in government, he is stating that the President made more money than he did- that one is for you International Thief, Thieves. Atiku is not excused, let them both be impeached. p>