A new book has told of how ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo ran the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as a “sole administrator” for the eight years he led the country.
According to the book, entitled, ‘Too Good to Die: Third Term and the Myth of the Indispensable Man in Africa,’ the former President, while serving as Minister of Petroleum Resources, never discussed activities of the corporation with government officials until his last days in office.
Obasanjo, who was President from 1999 to 2007, made himself the minister overseeing the nation’s petroleum sector until January 2007 when he relinquished that position.
The only official Obasanjo had in a similar capacity was Edmund Daukoru, his presidential adviser on petroleum and energy, whom he later made Minister of State for Petroleum Resources in 2005.
In the book, the authors, former chairman of National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, and author of ‘Love Does Not Win Elections’, Ayisha Osori, said Obasanjo was “ultimately responsible for all the decisions made affecting the petroleum sector.”
They told of how he secured approval for all his dealings as petroleum minister in one fell swoop, during one of the last Federal Executive Council meetings.
The authors wrote: “In one of the last working sessions of the cabinet in May, 2007, Obasanjo required cabinet to give retrospective approval to all the measures he had taken over the eight years in which he acted as sole administrator of Nigeria’s oil industry.
“Cabinet duly obliged him after recording Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s objection. For this purpose, each minister received his share of the documents they were required to approve in a Ghana-must-go bag.”