Former Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo operated the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a “sole administrator” for the eight years as President, a new book has revealed.
According to a book titled ‘Too Good to Die: Third Term and the Myth of the Indispensable Man in Africa’, while serving as minister of petroleum resources, Obasanjo never discussed activities of the corporation with government officials until his last days in office.
Concise News recalls that Obasanjo was Nigeria’s President from 1999 to 2007, during which he made himself the minister overseeing the nation’s petroleum sector until January 2007, when he relinquished that position.
During that time, the only official the former President had in a similar capacity was Edmund Daukoru, his presidential adviser on petroleum and energy, whom he later made the minister of state for petroleum resources in 2005.
In the book, the authors – Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and Ayisha Osori, author of ‘Love Does Not Win Elections’ – said Obasanjo was “ultimately responsible for all the decisions made affecting the petroleum sector”.
The authors of the book revealed how Obasanjo secured approval for all his dealings as petroleum minister in one fell swoop, during one of the last federal executive council meetings.
The authors wrote: “In one of the last working sessions of cabinet in May, 2007, Obasanjo required cabinet to give retrospective approval to all the measures he had taken over the eight years in which he acted as sole administrator of Nigeria’s oil industry.
“Cabinet duly obliged him after recording Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s objection.
“For this purpose, each minister received their share of the documents they were required to approve in a Ghana-must-go bag. None had the capacity to process or read them. The approval was pro-forma,” they wrote.