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Showdown in Nigeria: Obasanjo faces corruption and ineptitude impeachment threat
Parliament gives retired Gen. Obasanjo 2 weeks to resign or face Impeachment for corruption,"monumental inadequacies, ineptitude, persistent disrespect for the rule of law...." Embattled Senate Prez Anyim says Obasanjo should not get 2nd term

 

 

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.com, The Black Business Journal
NigeriaCentral.com  

Nigeria's House of Representatives on Tuesday August 13 unanimously adopted a motion which has accused the President of Nigeria, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo of "monumental inadequacies, ineptitude, persistent disrespect for the rule of law and obvious corruption being perpetrated in the presidency, which exposes Mr. President's inability to steer the ship of the state...." The House dominated by members of Obasanjo's own Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), gave him a two-week ultimatum to "resign honourably" or face impeachment. The motion which was sponsored by Mohammed Kumalia and 86 other members of the House, specifically called on Obasanjo to "resign honourably as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria within two weeks from the date of this motion or face impeachment."

The motion reads argued that:
• Whereas the current Democratic dispensation came into being on May 29,1999;

• Whereas Nigerians received the current Democratic dispensation with enthusiasm, great hopes and expectation;

• Whereas the National Assembly has passed budgets for the country in 1999, 2000 and 2001 which were all assented to by Mr. President but were not fully implemented by him, despite the fact that all budget projections were met and even surpassed, especially the 2000 and 2001 estimates during the country earned the sum of $14.9 Billion and $14.5 Billion respectively from the sale of crude oil;

• Whereas the 2002 Budget was passed and assented to by Mr. President in March and the Supreme Court judgment of 5th April, 2002 which brought about the need to review the budget and bring it into conformity with the judgment of the apex court, 5 months into the year, the President flatly refused to bring to the National Assembly the review and unilaterally set up an executive committee to perform the constitutional function of the National Assembly which has stalemated the implementation of the budget and thereby grounding the economy and the activities of government;

• Whereas the same Supreme Court judgment also brought about the need to amend the revenue allocation formula for the federation, Mr. President refused to propose the amendment to the National Assembly and unilaterally amended the law by executive order, an action which is unconstitutional and amounts to gross misconduct on the part of the president;

• Whereas, in spite of all the budgets passed by the National Assembly in the past three years, Mr. President has incurred a lot of extra budgetary expenditure i.e. Review of National Stadium contract, provision of more money than budgeted for the National Identity Card Programme, an award of $13 million to the Ghana Police Force, purchase of 1500 vehicles to the Nigeria Police without budgetary approvals, spending more money than approved for his rampant trips abroad among others;

• Whereas the exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar has continued to depreciate against the Dollar since the inception of this administration because of absence of any economic blue print;

• Whereas the inflation rate has continued to rise from 9 percent in 1999 to 19 percent in 2002, thereby afflicting unnecessary hardship on the Nigerian masses whose income is continually dwindling by the day;

• Whereas the current state of insecurity, lawlessness, communal clashes and armed robbery in the country is unprecedented, Mr. President has not shown any capacity to redress these ills that have brought about a state of national insecurity;

• Whereas the loss of lives brought about either directly or indirectly by Mr. President's action and inactions is monumental e.g. loss of lives in Odi, Zaki Biam, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba etc shows his complete lack of capacity to manage the security concern of the country;

• Whereas civil servants salaries at the Federal level are either owed or at times paid months in arrears, foreign service personnel have not been paid salaries for several months and are still owed, Police and Immigration Service personnel are being paid 50 percent of their salaries and allowances for several months. This has led to a situation whereby the Nigeria Police went on strike for the first time in the history of this country;

• Whereas monies standing to the credit of the judiciary in the budget is not paid as and when due in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and has therefore led to the non- payment of salaries and allowances for judicial officials;

• Whereas Mr. President's personnel persistence on adopting his revenue sharing formula has paralyzed the activities of all states and local government and therefore afflicting untold hardship on both civil servants and the general populace in those states. Monthly statutory allocation is being deducted at source illegally to pay for debts in spite of the Supreme Court decision against it;

• Whereas the organised labour movement have been emasculated to the point of arresting the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress and charging him to court to prevent him from carrying out a legal and legitimate labour rally to show their dissatisfaction at the way labour is being treated by Mr. President.

• Whereas for the first time in the history of this country, the NNPC is being run as a private business enterprises of Mr. President, which has brought about the cloudy nature of what the NNPC is earning from the sale of the crude oil;

• Whereas the CBN is being used as an Institution for committing all sort of fraud and illegalities by Mr. President.

• Now this House do resolve as follows:

• That by reason of the monumental inadequacies, persistent disrespect for the rule of law and the obvious corruption being perpetrated in the presidency which exposes Mr. President's inability to steer the ship of state as its President, Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is hereby advised to resign honourably as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria within two weeks from the date of this motion of face impeachment."

Kumaila added that "frustration has taken the order of the day. People are dying of hunger. Judiciary, labour and the legislature are emasculated. National Assembly is being owed salaries to the tune of N10 billion.... NNPC and CBN are conniving with the Presidency to keep the crude oil earnings from the public. The Mint is about to be sold to the children of the Kenyan President and son of the President, Gbenga Obasanjo. There is flagrant disobedience of court order and the rule of law. There is a complete breach of the constitution."

Like most of his colleagues Kumalia said that Obasanjo wa s running avery corrupt government, and he cited the example of the Accountant General of the Federation, Kayode Naiyeju. Naiyeju, a Yoruba like Obasanjo, was indicted reportedly for the abuse of proceeds of the Education Trust Fund (ETF) but was promoted Accountant General of the Federation by retired General Obasanjo.

Anyim said the president and his men were after him because "The Presidency believed that I was supporting the motion (for his impeachment about 2 months ago).... the substance of the motion was non-implementation of budget" (rather) "the issue of impeachment was ancillary.... Obviously I have no regrets because every senator has equal access to the use of that floor and I will not suppress anybody who has a motion to raise."

Observers of Nigeria's politics informed USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica The Newspaper that Obasanjo will overcome this latest challenge to his credibility and capacity to lead Nigeria (his 2nd time, the first being 1976-1979). This second 4-year run started in 1999. Obviously, the PDP is divided house. And, a house divided against itself is merely living on borrowed times. That is to put politely.


Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), is Founder and Publisher of first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet, USAfricaonline.com. He appears as an analyst on CNN's Inside Africa and publishes Houston-based USAfrica The Newspaper, NigeriaCentral.com and The Black Business Journal.
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