A LETTER BOMB TO ATIKU ABUBAKAR – BY A DISSATISFIED NIGERIAN
– CHURCHILL OKONKWO
You are a symbol of the past failures and the politically corrupt Nigeria. With all due respect, therefore, I, on behalf of millions of Nigerians want to remind you that you should shut up when we are discussing anti-corruption challenges and the way forward.
I laughed cynically when I heard you brag that you would “shock everyone because you will fight corruption …if given the opportunity to preside over the affairs of the country.” You challenged Nigerians to either “come forward with a single shred of evidence of [your] misconduct while in office or keep quiet.” Crude arrogance! You subsequently bragged that your stupendous wealth was a result of your “resourcefulness and successful investments”.
What a lie! To use your own words, that display of arrogance was “morally offensive” to millions of Nigerians. Please, sir, accept my apologies, but the issue is not about your “entrepreneurial spirit” *but whether you can corroborate the SOURCE of your investments and wealth.* Sir, you are not more resourceful than millions of Nigerians, and thousands of investors with hard-earned and traceable sources of wealth. So, sir, take your sermon of rooting out corruption in Nigeria to the sedimentary rocks in the valley of Adamawa Highlands. Tell us what happened to the N7.5 B failed Chochi Dam project which you brought the contractor and supervised the project. What happened to the Jada Federal Government communication project awarded by Obasanjo under ur supervision which N4.5 Billion went into a failed project. Tell Nigerians how u took a loan from Bank PHB in 1998 of N300M to run for Governorship of Adamawa, when you were controversially declared the winner and after becoming the VP the bank cancelled the loan. We have documented evidence of this loan, when you took this loan Bamanga Tukur was one of the richest people in the North East with two shipping vessels on the high seas, but just after 8 years as VP you not only became the richest in Adamawa and one of the richest in Nigeria but you built 158 mansions in the country and 42 mosques in Christian dominated areas of Adamawa State the citing and construction of some of these mosques created several crisis killing thousands of people and dethroning a First Class king.
As a show of good faith, sir, can you please explain to Nigerians how you, a retired Customs officer and VP, got the millions of Dollars, without a bank loan, you paid to the American University in Washington DC for a direct license to use the franchise of the university? We know that your estimated $25 million worth of University (ABTI American University) in Yola was not just because you were resourceful. Siemens of Germany wired $1.7 million of bribe money of Nigerian Govt officials to the account of one of ur wives in the US, Jennifer. The same Jennifer and University of America told US investigators that all wire transfers of over $40 million dat both of them received from offshore companies that they did not know came from Atiku Abubakar at a time you were Nigeria’s Vice President.
What is the source of the inexplicable reason for your increased wealth after 8 years as VP? Accept my apologies sir, but can you explain to Nigerians the source of hundreds of multi-million Naira mansions, mostly built on what Nigerians believe to be proceeds of corruption? What of the $125m you diverted from the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF)? Can you please, sir; explain to Nigerians how you managed to command controlling shares in Bank PHB, controlling shares in Intel, and oil services companies operating in many African countries?
If you are as smart and intelligent as you want Nigerians to believe, then it will not be difficult to break down the source of your wealth. Believe me, there are millions of Nigerians out there that are more resourceful than you that will be turned into billionaires overnight if only you can show us your magic wand. So, without explaining the source of your wealth, it is an insult to ask us to provide evidence that you are chronically corrupt. The burden of proof is on you, sir.
How can Nigeria move forward, when we are hamstrung by symbols of past failures, like you Atiku? Let me remind those still living in the graveyards of yesteryears of what you represent, sir. Your mere presence in Nigerian politics reminds us of the era of fire-breathing monsters that plundered the national wealth. Sir, your administration with Obasanjo represents a government of the ugly looters and predators. Under you, and Obasanjo, corruption was so sweet and so exquisite that the political class fell over themselves to worship the mini gods in Aso Rock.
Accept my apologies, sir, but Nigerians have not forgotten that under you and Obasanjo, our yesteryears were locust-infested. When you and Obasanjo pretended to be fighting corruption while in office from 1999 to 2007, we had wretched criminals that grew the size of their stomachs and pockets from “Turn Around Maintenance” of our refineries and under-selling of government entities to cronies. Under you and Obasanjo, we had ministers and thieves that were busy acquiring properties worth billions while our infrastructures decayed.
Sir, you are a woodpecker that feeds on the pantry of the poor, but found a way to avoid having boils in your mouth. The same mouth you are now using to insult us and bragging about how clean you are in amassing wealth in the midst of poverty in your backyard.
Atiku, sir, your ambition, therefore, deserves to be killed now. It is time for you to retire from public life, disappear from Twitter, political screens, and sight somewhere far away. Sir, when you drive around the hills and valleys of Adamawa Highland, are you not worried and ashamed about the difference between your fortunes and that of the poor masses you claim to represent?
Nigerians believe that corruption is a bigger threat than insecurity in your backyard in Northeastern Nigeria. Fighting corruption in good faith will heal the wounds of millions of Nigerians adversely affected over many decades. Unfortunately, sir, until you explain to us how you amassed your wealth, you are not the right man to lead Nigeria.
The stories surrounding the cancellation, the legality or illegality of the contract between Intels and its subsidiaries with Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) is an indication that your greed is finally catching up with you. For me, that deal is like the rest of the dubious investments you are now flaunting, all of which is a textbook example of how crooked bureaucrats like you amass wealth through cronyism and graft.
So, accept my apologies. You, like your co-traveller the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, represent the dangerously corrupt political elites in Nigeria. As you make an attempt at the Nigerian Presidency for the umpteenth time, know it that your reckless shame has expired. The period from 1999 to 2017 is gone, even though the mess you and Obasanjo left behind is still hunting Nigerians.
Sir, I love you, but, until we begin to challenge serving and former civil servants and public office holders like you that cannot explain how they acquired so much wealth, we cannot really claim to be fighting corruption. Shed some light on the source of every Kobo of your shadowed investments and businesses and shame the people you refer to as “political enemies”.
While I wait for your explanation, know it that I will be the first to raise my hand and campaign for you if you will satisfactorily demonstrate the source of your wealth the way you explain to a 3-year old that 1 + 1 = 2. I say this with as a much respect as I can muster, hoping that you will disgrace me with verifiable proof.
Until you do that, sir, you should shut up and bow your head in shame, if there is still any left in you, when Nigerians are talking about the serious business of fighting corruption.