The Niger-Delta And  Politics In Nigeria - 2


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October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



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The Niger-Delta And  Politics In Nigeria: The

Obasanjo In Our Confusion - Part 2

 continued from




Seyi Oduyela




December 18, 2005

The impeachment of the Mr. DSP Alamieyeseigha, former Governor of Bayelsa State did not come as a surprise and it has attracted mixed reactions. Some have commended the Bayelsa House of Assembly members, while some believe that the Federal government had forced Assembly men to impeach their erstwhile benefactor.
Was the Federal government involved in the removal of Alamie? Why was the government of Obasanjo interested in the removal of Alamie? Of what and whose interest will this serve?
I will try and answer these questions as we go along.
Was Obasanjo government involved?
The answer is yes. We all know that the escape of Alamie from house detention in London was not only a shock to Obasanjo, but also an embarrassment. The Attorney General and Justice Minister of Nigeria had gone to London to tell the court that Obasanjo’s government cannot guarantee the return of Alamie for trial if he was granted bail to leave London. This showed the clear hand of Obasanjo’s government in the case. So many people have argued that it was right for the government to do so as to show that the federal government is serious about fighting corruption, but it is not clear to us if Obasanjo’s government had done its homework in verifying some of what we read in the newspapers on Alamie as regards the money found in his house. We did not know if there was any correspondence between the Presidency and the Governor.
This is not to say that Alamie is innocent, I know he is not, he can never be! His arrest did not come to me as surprise at all.  In one of my articles, I have reported a case of a Niger delta governor who was duped by some Arabs to the tune of $72m for the purchase of a private refinery. Alamie was approached by two Arabs, who flew into Nigeria in a private jet to offer him the sale of a private oil refinery for $144m.  He was to pay 50% of the money and come to London two weeks after to pay the balance and get the papers. Alamie, according to my source paid the 50% but when he got to London, he could not locate the Arabs. It was Alamie who ensured that the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly in 1999 contested and won the election even when he was 2 years younger than the legal age to contest election. He said this in an interview he granted to a reporter published in Source Magazine back in 2002. Alamie removed the Speaker when he was becoming too powerful and boasted about it. But he mentioned something then that has been a thing of interest to me. He accused the Governor of Rivers State of sponsoring crisis in Bayelsa. Before the creation of Bayelsa State, the people of Bayelsa were part of Rivers State.
Alamie once served in the military, Nigeria AirForce to be specific. He was caught cheating during a promotion examination. He was court martialed and later dismissed. He left the Air Force as a Squadron Leader. One thing that showed that Alamie is guilty of the money laundering charge is the fact that since he came back, he has refused to address the fact that 1.9m pounds was found in his house in London, rather, he resorted to propaganda.
Why is Obasanjo after Alamie?
You do not need a rocket scientist to tell you that the issue is politically motivated. Most of those that have been indicted in any case of corruption so far are people who do not belong to Obasanjo side of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). While everyone supports the fight against corruption, no one sees any sense in selective fight targeted towards a certain group. DSP Alamieyeseigha is a friend of the Vice President Atiku, which is clear. They both live in Potomac, Maryland here in the US. When Jennifer Atiku, in 2003 did the launching for her Gede Foundation here in the US, Alamieyeseigha was among the three Governors, along with Bonnie Haruna and James Ibori who came from Nigeria to grace the launching. The late Owambe First Lady was here too. This show the link between the former Governor of Bayelsa and Atiku. Since the open war between Obasanjo and Atiku, some of his friends and political associates have been bruised by Obasanjo. Some members of the Adamawa State government are been investigated now.
Of what and whose interest is it?
The removal of Alamie does not serve anybody’s interest except for the people who orchestrated it. This is done not with a genuine reason but as a face-saving mechanism. I remain unimpressed by this government. It has done nothing to alleviate the poverty of the people. It has not told the country, how much it has recovered from the Abacha family and how the loot recovered so far has been spent. President Obasanjo owns the Block of flat (Sky Scrappers) at the junction of Garki Village in Area 11 Abuja. It was difficult for people to have access to his assets and liability declarations at the Code of Conduct Bureau, but it does not take his government time to use the same Code of Conduct Bureau against Alamieyeseigha.
On the members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, I will tell the story of Jesus.
Jesus was standing preaching to the people when the Pharisees came to him with a woman accused of adultery. They told Jesus of her offence and quoted the Mosaic Law that whoever does that should be stoned to death. They wanted Jesus to give them the go-ahead to do that. Jesus looked at them and said: “He that has not sinned before should cast the first stone.” They left the woman. No one in the Bayelsa House of Assembly can claim that what he has today is legitimately acquired. They are a product of the same system instituted by Obasanjo’s Political party- government of “chop-i-chop.” We all know that the Assembly men were blackmailed into impeaching their governor, while some who have been sidelined in the scheme of things saw that as an opportunity to get back at Alamie.
Where do we place the Bayelsa people here? They are still at the receiving end. They are still the losers. A people ruled by Kleptomaniacs, ruthless, insensitive and inconsiderate leaders. While they were ravaged by Obasanjo in 2000, with the attack on Odi, they had a governor who is taking away their sweat abroad to help improve western economy and yet when he came back home from London, they organized a welcome rally for him. What a people?! Let us how Obasanjo government is going to recover all the loots from US and London and the ones in Nigeria.
In a speech read on his behalf at an occasion in Niger delta, President Obasanjo said that Resource control is greed, he argued that rather than fight for resource control, the people should think of how we can manage the resources. Whose resources? I do not know if the black was discovered in the West or north if they will be talking of resource control now. I am sure the north would have left Nigeria and I doubt if the west (Yoruba) will allow the derivative formula. I regard Obasanjo’s statement as rude and insultive to the people of Niger delta but unfortunately many of them did not see it that way. We know that their leader are not sincere, we know they are corrupt, but we have corrupt leaders in the West, East and North too. No single governor in the West will pass the corruption test if it is carried out, not even the Ogun State governor or his counterpart in Lagos State, who has resorted into Abracadabra system of government. Obasanjo knows this, he sees it but not interested.
To be continued….
James Ibori, Lucky Igbinedion coming up in part III



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