Guests at the 2012 Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony held in Abuja were shocked today when it was revealed that a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, donated a massive N800m to the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential campaign in 1999.
The revelation was made by one of the master of ceremonies who read Danjuma’s citation at 2012 Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony organized by the Leadership Newspapers. The event was held at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Abuja Hotel.
Danjuma, who was a Minister of Defence after Obasanjo took office, received the award of Leadership Person of the Year 2011. The Taraba State born general merely smiled when the revelation was made.
It is not clear how such an amount of money was donated to the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 1999 election because the Independent National Electoral Commission did not allow such a huge amount to be given by an individual to a political party or a candidate.
Even when the law on campaign donation was amended, the highest an individual can donate to a political party still remains about N1m.
At the ceremony, people simply shrugged their shoulders. “The PDP has always been the PDP, the members know how to manoeuvre their ways,’ quipped some members of the audience.
Danjuma was later rewarded with one of Nigeria's most lucrative oil blocks which fetched the retired general about $1.5 billion. He also owns another one in Sao Tome.
Danjuma is said to have insisted that Obasanjo handover to a civilian government in 1979, a process that led to his handing over to the National Party of Nigeria government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. He then spent 20 years in the cold before returning as the PDP candidate in 1979.
It will be recalled that Danjuma and Obasanjo fell apart during Obasanjo’s second term in office and had to resign his position as the Minister of defence.
“In a different society, this obscene N800 million revelation would still have been probed, and sanctions effected,” a political analyst told SaharaReporters in Abuja.