sharing in governance of extractive industries
Abuja — Amidst controversy over the ongoing trial of former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, at the International Court of Criminal
Justice, The Hague, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, former presidential
spokesman, has described Taylor as "a man betrayed".
Fani-Kayode, a former minister of Aviation, who blamed his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Liberian president Sirleaf-Johnson and
the United States for Taylor's present predicament said, "This was the
betrayal of the century."
In a statement entitled, 'Charles Taylor, Naomi Campbell, Blood Diamonds And A Man Betrayed', Chief Fani-Kayode said the agreement with
Taylor - not to do anything to him - was put in place before President
Sirleaf-Johnson was elected and she was fully aware of its terms from
According to him: "This was the betrayal of the century and, in my
"Ironically, the real traitor was not Obasanjo, but rather President Sirleaf-Johnson of Liberia. The agreement with Taylor was put in place
before she was elected, but she was fully aware of its terms from day
one. She was actually the American and Nigerian candidate for that
election and she worked very closely with the Americans, Obasanjo and
Nigeria before she was elected to power."
Chief Fani-Kayode, who was a member of former President Obasanjo's kitchen cabinet said that the deal with Taylor was that he (Taylor)
would be persuaded to step down as president of Liberia by the ECOWAS
leaders and the African Union and would be given a "safe haven" in
Nigeria after doing so.
Fani-Kayode added: "He (Taylor) would not be harassed; he would not face prosecution in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or at the International Court
at The Hague and Nigeria would not be pressured or harassed by anyone
to extradite him to anywhere.
"On his part, Taylor was expected to live quietly in Calabar with his relatives, under the direct supervision and care of Donald Duke, the
then governor of Cross River State and he was to stay out of Liberian
politics and not in any way interfere with what was going on over
He said African leaders - including Chief Obasanjo-endorsed the agreement and seven African leaders later went to Liberia and
accompanied Taylor to Nigeria, which was to be his new home and final
point of destination for many years and possibly the rest of his life.
The former special assistant (Public Affairs) to Obasanjo added that it was the deal with Taylor that led to a free and fair election in Liberia, which brought President Sirleaf-Johnson to power.
"However, after the lady came to power everything changed. She ditched Obasanjo and Nigeria, turned her back on the ECOWAS leaders and
the African Union and she became even closer to Bush and the Americans,"
He said Taylor's present problems started when Obasanjo went on a state visit to America and Bush put suffocating pressure on him to release Taylor to enable him face criminal trial.
Fani-Kayode said that although his former boss fought the matter out long and hard, he later succumbed to pressure from the US and President Sirleaf-Johnson of Liberia.
He said Obasanjo should have resisted the pressure, because all African leaders at that time were supported him on the matter.
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