Thursday, March 22, 2007

Truth Will Ouch

Well, well, well.

The intrigues, visits to the Villa and so on have all floundered finally. Atiku can now hold his head up high and claim he has been vindicated. For the most part anyway. The Senate Panel set up to review the report of the PTDF investigating Committe has tossed, thrown, and discarded the planks on which Obasanjo had built his campaign against Atiku, Adenuga and Fasawe. The Panel has said:

1. The money deposited in ETB had no direct link to any business involving Globacom.
2. The money deposited in TIB had no direct link to any business involving Fasawe or NDTV.
3. And, here's the screamer, even the $20 million dollars was gotten from Atiku by deception.

Atiku was basically, a dope. Of course, he couldn't be allowed to waltz off into the sunset, so they made sure he'd be facing the Code of Conduct Bureau. If I were in Turaki's shoes, I'd be hopping mad with delight. By virtue of these findings, the EFCC Report has been stripped of whatever toga of respectability it claimed, and must now parade naked as what it truly is - a comically inept hatchet job by a vindictive president.

Adenuga can now return home in peace, although, if Ghana is half what people say it is, he might just choose to relocate his family and business there, so he can live without fear of Ribadu sending in a battalion of policemen to kick down his doors and smash his windows.

Fasawe has been vindicated also, for the Panel said there was nothing to link him to PTDF money. Of course, the officials of the bank should face some sanction for repeatedly "loaning" vast sums of money to a man without collateral, all because he was a friend to people in power. This money worshiping attitude of banks needs to be checked.

Now, on to President Olusegun Obasanjo. The General-who-never-fires-blank must have been wondering exactly what kind of ammo he left home with this morning. Who knows, they might have been blanks. For, suddenly, Baba has found himself indicted by the Senate for illegal application of PTDF (public) funds. That shouts corruption louder than anyone could ever try. So, what the Panel has found is the very same thing many have maintained for a long time - Baba is a corrupt man. Of course, Uba Sani has been quick to brand the report a "calculated smear campaign" and accuse the Senators of not taking Baba's "explanations" into account. He also claimed the projects lampooned were within the "broader" scope of the PTDF's mandate.

Abeg, Mallam, explain how incorporating a private company with public funds falls within the PTDF's "broader" mandate. Or the purchase of computers for civil servants, when there are provisions for that within the Federal Budget each year. Or printing photographs for the State House Library. What have these to do with Petroleum Technology?

The fact that Baba had to go and get retroactive approval for these things from his boys at the FEC simply showed there was no public spirit in his actions.

The Senate Panel has finally given Nigerians the truth, and all Baba can say is:


Monday, March 19, 2007

Baba's Election Campaign

When George Bush Sr. decided to run for President of the United States in 1988, he had the full and unconditional support of then President, Ronald Regan. You see, George had been a loyal and capable Vice-President for 8 years, and had stood by his oga throughout the vastly embarassing Iran-Contra mess. He was even responsible for deflecting some of the heat from his boss by saying, "I know we've made mistakes, but let's not throw out the baby with the dishes." (As you can see, it does run in the family.)

So, when he decided to take over from his retiring boss, Ronnie threw his full weight behind him. Regan could be seen at campaign events, holding George's hand up high, and telling America that this was their man. Hell, Regan even appeared on his behalf at events George couldn't go to in person...

Of course, that never happened. The American people would have screamed blue murder if affairs of state were left to suffer in the name of Campaigning. But that's America, and dem too get mout sef.

I know that in Naija, we do our own a bit differently, but from the way Baba has been acting recently, you'd be hard pressed to argue with anyone who said Baba was campaigning for re-election or something. If you pointed out to such a person that Baba was constitutionally barred from running again having already served two terms, the person could easily counter by pointing out that only a man seeking office for himself could campaign so energetically.

NEPA or PHCN is in a state of total collapse, all across the nation, trade in candles and generators has boomed to unprecedented levels, but Baba doesn't care because he's in some place or the other telling people to "vote" for Yar'Adua.

Refineries are not working, but Baba is campaigning, if the Cameroonians invaded today, they'd probably be able to capture Baba because he's somewhere around Bayelsa, campaigning.

When the rumors that Yar'Adua was dead began flying around like hungry mosquitoes, it was Baba who personally debunked the rumors by calling Yar'Adua from Ogun state to enquire about his health, live on TV. Baba was, of course, dressed in the colours of the campaign organisation for the day.

The country is ailing because all Baba cares about now is installing his puppet successor.

P.S. In what Chxta has rightly described as a masterstroke, Baba gave Turaki full and unfettered access to the Presidential Jet to fly abroad for knee surgery. Coming at a time when most Nigerians were still fuming over Umaru's rushing abroad for treatment after "collapsing" at a PDP rally, it gave people a chance to say that Umaru and Turaki are birds of the same feather. It was a move of which Maradona would have been proud. I must doff my cap to Baba for his brilliance.

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...