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Saturday, 25 May 2013

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EXPOSED: I was persecuted because Atiku chose me as running mate – Alamieyeseigha

By: Adedokun Adetunji On: 05:15
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  • Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, has attributed his travails over allegations of corruption to the power tussle between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar over the 2007 presidency.

    Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Alamieyeseigha said he was persecuted by President Obasanjo because of the alleged plan by Atiku Abubakar to nominate him as his running mate during the 2007 presidential election.

    The former Bayelsa State governor said his arrest and travails in London and Nigeria over allegation of corruption was political, promising to expose those behind his travail in his memoirs, which he is presently writing.

    His words: “The summary of it is that Atiku Abubakar, according to Obasanjo, nominated me as his running mate. End of story. He (Obasanjo) said it was over his dead body and that he would fight me and Atiku to the end of the world. He said that unless he dies, Atiku could not be president of Nigeria. That was the beginning and the end of the story.

    “Maybe the only mistake I made was that I left this country to Germany for medical surgery. Again, I made the mistake of calling him (Obasanjo) when I recovered from the surgery. I told him that I just came out from the theatre. I started having funny calls and they started plotting (against) me.”

    “The whole thing was political and one day I will expose everybody. I have started writing; people are ignorant of what really happened, so they can talk. But if I open my mouth, some of them will keep quiet. I am going to tell my story.”

    All attempts by Saturday Mirror to reach out to Chief Obasanjo on the allegation against the former President by Alamieyeseigha proved abortive as Obasanjo and his aides refused to comment on the matter.
    Speaking on the alleged face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State governor and chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Alamieyeseigha cautioned Amaechi, asking him to learn from his own experience.

    “I have told Amaechi himself that he should learn from my experience, that nobody tries government. He should learn that after God, it is government. Amaechi is in a regional government. There is Federal Government and there is a president and the Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces.

    “Let me say that most of these things, the president himself may not know. It is people around that are creating this entire problem. If you call the two of them and sit them down, I am sure they would not be able to tell you what has happened between them,” he said.

    He also had harsh words for those who criticised the state pardon granted him by the Federal Government, saying that the critics never knew what transpired behind closed doors leading to his pardon, but conceded that “people have the right to express their opinions.”

    His words: “They don’t know the contributions I have made towards the sustenance of of peace in this country. May be the impact of my contribution would have been felt if there had been no oil and no money to share at the federal level.

    “Because things are so rosy and at the end of the month they go to Abuja and share the money, they don’t feel the impact and don’t realise that people went into the creeks; slept in every camp to make sure that amnesty was achieved.”

    He added that even President Obasanjo wrote him many commendation letters, congratulating him and thanking him for what he did, adding: “I risked my life by going as far as the high seas several times to rescue expatriates.”

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