2019: Atiku Kick-start Campaign, His Game Plan Revealed
Barring any last minute hitches, former Vice President and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, seems set to throw his hat into the ring for another crack at the presidency. And according to sources he is already oiling his political machine ahead of the 2019 presidential elections.

It was learnt that the Turakin Adamawa, as he is fondly called by his political associates, has been making significant inroads into various parts of the country in line with his game plan to actualize his dream.


Atiku, sources revealed, is not only reviving his old structures in the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), which had earlier fused into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later moved into the APC, following his defection to the party in 2014, but also expanding his political frontiers to various parts of the country.

Sunday Telegraph gathered that prominent members of the PDM, who played some roles in the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, have been assigned different roles in their respective zones to mobilise support for Atiku’s aspirations, which may be made public anytime soon.

Atiku, a source said, is counting on the natural support expected to come from the North-East geo- political zone where he hails from and the North Central geopolitical zone which shares some common affinity with the North-East.

Some political analysts have linked him to new political groups springing out of these two northern zones. In addition, he is said to be banking heavily on the people of the South-South and South-East geo- political zones who have become embittered by the vexed issues of marginalization both in political appointments and distribution of infrastructure.

The experienced politician, it was learnt, has already begun pandering to the interests of these two southern political blocks through his growing advocacy for restructuring of the federation, a gospel that resonates with the South and minorities groups in the North. Atiku dropped the first shot in this direction at the Late Gen.Usman Katsina Memorial Conference, held at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Memorial Hall, Murtala Square, Kaduna in July, 2016.

There, he delivered a lecture titled: “Restructuring Nigeria for Greater National Integration and Democratic Stability” during which he said that national integration and the survival of Nigeria’s democracy were related and very important in achieving national integration and the survival of democracy in Nigeria.

Alluding to the opinion that much of the nation’s political power resided in what is often referred to as the Kaduna Mafia, he advocated “an honest and clear-headed” look at better working federal systems in the world.

According to him, those systems will reveal among other things, a greater devolution and autonomy for the federating units, less interference of the centre on local matters, such as local government administration, including local policing; central governments that depend on taxation of resource extraction and other economic activities rather than rents for their operations.

This progressive stance, sources said, seems to have enhanced his acceptability in the southern regions, especially in the South-East whose near aversion for the government at the centre has manifested in the plethora of pro-Biafra organisations like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Biafra Independence Movement( BIM), to name a few.

Sunday Telegraph also learnt that Atiku is also dangling the Vice Presidential ticket before the South- East as a way of guaranteeing their support, especially among some prominent Igbo politicians who say it is too early to unmask their support for now. However, what might seem to be Atiku’s joker has also been viewed with a lot of suspicion by some politicians.

A vocal politician from Kano State, Dr Junaid Mohammed told Sunday Telegraph that although President Muhammadu Buhari had failed to meet the aspirations of Nigerians, Atiku cannot be an alternative in 2019. He dismissed Atiku’s advocacy on restructuring and challenged him to define in clear terms the parameters of the restructuring agenda. “When I hear this kind of thing being said by him, I will like him to define his terms.

What does he mean by restructuring? Does he want us to go back to the four regional structures in which the North will be twice as big as the three southern regions in terms of land mass and resources? Will that bring a sense of balance in the national discourse? Unless I am told what he actually means by restructuring, I don’t like wasting my time,” he said.

When reminded that Atiku has been advocating that Nigeria be restructured into six geo-political zones, Mohammed again dismissed the proposal as a project of the PDP which, according to him, had been rejected by Nigerians when they voted the party out of government. The former member of the House of Representatives asserted that the current campaign for restructuring cannot make Atiku win an election.

But a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh described the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as a major stakeholder in the Nigeria project. Ojougboh, who is the Vice Chairman (South-South) of the Sheriff faction of the PDP said the former Vice President was free to join any political party in the country. “Abubakar Atiku is a major stakeholder in the entity call Nigeria, an advocate of true federalism and he has the right to romance any party or group he chooses. There should be no rumour about his intentions as he is capable of speaking for himself at the right and appropriate time,” Ojougboh stated.

A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who did not want his name in print, told Sunday Telegraph that Atiku’s chances of becoming the next President could only be actualised if the politician worked with a coalition of political groups in the country. According to him, both the APC and PDP will not serve the purpose because while PDP had become an abandoned child, the APC would have been too divided to be a formidable force by 2019.

On the restructuring agenda, he said Atiku’s adoption of the concept of restructuring was a significant boost to the agitation for fiscal federalism which he said had become inevitable with the current economic realities. Politicians from the North, he said, have been the greatest obstacles to the restructuring of Nigeria but might join Atiku particularly with the growing prospects of discovering oil in the Lake Chad basin.

However, the Head of the Atiku Media Office, Mr. Paul Ibe debunked insinuations that the Turakin Adamawa embarked on the campaign for restructuring of the federation because of the 2019 presidential election.

According to Ibe, the former Vice President had long been an advocate of restructuring even when he served in the Obasanjo administration. He, however, did not confirm if his boss was actually mobilising towards taking another shot at the presidential seat. Recall that the Presiding Bishop of Divine Seed of God Chapel Ministries in Ibadan, Oyo State, Prophet Wale Olagunju, who accurately predicted President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the 2015 election, has revealed that President Buhari will be dethroned in 2019 election by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

He said: “God says the name Atiku Abubakar will continue to ring like a bell. He will be so popular among Nigerian politicians to the extent that many will root for him. God says should Atiku Abubakar contest the 2019 election, he will defeat Buhari hands down.”

Meanwhile, Atiku’s donation to the Delta State chapter of the ruling APC , believed to be part of his preparation for 2019 elections caused no little rumpus penultimate week.

New Telegraph

A 33-year-old Quranic teacher, Saheed Musiliu, was arrested with a human head he allegedly severed from a corpse which he exhumed from the grave, Nigerian Tribune reports

But the uproar that greeted his apprehension by the community’s vigilance group members turned to violence as some of the residents were alleged to have resisted the move by the police to take the suspect into custody for investigation. They were quoted to have insisted on carrying out jungle justice on the suspect, expressing the belief that he was going to be let off the hook.

The submission of the residents was said to have hinged on the discovery of the phone number of a police officer in the suspect’s phonebook.


Saturday Tribune gathered that while trying to prevent police from taking the suspect away, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Sanyo Division and other policemen were attacked and injured while their patrol van was vandalized.

But the Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Adekunle Ajisebutu told Saturday Tribune that 27 suspects were arrested in connection with the attack on the police and the vandalism carried on their patrol van. He also condemned the action of the mob which wanted to lynch the suspect, saying it was wrong for anyone to have had the intention of taking laws into their hands.

Background

I am from Idi Arere, Ibadan. I was living at Boluwaji area before my arrest. I was a Quranic teacher teaching children Arabic. I finished Primary six but didn’t go to the secondary school. I went to a Quranic school. I have five children from two women though the first wife has left me.

How I came in possession of human head

I had passed the place where the burial ground is at Aba Afaa, Olomi, Ibadan, two weeks earlier and had noted it. For several days, I had been trying to carry out the act, but my mind would tell me not to. I usually left home around 10.00p.m after telling my wife that I had a prayer session, but anytime I got to grave side, I wouldn’t be able to carry out the act. It was my mind that kept telling me not to carry it out. However, I don’t know the person who was buried in the burial ground.

However, on the day that I actually became bold to carry out the act, I went to the burial ground around 10:00p.m on Saturday, January 14. There is this uncompleted building very close to the grave, and that was where I first stayed till 1.30a.m.

Despite staying there that long, I was still not comfortable with what I wanted to do. My major aim was to dig the grave and severe the corpse’s head; so by 2.00a.m, I noticed that the vigilance members had done their patrolling and had gone to rest, so I went to dig the grave and cut off the head. The grave was not that deep, so it made it easier for me to accomplish my assignment.

However, immediately I accomplished my task, I just saw a vigilance member coming towards me. I don’t know if he had seen me earlier and had watched me carry out the act. The head had dried up, and it was not difficult for me using my knife to severe it from the rest of the body.

But when I saw the vigilance member, I just carried the head and took to my heels. That was when he also raised the alarm, shouting thief, thief, thief! However, nobody came out, and he was chasing me all over the area. There was a car parked around the area, and I hid beside it, which made the man lose track of me.

After a while, something just told me to go and pick the severed head I had dropped while I was being chased. So I went and picked up the head. By this time, the vigilance member had gone when he couldn’t find me.

I had successfully kept the head somewhere, and I thought that I should go and cover the grave. I was almost there when I saw four more vigilance men, and I hid in a bush around the area. However, while I was trying to hide in the bush, the dry leaves around where I hid were ruffling, turning the attention of the night guards on me.

They beamed their flashlight at where I was and I took to my heels again. The four of them chased me up and down the area again, but couldn’t catch me. We were on that till around 3:00a.m. and they split themselves. I first hid inside a gutter, but they discovered me. I ran off again and finally saw a soak-away pit and I hid there. That was where I was finally apprehended.

What I want to use the head for

I want to use the head to make money ritual. We were two who wanted to do the ritual, but the other person had promised that he would take care of the financial aspect as soon as I was able to find a head. When I was apprehended, they asked me who my accomplice was, and I told them that his name is Salami Ado.

However, when I was apprehended, they took my phone and tried calling my accomplice, but I told them not to call him. I don’t know if they called him or not, but I know he would have absconded if they called him.

Salami Ado, my accomplice, is a herbalist. He stays at Sanyo area in Ibadan. We wanted to do the money ritual together. He actually wanted me to get him a human head for money ritual but I told him we would use it together since I needed money too. But I also collected N10,000 from him because I had meant to buy the head if could not get one myself.

I had even supplied him a head once. I exhumed it from Target Cemetery at Amuloko community in Ibadan. He paid me N7,000 then, around 2014. This is my third attempt at severing the head of a corpse after digging up the grave.

I used the second head I exhumed for myself, but the purpose for which I did was defeated. I made a charm that money would be available to me at all times but it didn’t work. I was stricken with abject poverty instead. This was what made me decide to work with Salami Ado for the latest one.

However, I didn’t go to the burial ground at Amuloko for my third attempt because it had been converted to a school.

What led me into exhuming human heads

I believe I made a mistake; I was suffering so much. I was teaching pupils Quran but I was not being paid by their parents because they were also poor. They could not even afford their wards’ Walimot where I would have made some money from guests. My first wife was a tailor, but she was even part of why I took the decision to make money ritual.

Her mother was the one providing food for us, and it was out of sorrow that I ate the food. She always insulted me that I could not provide for the home and I would be crying. It was when she could no longer cope that she left. My second wife was selling rice, beans and other foodstuff, but we ate everything and ruined her business.

How I learnt how to exhume corpses

One of my friends, who is also an Afaa and herbalist had told me that he had been exhuming corpses right from when he was in secondary school. His name was Abideen Elewedu. He told me this when we were discussing our pathetic situation one day.

He took me to where I first experienced how to go about exhuming corpses at Target Cemetery at Amuloko area. We went together like twice before he was caught. When I learnt of his arrest, I left the area and relocated to where I was not known so that I would not be arrested. That was how I lost contact with him.

I thank God for the police who rescued me; the mob wanted to lynch me when I was arrested. They wanted to douse me with petrol and set me alight at that midnight. I was with the policemen till morning.

What I have learnt

I am already begging God that if I should be freed from this predicament, I will tell my family members to give me an acre of land at our village in Ido, so I can concentrate on farming. My parents are in Ibadan and they already know what I did. I will abandon my Islamic cleric profession.

Yoruba leaders meeting in Ibadan again to form a unify political front
Barely 15 days after the Southwest leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC met in Ibadan to seek peace among warring leaders, another Yoruba Leaders have also met to discuss the political future of the region.

It was gathered according to The Sun Newspaper that the Yoruba leaders in the Southwest geo-political zone may float a new political party ahead of the 2019 general elections with a view to demanding a new order for the country.

 The indication emerged yesterday at a national colloquium organised by a pro-Yoruba political organisation, Yoruba Patriotic Movement (YPM) entitled “Resetting the Yoruba Nations Agenda for Rapid, Systematic and Sustainable Development”, held at Jogor Event Centre, Ibadan.

The colloquium, chaired by former Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, a former governor of Osun State, had in attendance Yoruba leaders from across various political parties in the country. The leaders agreed that if a new party would not be founded, most of them could move en masse into an existing party.


It was gathered according to Sun Newspaper that the Yoruba political leaders across various parties might come together and form a political party. The YPM wanted all political leaders and their followers, which cut across

APC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party (AP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party (LP) and others, to be in the only one political party that would be established.

  The meeting agreed that there should be a Yoruba summit, Yoruba economic agenda and that all Yoruba groups should register under the YPM.

  In his address, Akande said the focal point of the programme centred on unity in politics among the Yoruba, irrespective of party affiliation.

  He said: “After this, whenever and wherever we will meet, even if not in my house, wherever we will meet, I must be there. However, we must understand our languages.”

  Former Chief of Staff to ex-governor Adebayo Alao-Akala in Oyo State, Dr. Saka Balogun, who is the interim chairman of YPM, said: “We want as many as possible Yoruba politicians to be in the same political party. It might not be possible for all of us to be in the same party, but if most of us are in the same party, it would be more convenient for the agenda we plan to set to work out well.

  “We are not seceding from Nigeria, but we are maintaining that we don’t want a situation where Yorubas will not be given the due respect or honour it deserves in this country. It is not compulsory that we establish a new party; it is possible that we all move en mass to an existing party. Such a party definitely won’t remain the same again.”

  Former Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, also noted: “We cannot but have a Yoruba agenda as long as we are in Nigeria. We must have an agenda. And it is not that we can come up with that here (at the meeting). But we must note it that we must have one.

  “On restructuring of Nigeria, most people are misinterpreting us (the Yoruba) that we want to secede; that’s why we are clamouring for restructuring, but it is not true. Yoruba believe in our hard work. In the days of Awolowo, we can see what they made of the Western Region. Till today, both state and federal governments have not matched up with that standard.

  “We are clamouring for restructuring so that we can have independence to harness our sweat, hard work and intelligence for the development of our people. You can’t compare educational setting in Ibadan, Ile-Ife and other parts in the Southwest with what is in practice in Maiduguri or Kano. One legislation cannot guide education throughout Nigeria, that is impossible.”

  Okupe added: “In our agenda, we must re-echo it that education should be the bedrock of the agenda. Whatever it will cost us, we should be ready to give it. If we say we should wait till when Nigeria is ready to determine where Yoruba is heading to, it may spell doom. The constitution of this country accepts that we are a federation. And as a federation, we have the grace to call all Yoruba nation that this is the path we wish to tread as Yoruba people.”

  Present at the meeting were former ambassador to the Philippines, Chief Yemi Farounbi; a leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fasehun; former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe; and former military governor of Lagos State, Gen Raji Rasaki (retd).

Others were former Super Eagles chief coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde; former President General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Bayo Oyero; a chieftain of Accord Party, Senator Femi Lanlehin;  Aare of Efon Kingdom, Dr. Kunle Olajide; Secretary to Oyo State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Alli, who represented Governor Ajimobi; Prof Soji Adejumo; and Mr Tunde Adejuyigbe, who represented Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State.

Buhari death report
There was consternation in several quarters in Abuja and beyond over the weekend as rumours circulated that President Muhammadu Buhari had passed on at a London hospital where he was said to be receiving treatment.

As the day wore on, the rumours gained ground after a news website published a story that the President was dead. The rumour soon spread like wild fire in different parts of the country with many Nigerians making frantic phone calls to ascertain the story’s accuracy.

The presidency however said on Saturday that there was no truth in the news.


Buhari had on Thursday travelled to London, United Kingdom, after writing to the National Assembly that he would be proceeding on a vacation and that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would be performing the duties of the President while he was away.

“The report is hogwash,” the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, simply said when our correspondent contacted him.

Adesina also denied the report on his Twitter handle, praying for those behind it to repent.

“Best wishes to all who wish PMB well. As for those who carry evil rumours, may they receive grace to repent,” he said.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also took to his Twitter handle to deny the report.

Shehu wrote, “He is alive and well. President Buhari is not magical. He cannot be holidaying in the UK and be in Germany, dead or alive at the same time.

“He is unlike a past president, who was at Ota with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and attending the Trump inauguration in DC, being in two places at the same time.”

Shortly after the rumor began to spread on Saturday, our correspondent observed that    the President’s family members were unperturbed in Aso Rock.

A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Saidu Sani-Fago, who represents Daura/Mai’Adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State also dismissed worries over Buhari’s health status, saying that the President was fit.”

The lawmaker spoke further, “Mr. President is fit and sound. He is taking a 10-day vacation and he wants to seize the opportunity to see his doctors.

“This is normal. He did it last year.”

Similarly, pan-northern socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum, said President Buhari is a mortal like every other Nigerian and liable to fall ill.

According to the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Muhammadu Ibrahim, there  is nothing wrong if the President falls ill.

The ACF spokesman said, “President Muhammadu Buhari is human. He has taken his annual leave and travelled to the United Kingdom for medical check up. ACF wishes him well. ACF calls on Nigerians to support the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”

In the same vein, the Muslim Rights Concern has advised Nigerians not to panic. Responding to an inquiry by SUNDAY PUNCH, the MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, stated it was natural to feel concerned about the President’s health.

“But that is nothing to worry about. Many at his age cannot even walk properly, speak clearly or see very well. Every man’s life is in the hands of Allah, including those of presidents, governors, ministers and ordinary citizens. Allah knows those who will die soon and those who will live long.”

“So, how do we know when it is someone’s turn? Only Allah knows that. People are expressing fear about the President’s health because they have little faith. They know very little about the ways of Almighty Allah,” he said.

Akintola, who pointed out that sudden death among the young and healthy in the country was common, said, “Don’t we have Nigerians who have been sick for the past 40 years but are still alive and working? It is about management and one’s turn. It is about faith. Let’s stop the pessimism. Healthy people drop dead without explanations while people who are sick keep hanging on although we are expecting the worst.”

According to him, Buhari can only die at his apportioned time.

“He won’t live one minute longer than Allah gave him. But, mind you, neither will he die one minute earlier. No matter how many death wishes and death wish advertisements,” the Muslim scholar said.

He noted further that the President had lived a fulfilled life.

Diezani Alison-Madueke
PerSecondNews - Former minister of petroleum resources Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke has categorically denied unsubstantiated allegations that were made recently by the EFCC regarding the sum of $153m forfeiture.

"I have up till now chosen to maintain my silence and not to respond to inaccurate press reporting. However, given the level of deliberate inaccuracies, I am now forced to respond because it is clear that the EFCC is taking advantage of my silence to try me by media and to convict me in the eyes of the public on false reports."

In an exclusive written rebuttal obtained by Per Second News the former OPEC president sheds more light on the alleged forfeiture, and other allegations.


"I wish to state that I cannot forfeit what was never mine. I do not know the basis on which the EFCC have chosen to say that I am the owner of these funds as no evidence was provided to me before the order was obtained and they have not in fact served me with the order or, any evidence since they obtained it, she said

" As at the time of my writing this rebuttal (Thursday 19th January, 2017) the EFCC have still not furnished me or my Lawyers, with a copy of the order."

She said the most concerning to her was the news that she was indicted by Italian prosecutors for, as they put it, ‘ sharing in the Loot’ of the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block deal that involved Malabu and the Joint Venture Multinational partners, ENI(AGIP) and Royal Dutch Shell.

"Let me once again State for the record, that this is another figment of the author’s imagination, which given the persistent bid to ensure my destruction and stick all of the Sins of the Corruption plagued Oil and Gas Sector of over the last 30years upon my head, probably emanated from the EFCC itself!".

"On the 9th November 2016, the EFCC visited our Family home in Yenegoa (Bayelsa State) as pre-agreed and they were escorted around the premises. I was therefore completely shocked to once again see my name sensationally splashed across the Front Pages of Newspapers and widely circulated on the internet, with blaring Headlines such as “EFCC UNCOVERS DIEZANI’S MULTI-BILLION NAIRA ESTATE” - Nation Newspaper, January 8, 2017 (Annex- 4A). There was absolutely nothing ‘Hidden’ or ‘Concealed’ about the home. I HAD DECLARED IT OPENLY as required by Law, in my Asset declaration forms (Annex-4B). Yet the EFCC have announced that they ‘Just Discovered’ my ‘Hidden Estate’! And labelled it a ‘Multi-Billion Naira Estate’! Even though they had been given the Bill of Quantities, showing actual amount spent.

Diezani also responded to EFCC's allegation of $700m discovered in her Abuja home by stepping up her rebuttals, blaming a cabal of media, special interests and  EFCC's machine for trying to destroy her reputation in order to maintain their grip.

"Would the videos of this $700 million cash discovery not have made good viewing? Or should those who recovered this money not tell the public where exactly the money has been kept? Perhaps the Central bank should corroborate that it is in custody of these monies allegedly found in my house? But then, it is now patently apparent that Nigerians are no longer easily led to believe  fables and sensational untruths."



 RESPONSE

1. THE $153.3MILLION ALLEGATION

I am deeply disturbed and bewildered by recent media reports (Premium Times Thursday 12 January, 2017 and other dailies about the same time) claiming that by virtue of an order of the Federal High Court, I have forfeited to the Federal Government, the sum of $153.3m which I purportedly stole from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

First and foremost, whilst the reasons for my being out of the country are public knowledge, the principle of fair hearing demands that I should have been notified of formal charges if truly there was a prima facie evidence or indictment against my person linking me with the said issue, so as to ensure that I had adequate legal representation. This was never done.

I wish to state that I cannot forfeit what was never mine. I do not know the basis on which the EFCC have chosen to say that I am the owner of these funds as no evidence was provided to me before the order was obtained and they have not in fact served me with the order or, any evidence since they obtained it. As at the time of my writing this rebuttal (Thursday 19th January, 2017) the EFCC have still not furnished me or my Lawyers, with a copy of the order.

I am also informed by my lawyers that the legislation under which the EFCC obtained this order is for situations where the  funds are believed to be the proceeds of crime and the owner is not known. I do not therefore, understand how the EFCC can in the same breath say that the monies in question are mine. If they had evidence that the monies were mine then they would not /should not, have used the procedure which applies only to funds of unknown ownership. If indeed they used this particular legal procedure because they did not know who owned the monies, then how can they now be falsely attributing the ownership to me(Annex-1A).

Let me re-state categorically as I have always maintained, for the record, I have NOT and WILL NEVER Steal Money from OR DEFRAUD the Federal Government of Nigeria. I am willing to respond to any charges brought against me that follow duly laid down procedures. However, in their typical manner and style, the EFCC have gone to the media to attempt to prosecute their case as trial by TV and other media, rather than go through the onerous but tried and tested means of the Judicial Court process.

In the face of the obvious falsification of facts and misinformation, it is only right and proper that the EFCC should publish the details of the $153.3M lodgements, the bank account numbers and the account beneficiaries, showing proof of my link to them. Having also alleged that the said $153.3M was ‘wired’ from NNPC, the EFCC should also publish details of the NNPC accounts from where the said $153.3 million was taken from, with proof that I authorized such a transaction/transactions acting either in my private capacity or, as The Honourable Minister of Petroleum.

Let me state for the record that as Minister of Petroleum, the operation and management of NNPC finances were outside my purview as outlined in both the Petroleum Act and the NNPC Act. The only involvement I had in NNPC Finances was in terms of statutory matters, where the Petroleum Act prescribed that as Minister, there were certain duties or actions which I had to perform or take in relation to NNPC.

 2. MALABU

With regards to the various news reports published in both the online and print media, insidiously inferring that I was indicted by Italian prosecutors for, as they put it, ‘ sharing in the Loot’ of the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block deal that involved Malabu and the Joint Venture Multinational partners, ENI(AGIP) and Royal Dutch Shell. Let me once again State for the record, that this is another figment of the author’s imagination, which given the persistent bid to ensure my destruction and stick all of the Sins of the Corruption plagued Oil and Gas Sector of over the last 30years upon my head, probably emanated from the EFCC itself!

Let me clarify the position re the history of OPL 245, otherwise known as Malabu. You will find a full chronology in the attached report that I made to the House of Representatives in late 2011 (Annex 2A/Annex-2B).

In 2010, shortly after I was appointed as Minister of Petroleum Resources, the issue of OPL 245 was brought to my attention. I looked into the case and immediately became aware of the inherent and long standing sensitivities around this issue. It became clear from the onset that this case was not within the direct purview of the Minister of Petroleum Resources but in the main was centered around issues of Law. By this time there was already an ICSID(International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) investigation and claims against the FGN running into billions of dollars. Therefore, we took directives from the Chief Legal Officer of the Nation; the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. In all of these matters due process was followed to the letter at all times.

I wish to categorically state that I have never held any discussions on this matter, with any individuals or entities outside of official channels. As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I did not participate in any activity relating to financial payments on  the Malabu matter, other than those statutorily mandated to the Minister of Petroleum Resources by the Petroleum Act. My role in this matter was a purely statutory one as required by Law in the Petroleum Act

 3.  THE ALJAZEERA REPORT - $18MILLION MANSION

On the 13th of June 2016, the EFCC once again took their well-trodden path to the media. This time claiming  that they had ‘discovered’ a mansion in Asokoro, Abuja, worth $18million  (approx. N9billion) which they purported to belong to me. The EFCC went to the extent of bringing in Aljazeera, an International TV Station, to air a damaging documentary against me in this regard, showing a particular residential building in Asokoro, Abuja, which they told Aljazeera belonged to me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIQdZfz_JdA. The EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu, personally took the Aljazeera reporter to the building, alleging that it belonged to me. It has since become apparent that the house belongs to a company owned by Mr Kola Aluko.

If this is not a witch hunt or a personal vendetta against me, how is it that one of our Country’s premier investigative agencies were unable to avail themselves of facts that are freely available in the public domain.

Since the EFCC claims that the alleged $18million Asokoro property belongs to me, then they should kindly produce the ‘Authentic’ Certificate of Occupancy and Land Registry information and any other relevant information, as proof of my ownership of the property.

4. FAMILY HOME - YENEGOA, BAYELSA STATE

On the 9th November 2016, the EFCC visited our Family home in Yenegoa (Bayelsa State) as pre-agreed and they were escorted around the premises. I was therefore completely shocked to once again see my name sensationally splashed across the Front Pages of Newspapers and widely circulated on the internet, with blaring Headlines such as “EFCC UNCOVERS DIEZANI’S MULTI-BILLION NAIRA ESTATE” - Nation Newspaper, January 8, 2017 (Annex- 4A). There was absolutely nothing ‘Hidden’ or ‘Concealed’ about the home. I HAD DECLARED IT OPENLY as required by Law, in my Asset declaration forms (Annex-4B). Yet the EFCC have announced that they ‘Just Discovered’ my ‘Hidden Estate’! And labelled it a ‘Multi-Billion Naira Estate’! Even though they had been given the Bill of Quantities, showing actual amount spent.

It is accepted Tradition across the length and breadth of Nigeria, for people to own Country/Village homes. Given the size of the land and the location of the compound, the buildings thereon cannot by any stretch of the imagination be a “Multi-Billion Naira” palatial estate, as the news mongers would want to portray.

The EFCC were taken on a tour of the compound which consisted of A Main house, and two outhouses - An Obi (meeting bungalow) and a staff quarters(BQ) building - above which we built 3 guest rooms and a parlour. The only other 2 structures are the gate and generator houses. Construction began in late 2011 and was handled in phases. During the visit the EFCC was given the bill of quantities, which up until the time construction stopped in early 2015, due to my illness, was at approximately N394million which was declared in the code of conduct documentation, attached (the costs were partially funded by a loan - see code of conduct - Annex4B, the work is still uncompleted and the contractor is still being owed). Building costs escalated as a result of delays in construction and external factors such as the extreme flooding of late 2012, that covered most of our areas in the Niger Delta.

It is the accepted norm when building in the Niger Delta, that due to the topography of the land and the heavily waterlogged and marshy terrain, construction is infinitely more expensive than in other parts of the Country, as by its nature it requires the building of extensive piling/raft foundations before any structural work can commence. The flooding of 2012 compounded the problem and further increased the cost of construction.

 5. $700 Million Cash Found In My House

Stories were circulated by unscrupulous agents of calumny that  the EFCC found a mind boggling $700million in cash in my home in Abuja. Would the videos of this $700 million cash discovery not have made good viewing? Or should those who recovered this money not tell the public where exactly the money has been kept? Perhaps the Central bank should corroborate that it is in custody of these monies allegedly found in my house? But then, it is now patently apparent that Nigerians are no longer easily led to believe  fables and sensational untruths.

6. REALITY VERSUS FICTION

I would like to state for the record that I performed my duty as Minister of Petroleum Resources with the utmost sincerity and sense of responsibility, ensuring that all Nigerians irrespective of creed, gender or tribe enjoyed their rightful benefits from the Oil and Gas Sector.

$5.6 Billion LNG Dividend Fund

It is pertinent to note that at the end of my tenure, I left behind in the LNG dividend fund, for the incoming Administration, the sum of $5.6billion(five billion six hundred million US Dollars)(Annex-6A). I did this to ensure continuity in the crucial gas sector development which underpins the entire Power and Energy Sector and which was and still is, absolutely imperative for the Country’s current and future economic development.

Local Content

Having pushed for the full implementation of the Nigerian Local Content Act, despite resistance from various stakeholders, I actively promoted the benefits of ‘Nigerians Right to First Consideration’ in both the downstream and upstream sectors. The immediate effect of my actions was that for the first time in history, thousands of Nigerians were able to break through the barriers of a sector that had hitherto been the preserve of a few powerful groups with vested interest, and thereby earn a living. This remains a source of pride to me, that not only did it create wealth across the entire economic value chain but it also ensured the unparalleled transfers of knowledge and expertise for our indigenous operators. It is noteworthy that the template is being adapted for use in other countries.

Fuel Scarcity

It is on record, that I immediately took the issue of incessant fuel queues head-on and in my time as petroleum minister, Nigerians rarely experienced fuel shortages. These queues had long dominated our landscape, causing untold hardship to millions of ordinary Nigerians stuck in fuel queues for hours; like the bus driver who was unable to earn enough to go to the market, and the market woman who, therefore, earned less and so could not afford school fees. This example, though at the most basic level, caused a chain reaction which was replicated in various facets throughout the economy. So, on the macro economic level, the main benefit of ending the fuel queues was an immediate increase in GDP, reduction in inflation and easier facilitation and movement of people, goods and services, across the country.

The continuing effect of all these measures were that even in the most remote locations, Nigerians could buy and sell petroleum products.

Gas Supply & Infrastructure

As soon as I assumed office, I put into play my wealth of experience in the oil and gas sector, knowing that gas was imperative for our future growth and prosperity. I put together a team to look at all aspects of growing Nigeria’s Gas with the intent of turning Nigeria into a Premier Gas Exploring and Producing Country, even more than an oil producing country. We started working on Gas for Industry - The commercialisation approach, Gas for home use - LPG, and Gas for Power generation. We even sponsored a pilot scheme for Gas to power vehicles. I implemented a short, medium and long term project to put in place sustainable gas supply to underpin the power sector and began laying the requisite infrastructure that was virtually non-existent when we took office. We worked with NERC and the CBN to put in place the necessary fiscal levers, to ensure that Gas supply would be competitively priced. I left behind a comprehensive and detailed plan for the rollout of LPG and the Industrialisation of GAS eg. The Ogidingben project.

Petroleum Industry Bill

I personally worked tirelessly through the night on many occasions, with the committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill, to finally get it to the point where for the first time in over 12 years, we could place it before the Federal Executive Council, and the National Assembly. I championed this in a bid to create a less corrupt, more transparent, accountable and responsible NNPC and Oil and Gas Industry as a whole. It was also to create additional funding inflows for the Nation. This was in spite of the fact that there was major resistance from powerful interest groups within and outside Nigeria.

I take personal satisfaction even now, that the PIB template I presented to the country is still the benchmark for the current and future development of the Oil Sector in Nigeria. The Template is already being adapted for use in other countries.

7. MY POSITION

 It is saddening that after eight years of serving my country, my experience as a public servant has been fraught with continuos malicious castigation and character assassination, all in the name of ‘personal vendettas’ or political horse trading. It has become apparent to many that these untruths told were at best well-crafted fables. The most dramatic and damning accusation was the infamous missing $49.8 Billion Dollars, that went from to $12 Billion and then up to $20 Billion and which was alleged missing from NNPC. Today, we all know that the PWC report that was published cleared me of any wrong doing and no one up till now has been able to controvert the PWC report nor has anyone found the “missing” 20 billion, or who took it. In addition, the Makarfi-led committee in the Senate of The  Federal Republic of Nigeria, in a series of publicly-held hearings, also vindicated me on the matter of the purportedly missing funds. Yet, we are all silent as if these events never occurred! SEE ATTACHMENT-1 THAT EXPLAINS MY POSITION ON THE ‘MISSING’ $20 BILLION.

The allegations that I have addressed above are no different, the character assassination continues, this time with a new set of hirelings.

One of the basic tenets of the human trait is that we all have shortcomings and we all make our fair share of mistakes, whether we are in positions of Leadership, or not. However, one error that cannot be ascribed to me is STEALING FROM NIGERIA & DEFRAUDING MY COUNTRY! It is therefore sad and distressing that in spite of all that I tried to do in the best interest of our Nation, I continue to be faced with constant demonisation, unproven accusations and deeply personal insults.

In response I have chosen not to insult, accuse or demonise anyone, any person or persons. In spite of all the allegations that have been made against me, not one has been factually proven.

I remain very proud of the fact that all the policies, tenets and plans that I initiated in the Oil & Gas sector are still underpinning the entire structure. This is because they were put in place with the good of the entire nation and its people in mind. They were not factional, or tribal, neither were they based on religious bias.

I am a woman from the Niger Delta, who through perseverance and sheer hard work rose to one of the highest positions in the Country’s premier International Oil Company, and in tune with my ethos of hard work I earned the prestigious British Foreign & Commonwealth Chevening Scholarship Award and was thereafter admitted to my MBA program at the World renowned Cambridge University. In 2006, I was appointed as the first female executive director in the history of Shell Petroleum, Nigeria. Just over a year later, I was nominated and appointed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, culminating in my appointment as Nigeria’s first female Minister of Petroleum, where again by dint of hard work I was appointed as the first female in history(in a completely male dominated space) to hold the Presidency of OPEC.

I can therefore, NO LONGER SIT BACK and allow the fabricated accusations against my person designed by unscrupulous persons with a vengeful agenda go unchallenged.

As a Christian, it is my sincerely held belief that in the coming months, history will be the judge of exactly who Lied and who told the Truth. By the Grace of God, I shall be here to see the day when truth prevails.

The fight against corruption in Nigeria will be far better served if the EFCC focus on incontrovertible facts, as opposed to media sensationalism and completely distorted stories, in their bid to demonise and destroy a few specially chosen Nigerians.

tinubu and Southwest APC leaders
Emerging report from the much talked Ibadan southwest leaders' meeting suggests that the region has seized to be controlled by a single person as the leaders have unanimously adopted the collegiate leadership style for the region, report according to ThisDay Newspaper detailed.

According to the report, it was sanctioned at the Ibadan meeting that each leader should hold their local authority in the politics of their state. Meaning no single individual will be regarded as the regional leader.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, ostensibly to review the state of the party in the zone, some of the sordid details of the reportedly heated meeting, which forced the idea of collegiate leadership have begun to emerge, especially the alleged dirty in-fighting that took place amongst some of the gladiators.


It was gathered, according to ThisDay Newspaper that the Ibadan peace meeting almost went out of control when some of the leaders started to accuse one another of betrayal and disloyalty to the leadership in the zone.

The meeting, it was learnt, had started with opening remarks from the host governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, followed by a former chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, who admonished the gathering before a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, further laid the foundation for discussions at the meeting.

Although the leadership of the party had also brought to the meeting, some development professors to address the gathering on development concepts and see what to take away from it to their respective postings, some of the participants had quickly pointed out that the meeting was not called for lectures on development concepts but to resolve the animosity that exists within the caucus in the zone.

Whilst the meeting had allowed all present to speak their mind about whatever ill-feelings they had, the dirty fights did not however start till the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, and the former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, reportedly openly attacked his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is the immediate past governor of Ekiti State.

According to sources, Aregbesola was said to have screamed at the top of his voice, accusing both Amosun and Fayemi of betrayal to the South-west leadership, insinuating also that they were the very reason the party in the zone is in the state it is.

He was said to have made specific reference to the post-Ondo governorship election meeting held some weeks ago in Abeokuta, Ogun State, saying Amosun set them up by revealing details of the meeting verbatim.

It was at that point that Fayemi, who allegedly did most of the talking was said to have stood up to state his case in a manner that laid the tone for further discussion.

Starting with the allegation of betrayal and disloyalty, specifically against Tinubu, Fayemi was said to have told the gathering that comparing him to the late Chief Ladoke Akintola of the old western region had gone on for too long and that it was a story sold by Aregbesola and his likes to make him and the others look bad.

He was said to have asked the meeting to determine between the two of them, the person that suits the Akintola description – either him that stood by the party and did that which the party wanted or Aregbesola who revolted against the party and even posted one of his most trusted aides, Mr. Bola Ilori, to campaign for a candidate of a different party.

He was said to have told Tinubu that he was fond of believing every tale brought to him by Aregbesola, without as much as checking with others, adding that except he starts treating all of his mentees equally, he would continue to have the kind of problem he is having with a majority of them in the party.

He was said to have further asked Tinubu if he had ever called him to speak about where his interest was and he worked against it (referring to the Ondo crisis), a question to which Tinubu was said to have quickly dismissed, saying also that as a democrat he (Tinubu) had no interest in anyone but was only forced to speak up when Dr. Tunji Abayomi accused him of bias.

On this note, Fayemi therefore affirmed his position on the Ondo election, saying since there was no direct order from the top, apart from the manipulations by Aregbesola and his cohorts, he had a right as an individual to support whoever he wanted the same way Aregbesola opted for a non-APC candidate in an APC battle.

According to another source present at the meeting, Fayemi also made specific mention of an interview believed to have been orchestrated by enemies within to make him look bad by claiming he disparaged the leadership of Tinubu in the zone.

Before denying having anything to do with the interview which went viral on the social media, Tinubu was said to have quickly intercepted, saying he saw the rebuttal by Fayemi and that he believed his own side of the story. But Fayemi complained that such a move showed the degree of desperation by some elements within to demonise some of them believed to be rebellious to the leadership of Tinubu in the zone.

Amosun, who allegedly had his own altercation with Aregbesola was however said to have added that it was bad enough that the fake Fayemi interview went viral on the social media, that some of such falsehood gained prominence on the front page of a national daily believed to be owned by their leader spoke volume of the bad blood within.

He was said to have also told the gathering to ask if there was anything Tinubu had asked of him and he did not do, yet he gets most of the attacks and criticism from a newspaper believed to be Tinubu’s and by extension, theirs as a political family. He said he nursed no guilt because his conscience was clear and therefore left everything to God if he ever did anything deliberately to undermine Tinubu.

A few other persons, like another former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, also spoke their mind in the bid to clear all grudges. It was Adebayo, according to sources that plainly situated the collegiate leadership idea before it was accepted by the whole meeting, which sanctioned that each leader should hold their local authority in the politics of their state.

When it was certain that all present had spoken their mind on their grievances, Akande then asked Tinubu to do a general response to all that was said by everyone since they were largely about him, with a view to putting the animosity behind them at once.

Thus, in his response, Tinubu was said to have dismissed allegations of bias amongst his mentees and also refuted the allegation that Aregbesola was snitching on the others, saying he had tried as much as possible to be fair to everyone to the best of his ability and that he had nothing against anyone.

He allegedly tried to justify this by recalling that he recently spoke to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, from overseas, where he was vacating and had jocularly told him that “You are working hard there and I am enjoying here.” The same way he allegedly reached out to Fayemi days back to help attend to some foreign nationals, who needed help.

To that end, he reportedly appealed to everyone to let go of the bickering, adding that the future of the party in the zone was the most important thing to its leadership.

It was against this backdrop that a reconciliation committee comprising Akande, Osoba, Adebayo and Tinubu was set up to look into all the issues raised and resolve them once and for all.

Soon after the committee was set up, Ajimobi was said to have quickly given an idea on how to start, saying there would not be genuine reconciliation without first reconciling for instance, Fashola and his successor, Akinwunmi Ambode; Fayemi and Aregbesola; Amosun and Aregbesola; as well as himself and the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.

On that note, the Ibadan meeting ended, with the younger elements, having their way with the pushed collegiate agenda and the older folks agreeing to their terms in the interest of peace and the development of the region.
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