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October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



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Alhaji Abubakar Atiku: The Face Of An Opportunist

 continued from http://www.dawodu.com/oduyela13.htm




Seyi Oduyela






After a controversial victory of late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua of the 1992 Presidential primaries of the Social Democratic Party and the attendant complaints of other candidates, the founder of the political party, General Ibrahim Babangida, first annulled the presidential primary elections of both the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Party (NRC). No one objected, no one protested that Babangida dabbled into intra party affairs then. Many of the politicians including late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua were banned from active politics and this opened door for Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, late MKO Abiola, Tofa, Atiku, and many others.


Atiku became Yar’Adua surrogate and enjoyed his support morally and financially. Atiku was also a member of the PDM (Progressive Democratic Movement), Yar’Adua’s political machine.


Before 1992, Atiku was nobody in Nigerian politics. He remained an unknown face. In fact it was not his intention to become Nigerian President but a bargaining power for Yar’Adua. This showed off after the first round of election at the SDP presidential elections in Jos. Yar’Adua negotiated with Abiola and Atiku who left Customs in 1989 “stepped down”. It now became a battle between Abiola and Kingibe. Abiola won. I have, in my earlier article on MKO Abiola explained why Abiola eventually lost the mandate.


After the demise of the 3rd Republic, and with the enthronement of Abacha through the support of Abiola and Diya. Abacha set up a Constitutional Confab to address the National question. Yar’Adua was a member of the Confab. It was Yar’Adua who master-minded the motion that Abacha’s government should leave by January 1996. Barnabas Gemade and Tony Anenih were his instruments then.


Yar’Adua was later arrested for involvement in a coup plot against Abacha, he did not survive it. But while in prison, his disciples deserted him. Gemade and Anenih did not remember him again, but the most shocking one was that of Atiku Abubakar, who is now benefiting from the political machinery of Yar’Adua. Atiku deserted Yar’Adua. He distanced himself from the man and did not even visit him in prison throughout the latter’s stay in jail. Yomi Edu was one of the few who visited Yar’Adua in prison.


While Yar’Adua was alone in prison, Atiku Abubakar was busy preparing for election to become Adamawa State governor under one of Abacha’s five fingers of a leprosy man. He lied that he had to stay away from Yar’Adua because Abacha wanted to kill him. This was never reported in any newspaper in Nigeria that Atiku was on the hit list of Abacha. He did not pose any threat to Abacha’s government like Gani Fawehinmi, Femi Falana, Abraham Adesanya and others did.


Under the Abdusalami Abubakar’s transition, Atiku, with his friend and business partner, Boni Haruna contested as Governor and deputy Governor, they won and were looking forward to occupying the Adamawa State government house when General Olusegun Obasanjo approached him and asked if he was ready to take orders and he reportedly said yes, pronto, a governor-elect became Vice Presidential candidate and ultimately the second citizen of Nigeria. No sooner had been settled down at the Villa than he had started planning for his take over from Obasanjo.


Obasanjo, himself knew why he chose Atiku. There are reports that Atiku is a greedy business man, who wants everything to himself. A mean and ruthless money monger. While he was in customs, he floated phony companies to buy seized goods that were later auctioned by the Customs. Atiku is into almost everything, from shipping to banking, publishing, oil business and just name it.


He entered the Villa with his business partners as Special Advisers and Assistants. Chris Mammah, who later played a sinister role in the 2002 impeachment bid of Obasanjo, has part of his name in Chrismatel, Atiku’s main business empire with Peter Okocha as a front. Chrismatel was the sponsor of Miss Nigeria beauty contest throughout the tenure of Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo as the managing Director of Daily Times.


Atiku was instrumental to the removal of Albert as the Director-General of Board of Public Enterprise (BPE) and Rufai as his replacement. He bought the Benue Cement Company, using Aliko Dangote as a front. He also has a strong link with the Vaswani brothers (owners of Reliance bank, The Honda Place and some other companies). The Vaswanis deportation may have been connected with their link to Atiku. Their deportation, though long due came at the wake of Atiku’s face-off with Obasanjo.


During the probe saga that rocked that National Assembly in 2001, Atiku played a prominent role in the impeachment move against Umar Na’Abba, the Speaker of the House of Representative. His intention was not for the support of probity but to get rid of a potential threat to his ambition come 2007. In actual fact, the Turakin Adamawa spent money. Some members of the House from the Eastern state were his fronts in this bid. One of the, whose father supported the late Abacha, would have been appointed the Minister of Education. There was a document they were to pursue in London , on Na’Abba property. The contact had demanded for 2.5million but the man from Imo State , in charge of the deal short-changed and they lost the document. The other man also from Imo State also swallowed the money meant for National Assembly journalists. These people hid under the genuine efforts of the likes of Wunmi Bewaji, Chinonyerem Macebuh, Olaka Nwogu, Austin Opara( present Deputy Speaker), Bala Kaoje, and others .

Few days to the aborted move to remove Na’Abba, there was an attempt to reconcile with the Aso Villa. Na’Abba met with Atiku who gave a condition for the Presidency to back out on the impeachment move. The move was for Na’Abba to stop the House open hearing investigation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), but Na’Abba made him to realize that it was in the hands of Hon. Nduka Irabor and he cannot stop him. On Monday night, the night before the impeachment, Principal Officers of the National Assembly led by the then Senate President went to meet President Obasanjo to plead for Na’Abba, Atiku was conspicuously absent, yet he was within the Villa premises. His belief was that, it was too late to come and beg for Na’Abba who would be impeachment the next day.


This did not work out, because the Honourables hired had hiked their demand from 150 Million Naira to 180 Million Naira. The Na’Abba camp through their spies got wind and they came up with the Hon Adam Jagaba (Kachia/Kargako), Kaduna state, gimmick of money display on the floor of the House of Representatives on that Tuesday. Truly some people were offered money to impeach Na’Abba and some people too got money to ensure Na’Abba was not removed. Some got money and juicy positions. Some traveled went with Na’Abba on overseas trips. Some AD members were included and on their return from the trips they developed cold feet. That Na’Abba enjoyed the support of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Gen Mohammad Buhari and Gen Ibrahim Babangida was a fact. Their support for Na’Abba was not genuinely because of Obasanjo, but because of Atiku. Atiku schemed out Prof Tunde Adeniran because Adeniran made Obasanjo the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Universal Basic Education. He had expected Adeniran to appoint him, because of the money coming in for the project. He replaced Adeniran with the man whose title as Professor is still a matter of debate at the Obafemi Awolowo University .


Atiku loves to be in charge any project that has votes. He calls the shots at the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), now he has his childhood friend, a former Director of NEMA as the chairman. He also has the primary school drop-out now a lousy millionaire from Anambra State , Emeka Offor as a front, especially in the contract for the maintenance of the Refineries. Emeka Offor held Anambra State to ransom for four years, just as the Illiterate and big-mouth Uba is doing now.


The noise against Tony Anenih by undergraduate Orji Kalu, the new presidential Aspirant from Abia state, the publisher and owner of Sun newspaper were ploys to divert the attention of the world from the real killers of Chief Bola Ige to Tony Anenih as the only person involved. Anenih’s position as the chairman of PDP’s Board of trustee was seen as an obstacle for Atiku.


Atiku and Anenih were both members of the PDM until early April 2002. The two began to have problem when it was discovered that Anenih had facilitated a truce between Babangida and Obasanjo. Anenih masterminded the April 26 2002 declaration of President Obasanjo at the International Conference center Abuja .

Interestingly Atiku was not around, his name did not appear in the program neither was his picture. It was basically an Obasanjo show. In the evening of that day on the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) , Obasanjo held a presidential chat where when answering a question on his running mate, he replied that he will announce the name of his running mate after the PDP convention. Few days later, Obasanjo’s Special Adviser on Media, late Tunji Oseni came out with a press release announcing Atiku as Obasanjo’s running mate.


The Nigerian Vice Presidential and one of PDP presidential hopeful comes to the United States like someone traveling from Ibadan to Sagamu, and most of the time in the company of the garrulous and loquacious publisher and owner of the “leading newspaper” in Nigeria, “Dr” Orji Uzo Kalu. A Dr. and undergraduate. They both own one of the most expensive properties in Potomac , Maryland . I have not been to Atiku’s house in Potomac , but those who have said you do not need to flush the toilet as it has a remote system of flushing through sensor. This is where his unofficial second Lady lives, who is also an undergraduate at the American University , Washington DC , one of the most expensive universities in the DC/Maryland/Virginia Metro area.


While the people of Jada in particular and Adamawa in general do not have access to basic amenities of live, like good water, electricity, good roads for transport their farm products to the market and other good things of live, their prodigal son is living like a Prince and wasting the country stolen money to develop a developed economy. And this man wants to rule Nigeria and Nigerians? He pays tax and insurance on the property. What he owns is not limited to the Potomac Palace , he owns another property on Georgia Avenue, NW near Silver Spring metro Station, and (I will surely keep Nigerians posted as soon as I lay my hands on the documents of his list of properties in the US ).


In spite of the fact that he has a failing health, Turakin Adamawa still want to rule Nigeria to die in Office and get a presidential burial.


He is having problem with Obasanjo now in this second term because of the role he played in the impeachment move of 2002. In actual fact, as at Friday, a day before the PDP convention, Obasanjo was not sure of getting the PDP ticket. It was a 50/50 chance. Atiku left it hanging in the balance. On that Friday night, he granted interview to BBC Hausa service, where he said he had three options- to run by himself ( which was late at that time), to run with Dr. Alex Ekwueme or with Obasanjo. When asked what he was going to do based on the last two options, his answer was that he was not sure yet.


He was lured into supporting Obasanjo that night in exchange for juicy appointment for his people to place in on a better chance against 2007. He fell for it.  After the Primaries, things were not as Atiku expected. His first loss was the position of the House of Representative Speaker. He had wanted to plant one of his former Special Advisers there, but Baba Iyabo a professional chess player check-mated him. The Vaswanis were deported. There was a plan by a professor in one of the Universities in Washington DC to organize a conference in Nigeria ; he had met Atiku in US with the programme and the bill. Atiku, asked him to put up a proposal and send it to him. The bill was $500,000. Atiku quickly approved it and it was forwarded to Obasanjo, who out rightly turned it down that, $500,000 was too much for such conference. In the past, Obasanjo would have endorsed it, but because things are no longer at ease, he did not let go.


 It took Obasanjo close to three years to know that Atiku Abubakar is the owner of Sadiq oil, but not Peter Okocha. Okocha is a strong Catholic; he would not have named his company Sadiq. Obasanjo also got to know too that Atiku bought African Petroleum, under the supervision of Saint El-Rufai.  Atiku had problem with Dr. Kema Chikwe over the Nigeria Airways. Atiku wanted to buy the Airways, he made it looked sick and ailing to Obasanjo and Obasanjo has believed it until Chikwe presented to him that the Airways was not as bad as it was presented to him. But it was also another opportunity for President Obasanjo to open a way for his long time friend Andrew Young to come in with his now dead World Airways, using a Nigerian as front. This also failed because it was a house built on quick sand. According to a very reliable source, Atiku had wanted to buy UNIPETROL with African Petroleum, but he was prevented.





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