Umaru Yar’Adua Poison Claim: Olusegun Obasanjo Is Undaunted, Says Close Associate


obasanjo_Umaru Yar’Adua Poison Claim: Olusegun Obasanjo Is Undaunted-A close associate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to an insinuating report that the former president poisoned ex president Umaru Yar’Adua, whom he helped to succeed him as Nigeria’s president as he (Obasanjo) vacated the presidency in 2007.

 According to the associate, this was a wicked conspiracy aimed at creating disunity in the country. He said” Obasanjo is a conscientious man who means well for our dear country and wishing well every region of the nation. he claimed the intentions of those behind the report would soon come to the open, describing them as cowards.

A calculated effort to engineer a cold war between the North and South-West Nigeria has been put in motion as a former close associate and confidant of ex-President Ibrahim Babangida,  Professor Ukandi G. Damachi  alleged that former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was poisoned by his predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo, who used his kitchen staff members.

The allegation, which had been built up from a mere assumption to Wikileaks had been put across in the media after it was published by the online news forum newsrescue as if it was a deliberate poisoning to exterminate former President Yar’Adua.

Going through the content of the story, it seemed that just after Umaru Yar’Adua resumed office,  there was a minor element of food poisoning, which made the former leader re organise his kitchen staff has been put across as if there was passive murder committed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 The insinuations were played upon by the online news forum that revealed the allegation with doctored viewpoints and well tailored innuendos.  

Quoting  Newsrescue:The Wikileaks cable, of Apr. 2008, reference ID 08LAGOS153, described in Professor Damachi’s narration, that late president Yar’Adua was given poison in his food, “his food was poisoned”, he alleged. Further stating that the president inherited his predecessor, president Obasanjo’s kitchen, and these kitchen staff were likely used to poison Nigeria’s president. The professor further revealed that when president Yar’Adua realized this he fired the Obasanjo kitchen staff.

Quoting Damachi from the US secret cables, newsrescue wrote:

“There are lots of problems in Nigeria.” The first problem, he said, is the President’s illness; “his food was poisoned”, Damachi alleged. Asked whether he meant “food poisoning” or that someone had deliberately poisoned the President’s food, Damachi shrugged, replying “The President inherited Obasanjo’s kitchen staff”; Yar’Adua has now fired them all, and the kitchen has been cleaned out following the incident, Damachi said. At the same time, Damachi went on, the President did attend functions on both the Saturday and Sunday preceding his illness and ate some food at both of them. “What President eats at a function?”, Damachi asked rhetorically. The President was so sick that the day he signed the budget, he was unable to sign a second piece of legislation awaiting his approval…”

To further add authenticate the allegation, newsrescue insinuated: Yar’Adua was known to have stepped hard on his predecessors toes. Upon entering office president Yar’Adua, described by his wife as a very honest man who left no wealth behind; seriously went after the reversal of Nigeria’s public assets that his predecessor had sold to his allies, Aliku Dangote and Femi Otedola.

It further dug into a news item by Reuters which allegedly dug into certain the relationship between Dangote and Obasanjo, denoting  that the former leader (Obasanjo) was dubious and had his undertone reason for poisoning Yar’Adua:”
Reuters reported on the serious transfer of Nigeria’s assets by Obasanjo to Dangote:

(Reuters) – “Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote has acquired a controlling stake in Nigeria’s third-largest refinery in Kaduna for an undisclosed sum, consolidating his grip on the OPEC member nation’s refining sector.  It was the second major refinery purchase in a week by Dangote, who is a major financier of the ruling party and ally of outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo, after he bought the largest refinery in Port Harcourt on May 17.”

“In the weeks leading up to Obasanjo’s departure, Dangote’s privately held company has also scooped up a cement plant, a telecoms licence and mining concessions in a rush of privatisations that has triggered accusations of cronyism by opposition parties.”

Yaradua-and-Jonathan-479x300By July of 2007, barely 2 months into office, Yar’Adua had held meetings with Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), to query the sale of Nigeria’s refineries to Obasanjo’s henchmen, Aliku Dangote and tycoon Otedola. BPE  reportedly justified the sale to Bluestar, saying it was transparent, but the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) faulted it, and maintained that the corporation was capable of running them efficiently.

President Yar’Adua “after considering the facts presented to him, the President directed that the sale should be revoked as the exercise was not transparent enough.  The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) praised President Yar’Adua for the revocation of the privatization of the refineries.”

Dangote And former president Obasanjo

President Yar’Adua, determined to recover Nigeria’s infrastructure and assets coveted by Obasanjo and his cronies, moved on to other government assets.

Newsrescue further quoted more Wikileak sources to nails its effort of implicating Obasanjo justifying his decision to the alleged poisoning of ex president  Yar’Adua: “According to Bashani Aminu, as relayed in other cables, aka “Disentangling Obasanjo” :

“Aminu expects more of the same soon — particularly an overturn of the Transcorp purchase of the Abuja Nicon Hilton. Aminu also noted Yar’adua’s commitment to fighting corruption and told Post he gave the greenlight to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate anyone.

He predicted Yar’adua will overturn the Transcorp purchase of the Abuja Nicon Hilton soon. These deals will be aimed at removing the ill-earned gains of Obasanjo and his close allies such as Aliko Dangote. (NOTE: Dangote and Obasanjo’s Transcorp were both part of the consortium that purchased the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries.) Aminu claimed Dangote gave Obasanjo a 35 million USD jet plane as a recent “gift.”

The online news source completing the tailored and calculated incriminalisation of Obasanjo continued in another dug out anti-Obasanjo cable: ”Former Ambassador to the United Nations (1979-1983) Maitama Sule, a well-known confidante of President Umaru Yar’Adua according to other cables [TransparencyNg], told US officials that Obasanjo was worried Yar’Adua was going to prosecute him for corruption. AC’s Garba Shehu further relayed that Atiku has warned Yar’Adua of Obasanjo’s scheme’s to remove Yar’Adua from office due to these fears, and what Obasanjo referred to as “Yar’Adua’s “treachery.”” Cable 08ABUJA457_a

Yar’Adua also suffered from chronic allergic disorder and this was easily attributed to be the direct cause of his death, but his illness’ sudden turn for the worst few months after he started ambitiously hunting his predecessor and his suspicion that he was poisoned by the ex-president’s kitchen staff, raises obvious questions.

The possibility of the poisoning to death of a Nigerian serving head of State will amount to a grievous crime. The exhumation of late President Yar’Adua’s body may be necessitated as well as a thorough investigation of all who may have been involved in the murder of a president in office.

Late Palestinian premier, Yasser Arafat was recently exhumed due to evidence of polonium poisoning as an investigation into alleged Israeli intelligence poisoning was reopened.

The calculated blackmail could have actually carried along the feeble minded considering the trust reposed on the media.

 According to an observer: ” This is an attempt by certain quarters to discredit the former President Olusegun Obasanjo who has sacrificed a lot for Nigeria. The intention is obvious and Nigerians are no fools as questions should be asked as to what prompted the tailored new item”

A leader of the Igbo community in London who wants anonymity  claimed that there should be caution in the way the news should be digested, mincing no words in portraying the sponsors of  the made up information source as blackmailers: “This is unfair on the image of an elder statesman who had fought thick and thin to safe our nation. He has done a lot in salvaging our nation from wars and civil strives.” He further queried:” How else would you want to lay your life for a nation you love so dearly?. He described the report as unfortunate and  described the sponsors of the materials as ingrates who will never achieve their dreamed intentions of stirring a civil strive in Nigeria.

NewsRescue-LogoUmaru Musa Yar’Adua was the President of Nigeria and the 13th Head of State. He served as governor of Katsina State in northern Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 28 May 2007

He was  well known as a Sickler   who was frequently going abroad for medical treatment while serving as governor of Katsina State.

On several occasions, he was described as unwell vacating his governorship post for treatment of his acute heart disease in Germany. In 2009, YarAdua left for Saudi Arabia to receive treatment for pericarditis. The late YarAdua was governor for eight years in Katsina State from 1999 to 2007 before On 6 March 2007 he was flown to Germany for medical reasons.