I Don't Hate Adenuga, OBJ Responds to Awujale

January 4, 2017, 9:25 pm

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday denied the assertions made by the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru K.  Adetona, in his autobiography that he (Obasanjo) hates the Chairman, Globacom, Sir Mike Adenuga.

Awujale had in his Autobiography titled "Awujale : The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S.K Adetona, Ogbagba II" asserted that the former president hated Adenuga. 

But In an open letter to the Oba, dated December 30th, 2016, the former president said Awujale's assertion in his publication was a tissue of lies and untruths. 

Obasanjo said he has nothing against the telecommunications guru and that he only performed his duty while in office as the president without fear or favour.          

He also upbraided Awujale saying wild rumours should not be perpetrated by an Oba of Awujale's calibre,  noting that if he had anything against Adenuga he would not see himself taking pictures with him.     

"Kabiyesi, do you think I would set the press up to capture me and Mike (Adenuga) in a photograph for the newspapers?  That would be puerile of me as President.  

"Of course, I could not say that Mike (Adenuga)  could not do that.  That you think that I, as President of Nigeria, would descend to such depravity makes me think of you much less than I thought of you, until now."

Obasanjo said the total sum of what the Awujale wrote down in the pages of his book was that  he disliked Mike, saying "maybe I need to remind you that if there was any iota of truth in such a position or mindset, Mike would not have been granted the mobile telephone licence which made him a billionaire.

"It was my prerogative as the President so to do.  You may also be reminded that in the first round of the auction which Mike did not make, the country earned US$285 million for each licence.  

"The country earned only US$200 million from the licence transaction with Mike and in the subsequent transaction with Etisalat, the country earned US$400 million.  

"It was a deliberate action on my part that a Nigerian should own one of the licences.  Anybody else but Mike could have been that Nigerian.

"The type of hate propaganda you (Awujale) have tried to project in that section of your book against my person is grossly unbecoming of an Oba let alone an Oba of your status and stature," the former President further said.             

Also reacting to the allegation that he used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Adenuga, Obasanjo said that under his watch EFCC was free to do its job as it saw fit. 

He said he never dabbled in the activities of the Commission contending that  if the Oba's cousin, Adenoma, did  tell him that his then Chief of Staff, Abdul Mohammed (General Abdullahi Mohammed), put his reputation on line by assuring EFCC that Mike would go nowhere 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 of 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?  On several occasions, Nuhu Ribadu has asserted that, under my watch, he was a free agent to do his work as he deemed fit.  Where it was necessary, he reported the outcome of his work to me and the subsequent or follow-up actions he intended to take.  On no occasion did I guide, lead or direct him on what to do", he said.

He added that he did not consider it a right for him as the then president of Nigeria to undermine EFCC by hobnobbing with the person, saying that "Mike did not need to send anything to me to satisfy me, he needed to satisfy EFCC and so your sending any documents to me was insinuating that I am the one to be satisfied rather than the EFCC. "

 He added: "So, such documents were not paid any attention by me.   You, as the cousin and part beneficiary from Mike as you have told me in the past, would not be able to see the tree from the forest as far as the mode of operation of Nuhu Ribadu was concerned viz-a-viz Mike. 

"If that he was my child the best I could do would be to secure a good lawyer to handle the matter before the EFCC," he added.                       

Obasanjo however said Mike invitation to contribute to the building of the Library block of Bells University was issued to him by the then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julius Okogie, who never told him about inviting Mike to do so until Mike pulled out.  

 "And that I have no idea and I did not talk to Mike about it should convince you that I know nothing about its genesis," he stressed.                             

The former president declared that he owed nobody any apologies in the course of doing his work as he believed he should do it or in the course of defending the interest of Nigeria and defending his integrity.     

He queried again "Kabiyesi  if I have squandered all the goodwill I had, you would not have contacted me on behalf of All Progressive Party, APC, to receive them in 2014 and you would not have been personally present when I received them as I demanded.  I probably have greater goodwill today internally and externally than I had in office. "

He however said he still accorded the  respect which he believed an Oba should be accorded and one for that matter whom he presumed to be a friend. " In spite of your unfortunate projection, my position remains the same – respect for you as an Oba and a friend."

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