The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has lauded the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to investigate and finally get to the root of the over USD16bn (Sixteen Billion Dollars) purportedly expended on power (electricity) generation and distribution under the leadership of Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan’s regimes.
CACOL also backed calls for the federal government’s review of the appropriateness of Obasanjo’s use of public office to generate funds running into billions of Naira to establish a presidential library, not only named after him, but coveted as his personal property.
In a release signed by CACOL’S Coordinator for Media and Publications, on behalf of its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he said, “We would all recollect that President Muhammadu Buhari, in one of his public outings sometime last year, posed a rhetorical question, ‘USD16bn has been spent on power within the years of PDP (People’s Democratic Party) in power; where is the Power?’ Though, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, has oftentimes, claimed that he has been severally probed by the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) over all his spending while he held sway as the number one citizen in the country, we make bold to say that, being probed by your own or a surrogate government is quite different from getting probed by an independent and impartial regime.
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While we agree that government is always a continuum, especially under a democratic setting, when one considers the humongous amount Nigeria made under the PDP regime and how most of those funds were mismanaged without anything tangible to show for it, then one shudders that a huge proportion of those earnings were earmarked and spent on provision of electricity with only much darkness to show for it. “Even many other African countries like Egypt, Angola or even South Africa, with well over 50, 000 megawatts between them, never expended half of such amount to arrive at where they are today. Though, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government may not have single handedly exhausted the whole of the USD60, 000 in generating power which, until 2015, only hovers between 2,000- 2, 500 megawatts, Nigerians generally, have a right to know how much of the said amount was actually spent, how it was spent and what was actually achieved with it by the successive regimes under those years of locusts. Moreover, such probes will lay to rest, once and for all, the wrongful notion that it is a taboo for past regimes to be made accountable for their deeds while they held sway. Accordingly, we support the Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in his quest and would admonish him not to leave any stone unturned in clearing the haze surrounding that era under his second coming. In same vein, we reiterate our traditional position concerning the presidential library which Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, used his position as the president of Nigeria to request for public funds, running into billions of Naira to build at his Abeokuta land and covet as his own. In saner climes, such efforts are legally and morally frowned upon. This is one of main reason we advocate for government to probe such practice and make a pronouncement on it. While we are not opposed to naming of such edifice after him, we advocate for partial and negotiated forfeiture of its ownership as a national monument, while some monetary compensation may be given for the landed property, according to his personal and family commitment to the said property.”