Vanguard Newspaper 07 April 2018
34 — SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, 2018 REVEALED: Why IBB spared Abacha I had hints of Abacha coup from UN, Mbu reveals in his autobiography By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor IN a rare display of bitter truth, Nigeria’s ex- Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Matthew Mbu, has revealed that he knew about the plan by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha to remove Nigeria’s Interim leader, Chief Ernest Shonekan, from office within three months. Mbu’s revelation is contained in his autobiography entitled “Dignity in Service” due for public presentation on Tuesday next week at the Yar’Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja. At a news conference in Abuja announcing the book launch, the son of the late diplomat, Senator Matthew Mbu Jr., eulogised his father and said that he would be proud to have him again as a father if there was another opportunity because of his outstanding qualities that helped to build the Nigerian nation. “We are very proud of the legacies of our late father and, today, we are happy that he was more concerned with rendering national service above self service while alive, something that is fast declining in today’s Nigeria. “Today’s politics is dominated by people who want to seek personal gains above national interest and that readily explains why the nation is not making the right progress despite many years of politics,” Senator Mbu Jr. lamented. In the book, the late diplomat, who was the foreign affairs minister in the government, said he had hint of the Abacha’s coup against Shonekan from the United Nations but did not specify who the actual person was. The Boki-born politician and career public servant wrote, “Thereafter, they gave me hints that we would not last more than two to three months in office and that they were going to sack us. I had hints about the eventual takeover by General Abacha from the UN. “When I came back, I packed all my things as usual but I could neither get Shonekan to understand me, nor even his boss, IBB. I said, “Don’t make the mistake of handing over to Shonekan; if you do that, in three months Abacha will take over and Shonekan will be jettisoned from his seat.” “Exactly three months later, it happened. IBB phoned me and said, “You said it!” and I replied, “What did I tell you?” There was an intimate relationship that existed between IBB and Abacha. IBB told me that Abacha had done him favours in the past. He had saved him from two coups. Probably that explains why they were so intimate because he was the only one who could come and interrupt him at anytime and stay with him for hours. “As the foreign affairs minister, I had a lot to do and I could not wait until when IBB was through with Abacha, other ministers could not do it but I could go there at anytime and I would always ask IBB, “What is it between you and this man, haven’t you done enough for him?” He would reply “He did so much for me.” How Abacha wanted to detain me because of Ken Saro-Wiwa “The execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa was considered to be out of line with international norms and there was outrage, Nigeria’s reputation was once more on the line. Nigeria was to be expelled from the Commonwealth. “At the time that they asked me to go to London to talk to my friends. Abacha was also contemplating detaining me. He sent for me several times but I refused to heed his call. When we finally met, he said, “You are my friend, you are supposed to be here with me but you refused to come. I sent for you several times.” I answered, “I never heard.” He said, “I’ve been compelled to use Maitama Sule, Shonekan, everybody else but you, why did you refuse to come?” I did not know there was a plan to get me detained. I was leaving for Calabar at 5p.m, but at the airport I was told, “No you can’t travel, the commanderin -chief has directed that you go to London and lead a delegation to talk to the Commonwealth about Nigeria’s problem.” I said “When?” They answered “tonight” and I retorted, “Have you got a ticket for me?” That was the catch: they had nothing for me — it was just a ploy to see whether or not I‘ll say no. Jonathan, Yar’Adua unprepared for presidency of Nigeria The fellow who saved me was in the government — he had told me, “You’d better say yes because they want to detain you, so use all your diplomacy to wriggle out of it. If you say no, that’s exactly what they want from you.” Their thinking was that they had done everything to get me to Abuja, and I refused so they wanted to detain me under the guise that I refused to serve Nigeria in her hour of need.” Mbu also narrated in the book why he stayed away from Jonathan’s government despite the fact that he championed for a South- South presidency using the *Says Jonathan, Yar’Adua not prepared for Nigeria’s presidency *Laments Obasanjo’s PDP blocked Odili from presidency in 2007 *Insists 1979 election was rigged South South Peoples Assembly, SSPA. He said, “I deliberately wanted to stay away from the administration of Goodluck Jonathan. In the game of politics, you only engage in exclusion when you fail to fight for your rights. Jonathan was excluding himself and his presidency was heading for a precipice. “He needed to reorganise himself and strategise. Politics is not a charity, if you fight for what is your right, and you cannot protect it, it will be taken from you. The South-South got recognition when I championed the South-South People Assembly. We campaigned for the presidency. It was clear to everyone that Dr. Peter Odili from the South- South zone was ready to provide leadership. “However, the PDP primary of 2006 was a fiasco of internal democracy. Jonathan was made the running mate to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in that convention. Dr. Peter Odili, our prepared and preferred candidate, was betrayed by the party hierarchy. Personally, I was sick because of the antics of a mischievous individual who had hoped that things would degenerate to a level that would lead to crisis and a declaration of a state of emergency. “We are all mortals; President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua could not accomplish much, not just because he was sick, but also because he was not prepared for the demanding office of president. That was equally true of Jonathan as vice president. “When Yar’Adua eventually passed the way of all mortals and an unprepared Jonathan became president, Jonathan suddenly forgot that he was the president of Nigeria and became obsessed with the Ijaw nation propaganda with a selected few. That was not the idea of the South-South presidency I championed. “It does not mean a narrow agenda, rather a national service from this once forgotten zone. The obsession of Jonathan with certain characters kept me away from the presidency. A Yoruba man, Olusegun Obasanjo influenced his nomination as vice president, Dora Akunyili, an Igbo woman, intervened in the federal executive council for the transfer of power to Jonathan. Pastor Tunde Bakare of Save Nigeria Group, made the Senate, headed by someone from the Middle Belt, to initiate the doctrine of necessity. So, why the obsession with a myopic agenda based on Ijaw President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki in a chat with the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk during a condolence visit to the Emir Daura, Katsina State, over the death of Senator Mustapha Bukar, on Thursday. propaganda? “My distance from Jonathan was not complete incommunicado. I did advise him to properly articulate his agenda and reduce the bogus listed items to three: (1) free and fair election (2) security and (3) reduce the quantum of corruption that is visible within the corridors of power. “If these are achieved, Nigerians in their ingenuity will fashion out the rest in no time. I proposed this to him because these are intrinsically democratic dividends. No other system of government can deliver them thoroughly with checks and balances”. Mbu also spoke about the 1979 election, revealing that it was rigged by the National Party of Nigeria, NPN. “The 1979 elections were brazenly rigged and that was partly why the army came in. I contested for the senate. I went and told Zik, “For the first time they rigged elections against me” and Zik said “What!?” and I said, “Yes, the way they told me, they said I was going to fail.” Victor Akan couldn’t believe it and tried to blame me for not taking their warnings seriously. But I guess I took too much for granted,” the author said. “They told me that they just changed my results in favour of Joseph Wayas. They admitted that “Wayas never campaigned, we put him there for nothing, the results we were announcing were your results, we just gave it to Wayas.” “That was the only election I ever lost. But I also knew that they were not going to last long in power with that kind of situation. Moreover, the army boys told me they were going to strike. They said if I planned to go anywhere I could go and I said “I hope it’s not going to be bloody.” They assured me that it was not going to be bloody but that they were taking over government, which they did,” the book reveals. BRIEFS OAAN dissociates its members from fallen signpost THE Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) has dissociated its members from the signpost which was brought down by a reckless driver leading to a fatal accident on Thursday at Ilasamaja area of Lagos which claimed lives of innocent people. In a statement signed by OAAN President, Mr. Tunde Adedoyin, reacted to the news report on the incident which referred to the signpost as a billboard, thus creating a wrong impression that the accident was caused by the fallen billboard. According to him, the signpost was a directional signage and the property of the Federal Government and not a billboard as was erroneously referred to in the news reports adding that OAAN members as professionals, adhere strictly to guidelines issued by government agencies. The statement states further; “ The attention of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) has been drawn to news reports on the accident that occurred yesterday at Ilasa, Lagos, involving a truck and a traffic directional signage, and which unfortunately caused the death of at least three commuters.” Osinbajo Insists private sector remains key in making economic decision Victoria Ojame VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government considers the private sector before taking vital decision on the economy of the country. The Vice President said this on Thursday in Abuja at the launch of the Nigerian Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDI), an initiative of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. ‘’We are also committed to ensuring adequate consultation is made, especially with the private sector before we make further commitment to some of the international treaties that are important to us. He said Nigeria was also committed to strengthening economic ties at the official level on issues like technical cooperation, air services, double taxation, investment promotion and protection, citizens rights and others. ‘’He noted that trade and investment ties between countries were driven in the main by their private sector actor. ‘’In the case of Nigeria, the private sector is particularly important because it accounts for well over 90% of our GDP. ‘’We are aware that building a competitive and vibrant national economy of our dream relies on enabling the innovation and dynamism of our private sector operators to flourish.
Investigate how our son died; Rivers community tasks to Buratai By Davies Iheamnachor TAABAA Community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State has called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to investigate and explain how one of its sons, Capt. Eebu Nule, was killed. Speaking on the death of his younger brother, His Royal Highness, Mene M. Nule, Mene Eedee 1, Bua Baa, said the report of the demise of Capt Nule came unexpected and shocking to the entire Ogoniland Nule said: “Since 2nd of February, 2018 that Nule’s family and the Taabaa Community in Khana Local Government Area received the sudden demise of our illustrious son, Captain Eebu Beele Glad Nule, we have been very worried about how he died following revelations from his squad members. According to the royal father, “When we contacted the Garrison Commander, One Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, from where Captain Nule’s team was •Capt. Eebu Nule deployed to Nabango village, Birnin Gwari area, he was not ready to tell us or investigate how the captain under his supervision died but only advised us to arrange for his burial, claiming that the Army was surrounded by various enemies. “Subsequent contact to Major Leonard A. Balogun, the Commanding Officer of special squad under which the late captain served as the operational commander revealed that our son was hit by bullet while pinning where he (Balogun) asked him to pin immediately in front of the commander during an operation and died on the way to hospital.” SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, 2018 — 35 Isoko in Diaspora begin building of classrooms in Ibrede By Julius Oweh, Asaba ISOKO Association in North America and Ibrede community in the United States have commenced building a block of six classrooms at Egbedi Primary School, Ibrede in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. The project would cost the two associations $20,000 and would be completed before December 2018. A member of the association and president of Ibrede community in United States, Mr Tony Oweh stated these facts at Ibrede within the week. Oweh said that both associations contributed $10,000 each, adding that when the project is eventually completed, the pupils shall study under a friendly environment. Oweh disclosed that the six classrooms will each get a toilet and teachers‘ common room. “A borehole is already sunk in the primary school to provide steady water for the pupils and teachers. He therefore called on the council leadership to direct more efforts towards improving primary education by building befitting classrooms and providing learning aids. In a related development, it would be recalled that two weeks ago, the central working committee of Ibrede community donated 35 benches to Egbedi Primary School, Ibrede. The benches according to the president-general of Ibrede community, Dr Esi Oweh, cost N332, 500 and lamented a situation where pupils sit on bare floor to learn. 2019: Okowa Deserves Second Term —Esquire THE political Adviser to the Delta State Governor, Hon Omimi Esquire has urged Deltan to rally round the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to move the state forward, while commending Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, for his developmental achievements, noting that the Governor deserve a second term to place the state above others. Esquire, made this disclosure in an interview with newsmen yesterday in warri. According to him “Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, has spread development across the 25 local government areas of the state, irrespective of party affiliation. “Okowa’s led PDP government in the state has embarked on many projects such as road construction and rehabilitation, youth empowerment and human capital development”. Reacting to the propose cattle colony across the country, Esquire said “I praise the governor for coming out openly to say that Delta does not have land for cattle colony. “Governor Okowa has been fighting vigorously for the sustenance of peace across the state, there is no doubt that people are aware his a man of peace and as such, does not want a situation that would throw the state into bloodbath” he added,