Monday, February 05, 2007

Atiku’s Quixotic Breakfast Meeting.

The vice president, Abubakar Atiku, in a breakfast meeting/interview with journalists last Saturday in Kano made a pronouncement that he has been out of the loop in the Obasanjo led government for the past three years. He claimed not to be in the know of what entails in the government as regards how decisions are reached and executed by the president, the ministers and parastatals. He went on to make what appears to have been an attempt at a "half-wit" joke, something about how only a woman can force Obasanjo to do anything, making reference to an alleged ill-spent $500 million to revamp the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) in the first two years of the Obasanjo/Atiku administration.

If Atiku has been coasting idly in the Obasanjo led government, it means he has not been adding value. If this is the case, why has he allowed the Nigerian government to waste so much resources (the retinue of advisers, aides, presidential jets and other expensive perquisites run the Nigerian government in excess of $10 million per annum) to keep his self-confessed "useless" office? Would these resources not have been better spent to provide health care and education for the masses rather than on the up keep of an idle politician whose constant antagonism and cavil against his boss is nothing but a negative externality?

What any respectable person that has been thrust in an idle situation, such as the one to which the vice president alludes, would do is resign to pursue a more useful endeavor. But in spite of the “joblessness” Atiku claims to have found himself, he choses to remain put, perhaps to enjoy the perks of the office. The idle mind, the saying goes, is the devil’s playground. It seems the devil found in Atiku’s idle mind one hell of a playground! It may have been the devil who pushed Atiku to mismanage and embezzle the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) monies, be engaged in the iGate bribery scandal, the Marine Float, Globacom and ETB shady deals for which he has been indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His mind, still seized by the devil, is causing Atiku to make a mockery of the office of the vice president and the Nigerian democratic process. Atiku has found a calling in justifying his disgraceful and quixotic conduct by his putative rejection of the “third term agenda” of last year. Many prominent politicians rejected the third term more vigorously than did Atiku, among who are the current senate president and his counterpart, the house speaker. These politicians have not been persecuted in any manner, as Atiku claims he is, for their objection of the third term proposal. The truth be told - Atiku continues to hold on to the office of the VP because his resignation would strip him of the immunity conferred on him by the office and therefore leave him open to prosecution for the acts of fraud of which he has been indicted. His quest for the presidency is in order to extend this immunity protection and be availed of the power to quash the stellar EFCC and its chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, who he holds personally responsible for his (Atiku’s) indictment.


Atala Wala Wala said...

Hi Veracity,

I'm sensing a vague notion here that you're not Atiku Abubakar's number one fan. :)

I strongly believe that Abubakar's indictment is politically motivated. For one thing, there are many other more openly corrupt public officials and politicians who remain untouched. For another, the genesis of his fallout with Obasanjo over his behaviour in the run-up to the 2003 elections is widely documented.

But hey - if indeed he is guilty, I'm not going to lose any sleep over his prosecution. I'm just not going to pretend that Obasanjo is mounting a holy crusade against corruption in prosecuting him.

Veracity said...

Atala wala wala,

I most certainly am not an Atiku fan. I can't imagine that he has any "non-venal" ones. Neither am I suggesting that OBJ is a saint. In fact, I think the old man is somewhat delusional and still spots the crass abrasiveness that is characteristic of Nigerian military men.

My beef with Atiku is his Rabelaisian comportment as regards the allegations of fraud levelled against him. He seems to be saying: "Yes I embezzeled, but I did not steal alone." The fact that he is a self-admitted embezzeler is grounds enough for him to opt out of office, yet he clings tenaciously to a job which he himself has confessed is a "lame duck" of a job since he does not have any responsibilities and is not included in salient decisions in the corridors of power.

Anonymous said...

Now that he has been disqulified by INEC let's wait for his next move.