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Between Obasanjo And Okonjo Iweala

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The continuous bashing of former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

continues with former President Olusegun Obasanjo joining the fray in his

interview with Premium Times. What is shocking is not whether the  former

minister is innocent or not; the issue is the inaccuracies contained in the

latest attacks on Iweala and other actors  by the former president.

Okonjo Iweala may have her weaknesses as all humans are bound to have but

it is wrong to write off her extensive positive contributions to this

nation both under former President Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. Under

Obasanjo, Iweala was no doubt a great minister who spearheaded Nigeria’s

debt relief and plus with minus, she also did well in the last

administration. At least Nigerians know that the oil sector was not under

her care.
What is more annoying is the failure of the former president to say the

truth about how Iweala joined Jonathan’s cabinet after the 2011 polls. The

fact known to many insiders is that Chief Obasanjo indeed recommended

Iweala to Jonathan. His proposal then was that Ngozi possessed the

credential to revive some of the reforms which he (Obasanjo) put in place

but which were dismantled by former President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Former President Jonathan accepted the nomination and on the strength of

the former President’s  recommendation, Iweala was given prominent roles to

play. Chief Obasanjo should have opened up further to tell Nigerians at

what point he parted ways with his God daughter. Those in the know will

tell you that the refusal of Iweala to rise against former President

Jonathan was responsible for the rift. Chief Obasanjo had expected all his

godsons and god daughters to support him in his attacks on Jonathan. Iweala

refused and that is what caused the disagreement between her and Baba.

The inaccuracies in the interview are not just about Dr Ngozi Iweala; the

case of Chief Emeka Offor is another point in question needing correction.

Most Nigerians are aware that  the “controversial” Turn Around Maintenance

of Port Harcourt refinery was awarded to the Chrome Consortium put together

with some Romanian companies, before the Obasanjo presidency.

At the conclusion of the project,certificates  of completion representing

different components of the turnaround maintenance were issued. The

were dated between July 25, 1999 and October 31, 2000, and duly endorsed by

NNPC Directors responsible for the project  as well as the representatives

of Shell. All these certificates were duly issued during Baba’s Presidency.

And they are also in public domain.
How can the former leader now turned round to accuse Chrome of not doing a

job for which certificates of completion was duly issued by his government?

Is it also not unfair to now attempt to hold Chrome responsible for state

of the Port Harcourt refinery for a job completed as early as year 2000?  So

is the father of the nation  indicting himself or merely playing his usual

game of twisting the facts?
It is ridiculous  that the former leader also said he could not do anything

to Offor because he has police and people around him. How can a president

claimed incapacity to touch a citizen because he has police and people? The

fact is the President was aware that Offor’s firm has done the job he was

given to do and so could not have been harrassed in any way.

Those who know the former leader very well are quick to say that the

purpose of the interview was to seek attention. Chief Obasanjo like to be

in the spotlight all the time. And it does not matter at whose expense or

whose name he falsely drag into the mud to stir controversy.

Whatever anybody may say about Iweala, she has made her mark as a finance

minister that introduced far reaching reforms in Nigeria’s public life.

Even after office, her reform initiatives stand firmly as is evident in the

single treasury account, integrated payroll systems, GDP rebasing,

sovereign wealth fund, among others.
For those who enjoyed this sadistic conduct of destroying notable national

figures, we pray the Otta farmer will not soon turn his gun against the new

president ,Muhammadu Buhari, who is widely acclaimed to be a man of

integrity. For the reading public, may be it is time we choose what to read

and what to believe.
* Sadiq sent this piece from Kaduna
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