By Cliford Ndujihe & Daniel Idonor, with agency reports
LIKE a torrential down pour, the series of classified information obtained and leaked by controversial Wikileaks cable continued yesterday with more exposures on governance in Nigeria.
Aside detailing how President Goodluck Jonathan said he was not interested in running for the presidency last February and how oil giant, Shell, had infiltrated the Federal Government, the website claims that late President Umaru Yar’Adua lied in his asset declaration and how fears of military coup gripped Nigeria as Yar’Adua laid ill in Saudi Arabia.
Wikileaks was a website that published anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational, or religious documents, while attempting to preserve the anonymity and untraceability of its contributors.
On Yar’Adua, it reported from a conversation late January, 2010 that a $10 million house Yar’Adua bought in Central London about seven years ago was excluded in his public declaration of assets in June 2007, which put his wealth at approximately $7 million.
The cable said the appointment of Mrs. Dezeani Allison-Madueke as Oil minister consolidated Shell’s ruling of Nigeria. Reason: she is the granddaughter of the late Ijaw Chief N.K. Porbeni andRoyal Dutch/Shell could be called her real family as she served as its executive director in Nigeria in 2006 – 2007 and her father was also one of the group’s senior executives.
Jonathan had doubts this year about whether he would stand in elections next April, saying his focus was organising credible polls, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable.
The cable, obtained by WikiLeaks and published by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, says Jonathan told then-U.S. Ambassador Robin Sanders in February that he would only consider running if and when those around him sought to persuade him to do so.
“Jonathan said he does not anticipate standing for elections in 2011 and that he is not working towards a presidential candidacy. He wants to put into place an electoral structure that will be ready for national elections,” the cable said, referring to a February 26 meeting with Jonathan.
The exposures came as the Presidency, yesterday, dismissed as inaccurate recent reports credited to Wikileaks cable on a conversation between President Goodluck Jonathan and former US Ambassador Robin Sander, saying that the diplomatic rows already caused among nations of the world were enough evidence to prove the innocence of the Nigeria leader.
The Presidency maintained that “the point to be made is that the accounts of meetings between President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and US diplomats are essentially third party narratives, and are largely inaccurate”.
A statement by Mr Ima Niboro, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, said “the Wikileaks bug is the new travesty that international diplomacy has to deal with, insisting that Nigeria is no exception.
According to the presidency, “the President, in those tempestuous days during which the nation tottered on the brink, held meetings, and then more meetings, with different groups, the diplomatic community inclusive”.
“The President met with different diplomats and special envoys who offered different suggestions on a way out of the impasse that our late leader’s health had imposed on the nation. We note that this account is largely silent on these suggestions.
“Instead, what is served up is an unfair account severely impacted by selective perception and individual expectations. For instance, how can it be said that a man who had been a Deputy Governor, an Acting Governor, a governor, a Vice President, and then Acting President could have described himself as lacking in administrative experience.”