A former President, Olusegiun Obasanjo has revealed that ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan was afraid that his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, will send him to jail.
Obasanjo’s claim was contained in a book written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Segun Adeniyi. The former President claimed that Jonathan was not really afraid of his life but what Buhari may likely do to him.
According to Obasanjo, “I believe the President’s concern or fear is not about life after office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this both seriously and jovially.
“I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by the person he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari.
“I believe the people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man; he would fight corruption and he (Jonathan) may end up in jail if not in the grave.”
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has revealed that the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, worked against the plan to make him President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2015 presidential election.
According to Tinubu, Saraki, El-Rufai and other stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party, who defected to the APC in the build-up to the 2015 elections, instigated Buhari and some APC chieftains not to pick him as the would-be Vice-President.
The details of this new claim was by Tinubu is contained in a book titled ‘Against the Run of Play,’ written by the Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay, Olusegun Adeniyi.
Tinubu further revealed that his opponents persuaded Buhari to look for another running mate on the grounds that Christians in the North would not embrace a Muslim-Muslim ticket, and as such, could jeopardise the party’s victory.
The former governor of Lagos State said the arguments put forward by the party members were not genuine, adding that El-Rufai had the intention to ensure the emergence of the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, as Buhari’s running mate.
Tinubu added, “What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them.
“We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the part and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices.
“But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate.”
Tinubu stated that some senators and governors then, who defected from the PDP to the APC, met with him on the eve of the primaries to know if there was an agreement between him and Buhari to run together.
He said he evaded the inquiry, which compelled the allies to join him in canvassing for Buhari as the right presidential candidate of the party.
“I told them that it was better to resolve such issue after the primaries, but they wanted to make it a condition for supporting Buhari, which, for me, was very wrong. I told them I could not insist on this as a condition for my support for Buhari. I felt that was not right to hold Buhari hostage in this manner.
“I believe the support that we gave was fundamental to Buhari clinching the party nomination. Without that support, a different outcome would have been most likely,” Tinubu added.
He noted that Buhari later requested him to nominate three persons for the job, but he (Tinubu) presented only Yemi Osinbajo as his ultimate choice.
“I backed down because I did not want to be depicted as causing a problem. I backed away from the position in order to offer Buhari a name I once raised with him in 2011: that of Professor Yemi Osibanjo,” he added.
In an advance copy of a book titled ‘Against the Run of Play’, written by Segun Adeniyi, the former Niger state governor and ex-chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Babangida Aliyu, gave a hint of possible US involvement in the electoral defeat of Jonathan.
His disclosure is coming 24hours after more revelations emerged on the alleged conspiracy of the United States in the electoral defeat of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
Babangida said the Obama administration invited 12 northern governors to the US to ascertain their level of commitment to removing Jonathan.
Although he had no proof of this, the former governor however expressed the belief that the reason for their invitation to the US was deeper than discussing the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
“I have no proof of course, but I think the idea was to ascertain what the disposition of the north would be to the idea of another term for President Jonathan.
“That was my reading of the situation. I believe it was all about the 2015 election for which the Americans had resolved not to support Jonathan. They just wanted to size us up for the level of commitment to regime change,” Aliyu said.
Aliyu said in one of the sessions, Murtala Nyako, former Adamawa state governor, accused Jonathan of sponsoring Boko Haram with the intent of destroying the north, adding that Nyako’s accusation signalled to the Americans that the north was not in support Jonathan’s re-election bid.
“If Jonathan had been clever enough to say he would not run and had stuck with the PDP zoning formula by supporting a young northern candidate, I am most certain Buhari would have shelved his ambition to contest in 2015, knowing there was no way he would win,” he said.
The book, which details how Jonathan lost the 2015 election, will be launched on Friday.
While speaking in an exclusive interview during Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, on Thursday morning in Abuja, Moshood Jimoh, the Nigerian Police Force Public Relations Officer, made some revelations on the discoveries after a thorough search at the home of Senator Danjuma Goje.
Moshood who spoke to Maupe Ogun, the programme’s anchor during the interview monitored by Tori News correspondent, Odinaka George, revealed that some documents relating to assassination of a popular Muslim cleric, Sheikh Jafaru by former Kano state Governor, Shekarau was discovered after the search.
The police spokesperson also disclosed that during the search, they also found N18 million, $19,000 and Saudi currency in cash at the Senator’s Abuja home, adding that a video clip of the search will soon be made available to the public.
Watch video below:
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan from his first days as President showed he was too small for the office, saying he, Obasanjo, acted more as an opponent of Jonathan than a supporter of Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2015 presidential poll.
Obasanjo, who said Jonathan deceived him that he would not give Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke the petroleum portfolio in his cabinet was deceived into believing that he could use money to buy the 2015 presidential election.
Obasanjo in the book, Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria, written by former presidential spokesman, Segun Adeniyi, also revealed that Jonathan was gripped by the fear that Buhari, as president, would jail him or lead him to an early grave.
In the 204-page book, former President Jonathan is himself quoted as saying he could not be held accountable for provocative remarks made by some of his supporters, even as former Senate President, David Mark, is also quoted in the book as alleging that he forewarned the former president about the alleged conspiracy against him in the north but to no avail.
Problems of minority agitation
Obasanjo in the book is quoted as saying that following Umaru Yar’Adua’s death in 2010, he endorsed Jonathan for the 2011 presidential election principally to solve the problems of minority agitation in Nigeria.
The former President said: “I saw the emergence of Jonathan as an opportunity to solve the problem of minority agitation. The three majority ethnic groups in Nigeria can always sort themselves out but not so for the minority. A good example is my state here in Ogun.
“Despite the best of intentions, nobody from Ogun West has been able to become governor because of this minority issue and it will take a conscious effort to make it happen. So, it was in the context of that I had to plead with prominent people in the North to allow Jonathan run for a term.”
I warned him not to make Diezani petroleum minister
But in a tone laden with regrets, Obasanjo pointed out that there were certain things Jonathan did that fell below his expectations as a former president.
“There were certain decisions taken by Jonathan very early in his administration that pointed to the fact that the office was bigger than him and one of them was the appointment of a petroleum minister,” he said.
According to Obasanjo, he cautioned Jonathan not to appoint Diezani Alison-Madueke to such a sensitive sector but the president ignored his counsel.
“Jonathan gave me the impression that he was not going to give her the portfolio but at the end he did and we can see the consequence. He, of course, knew what he was doing,” Obasanjo stated.
Why I opposed Jonathan
The former president also hinted at what riled him against Jonathan and why he parted ways with him in the run up to the 2015 election, a development which has given the impression that he was actively working in support of Buhari’s candidature. But Obasanjo denied any direct support to Buhari.
He said: “I didn’t join them in supporting Buhari; I joined in opposing Jonathan so Buhari was just a beneficiary of my opposition to Jonathan since my position was AOBJ: meaning Any Option But Jonathan.”,
Obasanjo explained that Jonathan and his handlers believed that they could buy the last election and that they were so arrogant about it that the PDP would print only one nomination form for him and him alone. He said: “If he was wise, he would have yielded the ticket to somebody else in the PDP.”
Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office but Buhari
The former president, who also criticised the role played by the military in the last election, said he suspected that Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office but Buhari, his successor.
“I believe the President’s concern or fear is not about life after office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this both seriously and jovially. I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by the person he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari. I believe the people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man; he would fight corruption and he (Jonathan) may end up in jail if not in the grave,” Obasanjo narrated in the book.
The book also placed the defeat of Jonathan at the 2015 poll on the utterances of those close to the former president, chief among them being his wife, Patience.
The book recalls the allegation by former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, accusing the former first lady of insulting the North with incendiary language, thereby alienating them from Jonathan during the election.
It quoted Mrs. Jonathan as making a denigrating remark against Almajiri in the north, by saying “Our people no dey born children wey dem no dey count. Our men no dey born throw way for street; we no dey like people from the other side”, an apparent reference to the concept of Almajiri common in the north.
Reminded in the book that some persons close to him, especially Chief Edwin Clark and Asari Dokubo, were rather vocal and provocative in their utterances, Jonathan wondered why he should be held accountable for their personal opinions.
The former president retorted: “Okay, let us agree for the sake of argument that Chief Clark and the others were offensive, what about those from other ethnic groups who were also making incendiary statement about my person with insinuations about people who wear bowler hats?
“I am not defending whoever may have crossed the line among Ijaw people but let us be fair, why should I be held accountable for that and you would not hold other leaders accountable for what politicians from their own ethnic groups also said? he queried.
On why Jonathan lost the election, former Senate President, David Mark, said that he saw the defeat coming and had pointed out the unrealistic voting projections made by the party about the North to the former president and the conspiracy against him but he was not taken seriously.
He said Jonathan should have seen the handwriting on the wall and done something about what was pointed out to him but no action was taken.
Mark lamented, “I saw it and at difference times, I pointed out to him and the party that the projections being made by some people around the president about what the voting pattern in the north would were wrong.
“I could see the conspiracy and the gang-up building up in the north against the aspiration of Jonathan but my voice was drowned out by those who took it for granted that a sitting president, and one from PDP, could not lose,” Mark said.
The former Senate President also mentioned that the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, was also aware that Jonathan was not strong in the North but apparently had little to say in the campaign to re-elect Jonathan.
“Some people were deceiving the president with the kind of false scenarios they were painting for him. The VP could see the conspiracy but I don’t know how much influence he had on the campaign. Why Jonathan couldn’t see it until it was too late is what I find difficult to understand,” Mark pointed out.
Speaking while he delivered a speech at the ongoing annual session of the Nigerian Baptist Convention in Abuja on Wednesday, former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, traced his greatness and achievements in life to God and the training he received from the Baptist denomination and schools.
Obasanjo who the made the remark in the appreciation and acceptance speech after he was honoured and celebrated on his contribution to Nigeria and the world peace, said;
“Permit me to confess publicly, as I did at the program put together by the three Lagos Baptist Conferences, that whatever I am today have been by the grace of God and the Baptist training that I was priviledged to have received early in life through the Sunbeam, the Royal Ambassadors, Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Sunday School and Church Training.
“I have been guided throughout my public service by these Baptist principles of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, fairness, inclusion, boldness, order, mutual respect, and integrity. I can say I am the better for it today.”
He challenged all and sundry not to underestimate the importance of various religious training if we want a greater future for our children.
“I therefore urge us to to note the importance and influence which the church and its various training programmes are capable of exerting on our children in their formative years. We should never take with levity the character-moulding programmes for our young ones which had been endearingly beneficial to us”, he added.
Obasanjo who spoke further, explained the process he followed in helping those who seek his assistance on one thing or the other.
“Let me also say for avoidance of doubt that in all the instances where I was said to have assisted or helped in securing one thing or another, the normal and proper procedures were still followed.
“What happened was that when they came to me, in each case, I contacted those in charge, whike our people made the necessary follow up; and the rest, as they say, is history”, he said.
The former president warned Nigerians not to cease cooperating with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to restore sanity to the polity.
“I am aware that we have challenges as individuals and as a nation; however, we must cooperate with the government in its programmes aimed at poverty reduction, employment generation, fighting corruption and insecurity.”
President Muhammadu Buhari again on Wednesday stayed away from the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Similarly, over 20 out of 36 Ministers were equally absent at the meeting.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting.
The Opening preliminaries of Wednesday’s meeting were not short of what played out penultimate Wednesday when the already seated Osinbajo and the Ministers who were expectant of the President, appearing to preside over the meeting got disappointed following Buhari failure to show up.
On the same vein, the meeting did not hold last week. Officials later attributed that to the Easter holiday. Meanwhile, all expectations that the president would attend yesterday’s edition that featured the acting Secretary to the Government of Federation, SGF, Dr. Habibat Lawan also failed.
At exactly 11 am, Osinbajo got whispers from the State Chief of Protocol, SCOP and thereafter called for the National Anthem and opening prayers, signalling the commencement of the meeting. Journalists were later excused from the meeting which got underway.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that lasted only for two hours, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that the president couldn’t attend because he needed some rest at home. Mohammed added that the President has requested that all the files on his table be brought to him, saying he would be working from home.
He said: “We just concluded the Federal Executive Council meeting, I’m sure you noticed that the President was not there. He was not there because he asked that he be allowed to rest and asked the VP to preside.
“And he will be working from home. He has asked all his files to be taken to him in the house. He will be working from home today”.
The Minister also repeated the same to Vanguard which sought more clarification in an exclusive interview.
“He was not in that meeting because the President sent word that he wanted to rest and he wanted the VP to preside over and he asked for all his files to be brought back to him that he will be working from the house”.
Told that there was an air of surprise back in the hall when the Vice President called for the recitation of the national anthem, Mohammed said “that’s your own opinion”.
Also asked whether the government would formally apologize to The Punch Newspaper over the “sack” of its State House correspondent, Mr. Olalekan Adetayo from the Presidential Villa as demanded by the organization, the Minister said that the steps already taken by the Presidential Media aides should suffice.
“I think we should blow a matter out of proportion. The special adviser to the president on Media, Mr. Adesina immediately took a step that reversed that. I think that is proof enough that this government is not about stifling the press.
“You forget it is the same administration that restored the pass of Dutchewalle Reporter. I am happy with what the media aides have done. I think that settles it”, he said.
He said: “That Mauzu betrayed us during the 2015 pres. campaign and that Jega was working for @MBuhari is not news.
“The biggest secret and greatest traitor of them all was the man that brought both Mauzu and Jega to do a dirty job and sabotage our efforts. His name was Hassan Tukur.
“He is an evil genius. His treachery and collusion with the APC cost us the 2015 election and opened the door for Buhari. God will judge him”.
Hassan Tukur, was the principal secretary to former President Goodluck Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly expressed disappointment over the handling of the 2015 elections by Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Quoting Jonathan, Adeniyi in his new book titled, ‘Against the Run of Play’ wrote, “I was disappointed by Jega because I still cannot understand what was propelling him to act the way he did in the weeks preceding the election.”
In a letter which was sent to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and read on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari sought the approval of the national assembly to borrow $5.851 billion for the upgrade of various sections of the Nigerian railway.
The president pleaded with the lawmakers to endorse the loan on time in order to make the the country access the China-African fund provided for in the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan, adding that the fund was limited and applications from all over the continent are funded on first come, first serve basis.
The president said these projects form part of the overall plan to resuscitate the rail transport across the country and drive economic growth.
“I wish to refer to my earlier letter with respect to the above subject and to inform the distinguished senate that the China Exim bank has approved our request for a loan to execute the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Lagos-Ibadan segment for a sum of $1.231 billion,” the letter read.
“The China government has also informed us that the approval of the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Kano-Kaduna segment and coastal railway project, the Lagos-Calabar segment are imminent.
“China Exim supported projects; Lagos-Kano modernisation projects, Lagos-Ibadan segment $1.231 billion; Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Kano-Kaduna segment $1.146 billion and coastal railway project, the Lagos-Calabar segment $3.474 billion, making a total of $5.851 billion.
“As you are aware the funds available under the China-African fund are limited and loan applications from all over Africa countries are funded based on first come, first serve and therefore there is an urgent need to sign these loans as soon as they are approved or we may loose out in the event that we delayed in signing the loan agreement.
“These loans form part of the overall money for the rail strategy. We are in the process of completing the concession of the port Harcourt Maiduguri line to immediately link the eastern part of the nation.
“We fully intend to source further concessioning funding to ultimately upgrade this critical line to high speed standard gauge. These projects form the overall plan to resuscitate the rail transport across the nation and thereby drive inclusive growth.”
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered a temporal forfeiture of $5.8 million belonging to a former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to the Federal Government.
The order followed the ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking the forfeiture of the amount to government, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Moving the ex parte application, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to grant the order as prayed.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun held: “order is granted as prayed.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court order came barely 24 hours after the EFCC withdrew an application for stay of prosecution of the court’s earlier ruling, unfreezing Jonathan’s account.
NAN recalls that Olatoregun had sometimes in November, 2016 granted a forfeiture order of the said sum following an application by the commission.
The court, however, issued another order in March, vacating the earlier one.
The vacation of the order followed an application by Jonathan’s counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), who had challenged the propriety of the EFCC’s action.
In the new motion titled “Action in Rem,” the commission sought an order for interim forfeiture of the said $5.8 million lodged in the Skye Bank.
The commission also sought an order directing the interim forfeiture of N2.4 billion discovered in an EcoBank account in the name of La Wari Furniture and Bath Ltd, suspected to be proceeds of crime.
It further sought for the publication in any national newspaper, of the said order, to enable any interested party to appear and show why the interim order should not be made final.
In an affidavit, the commission averred that it received an intelligence report that funds suspected to be proceeds of crime were warehoused in a Skye Bank account belonging to Jonathan.
It said that the report was analysed and found worthy of investigation, adding that the ex- First Lady opened the account on February 7, 2013.
According to the commission, several cash deposits were made by the ex- First Lady in United States Dollars, through Waripamo Dudafa, a former aide to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan.
The commission averred that another frequent depositor of funds into the said account was one Festus Iyoha, a steward in the State House, Abuja.
The EFCC said that between February 8, 2013 and January 30, 2015, about $6.7 million suspected to be proceeds of crime were deposited into the account.
According to the commission, Jonathan had dissipated the funds, leaving a balance of about $5.7 million.
The commission further averred that if the fund was not forfeited in the interim, it may be fully dissipated by Jonathan.
It added that N2.03 billion, suspected proceeds of crime, was currently on fixed deposit in the account of La Wari Furniture, in addition to a credit balance of about N389 million.
The commission urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.
Granting the order, Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case till May 15, to enable any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim order should not be made final.