Obasanjo runs cult-like govt - Danjuma

From Sani Babadoko, in Kaduna

Former Minister of De-fence, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma has said he was frustrated out of office as a minister, and likened the Obasanjo administration to a cult saying, "the government is run by a cartel."

The retired civil war hero who was thought to be one of the pillars of the President Obasanjo administration since May 29,1999 who admitted that he was frustrated out of office when he spoke as chairman of a conference organised by the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NORCEF) at Arewa House Kaduna last Saturday said, "my four years as minister of Defence was the most difficult and trying period in my life".

The former defence minister who was commenting on his tenure at the conference on economic empowerment of Northern Christians said there were individuals in the corridors of power bent on frustrating all government efforts at improving the welfare of Nigerians.

"There was no money, but even the little money that was budgeted was not released," Danjuma who reportedly declined Obasanjo's offer to continue in his second term cabinet, lamented pointing out that the presidency was not forthcoming in the release of funds for the execution of projects.

A former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, former chief of defence information, Air Vice Marshal Idi Musa and Justice Haruna Dandaura were among the many dignitaries at the conference.

In a communiqué at the end of the conference, NORCEF asked Northerners holding positions in government to use their offices to redress the educational imbalance in the North.

Former vice chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Adamu Baikie who is also NORCEF chairman signed the communiqué which also called on Northern Christians to be part of the democratic process by seeking elective offices through political participation.

The NORCEF conference was a follow-up to one held in Abuja last year.