Nigerian leader denies corruption, death squads
Nigeria`s President Goodluck Jonathan is challenging a prominent critic to prove allegations of corruption and that he is training a death squad to kill enemies.
Lagos: Nigeria`s President Goodluck Jonathan is challenging a prominent critic to prove allegations of corruption and that he is training a death squad to kill enemies.
President Goodluck Jonathan, in a letter posted on his special adviser`s website today, did not address charges that he is shielding a party financier indicted for drug trafficking in the United States and that drug barons are influencing politicians.
Jonathan said he has asked security agencies and the government-funded National Commission for Human Rights to investigate Obasanjo`s suggestion that he is training a killer squad to assassinate some of the more than 1,000 alleged enemies on a hit list.
The letter responds to criminal and treasonous allegations made by his former mentor and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is the most comprehensive accounting of his government ever provided by Jonathan, who has governed since the end of 2009, yet still sidesteps difficult questions.
Nigeria`s leader barely touched on the issue of the indicted Buruji Kashamu, saying the man had already responded himself.
Obasanjo said the government`s failure to extradite Kashamu "is only confirming the persistent reports of complicity and condonation (condoning) of the crime for political benefit."
He warned that "Sooner (rather) than later, drug barons ... Will buy candidates, parties and eventually buy power or be in power themselves."
Kashamu, who insists he is "a clean businessman," said he had worked closely with Obasanjo when he was president and "spent over 3 billion naira" (about USD 20 million) to ensure the ruling party won the vote in Obasanjo`s Ogun state.
"When he was using me, he did not know me as a drug dealer," Kashamu told the newspaper Vanguard. "When Obasanjo was in government, almost 60 per cent, including some former governors and former senators that surrounded Obasanjo, were all drug dealers."
Jonathan suggests that Obasanjo is guilty of some of the same crimes he accuses Jonathan of. Jonathan says he has never been associated with political violence though assassinations occurred under his predecessors, implying also under Obasanjo`s watch.
He refers to Obasanjo`s most infamous moment the deployment of troops to the town of Odi in the turbulent Niger Delta in 1999 who razed it to the ground and massacred hundreds in revenge for the killing of security forces.