Former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has opened up on power play in Nigeria during the administration of late President Umaru Yar’ Adua.
Chidoka, a former Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, confirmed that a cabal existed in that government.
He spoke while presenting a paper on the topic ‘Towards a Guiding Political Philosophy for a Democratic Nigeria’ during a public lecture organised by the Youth Development Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library, Ogun State.
The Anambra-born ex-Minister said he was to be sacked from office in 2008 on a suspicion that he was among the “Obasanjo boys” who were allegedly plotting to discredit Yar’ Adua in order to remove the president from office.
His words: “Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, then Secretary to Government of the Federation called me and inquired about a meeting I had in London with then EFCC Chairman Nuhu Ribadu and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to launch an international media campaign to discredit President Umaru Yar’Adua as part of plans by the Obasanjo boys to remove President Yar’Adua from office”.
“Shortly after that discussion another senior friend of mine, Chief Mike Nwakalor, frantically called me and said I should thank Amb. Kingibe for standing up for me and insisting that the Osita he knows would not be part of a plan to discredit a government he is serving as a Chief Executive.
“Chief Nwakalor had also told some of those peddling the story that unless Ojo Maduekwe was part of the plot he does not see how Osita would plan such.
“The truth was that I had come out of Paris from a road safety conference with my wife and checked into the Hilton Metropole where incidentally Nuhu Ribadu, who arrived from a Thisday Event in New York, was also staying.
“We met in the lobby and he told me he was waiting for Nasir to go and see Gani
Fawehinmi who was very sick at the time in London, I quickly offered to go and see Chief with them as I hadn’t seen him since he was hospitalised. After the visit I left with Nasir and Jimi Lawal to join the Awujale of Ijebu for Iftar dinner as it was Ramadan. The following day I left for Nigeria”, PremiumTimes quoted him as saying.
Chidoka said the story of the existence of a plot against Mr. Yar’ Adua “was only symptomatic of a more fundamental problem of ideological differences between the so-called ‘Obasanjo boys’ and the emerging ‘Yar’Adua group’.
“This difference arose largely because the PDP at that time was not constructed along any guiding political philosophy hence the immediate effort to dismantle what some termed the Obasanjo hegemony.
“Subsequently Nuhu Ribadu was removed as EFCC Chairman, Nasir El-Rufai went on exile.
“In my case, a Presidential Panel was set up to investigate allegations that my appointment did not follow due process and other sundry allegations, same petition was also sent to ICPC and EFCC. Luckily for me Ambassador Kingibe and then Permanent Secretary General Services Office Hakeem Baba-Ahmed stood their ground and saved my nascent career from the forces I worked day and night with President Obasanjo to bring to power,” said Mr. Chidoka.
Chidoka was later appointed a Minister of Aviation in 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan who succeeded Mr. Yar’ Adua.
Source: Daily Post