By Dele Sobowale
HE personally authorized the disbursement of N50m for 109 senators then, as well as other sums of money, which amounted to an excess of N8b to pass the third term bill into law” Senator Nnamani, former Senate President.
“Liars ought to have good memories”. Algernon Sidney 1622-1683.
Baba Iyabo, aka, Ex-Military Head of State, ex-President of Nigeria, ex-Student Theological School, ex-BOT Chairman of PDP was literally in the news again – doing what he knows best how to do. He was attempting to shift the blame for the third term defeat on the National Assembly and away from himself.
If there is one great tragedy of Obasanjo’s public life, it consists of his inability to admit inconvenient facts – even when they are incontrovertible. The latest is the uproar about his third term ambition –which he vehemently denies despite overwhelming evidence to prove the point.
To Nnamani’s recollection, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, of ACN, added, “He spent N10 bn on the agenda. His aides came to me to solicit support for the third term”. To this Honourable Halims Agoda chipped in that, “it was personal agenda.
He sought the support of the National Assembly but was thrown out”. Nnamani went further to claim that Obasanjo told him, when he became Senate President of his ambition and how he intended to achieve it.
All those would have been sufficient evidence to convince anyone that Obasanjo was the author of the script and he was the intended beneficiary; because if he actually believed in the third term agenda as an idea in itself, he should have proposed it to start after his own tenure.
However, we need more evidence to remind Baba Iyabo, ex President, ex Chairman of BoT of PDP, a few things he might have forgotten. Perhaps, those facts will assist him to remember his role in the disgraceful episode called third term.
While writing about Ibori, two to three weeks ago, the point was made that “no Governor or President can on his own steal a kobo; he must have accomplices. Obasanjo, while embarking on his quixotic third term ambition, was not only suffering from delusions of grandeur and the feeling of indispensability, he overrated his own powers.
Naturally, he forgot that “the graveyards are full of indispensable men”. (President De Gaulle, in VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, P 102). Obasanjo also under-estimated the resilience and ingenuity of the dissidents and their ability to frustrate his inordinate ambition.
I wrote a four part series of articles in November 2005 titled FROM THIRD TERM TO LIFE TERM PRESIDENCY which aimed to achieve three objectives. First , was to alert the nation, especially the members of the National Assembly to the dangers inherent in approving the third term amendment. Mostly, I summarized the history of African leaders elected through a constitution specifying two terms, but who later got their legislators to amend the constitution for a third term.
Invariably, they became sit tight leaders until toppled by coups –Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Banda, Mugabe, Arap Moi and Mubarak – just to name a few. Second, it was to serve notice on Obasanjo that his ambition would be defeated despite the overwhelming powers at his disposal.
The third objective was to help scuttle the ambition by sabotaging the idea at the National Assembly. We had a game plan and we were pursuing it while whipping up opposition to the agenda in the media.
Today, I can beat my chest that when I wrote in November 2005 that “we will beat you (Obasanjo) so badly, you will never forget it”, I realized it was Goliath versus David all over again. Once again David won. Baba Iyabo wanted third term and next week I shall provide additional evidence – including the probable source(s) of the N8-10 billion which was used to finance it. Baba, ex-this ex-that, would have been well advised to keep quiet.
And that would not be the first time OBJ tried to elongate his tenure; he tried even in 1979. But was frustrated; read General Danjuma in, PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED PAGES 108-109. Baba Iyabo apparently cannot distinguish between truth and falsehood…
AWARD FACTORIES OF Nigeria – 2
“It was beautiful and simple as all great swindles are”. O. Henry, 1862-1910. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, P 239).
Awards have always been given in Nigeria and elsewhere to promote or celebrate excellence. Perhaps the most famous are the Nobel Prizes and the Oscar Awards. So, it was in Nigeria for almost a century until the swindlers took over. Prior to their emergence, the beneficiaries of awards were the winners.
Today, thanks to Nigeria’s award factories, the winners take home plastic plaques, worth no more than N500 wholesale, while the media organizers rake in millions in adverts. We, at UniJankara, knew a scam was in progress when the largest mill added a new twist to the old jazz.
Three or four candidates are openly announced to have been nominated in each category and the public is invited to assist in “selecting the winner”. Knowing how crazy Nigerians are about awards and also knowing that some governors would fork out any amount to win, the publicized list of nominees naturally induces the intended behavior – the organizers are besieged by nominees ready “to play ball” – and you must have rocks in your head if you think we are talking about football, basket ball or tennis.
Unlike the Nobel Prize and Oscar awards, whose winners are not known until the envelope containing the name is passed; the Nigeria award organizers reveal the winners in advance by setting their advertising department dogs after the “anointed” ones and their corporate and personal friends.
That explains why awards are made at a dinner lasting until 2-3 am, or such un-Godly hour of night, when papers should have been printed for circulation at 5 am; YET CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES APPEAR!!!
It didn’t take us long, at UniJankara to figure out what the whole show was all about; it was a scheme to separate desperate people seeking cheap encomiums from their money – since they lost their senses to begin with. One governor is an annual winner. Naturally, he is the first governor in Nigerian history to have N1 trillion to spend.
No governor of Ekiti, Nassarawa, Ebonyi or Gombe has ever had that sort of loot to play with. So, they can’t win. And the Executive Chairman of Dele Sobowale & Daughters (why has it always been XYX & Sons?) has no chance against the rich because no single page of advert will result from it.
For a long time, there was a monopoly of sorts in the awards business, believe me, it is a business. But, now there is competition. Still next year’s winner will be the governor of an oil producing state – you can bet on it. Ah! Nigeria and mugus!