A friend opened with the salvo-
“I am amazed at how easily gullible our so called enlightened elites are!
Many of them keep repeating the slogan that Atiku is very corrupt but each time I asked them to cite a specific instance or example, none was able to.”
“I hereby challenge all those propagating Obasanjo vengeful labeling of Atiku as very corrupt simply because Atiku rejected his 3rd Term Agenda in order to dent Atiku’s political future, to provide specific instances of such corrupt practices.
While a Customs Officer, Atiku saw opportunity in Oil services warehousing and he sought a foreign partner and started INTELS in a 40ft Container at Tincan Port. This was while his other colleagues were contented with the bribes they were all collecting only.
People should really give credit to Atiku for being entrepreneurial despite being in position to make money using his position. It is no doubt that if Atiku had succumbed to support Obasanjo’s 3rd Term bid, Obasanjo would have given him the key to CBN. As if that wasn’t enough he concluded with relish.
“It is better to have an entrepreneurial President who sees opportunity & invest in it, than to have one that will be contented with only taking from the till without creating any value of identified opportunity.”
He had hardly landed before another friend fired back.
“Anyone who believes the above narrative, will believe anything. The US Senate Report on Atiku et al has been published with detailed clarity on Siemens. He was accused in local press reports of the time that he aided the purchase of an oil company by facilitating the lending BPE’s money to the buyer. He was accused of a similar thing to aid the purchase of a telecoms licence by lending PTDF money to bridge the buyer. We also know that he participated in sharing PTDF money as VP. When OBJ’s people accused him publicly about it, he or his spokesmen at the time responded that OBJ’s share was collected by OBJ’s PA, Bodunde, (who still works for OBJ till today). Indeed, he was reminded by their Yoruba mutual friend from Owo, that it was from part of the PTDF money that they bought a car for his (OBJ’s) girl friend who was also publicly named. OBJ never raised the issue again”. He continued;
“This explains why OBJ cannot respond to Atiku’s challenge that those accusing him of being corrupt should prove it. OBJ and those in the know cannot come forward because they are all compromised”. “If they Tarka Atiku, he will Daboh them”. But we all know all what is in public records. We also all know that OBJ’s PA that was named in the PTDF money sharing saga was also the person named in Halliburton $5 million kickback. OBJ claimed the money was handed over to PDP and a receipt was issued! Was it a kickback or not? OBJ is such a hypocrite, he cannot see that as corruption simply because a receipt was issued for a kickback even if nobody has seen the receipt! We need to remember that some people in Italy, France, UK and the US had gone to jail for this Halliburton scandal. Nobody has been diligently prosecuted in Nigeria. Just like Siemens had admitted and paid dearly for the bribe it paid to Atiku’s fourth wife, Atiku was never prosecuted here and has only been denied visa to the US”. He is not finished yet.
“To come back to Atiku’s search for sainthood: was it not Atiku that bribed the Senate to get El-Rufai confirmed as Minister?
As to the extolling of Atiku’s business acumen. Please spare us the effort. Those in the know, know the corrupt practices of INTELS and it’s bid to create a monopoly in the logistics business subverting the Customs (Ministry of Finance), Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Trade and Industry, NEPZA and NNPC (NAPIMS) to practically shut out others from the business. In particular, bogus allegations are frequently laid against the other two logistics businesses in Lagos. Indeed, INTELS sought to force ships carrying any cargo for the oil industry, even when such cargo is to be used in Lagos from berthing in Lagos without first coming to register in Onne and pay INTELS for spurious services under a bogus oil logistics concession. The result, higher than usual cost of doing business in the oil industry with active connivance by NAPIMS.
The NPA – INTELS face-off typifies INTELS’ business practices: collect money on behalf of Government, expend it without any accountability and return whatever balance INTELS chooses to remit to Government. This stopped under Buhari. Even the pillotage contract was a usurpation of NPA’s age-long duty, farmed out to INTELS under the guise of commercialisation of NPA under BPE!
Now the crux of this matter is, does Atiku deserve our support to be President? Before I come to a landing, please permit me, to review the strongest alternative: PMB.
Four years ago, PMB was so velvet clad we all forgot the coat of thorns that we knew was his usual garb. We cuddled him believing he had purged himself of his addiction to his coat of thorns. Now we know better. Even some who thought he was not totally redeemed of his penchance to weaponise his coat of thorns either believed that with a Redeemed Pastor as his Vice, (like David to King Saul) in PMB’s hour of slipping back into his coat of arms the soothing musical voice of the Pastor will restore his coat of velvet. That has not been the case. The Pastor is ignored and he has even started sounding like PMB, telling us that the fabric (restructuring) he had for years laboured to spin with legal yarn is no longer priority. Others believed that since PMB, who often swears he is a man of integrity had solemnly promised to complete the fabric, can be trusted more than the doctor of leaves who organised a conference on the fabric but refused to buy the yarn before the elections. PMB has disappointed all of them. He has told all they have no choice than to cuddle him in his coat of thorns. Now we know the kind of integrity he has.
We have a choice between the PMB, atanni je (the deceptive one), who we now know better and our old customer: agesin ko’le (the elegantly corrupt one) who for years has promised to make a fabric of velvet but when he describes it sometimes evoke the picture of téru (baft).
To me, PMB had us, he deliberately threw us away. If only he is delivering on restructuring at least we would know that our days of slavery and in your face nepotism and tribalism; hypocritical war against corruption; centrally imposed, stunted economic growth; and continued unchecked, mindless attempt by herdsmen to violently take over farm land will be numbered. We have no such comfort. He has told us he is not interested in restructuring even against the advice of his party. Now we know he is the party. While he is yet to become the country, we should take back our country.
Now does that mean Atiku is our man? No. He is just the only available instrument to take back our country. He has promised us restructuring. We must demand the kind of restructuring that can free us to live peaceably in our land, free us to pursue the social and economic agenda that our resources and our intellect can afford us. We must however insist on a minimum ethical standard for him and all who offer to serve us. They offered, to serve, we did not invite them. So, they must be sacrificial in their lifestyle. Government purse is not for the acquisition of a life of luxury.
My friend concluded:
“On our part, we must strengthen our capacity to exact an electoral price from politicians who depart from the path of omoluabi.”
That is a glimpse of the level of debate on a WhatsApp platform. Choices have to be made even when available options are not the best. So, which way to go?
OBJ, PMB And ATIKU; The Dilemma Of The Elite
A friend opened with the salvo-