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But even if [Obasanjo] earned N60 million per annum for seventy years, he would not have up

to N5 billion. But [he] is currently worth about N70 billion by our conservative estimate,” the group

asserted.  It also called for a probe of the “several billions of Naira pumped into the power sector”



Obasanjos Probe: Mr. Ribadu’s Redeeming Job

Or How a Politician Becomes a Billionaire

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye


The single most formidable threat to President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s integrity and acceptance in Nigeria today, aside the revolting, horribly manipulated elections that brought him to power a couple of months ago, is his reluctance or refusal to probe the regime of his predecessor in office, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, widely believed to be the most corrupt since Nigeria came into being.

Each time the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) docked one former Governor, Commissioner or Council Chairman, with characteristic fanfare and din, the feeling out there is that it was merely engaged in some diversionary operation, dragging about petty thieves before television cameras, all in an attempt to give Nigerians the impression that it was sincerely fighting corruption.

Certainly, the Federal Government and EFCC cannot pretend to be unaware that only very few Nigerians actually believe that they are sincerely fighting corruption.

When Obasanjo came out of prison, it was public knowledge (which also worked in his favour at that time) that he was in abject poverty, living on the generosity of friends like Theophilous Danjuma and Atiku Abubakar.

In fact, one of his closest ministers told the nation that Obasanjo had only twenty thousand naira in 1999. Now how can anyone explain the sudden transformation of this paltry sum to the incredible wealth the man possesses today? 

In fact, the joke out there is that while  the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, is at one side of town “fighting corruption,” Obasanjo is at the other end neatly arranging his billions, expanding his business empire, and consolidating his wealthy dynasty.

Obasanjo single-handedly ran the Petroleum Ministry for eight years, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) directly under his command, yet, till date, no one can claim to have seen any copy of the audited accounts of that enclave of corruption since 1999. The whole thing was run like a family business.

Again, a former Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Azie, was hurriedly sacked for daring to produce a damning report detailing the mind-blowing corruption and financial rascality that thrived in the Obasanjo regime. Now, are we to take it that the EFCC is neither aware of that report, nor how to reach out to Mr. Azie to come and throw more light on the report?

What of the recent Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) scandal which threw up shocking revelations about how mindless profligacy and abuse of office were given a most vulgar and repelling definition, where money was frivolously withdrawn to either buy exquisite cars for “women friends” or finance countless affairs that were totally outside the PTDF mandate.

How much did the Tenure Elongation madness consume? How much was expended to destabilize and effect the various changes in the leadership of the National Assembly in order to install stooges that helped Obasanjo turn the National Assembly into an appendage of the Presidency? Does anyone still remember the N10 billion belonging to the long-suffering people of Jigawa State "donated" by their former Governor, Mr. Saminu Turaki, to the Self Perpetuation Agenda?
Given the overwhelming stench oozing from these hideous cases, what kind of corruption can anyone claim to be fighting without having them on top of his list? Or are Obasanjo and his privileged mob enjoying perpetual immunity from investigation and prosecution? 

Only last Friday, Daily Independent reported that an NGO, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), had sent a petition to the EFCC voicing the general feeling among Nigerians that there was no way Obasanjo’s massive investments could have been financed by his legitimate income.

“We are aware that the annual salary of Nigeria’s President is not up to N38 million. But even if [Obasanjo] earned N60 million per annum for seventy years, he would not have up to N5 billion. But [he] is currently worth about N70 billion by our conservative estimate,” the group asserted.  It also called for a probe of the “several billions of Naira pumped into the power sector” and the “allegations that Obasanjo overshot the budget of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as stated in the report on Budget Performance issued by the House of Representatives in 2005.”

And while all these were yet to be scratched, the Siemens bribery scandal exploded on our face, and to the best of my knowledge, none of the Obasanjo ministers implicated in the sleaze has expressed any surprise that his name made the list.

One should think that instead of countless refutations to widespread claims that the EFCC is only after predetermined and selected targets, Ribadu can easily redeem the image of the anti-graft commission by simply gratifying the deep yearning of Nigerians to probe the Obasanjo regime and make the findings public.  Nigerians want to know the view of the Yar'Adua Government on the Obasanjo regime on this issue of corruption. They want the EFCC to say what it has found about the regime, to enable them to make an informed decision on the sincerity or otherwise of the whole anti-graft business.

Mr. Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC can no longer afford to postpone this any further. / / Monday, November 26, 2007

posted 1 December 2007

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
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#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly /  Derrick Bell Law Rights Advocate  Dies at 80

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The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance

Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions:  Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy? How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again? And what can we do to get our money back? In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again. The Economy

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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