By Bashorun J.K. Randle
In what seemed like a combination of rage and revenge, Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States of America not only threatened to bring down the roof of the White House, he was as good as his word. Instead of a calm acceptance of his electoral defeat and a dignified exit, he chose to declassify vast quantities of the most guarded secrets of the US government. He did not spare other countries, not even the closest allies of the United States of America.
Trump even flew a kite – amongst those for whom he was considering presidential pardon was the fugitive former consultant to the CIA, Edward Snowden who had secured asylum in Russia.
As if by prior arrangement (or mere co-incidence) Julien Assange of Wikileaks chose precisely that moment to unleash a huge trove of secret files which had been stolen from the CIA or through the hacking of the computers of strategic and sensitive agencies of the United States of America.
Virtually all major countries are caught in the web of intrigues and shenanigans. Some of the off-cuts relate to the emergence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a southerner, (former military ruler, 1976-1979) as the president of Nigeria in 1999 twenty years after he handed over to civilian President Alhaji Shehu Shagari (1979-1983).
Apparently, Chief Obasanjo’s deal with his Vice-President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a northerner who had played a crucial role in Obasanjo’s snatching of the PDP (People’s Democratic Party) presidential ticket from former Vice-President Dr. Alex Ekwueme and a subsequent challenge by Alhaji Baba Kingibe (who had been the running mate of Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola in the 1993 elections), was that Chief Obasanjo would serve for only two years and thereafter hand over to his heir apparent – Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Everything went smoothly at the beginning. Indeed, President Obasanjo immediately took off on a mission which he described as restoring Nigeria’s international image (from being a pariah nation). It took him to various nooks and corners of the globe.
In the meantime, back home it was Alhaji Abubakar who was running the show. He was very much in charge of the nation’s economic matters – and by extension fiscal policy. He had no cause to complain.
However, after the lapse of two years, all efforts to remind his boss that it was time to hand over fell on deaf ears. His entreaties were not only rebuffed, President Obasanjo sought a second term of four years. That was when matters went really awry, vicious and ugly.
In the meantime, when it came to the PDP primaries and the selection of the presidential candidate in 2003 which should have been automatically handed over to President Obasanjo, there was a huge problem. Power had shifted to the Governors of the States under the control of PDP. They were led by Chief James Ibori, Governor of Delta State. They were all rooting for Vice-President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The die was cast. Vice-President Atiku Abubakar held all the aces. On the eve of the primary, President Obasanjo sent a plane to fetch His Royal Highness Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammad Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa who was Atiku’s father-in-law.
Apparently, it was in the dead of night/early hours of the morning (around 2.30 a.m.) when the Lamido arrived at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock. Vice-President Atiku was summoned and out of deference to the Royal Father (and in-law) he agreed to bury his own ambition. Instead, he would mend fences with his boss, President Obasanjo. They agreed to run a joint ticket again (Obasanjo / Atiku). This did not go down well with the PDP Governors who were eagerly relishing the prospects of humiliating President Obasanjo (who they considered overbearing and meddlesome) by denying him a second term.
It was a much subdued and chastened. President Obasanjo who mounted the rostrum at Eagle Square, Abuja to announce his acceptance of the nomination to carry the flag of PDP with Vice-President Atiku as his running mate. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was off the hook.
However, once the election was won and President Obasanjo was firmly on the seat of power, the relationship between the President and his Vice-President went completely sour. It was a race to the bottom – all the way downhill.
Atiku and his supporters were furious that instead of gratitude and appreciation of loyalty, their reward was the purging of Atiku loyalists from the Presidency. His aides were either sacked or re-designated as staff of the President (not the Vice-President).
In retaliation, the Atiku camp went to town with lurid tales of the President’s vindictiveness and fierce determination to cut Atiku down to size. The relationship between them broke down completely. Matters were made worse by what started as a rumour – President Obasanjo was nursing a “Third Term” agenda (true or false).
From “The Times” of London (Wednesday July 15, 1998) we have the following front page letter with the headline: “NIGERIAN LESSON” duly signed by Sir Peter Smithers: “Sir, During the negotiations for the independence of Nigeria the view of the Secretary of State at that time, with which I agreed, was that in Nigeria we should attempt to put together a large and powerful state with ample material resources, which would play a leading part in the affairs of the continent and of the world. This was attractive but it involved forcing several different ethnic and cultural groups into a single political structure.
The negotiations were complex and very difficult, the chief problem as I remember relating, significantly, to the control of the police and the military.
In the retrospect of 40 years it is clear that this was a grave mistake which has cost many lives and will probably continue to do so. It would have been better to establish several smaller states in a free-trade area.
In exculpation it must be said that we did not then have the examples of the collapse of Yugoslavia and of the Soviet Union before our eyes. I should now be clear for but the wilfully blind to see that it is extremely dangerous to force diverse racial and social entities into a single rigid political structure such as that which is being built upon the foundation of the Maastricht treaty. Recent history suggests that it would be best to complete the development of the Common Market and to call a halt to political integration in Europe.”
Amongst the heaps of documents downloaded by Julien Assange / Wikileaks was a statement credited to Alhaji Othman Ngelzarma, Miyetti Allah leader on Saturday 6th February, 2021:
Headline: “INSECURITY: SETTLEMENTS FOR HERDSMEN IN STATES ONLY RECIPE FOR PEACE.
- You can’t ban open grazing without showing herders where to graze their cattle
- South benefits more from cow than
“We have lost over three million cows as a result of cattle rustling. This has made so many families to become poor and because their children are poor (and ignorant) with no education, prevalence of drought and proliferation of arms, so they become easy prey for initiation into crimes. That is the reason whenever you catch them, if you interview them, they will tell you that N5 million was collected as ransom, but they were given N20,000 or N50,000 out of the money. That goes to show you that there are some big guys behind the whole thing (kidnapping).”
Corroboration was provided by the front page of “Vanguard” newspaper of February 6, 2021, with the following bold headlines on its front page:
- “KIDNAP MERCHANTS SPONSOR OPERATIONS, COLLECT RANSOM, PAY KIDNAPPERS TOKEN ”
- “BANDITS ARE AGENTS OF SOME MASTERS IN CITIES “ -Sheikh Gunmi
- “THEY COLLECT MILLIONS BUT REMAIN RAGTAD; THEY ARE FRONTS” – Senator Shehu Sani
- “OUR HUNTERS ONCE CHASED THEM, THEY RAN INTO A WAITING JEEP AND ZOOMED OFF” – Edo Traditional Ruler
- “HOW THEY CONNIVE WITH RESIDENTS OF SOME COMMUNITIES”
- “I EXPOSED YORUBA, FULANI KIDNAPPERS” -Igangan Seriki Fulani, sacked from Oyo by Sunday Igboho
Even more startling was a document that was allegedly filched from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). The caption was “WHITE SUPREMACISTS URGE MEMBERS TO SPREAD CORONAVIRUS TO AFRICANS, JEWS, COPS.”
The jumbled report read as follows:
“White supremacists are encouraging their members to spread coronavirus to African Americans, Jews and law enforcement, according to the FBI. African Americans have been hit hardest by the coronavirus, contracting and dying of the virus at disproportionate rates. Now the FBI reports that white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other extremist groups are encouraging followers infected with the coronavirus to spread the deadly disease to Black people, Jews and members of law enforcement. ABC News recently obtained an alert sent by the FBI’s New York office that warned that “members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions.”
The alert, which was sent to local police departments, said extremist groups were directing members to use spray bottles to spread infectious fluids, people reported. The groups also advised members to leave “saliva on door handles” at FBI offices throughout the country, spit on elevator buttons and spread the virus in “non-white neighbourhoods,” the brief states according to MSNBC. “White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus,” the FBI brief said.
Also downloaded was the front-page report of “ThisDay” newspaper of February 7, 2021.
Headline: “DRUG TRAFFICKER EXCRETES 86 WRAPS OF COCAINE AT ABUJA AIRPORT.”
“A suspected drug trafficker intercepted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja has excreted 86 wraps of cocaine.
The suspect, Oluchukwu Onu Friday, aged 39 was arrested during the outward clearance of an India bound Ethiopian Airline ET910 en route Abuja-Addis Ababa-New Delhi.
A native of Umuaku-Isiochi village in Abia State, Onu was intercepted at the boarding gate screening and referred for scanning where he proved positive for ingestion.
He excreted 83 wraps of substances, which proved positive for cocaine after the drug test and weighed 1.527 kilograms.
The suspect, a Lagos based dealer in building materials was promised N1.5 million upon successful delivery to a recipient in New Delhi, India.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the Deputy Commander of Narcotics (DCN), Jonah Achema, quoted the suspect as saying: “I deal in building materials in Lagos. I decided to undertake this journey so that I can use the money to support my business. I have lost so much money during this COVID 19. So I need other source of income.”
Onu, a primary school leaver, got married last year and the wife is expectant.
However, NDLEA’s Commander at the Abuja Airport, Kabir Tsakuwa said investigation “is on to dismantle Onu’s drug trafficking network.
“This arrest is spectacular in that it is about the highest number of wraps to be swallowed or ingested by an individual. We have also discovered that this is the first case of cocaine moving from here to India.
“We will explore and exploit all angles in ensuring that this particular drug chain is disrupted and dismantled,” Tsakuwa was quoted in a statement.
Upon his appointment last month, NDLEA’s Chairman, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa gave marching orders to commanders of the agency in all states and special commands to mop the nation of illicit drugs.
Marwa said he would seek government’s approval to conduct drug tests on tertiary institutions’ new students, security agencies’ fresh recruits and all newly appointed government employees.
Marwa said: “All commanders must be desirous of keeping drugs out of Nigerian streets and homes, and so, all of you must shape up and get all those engaged in the nefarious business to face the music.”
What followed was an international arrest warrant for Joseph Edgar for sneaking (hacking) the following story into the front page of “ThisDay” newspaper on 14th February 2021 (Valentine’s Day).
Headline: “AISHA YESUFU – SHOWING THE WAY TO GO.”
“So last night, I walked up to Duchess (wife) and said, please stop listening to this Pastor Nomthi Odukoya – that is the South African wife of my pastor, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya. All these female pastors are not helping my case. I want you to have a new mentor and she is Aisha Yesufu. Duchess looked up at me with her big eyes and asked why? I showed her the BBC clip where Aisha was saying that she used to give her husband any style he wants o, that what else is she doing.
Duchess anytime will be using me to negotiate IMF conditions. Anytime I want action, she will say – ehnn Ini you have not replaced the fridge in the BQ; Ini my mother’s anniversary is next month; Ini I am owing Folake next door; I took four shoes. After meeting all the requirements, she will say, ‘Ini go and bath and bath well, wash behind your ears, Ini let the children sleep first; Chantal (daughter) might walk in. When I say oya come on top and face the wall.
She will scream, ‘God forgive you. Where did you learn all of this? It is not Christian-like. Shame will be catching me and I will say sorry. Then the one that used to pain me the most is she will call by 5pm and say, I am starting fasting by 6pm if you can’t come now that is it for the next 90 days. How will I rush from Ikoyi to Shomolu in traffic and still get home before curfew? You see how these pastors let me call them names I beg, I have suffered enough – the greatest culprit na Pastor Mrs. Odukoya, her husband Pastor Odukoya, GO (General Overseer) of Redeemed, Baba Shiloh and recently one Baba Apostolic in Ibadan. That one is on YouTube o. They are the ones affecting my sex life. So, you see why Aisha must move in very quickly and dislodge these people before I start to experience power failure o. At 51, I no get time again o and someone will come and be rationing it. I will cheat o.”
Bashorun J.K. Randle is a former President of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and former Chairman of KPMG Nigeria and Africa Region.
He is currently the Chairman, JK Randle Professional Services