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Obasanjo Replies Oba Awujale Allegations; Says The Monarch Trades In Rumours; Lacks “Common Sense”

ABEOKUTA, OGUN, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has taken a swipe at the Awujale of Ijebuland, Ogun State, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona over his allegation that he is ‘’liar’’, in his (Awujale’s) authobiography, challenging the Monarch as trading in rumours and lacking common sense.

Obasanjo’s response to the extract between pages 187 and 195 of the book; titled: Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba SK Adetona, Ogbagba 11 was conveyed through a letter dated December 30, 2016 to the traditional ruler.

Oba Awujale in the book accused Obasanjo of using his office and powers as President, to harass and intimidate business mongul and Chairman of Globacom, Chief Mike Adenuga.

Former President Obasanjo described Awujale’s claims as bizarre rumors, which a traditional ruler of his status should not be linked with. The retired PDP Chieftain restated ‘’Common sense would suggest that wild rumors should not be perpetrated by an Oba of your caliber’’.

Obasanjo in the letter wrote: “Kabiyesi, the total sum of what you have put down in those pages of your book is that I dislike Mike (Adenuga). Maybe I need to remind you that if there was any iota of truth in such a position or mindset, Mike would never have been granted the mobile phone telephone license, which made him a billionaire. It was my prerogative as the President so to do. You may also be reminded that the first round of auction, which Mike did not make, the country earned $285million for each license. The country earned only $200million from the license transaction with Mike and in the subsequent transaction with Etisalat, the country earned $400million. It was a deliberate action on my part that a Nigerian should own one of the licenses. Anybody else but Mike could have been that Nigerian’’.

“Kabiyesi, your cousin did not tell you that my Chief of Staff, Abdul Mohammed, put his reputation on the line by assuring EFCC that Mike would not go anywhere and they should trust him to give him his passport. I did not even know that Abdul had done that until the Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, reported the case of my Chief of Staff seemingly colluding with Mike to run out the country. But I had implicit confidence in my Chief of Staff and I was to resolve the issue. Should your cousin not have mentioned to Abdul who guaranteed the release of his passport, his fears and intention to go on exile?”

The former President exposed the traditional ruler’s decision to send him documents on Mr. Adenuga’s case with the EFCC, and recalled he told him he did not pay attention to the said documents since he was not the EFCC and did not dictate what the commission did then.

He said: “Mike did not need to send anything to me to satisfy me. He needed to satisfy the EFCC, and so your sending any documents to me was insinuating that I am the one to be satisfied rather than the EFCC’’.

Obasanjo declared in his letter that such documents did receive his attention, telling Awujale that ‘’You, as a part beneficiary from Mike, as you have told me in the past, would not be able to see the tree from the forest viz-a-viz, Mike. If the EFCC was investigating anybody, I did not consider it right for me to be the President of Nigeria to be undermining the EFCC by hobnobbing with that person’’.

On the Awujale’s allegation that Obasanjo deliberately arranged a photo-op with Mr. Adenuga, the former President said the traditional ruler had fallen many notches in his estimation.

“Your assertion in the publication was a tissue of lies and untruths. Olopade is one of my best friends, and yes, I would be at his birthday celebration, but I would not have invited Mike, your cousin, to meet me anywhere other than my office or official residence as President of Nigeria. Kabiyesi, do you think I would set the press up for to capture Mike and me in a photograph for the newspapers? That would be puerile for me as President. Of course, I could not say that Mike could not do that’’ he recalled.

“Kabiyesi, the total sum of what you have put down in those pages of your book is that I dislike Mike (Adenuga). Maybe I need to remind you that if there was any iota of truth in such a position or mindset, Mike would never have been granted the mobile phone telephone license, which made him a billionaire. It was my prerogative as the President so to do. You may also be reminded that the first round of auction, which Mike did not make, the country earned $285million for each license. The country earned only $200million from the license transaction with Mike and in the subsequent transaction with Etisalat, the country earned $400million. It was a deliberate action on my part that a Nigerian should own one of the licenses. Anybody else but Mike could have been that Nigerian,” Obasanjo wrote.

In his reply to the use of EFCC as attacking tool against the perceived enemies, Obasanjo stated: “Kabiyesi, your cousin did not tell you that my Chief of Staff, Abdul Mohammed, put his reputation on the line by assuring EFCC that Mike would not go anywhere and they should trust him to give him his passport. I did not even know that Abdul had done that until the Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, reported the case of my Chief of Staff seemingly colluding with Mike to run out the country. But I had implicit confidence in my Chief of Staff and I was to resolve the issue. Should your cousin not have mentioned to Abdul who guaranteed the release of his passport, his fears and intention to go on exile?”

Former President Obasanjo also dismissed Awujale’s claim that he was offended at the decision of Mr. Adenuga not to make financial contributions to the building of the library at Bells University. The former President indicated Mr. Adenuga was invited by the former Vice-Chancellor of the University, who he stated did not inform him of the invitation to the Globacom Chairman to contribute until the businessman pulled out.

In his defence, Obasanjo wrote “It is not only in the case of Obajana Cement that you were rumour-mongering about me. You have done that repeatedly on many occasions’’.

He cited that the latest of such misgiving of Oba Awujale was in last year when he alleged that Monarch told him that he went to Chief Razak Okoya, to ask him to marry his daughter. According to Obasanjo, it was the girl that came to him seeking his intervention in a disagreement with her father. Obasanjo said he later intervened and Okoya and his daughter were reconciled.

“I told you even then that it was unbecoming. Of course, I am used to such rumors, slandering, and insinuations since my days as Unit Commander in the Army, and I have developed a thick skin. If ten percent of the rumors ascribing businesses and properties I know nothing about were true, I would be the richest man on earth. But recently when Aliko (Dangote), yourself and myself were together, Aliko assured you that I never had a single share in any of Aliko’s business interests, but whenever he has called on me to help within and without to promote his business interests, I have always helped,” Obasanjo wrote.

“It is of interest to me that Mike did not tell you that when he wanted a national honour, he came to me and I did not react until Babangida (former military President) recommended him and said: ‘Of all those I have helped, Mike is one of the most appreciative,” Chief Obasanjo recalled.

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