Wikileaks: Tinubu Thinks Bode George Is Responsible For Funsho Williams Death

Giving his impressions on the recent murder of Funsho Williams, Governor Tinubu contended the murder was
undoubtedly political.  Although he offered no evidence except his knowledge of the political ambitions of the key
players, Tinubu firmly believed PDP National Vice Chairman(South) Olabode (Bode) George masterminded Williams’ murder.

Tinubu elaborated that George, a very brusque and aggressive man, had made many enemies among his fellow Yoruba.  George knew many people were counting the days to seek retribution against him for the many dirty tricks he played as the PDP’s point man in the Southwest.  Tinubu claimed George, aware that he was unliked, recognized the need for protection once President Obasanjo left office.

Consequently, George was now trying to position himself to take the PDP nomination for Lagos State Governor so that he could enjoy the power and immunity attached to that office.  However, to realize this objective, several obstacles would have to be moved aside, asserted Tinubu.  Williams and the other PDP hopefuls were the main obstacles.

Reference ID    Created    Released    Classification    Origin
06LAGOS1107    2006-08-16 15:49    2011-08-30 01:44    CONFIDENTIAL    Consulate Lagos

VZCZCXRO2055
RR RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #1107/01 2281549
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 161549Z AUG 06
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7801
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 7734

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 001107

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR INR/AA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV NI
SUBJECT: LAGOS GOVERNOR TINUBU ON FUNSHO WILLIAMS’ MURDER

REF: A. LAGOS 1040

¶B. LAGOS 1073

Classified By: Consul General Brian L. Browne for Reason 1.4 (D).

——-
SUMMARY
——-

¶1.  (C) During an August 6 conversation with the Consul
General, Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu hypothesized that
PDP National Vice Chairman for the Southwest Olabode (Bode)
George engineered the recent murder of Funsho Williams, a
leading contender for the Lagos State PDP gubernatorial
nomination.  Tinubu contended George disliked Williams, and
engineered the crime to move aside Williams and other PDP
aspirants in order to clear his own path to the 2007
gubernatorial nomination.  Tinubu suspects the PDP may
attempt to cast blame for the killing on Tinubu’s Alliance
for Democracy (AD) party.  End summary.

——————————————— ———-
GEORGE ELIMINATED WILLIAMS FOR PERSONAL POLITICAL GAIN?
——————————————— ———-

¶2.  (C) Giving his impressions on the recent murder of Funsho
Williams, Governor Tinubu contended the murder was
undoubtedly political.  Although he offered no evidence
except his knowledge of the political ambitions of the key
players, Tinubu firmly believed PDP National Vice Chairman
(South) Olabode (Bode) George masterminded Williams’ murder.
Tinubu elaborated that George, a very brusque and aggressive
man, had made many enemies among his fellow Yoruba.  George
knew many people were counting the days to seek retribution
against him for the many dirty tricks he played as the PDP’s
point man in the Southwest.  Tinubu claimed George, aware
that he was unliked, recognized the need for protection once
President Obasanjo left office.  Consequently, George was now
trying to position himself to take the PDP nomination for
Lagos State Governor so that he could enjoy the power and
immunity attached to that office.  However, to realize this
objective, several obstacles would have to be moved aside,
asserted Tinubu.  Williams and the other PDP hopefuls were
the main obstacles.

¶3.  (C) Tinubu said George never liked Williams, thinking him
too soft.  George unsuccessfully attempted to block Williams’
PDP gubernatorial nomination in 2003.  Williams and the PDP
lost in Lagos State in 2003 to Tinubu and the AD.  After
Williams’ 2003 loss George refused to nominate Williams for
the vacant Minister for Works position, explained Tinubu, a
position which would keep Williams in the public eye and
position him as a strong PDP contender for Lagos State in
¶2007.  George instead nominated Senator Ogunlewe.  For a time
Ogunlewe teamed with George to take a very confrontational
approach to Tinubu’s AD in Lagos State.  The soft-spoken
Williams was not a votary of the George-Ogunlewe hard-fisted
approach to politics.  However, Ogunlewe and George
eventually fell out because Ogunlewe started to nurse
gubernatorial ambitions.  At George’s behest, President
Obasanjo removed Ogunlewe from his ministerial position.

¶4.  (C) Tinubu posited that George engineered Williams’
murder to cast suspicion on the other Lagos PDP gubernatorial
aspirants.  The brutality of the murder was such that it
would cast a dark cloud over all the PDP hopefuls, making
them unattractive candidates to stand for election.
Alternatively, any number of them could be indicted for the
crime.  Under present law, a pending indictment renders a
person ineligible to stand for election.  Whatever avenue was
taken, George’s goal was to make the current batch of
candidates untenable, forcing the PDP state leadership to
cast about quickly for a candidate of status.  In George’s
mind, only George would fit that bill at such short notice,
Tinubu contended.  To a lesser degree, Tinubu expressed
concern George might attempt to pin the crime on the AD.
With George intimately involved as a candidate or as an
accuser of the AD for Williams’ murder, the 2007 election in
Lagos promised to be a hot, untidy affair characterized more
by fisticuffs than finesse, Tinubu augured.

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶5.  (C) Tinubu had beaten Williams in two successive
gubernatorial races and presumably would have been
comfortable seeing his AD run against Williams a third time.
However, Tinubu sees Bode George in a different light.  This

LAGOS 00001107  002 OF 002

is not the first allegation we heard of George’s involvement
in lethal politics.  While no hard evidence exists of which
we are aware, George’s name is mentioned throughout the
political parlors in the Southwest connected with the death
of former Attorney General Bola Ige in 2002 and many other
attacks against opposition politicians.  While Tinubu’s
theory of Williams’ murder appears tenuous, it illustrates
the high level of suspicion that grips Lagos.  Tinubu’s
attempt at detective work might be less than stellar, but his
most important prognosis seems authoritative.  The 2007
election in Lagos will be a sloppy and likely a violent
affair.  End comment.
BROWNE

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/08/06LAGOS1107.html

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