President Goodluck Jonathan is equipping a killers squad ahead of the 2015 elections, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has alleged.
No fewer than 1000 people are said to have been placed on “political watch list” by Jonathan, in a bid to achieve his political ambition, according to the former Head of State.
The President, Obasanjo alleged, is secretly training snipers and other armed personnel at the same place the late Head-of-State, General Sani Abacha, “trained his own killers”.
In an 18-page letter to the President, dated December 2 and titled: A letter of appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan: Before it is too late, Obasanjo accused
Jonathan of taking actions that are against the country’s best interests.
“Nigeria is bleeding and the hemorrhage must be stopped,” Obasanjo wrote in the letter, which The Nation learnt would have been more acidic but for an associate of his who softened the tone a bit.
He added that Jonathan has failed to deliver on his promises to stem corruption, and strengthen national unity and security.
Claiming that Jonathan is determined to win the 2015 presidential election at all cost, Obasanjo accused the President of denying his purported promise not to seek re-election.
Jonathan, Obasanjo alleged, has been undermining the fortunes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in various state elections by secretly supporting other parties.
On the alleged killers squad, the former President wrote: “Allegation of keeping over 1000 people on political watch list rather than criminal or security watch list and training snipers and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political purposes like Abacha and training them where Abacha trained his own killers, if it is true, it cannot augur well for the initiator, the government and the people of Nigeria.
“Here again, there is the lesson of history to learn from anybody who cares to learn from history.
“Mr President would always remember that he was elected to maintain security for all Nigerians and protect them. And no one should prepare to kill or maim Nigerians for personal or political ambition or interest of anyone,” Obasanjo wrote.
Quoting a proverb, Obasanjo said Jonathan must have been wrongly advised to go after his opponents, warning that the consequences would be far reaching, capable of causing an uprising as happened in Egypt.
Obasanjo wrote: “The Yoruba adage says: ‘The man with whose head coconut is broken may not live to savour the taste of the succulent fruit.’
“Those who advise you to go hard on those who oppose you are your worst enemies. Democratic politics admits and is permissive of supporters and opponents.
“When the consequences come, those who have wrongly advised you will not be there to help carry the can. Egypt must teach some lesson.”
The former president said the buck of performance and non-performance stops as Jonathan’s table as head of government, and so he must be blamed for the poor internal security management and the failing war against corruption.
“Most of our friends and development partners are worried and they see what we pretend to cover up.
“They are worried about issue of security internally and on our coastal waters, including heavy oil theft, alias bunkering and piracy.
“They are worried about corruption and what we are doing or not doing about it. Corruption has reached the level of impunity.
“It is also necessary to be mindful that corruption and injustice are fertile breeding ground for terrorism and political instability.
“And if you are not ready to name, shame, prosecute and stoutly fight against corruption, whatever you do will be hollow. It will be a laughing matter,” Obasanjo said.
According to him, the most dangerous ticking bomb is youth unemployment, particularly in the face of unbridled corruption and “obscene rulers’ opulence”.
Obasanjo said: “Let me repeat that as far as the issue of corruption, security and oil stealing are concerned, it is only apt to say that when the guard becomes the thief, nothing is safe, secure nor protected in the house.
“We must all remember that corruption, inequality and injustice breed poverty, unemployment, conflict, violence and wittingly or unwittingly create terrorists because the opulence of the governor can only lead to the leanness of the governed.
“But God never sleeps. He is watching, waiting and bidding His time to dispense justice.”
Obasanjo challenged Jonathan to clear the air on the alleged non-remittance of about $7billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Central Bank, which he said was earned export of some 300,000 barrels of crude per day, amounting to N900million a month.
“The allegation was buttressed by the letter of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to you on non-remittance to Central Bank.
“This allegation will not fly away by non-action, cover-up, denial or bribing possible investigators. Please deal with this allegation transparently and let the truth be known.
“The dramatis personae in the allegation and who they are working for will one day be public knowledge.
“Those who know are watching if the National Assembly will not be accomplice in the heinous crime and naked grand corruption.
“May God grant you the grace for at least one effective corrective action against high corruption, which seems to stink all around you in your government,” Obasanjo alleged.
The former President accused Jonathan of playing divisive politics, destroying the PDP, polarising the country along regional and religious lines and ridiculing Nigeria in the comity of nations.
He also blamed Jonathan for the crises rocking the PDP, which culminated in five of its governors defecting to another party.
“It would be unfair to continue to level full blames on the (PDP) chairman for all that goes wrong with the party.
“The chairman is playing the tune dictated by the paymaster. But the paymaster is acting for a definitive purpose for which deceit and deception seem to be the major ingredients,” said Obasanjo.
Jonathan, Obasanjo claimed, told him before the 2011 election that he would not seek a second term, prompting him to make the promise part of his speech while campaigning for the President.
“Up till two months ago, Mr. President, you told me that you have not told anybody that you would contest in 2015. I quickly pointed out to you that the signs and the measures on the ground do not tally with your statement.
“You said the same to one other person who shared his observation with me. And only a fool would believe that statement you made to me, judging by what is going on. I must say it is not ingenious. You may wish to pursue a more credible and more honorable path,” Obasanjo said.
Saying it would be “fatally morally flawed” for Jonathan to contest in 2015, Obasanjo added: “As a leader, two things you must cherish and hold dear among others are trust and honour both of which are important ingredients of character.
“I will want to see anyone in the Office of the Presidency of Nigeria as a man or woman who can be trusted, a person of honour in his words and character.”
On insecurity, Obasanjo said conventional military actions based on standard phases of military operations alone will not permanently and effectively deal with the issue of Boko Haram.
The former President said Jonathan has “tacitly” encouraged people of ‘Ijaw nation’ to insult other Nigerians and to threaten fire and brimstone to protect the President’s interest as an Ijaw man.
Obasanjo said such alleged encouragement by Jonathan “is myopic” and his not openly quieting them “is even more unfortunate”.
“Knowing what happens around you most of which you know of and condone or deny, this letter will provoke cacophony from hired and unhired attackers but I will maintain my serenity because by this letter, I have done my duty to you as I have always done, to your government, to the party, PDP, and to our country, Nigeria.
“If I stuck out my neck and God used me and others as instrument to work hard for you to reach where you are today in what I considered the best political interest of Nigeria, tagging me as your enemy or the enemy of your administration by you, your kin or your aides can only be regarded as ridiculous to the extreme,” Obsanjo wrote.