Bola Ahmed Tinubu might not be the best President Nigerians deserve, but he is ten thousand times better than Atiku Abubakar (PDP) and Peter Gregory Obi (LP), the challengers of his victory in the February 25, 2023 presidential election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT). Before discussing the judgment of the PEPT of Wednesday, September 6, 2023, permit me to present the abridged political profiles of Tinubu, Obi, and Atiku.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu was Governor of Lagos State from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. In the same period, Atiku Abubakar was Vice President of Nigeria under President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 1999, Bola Ahmed Tinubu won the governorship election in Lagos State under the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) while Obasanjo and Atiku on a joint ticket won the Presidential election on the platform of Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP).
It is noteworthy that the entire Southwest, including Lagos State, voted against Obasanjo and the PDP in the 1999 presidential and National Assembly election because of the role he, Obasanjo, played in scuttling Abiola's election victory in the June 12, 1993, presidential election. Remarkably, Obasanjo did not win even in his polling station.
As the 2003 Presidential election was fast approaching, some big men within the AD reasoned ethnically that it would not look good to vote against a sitting Yoruba president, Obasanjo, while non-Yoruba were to vote for him as it were in 1999. All the AD Southwest Governors, except Lagos State under Tinubu, agreed to adopt Obasanjo (PDP) as their presidential candidate in the 2003 election while the governorship and state house of assembly's elections would be contested under the platform of AD.
Tinubu had warned that Obasanjo was an un-beheaded life cobra whom AD should not embrace and his foresight was confirmed after the elections in which Obasanjo used his presidential power to rig out all AD governors from power in the Southwest. During the 2019 presidential elections Atiku Abubakar regretted not having done enough to capture Lagos State through rigging as he, under the directives of Obasanjo, did in the entire Southwest in 2003.
On principle, Tinubu moved from AD to form a new political party, Action Congress (AC). Embittered Obasanjo utilized his presidential power to seize part of the federal revenue allocations Lagos State was entitled to cripple the government of Lagos State, causing Tinubu to file a case of breach of the Constitution against Obasanjo at the Supreme Court.
Although Obasanjo's action was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Obasanjo disobeyed the ruling of the Court and withheld Lagos State federal revenue allocations which had accumulated to N15 billion in 2007 when Obasanjo and Tinubu's two terms tenure ended. The accumulated Lagos State fund was released to Babatunde Fashola, Tinubu's successor, by President Yar'Adua. Despite Obasanjo's seizure of a large portion of federal revenue allocations to Lagos State was entitled to, Bola Ahmed Tinubu's government was adjudged the most successfully administered State amongst the 36 states of Nigeria in 2007.
In the Anambra gubernatorial election of 2003, Peter Gregory Obi contested on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but his PDP opponent, Dr Chris Ngige, was declared the winner. As it turned out later, the victory of Dr Chris Ngige was facilitated by a political handler named Chris Uba who was a junior brother to Andy Uba, a special adviser to President Obasanjo.
After Ngige had been inaugurated as Governor of Anambra State, Chris Uba demanded half of periodical federal revenue allocations to the State to help settle his team of thugs that secured Ngige's victory. Appealing to the conscience of Chris Uba, Dr. Ngige asked him to think of the impact half of the federal revenue allocations to the state would have on the life of the Anambra people. As if possessed with the conscience of a hyena, Chris Uba rejected the appeal of Ngige to let him utilize the state's federal revenue allocations for the benefit of the people of Anambra.
With the support of President Olusegun Obasanjo, security forces were deployed to abduct Governor Ngige who was asked to sign a letter of resignation which he refused.
Meanwhile, Peter Obi had filed a petition against the victory of Dr. Chris Ngige at the election tribunal and when Chris Uba gave details of how he and his fellow political thugs rigged the election in favor of Ngige, the Tribunal in 2006 declared Peter Obi winner of the 2003 gubernatorial election in Anambra and, accordingly, he was sworn in as the governor some few months before the ordinary gubernatorial election would be held according to the constitution.
However, the governorship election in Anambra in 2007, in which Andy Uba was declared the winner, was annulled by the Court on the ground that the four-year governorship of Obi started in 2006 when he was sworn in and as such the Anambra governorship election of 2007 was unconstitutional. Thus, Peter Gregory Obi subsequently became a two-term governor of Anambra State on the platform of APGA from 2006 to March 2014.
How good was Peter Obi in running the affairs of Anambra State, as the Governor, for eight years? It is on record that at a time the people of Anambra State were afflicted with dysentery and cholera because of lack of potable water, Peter Obi invested $20 million of the State's funds in a beer brewery at a cost of N50/share in 2010 which today is valued at N5/share!! On September 20, 2011, Obi threatened to sack 3,000 workers because they demanded to be paid the enacted national minimum wage of N30,000/month, a threat he later carried out.
He allowed Doctors in Anambra State Hospitals to go on strike from January 2011 to 27 February 2012 until the doctors themselves called off the strike because they could no longer withstand the suffering of the ordinary people of Anambra.
In 2012, Lecturers at Anambra State University were on strike for six months while demanding better conditions of service and better pay. Peter Obi warehoused the funds of Anambra State (Federal Revenue Allocations) in Fidelity Bank, the bank in which he was a majority shareholder.
Four months after Obi's tenure as Governor of Anambra State had expired, a court in Anambra ordered the Awka branch of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, to pay N1.5 billion which Obi's regime had owed workers of Anambra State Water Corporation and Environmental Protection Agency.
Barely seven months after handing over to another elected APGA governor of Anambra State by the name, of Willy Obiano, Peter Obi abandoned APGA and defected to the PDP.
In the 2019 Presidential election, Peter Obi was the PDP vice presidential candidate on a joint ticket with Atiku Abubakar, the would-be presidential aspirant.
In the 2003 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar was on a joint ticket as vice president with President Olusegun Obasanjo for a four-year second-term tenure.
In that election, Abubakar and Obasanjo engaged in massive rigging, especially, in the south of the country. But, by 2005 Obasanjo and Abubakar had become political antagonists. While Obasanjo was nursing tenure elongation beyond the eight years permitted by the Constitution, Atiku Abubakar was scheming to succeed Obasanjo as the next president in 2007.
The political quarrel between the president and his vice blew open in 2006 when Obasanjo accused Abubakar of disloyalty and corruption.
Concerning who was most corrupt among the two, Atiku Abubakar challenged his boss, Obasanjo, to tell Nigerians how he became naira billion in 2006 when his bank account on his release from Abacha's gulag in June 1998 was a mere N20,000. Thereafter, the two of them were silent over who was more corrupt than the other.
Realizing that Obasanjo was to use his presidential power to prevent him, Atiku Abubakar, from becoming PDP's flag bearer in the 2007 presidential election, Atiku declared in 2006 that he was going to contest the 2007 presidential election on the platform of Bola Ahmed Tinubu's party, Action Congress (AC). At the same time, he continued to sit in office as Vice President on the platform of PDP, thereby becoming the first political bigamist in the world.
Some members of the PDP filed a constitutional case at the Supreme Court to force Atiku Abubakar to vacate his position of Vice President since he had changed political party to AC but the Supreme Court decided that the Constitution did not require the President, his Deputy, Governors, and their Deputies to vacate office if they should cross from the political party under which they were elected to another party. Thus, Atiku Abubakar, an open political whore to Action Congress (AC), remained as Vice President in Obasanjo's PDP presidency till May 29, 2007, simultaneously as he was campaigning on the platform of AC to contest in the April 21, 2007, presidential election.
Atiku Abubakar came third in that presidential election which was won by Umaru Musa Yar 'Adua while Muhammadu Buhari came second on the platform of ANPP.
In May 2010, the President, Umaru Musa Yar 'Adua died and his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, who had been acting President since February 2010 became substantive President and he chose the then Governor of Kaduna State Namadi Sambo as his deputy.
The presidential election was to be held in 2011 and Atiku and like-minds reasoned that Jonathan was just going to complete the remaining of Yar'Adua's four-year mandate and power would return to the North (meaning a northerner would be president since death cut short the eight-year tenure of Yar 'Adua who was a northerner). Atiku quickly deserted AC and returned to the PDP thinking that he was going to be PDP presidential flag bearer in 2011.
Atiku is an ass*hole characterized by Jean-Francois Marmion in his edited book, "The Psychology of Stup!d!ty," as a person who does bad things for bad reasons with no consideration for others. He also equated an asshole to a stupid person who he characterized as mean and cruel; who ignores and often despises moral values.
Atiku Abubakar contested the PDP presidential primary against President Goodluck Jonathan towards the end of 2010 for the April 16, 2011 election and he lost by a wide margin.
Atiku calculated coldly that Jonathan would not contest the Presidential election in 2015 as it would be the turn of a northerner to be a PDP presidential candidate in that year's election. He looked around and believed that no Northerner was more qualified than him to be the PDP presidential flag bearer in 2015. When it dawned on him that Jonathan was going to contest for 'second term' Atiku Abubakar deserted PDP once again and returned to the newly formed political party, APC, comprising mainly of an amalgamation between Bola Ahmed Tinubu's Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Mohammadu Buhari's party, CPC.
Atiku contested in the APC presidential primary towards the end of 2014 and he lost to Buhari who subsequently defeated Goodluck Jonathan to become Nigeria's President in 2015.
By 2018, when Atiku Abubakar smelled, that Muhammadu Buhari was going to contest for the second term tenure as APC Presidential candidate in 2019, Atiku Abubakar, like a vulture, returned to the carcass of PDP after Jonathan's defeat.
On August 4, 2018, Obasanjo told the world, "God will not forgive me if I support Atiku for President."
By January 30, 2019, Obasanjo volte-face declared, "Atiku has learned his lessons." It was rumored then that Obasanjo was the one who nominated Peter Obi as Atiku's PDP vice presidential candidate for the 2019 Presidential election.
According to the agreement Atiku was to rule for four years after which he would hand over to Obi if PDP should win in 2019.
Just in 2014, Olusegun Obasanjo published a three-volume memoir titled, "MY WATCH." In Volume II of the memoir, Obasanjo devoted two chapters to discussing Atiku Abubakar and how the US Attorney's office on June 26, 2006, requested EFCC to investigate twenty-two Nigerians and their companies in connection with corruption, fraud, and money laundering allegations. It was revealed that a Black U.S. Congressman, William J. Jefferson, had offered a bribe payment of $500,000 to Vice President Abubakar before the commencement of a business operation in Nigeria.
Investigation in Nigeria could not trace any bribe from the US to Atiku Abubakar but it led to the discovery of how the sum of $125 million approved by Federal Executive Council chaired by President Olusegun Obasanjo, on April 10, 2003, for unspecified Petroleum Technology Development Fund's projects in Nigeria for the fiscal year was diverted into Atiku's private Bank account at First Bank Plc. On April 29, 2003, Atiku Abubakar directed that $115 million be transferred from First Bank Plc to Equitorial Bank Limited while the remaining $10 million should be transferred to Trans International Plc to be invested as Term Deposit. On October 14, 2003, Atiku Abubakar got another $20 million said to be to fund PTDF's operations without the approval of FEC.
On the instruction of Atiku Abubakar, the Accountant General of the Federation was advised to transfer the $20 million PTDF operational fund to Standard Chartered Bank New Jersey, USA. Since the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, was conferred with immunity while in office, he could not be prosecuted for stealing government funds.
Although the investigation of Vice President Atiku Abubakar in Nigeria was at the request of the U.S. government over suspicion that he was collecting bribes, through an African American Congressman, William J. Jefferson, to facilitate the operation of American companies in Nigeria, there was no proof that he received such bribes. Instead, it was discovered that out of the total $145 million paid to him from PTDF accounts for projects in Nigeria between April 10, and October 14, 2003, he directed the Accountant General of the Federation to transfer $20 million to Standard Chartered Bank, New Jersey, USA. A subsequent report by Carl Levin's US-led Senate Permanent Subcommittee on keeping foreign corruption out of the United States had the following headline on page 173, "Abubakar Case Study: USING OFFSHORE COMPANIES TO BRING SUSPECT FUNDS INTO THE UNITED STATES.
Banks involved in helping Atiku Abubakar to launder money in the USA were listed on p. 188-222 of the report.
Concluding on page 241, Levin's report said, "Ms. Douglas helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German Corporation, and over $38 million from little-known offshore corporations primarily, Lets-Go Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd."
Ms Douglas mentioned in the report is Atiku Abubakar's fourth wife, who he renamed Jamila but whose maiden name was Jennifer Iwenjiora Douglas, from Anambra State in Nigeria.
On Atiku's money laundry trouble in the US, Obasanjo wrote, "As it turned out, the investigation in Nigeria and the US led to Atiku's house (in the US) being searched by the US Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the arrest and detention of his newly married wife, Jennifer. She was also declared wanted at one time. It was so embarrassing for our Administration and Embassy in Washington under Ambassador Obiozor (Volume II, My Watch, p.191-192)."
Atiku's fourth wife, Jamila, nee Jennifer Iwenjiora Douglas, hurriedly relocated from the USA and her husband could not visit the U.S.A. until 2019 when he was granted a waiver to visit lobbyists in the Congress in, Washington, in connection with his bid to contest Nigeria's Presidential election that year.
With the exposure of the political profiles of Tinubu, Obi, and Atiku above, I will endeavor to show why Atiku and Obi's castle of myths crumbled at the PEPT in part II of this essay.
(To be Continued)
Credit: Salimonu Kadiri.
Tag: USA African dialogue atiku Tinubu obi
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 9/27/2023 1:35:04 PM