Author Topic: Obasanjo And Jonathan Bought PDP Delegates With Dollars In 2011 - Ciroma  (Read 1025 times)


Elderstatesman and former Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, has lashed out at the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, describing it as full of “too much corruption.”

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Saturday Sun at his Abuja residence, Ciroma said the subsidy payment scam, pension scheme fraud, alleged mismanagement and corruption at  the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), among others, are indices of untamed corruption running wild in the Nigerian field.

Courageous and blunt, Ciroma, a former minister under the Shagari, Abacha and Obasanjo governments, had harsh words for General Babangida’s administration as well as Obasanjo’s. On Babangida, he says: “He destroyed the civil service, he destroyed the economy,”while he describes Obasanjo as a leader “who failed his country.”

Below are excerpts of the Ciroma interview:

What role did you play in Yar’Adua’s emergence and  government?

You know Obasanjo tried to extend his rule; that is the third term issue. I was against it.  I openly opposed it and insisted that the agreement is that somebody from the South does eight years, somebody from the North will do eight years. So, there was no basis for him to want to extend his rule. When he realised that he could not overcome the pressures, he, on his own, decided to nominate  Yar’Adua.

You can understand why he chose Yar’Adua. He has always got on well with Yar’Adua’s brother, Shehu. So, when he nominated him, none of us was surprised. I supported Yar’Adua when he nominated him because Shehu Yar’Adua was my friend  and Yar’Adua’s father was my political supporter. And this young man was a socialist. I supported his nomination. Obasanjo knew that Yar’Adua was not well.

But he said that he didn’t know. Are you suggesting that he was lying?

He knew; he knew.

Why are you certain that he knew?

He was governor, he was not performing fulltime because he was going to hospitals regularly. It is not true that Obasanjo did not know. He was hoping that because Yar’Adua was not well,  he will be able to rule by proxy. It was third term by another means. He didn’t know that things don’t work that way. I like Yar’Adua because he was an honest and straightforward young man.

When Yar’Adua died,    Obasanjo told me that  Yar’Adua  was dead, this man (Jonathan) is the Vice President,   what happens? There was a lot of controversy. Gen. Gowon called a meeting of elders mostly from the North to come up with what to do about replacing Yar’Adua.  The only non-northerners at that meeting were Alex Ekwueme, Edwin Clarke  and Shonekan. We agreed that the constitution must take precedence, that the constitution allows for the Vice President to take over, that Jonathan must be allowed to take over. He was acting then. We told the Senate President that this was our position and the National Assembly acted on it. It was when Yar’Adua died that the PDP started its confusion and scatter scatter.

Why did you insist on power returning to the North?

We insisted on that because PDP had met and agreed that there was going to be power  rotation, that there will be zoning. It was under Obasanjo that the meeting held and Jonathan himself was there. We said look, now that Yar’Adua has died the constitutional formality has taken place, the vice-president has been sworn in, in the next election the North will produce the next candidate of the party. We said that the North still has four years remaining in its eight years mandate.

We said that if you do not give it to the North, it means that the South would have had 12 years and the North would have four. We told them that if you want to do anything different, we would have to discuss it. If the southerner was going to be President, it meant that South would have 12 years and North four years and that that would create a problem in the zoning arrangement; so it must be discussed;  we must agree on how to deal with the problem.

The PDP leaders started saying other things; they said that the constitution of the country did not stop Jonathan from contesting, that he could contest. I told them, ‘ look. If  you cut the term of the North from eight to four, this may adversely affect the PDP power sharing arrangement.’  They went forth and back; they were all confused.  I can tell you that Obasanjo and Jonathan went round and bought the people who were going to attend the convention in their states. When the delegates came for the convention in Abuja, again they bought them. The governors ensured that they appoint people to mark the ballots.

Are you saying that the PDP primary of 2011 was rigged?

Completely rigged. They know it; we know it. They rigged it and Jonathan won. That is why I lost interest in the party. I know that if you can buy somebody today, there is no reason you cannot buy him tomorrow. Obasanjo came to my house and said this was where we are, the PDP has just nominated Jonathan and if we handled things well he would win the election. I said that PDP had now spoken loudly, it had decided  in an opaque manner who was going to be the candidate and we knew that they bought delegates in their states, bought them also in Abuja. I said to him, a Nigerian  president was going to emerge; the delegates who gave him the ticket were bribed in dollars, not in naira. What kind of President will he be? He just got up and walked out.

Elections in Nigeria are mostly rigged. l am not surprised at Ciroma's outbust.