By Muhammad Sageer
I found out one astonishing thing about most of our influential politicians in Nigeria, they are all bunch of looters united for a single cause.
All they care about is money. Their interest is on how to dip their hands and loot from our treasury till there is no more left so the life of the people they govern will be miserable.
The life of Obasanjo of today is an echo of his life after retirement 1st October 1979. Obasanjo whom one of his ministers said could not boast of more than twenty thousand naira in his bank account in 1999, today is one of the richest former presidents in the world.
Obasanjo’s stupendous wealth is inversely proportional to the abject poverty that ravages Nigerians. Squalor swaggers on two legs in the country while the likes of Obasanjo make millions every day. Obasanjo’s investment ranges from oil, ethanol, hospitality business, farming, education and other businesses. The big question is: HOW DID HE ACQUIRE ALL THESE WEALTH?
OBASANJO’S FARM: Established since 1978 has been producing fresh agricultural products for almost 30 years. According to Chief Fani-kayode, a former special assistant to Obasanjo on public communications and one time minister of Aviation, Obasanjo’s farm makes an average of 30 million a month or 360 million per year. While in power, Obasanjo was so selfish that he wanted to be the richest farmer in Nigeria. He banned the importation of “Grandparent Stocks” (a variety of chickens), only his farm has the sole franchise for them. Obasanjo was the only one with authority to import and sell them to other poultry farmers in the country.
When Obasanjo became president in 1999, he could boast of only one farm in Ota and in Mambilla. By 2007, Obasanjo has developed farms in Ibadan, Iseyin, Lanlate, Igbo ora and Ibogun. Each of these farms boast of Chinese experts. Obasanjo was busy flying presidential jets to foreign countries in the guise of scouring for foreign investment not for Nigeria but for his own selfish self. He has the biggest cattle ranch and hatchery in Africa located at Igbo ora (Oyo state). He has big fish farms in Lanlate, Ota and a big poultry in Ibogun. He procured appropriate medical facilities to insulate his chickens from the influenza pandemic that ravaged many poultry farmers years back. Other poultry farmers, however lost almost all their chickens. Their president was so selfish he only procured medical facilities for his chickens. Just like GEJ, Obasanjo also don’t give a damn about the people he govern or their welfare.
Obasanjo made good for himself and his chickens while the masses he was governing as president have been wallowing at the lowest level of the global human development index. The chickens on his farm don’t feed on raw corn rather they feed on highly concentrated mineral fortified feeds. The ordinary man on the street of Tafawa-Balewa, Tilden-Fulani, Ningi, katagum, Zaki,(Bauchi state), Ajegunle, ketu, Agege,(Lagos state), Yelwa-shendam, Farin-gada, Unguwar-rogo, Unguwar-rimi, Gangare, Gada-Biu, Riyom,(Plateau state) find it hardly to afford a roasted corn or cooked corn. There is no chicken in Obasanjo’s farm that can be in want of water but the ordinary man in the street of Yemetu, Elekuro, Gege, Bere, Oje, (Oyo State), Tudun-wada, Zangon-kataf, panteka, Rigachuku, Soba, Gidan-waya, Jema’a, (Kaduna State) scoop water from gutters and brooks.
HOW DID A FARM WHICH WAS MORIBUND BEFORE OBASANJO CAME TO POWER BECAME SO RICH? Obasanjo claimed that he secured a 2 billion naira loan. How on earth did a man who one of his closest ministers said couldn’t boast of 20,000 naira in 1999 transformed to someone with a collateral of 6 billion naira to take a 2 billion naira loan? (Anyone conversant with the banking system knows that you need collateral of about 6 billion naira to raise a 2 billion naira loan.)
The truth of the matter is obasanjo took or should i say stole from the 50 billion naira agriculture fund approved by his corrupt government when there are millions of farmers all across the country who should have been given that loan but were denied access to the loan. They wept and cried but the government as usual didn’t give a damn about them.
Obasanjo took advantage of the Land use decree law of 1978 which he promulgated(The law stipulates that all rights to land were vested in the governor of a state who has the sole authority to issue certificates of occupancy to those who want to secure land for residential, business and agricultural purposes). He didn’t just stop at Ota, his agenda was to expand to all geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The people of Gembu village in mambilla were harassed by Obasanjo using force to acquire their land. They were disposed of their farmland by their commander-in-chief who doesn’t give a damn about them. The people of lekitaba were not left also. The people of Ishasi-Akute in Ogun state and Ayetoro in Lagos state were also disposed of their farms.
Obasanjo in 2001 acquired 10,000 hectares of land from Donald Duke of Cross River for his oil palm estate. Due to his selfishness, he wasn’t satisfied with Duke’s gesture. He grabbed an additional 5,000 hectares at Kwa plantation and took over the government oil palm nursery in Ochong (Cross River state). Obasanjo tricked the people of Cross River that he was into Cross River for what he called “AGRO-FORESTRY”(a scheme that allows the growth of forest friendly crops to restore virginity into degraded lands) before the people of that community knew it, a signboard was erected that read “OBASANJO FARMS,MFAMOSONG”.
The people of that council protested but it was all in vain. Their leader, Chief Daniel Asuquo who was the chairman of Akampa council was allegedly victimised. He lost his re-election bid and was detained for 18 months for alleged involvement in murder. It was only when the court ruled in his favor in 2004 that he regained his freedom. To show that he meant business, Obasanjo fixed the revival of a moribund dam in oyo state for the benefit of his farm. He also influenced the construction of a road from his Mfamosong farm to Calabar-Oban highway.
Obasanjo’s oil palm mill on his plantation has been producing 10 tonnes of palm oil per day since 2000. The factory is under the supervision of a Malaysian. Majority of his oil mill staffs where recruited from Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Reasearch(NIFOR), Evborneka in Edo state. The staff quarters are located at Kwa Housing Estate. He also built a farm house on a former property of calabar sports club on Ekorenium road. Obasanjo also has an Oil palm estate in Ehuagie, Rivers state. He also owns two fish farms in Ota Ahoada and Ogbo communities. And other choice lands at Omuotude all in Rivers state.
EDUCATION: Obasanjo gave himself licence to establish a private university, the BELLS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY. Obasanjo has always shown that he hates the poor. He dislikes the masses. Over 70 percent of students in our universities are from poor homes, students whose parents sell dry fish, leaves, vegetables, fruits, fairly used cloth (Gwanjo or Okrika). He killed our universities; he only wants private universities where fees range between 250,000 naira to 1 million naira per session.
BELLS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY is among the seven private universities approved by Obasanjo to himself and his friends in 2005. It has two campuses, one in Ota, Ogun state and one in Badagry, Lagos. BELLS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY has a board of trustees which is the highest ruling body of the university. Professor Isaac Adeyemi is the vice-Chancellor; Mrs Oluyemi Gbadebo is the registrar; Adegoke Omotosho is the Bursar; Clement Omagbeni is the principal librarian.
TRANSCORP: A company emerged called Transcorp. Very few people know about Transcorp. Transcorp is Obasanjo’s other treasure box which was launched 17th November 2004. Transcorp emerged from the bowel of Aso rock, founded with the collaboration and connivance of Obasanjo. General Obasanjo alone owns 200 million shares. According to late Gani fawehinmi(may his soul Rest in peace),” there is no difference between Transcorp and obasanjo, except that a few friends like Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke was brought in to run transcorp”.
I was ashamed when I saw Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke on channels TV during the capital market probe saying rubbish. In October 2005, Transcorp bought 51 percent stake in NICON hilton hotel and changed it to TRANSCORP HILTON for 13 billion naira. It bought NITEL in july 2006. Transcorp acquired not one but FOUR OIL BLOCS. They are OPL 218, 219, 209 and 220 on july 2005 under the leadership of Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke.
Obasanjo was giving his company Transcorp a preferential treatment while he was president. Transcorp got approval from Obasanjo to build a 33.25 billion naira refinery in the Lekki free trade zone in Lagos. Obasanjo also gave Transcorp license to build an independent power facility. Obasanjo’s hands are in different oil deals, some of which cut across countries. He has a friend called CARL MASTERS who is his go between for his shady oil deals abroad.
To me, obasanjo is the most corrupt Nigerian ever and i will never agree with anyone who says Obasanjo is not corrupt. A man who went Bankrupt before 1999 is now the richest former head of state in Africa. and one of the richest former presidents in the world all in a space of 8 years he governed Nigeria.
Obasanjo has an ethanol factory at Akodo in Ibeju Lekki LGA of Lagos state. The foundation stone of the factory was laid on 5th October 2005. Very few Nigerians know of Obasanjo’s 7 billion naira presidential library. National and state’s library are dilapidated, most of the shelves are empty and the books found in few of the shelves are outdated. Obasanjo’s 7 billion naira presidential library was launched on 14th may,2005. The library have facilities like guest houses,cyber cafe,publishing resources, souvenir/gift shops,auditorium,(for seminars,exhibition,social events), amphitheatre and a museum. Others are artificial lake/stream/waterfall,garden/park,zoo,restaurant and a park.
The launch of the project was one of a kind. Mike Adenuga(Globacom/Con oil chairman) donated 350 million naira, Aliko Dangote(president Dangote Group) donated 220 million naira, Femi Otedola(chairman Zenon oil/AP) donated 250 million, Sunny Odogwu(chairman of Odogwu Group of companies) gave 200 million.
State governments were not left out in the rain of our common wealth. Each governor of our 36 states poured 100 million naira. Private sector chipped in 622 million naira, NPA gave 1 million dollars, Michael Ibru donated 50 million naira, Arisekola Alao donated 100 million naira, Sam Nwake 20 million naira, Dapo Abiodun 10 million naira, Oba sijuwade 10 million naira, Bayo kuku 5 million naira, Ernest Shonekan 1 million naira, Ogun state Obas 5 million naira, All aides of OBJ 2 million naira Obasanjo Holdings poured 100 million naira and the PDP donated 25 million naira.
All the donors of the gifts of money at the launch of the library were involved in all the scams and fraud that took place during Obasanjo’s years in office. Obasanjo connived and collaborated with them to loot our common wealth.
Follow me on twitter @muhammadsageer let’s unite and strategize on how to oust PDP out of power come 2015. GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.