- Obasanjo One Of Nigeria’s Richest Men, Says Clark
The season of letter writing may not be over in Nigeria yet as elder statesman and former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark joined the fray to excoriate former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his 18-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan.
In his 10-page delayed response to Obasanjo, titled: ‘Let The Truth Be Told Before It Is Too Late,’ and made available exclusively to P.M.NEWS this morning, Chief Clark described Obasanjo as “a mischief maker” and “an ego maniac who always want to play to the gallery.”
Obasanjo wrote his letter to Jonathan on 2 December last year, titled ‘Before It Is too Late’, triggering a political tremor that is yet to quieten down.
The Ijaw pre-eminent chief and political godfather of President Jonathan, condemned Obasanjo for writing what he called a treasonable letter to the president, adding that Nigeria does not belong to Obasanjo as pointed out by Iyabo Obasanjo in her open letter to her father.
“Ordinarily, I never intended to join in the affray of accusations and counter accusations between a former president and a sitting president and a daughter in between. But, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in your usual characteristic hatred and use of sarcastic remarks about Ijaw, you have again berated and insulted us the Ijaws in your letter to Mr. President. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has never for once acted nor behaved as an Ijaw man since he took office as President, and we hold no grudge against him for that.
“In addition, I want to butress the assertion that all Nigerians are equal no matter where they come from, that is no one is a second class citizen of this nation. You have no right to plunge Nigeria into crisis as your past actions and recent open letter to the president connotes. The generality of Nigerians think your letter is treasonable,” Chief Clark stated.
The former minister goes further to describe Obasanjo as an unrepentant trouble maker, adding that he had in the past embarrassed former Heads of State through his devilish open letters.
“My dear Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, you have become an unrepentant trouble maker, as Nigeria gave you more than you truly deserve. Hence you see yourself as lord of the manor. You have without recourse in the past embarrassed all past Heads of State and Presidents in Nigeria through open letters and unsavory comments. In such letters, you have always alleged maladministration, corruption and incompetence against them,” Clark wrote.
While admitting that Obasanjo contributed to Jonathan’s emergence as president, the former minister criticised Obasanjo for trying to dictate to Jonathan and when the latter refused to toe his footsteps, started attacking him.
“Nigerians are aware that you set the stage for the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as President of the Federal Republic. But the saying goes that if you present a gift of goat to a friend you must let go of the tether. You are probably different. Right from the inception of the Jonathan presidency, your body language indicated you want to play the role of the piper, that is, dictate how Jonathan runs the government, a phenomenon you did not tolerate from those who put you in office in 1999.
“An incident that played itself out then will suffice. You masterminded the removal of Chief Tony Anenih, then PDP Chairman, Board of Trustees, and appointed yourself thinking the position will give you powers to control and manipulate the President. The futility of your actions dawned on you when you realised Jonathan is his own man. And in frustration you resigned as PDP Board of Trustee Chairman. You had thought the president will kneel before you begging that you stay on, but he never did. Every Nigerian therefore, knows that you connived, with PDP renegades and opposition parties to ridicule and undo President Jonathan and the government because he refused to be your puppet,” he stated.
Citing other instances of Obasanjo’s hypocrisy and corruption, Clark reminded him: “My dear OBJ, I was your colleague in the General Yakubu Gowon government in 1975. You were then the Minister of Works. The Head of State directed you to develop the Tincan Island Port. It was widely rumoured then that you carved out a portion of land from the area earmarked for the project for yourself, the area now known as Beachland Estate in Apapa, Lagos. Your clandestine usurpation of the piece of land led to series of litigations with your front man, in which I believe you are still probably embroiled.
“Mr. former President, I will also like to use the language of your daughter, Iyabo to describe you to Nigerians. You are “a liar, manipulator, two face hypocrite” and that “you have egoistic craving for power and live a life only men of low self esteem and intellect thrive.”
Chief Edwin Clark, the Nigerian elder-statesman, in his reply to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to his protege, President Goodluck Jonathan has accused Obasanjo of monumental corruption, during his eight-year tenure as Nigeria’s democratically elected leader.
He even went further to describe Obasanjo as one of Nigeria’s richest men.
“As a matter of fact, your eight years sojourn as President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 benefited you immensely. You acquired many mechanized multi-billion naira farms across the country. They include the Obasanjo Palm Oil Farm in Calabar, a very large multi-million naira poultry farm in Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State, another gigantic farm in Oke-Ogun in Oyo State, larger than any of its kind in Africa, Lanlate fish farm in Ota, a big poultry farm at Ibogun and an oil palm estate at Ehuagie in Rivers State, not to mention your past holdings in tea plantation in Adamawa State.
“Apart from the foregoing, OBJ, your other investments encompass every segment of the national economy and they run into billions of naira. Some of these include your multi-million naira Temperance Hotel in Ota, your multi-billion Presidential Library, Transcorp, which owns the Abuja Hilton Hotel, your juicy oil blocs and known interest in the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, Ikot Abasi. You barely survived on your pension as a retired army general and little earnings from your old Ota farm. Today, the spoils of office have altered your life-style. How dare you point accusing fingers at others when you have a cupboard filled with skeletons? You have forgotten the saying that “a man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.”
“You are today one of the richest men in Nigeria if not in Africa.
“In 1999, it was widely reported in the media that you came out of Gashua prison very broke. As a matter of fact, it was stated you had N20,000 in your bank account as declared in your Code of Conduct Bureau Form. In just 8 years, as President of Nigeria, you metamorphosed from a struggling ex-head of state, into a life of opulence. You must tell Nigerians the magic behind the sudden affluence. When corruption is mentioned, informed Nigerians know those that foisted the malady on our nation.
“In the brickbat between you and your deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, he revealed how you corruptly enriched yourself by buying over almost all the public enterprises so far privatized. Atiku even accused you of using PTDF money, including using the fund’s money to buy a car for your girlfriend. You introduced ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags on the floor of the National Assembly, the N50 million you later paid to some members of the National Assembly in order to support your third term bid, only to turn round last year to accuse the legislators or armed robbery. What a character you are! With all these corruption baggage as your albatross, you still keep a deceitful sanctimonious aura of innocence to make allegations against President Jonathan.
“The Halliburton bribe scandal and the Siemens case were lightly touched by President Jonathan in his open reply to you. These two high profile corruption cases happened during your tenure as President. Your assistant and right hand man Babatunde Adeyanju was fingered to have been involved in the collection of the Halliburton bribe money,” Chief Clark stated.
The elder statesman from the Ijaw stock in the Niger Delta also accused Obasanjo of being vindictive and mischievous towards political opponents. According to him, Obasanjo’s interest comes first in everything. He then listed several of the impunities committed by Obasanjo when he was in office.
“You know over the years, I have always criticised you about your performance starting with the Ibori’s ex-convict case even though he may not have a good case. Your vindictive and mischievous attitude towards political opponents was unacceptable and very few of us were able to criticise you. You felt former governor Ibori of Delta State and Alamieyeseigha, his counterpart in Bayelsa State, were being used by the former Vice President Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, against you and you decided to punish them. But when Ibori gave you money he became your good boy, despite the position held by Delta elders against him.
“In the case of Alamieyeseigha, you tried to use his deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, against him but he refused. You went on to use the Chairman of the EFCC to intimidate members of the Bayelsa House of Assembly and they carried out a kangaroo impeachment to remove him from office. You then immediately directed the security agencies after the impeachment to handcuff the governor and took him to Abuja for prosecution. I also criticised you when you asked your security men to arrest the candidate who was standing against your daughter in the senatorial election in Ogun State even though there was no case against him in Nigeria.”
Clark also cited several instances when he advised Obasanjo not to interfere in the administration of Alhaji Umar Yar Adua but failed to heed his advice.
“You may also remember my open letter to you published in the Vanguard newspaper in which I ask you to leave Yar’Adua alone to run his government. That you attempted to rule Yar’Adua’s government from Ota farm is unacceptable. I quoted the example of France and Great Britain to buttress my case. I continued my attack on you and your cohorts when President Jonathan refused you to run his government from Ota farm. However, everything you asked President Jonathan, he gave to you. The first two important ministerial appointments, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Foreign Affairs, who are no politicians were given to you for Ogun State.
“You had a hand in almost every appointment in the Southwest hence the party collapsed in the Southwest. El-Rufai said in his book “Accidental Public Servant” that you sent him to General Buhari inviting him to be the presidential candidate of the PDP in 2011 with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as his running mate. El-Rufai told the story of how together with Dr. Odimegwu, former Chairman of the NPC and two others, drove from Lagos to Ota in the night only for you to say that Jonathan should be given another chance. They discovered that your daughter, Iyabo, has won her senatorial case in a High Court. You can see how petty you are.
“Dear OBJ, you fed fat and harassed others with the EFCC. The anti-corruption apparatus became a coercive instrument in your hands to browbeat perceived political enemies. Your vendetta against political opponents and those you believe were working counter to your third term ambition knew no limits. You, however, received a moral indictment from the former EFCC chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as revealed through Wikkileaks. Ribadu was quoted as saying that while you were busy harassing and prosecuting others for corruption, ‘you were also busy covering up your own corrupt tracts,’ Clark further stated.
Source: PM News