… Say former president grandfather of corruption
From Ndubuisi Orji and Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives, replied former President Olusegun Obasanjo (who had earlier described the National Assembly as a cesspit of coruption), describing him as the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria.
The House accused the former leader of introducing corruption into the National Assembly at the inception of the Fourth Republic.
Addressing National Assembly Correspondents, chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Abdulrasak Namdas said Obasanjo is angry with federal legislators for frustrating his third term bid in 2006.
Namdas, who was reacting to allegations of corruption leveled against the National Assembly by the former president, on Wednesday, said it was imperative to correct misrepresentations.
Obasanjo, at the inaugural Akintola Williams annual lecture, in Lagos, on Wednesday, November 23, accused the House of Representatives of padding the 2016 budget and threatening the life of an unnamed whistleblower, amongst other allegations.
The House spokesman observed that the former president was in the habit of accusing every other person of corruption, whereas, he is the most corrupt person to have led the country.
Namdas stated that the House has repeatedly maintained that the 2016 Appropriation Act was not padded, and wondered why a man of Obasanjo’s stature “would allow himself to be hoodwinked and procured by a renegade member of the House, who embarked on massive propaganda and lies just because he was removed from office.”
Contrary to the allegation of the former president that members of the House get bogus pay and allowances, Namdas explained that they only receive salaries as stipulated by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
He also said that the federal legislature, as an arm of government, is under-funded, adding that the budgets of some agencies under the executive are higher than the budget of the National Assembly.
“Obasanjo is understandably angry with the National Assembly as an institution, having foiled his ambition for a third-term in office even he tried to corrupt members with least N50 million each. Lest we forget, the person who introduced corruption to the National Assembly is Chief Olesugn Obasanjo. He birthed the Fourth Republic National Assembly with corrupt practices from day one. Indeed the first day of the Republic. He bribed both PDP, ANPP and AD legislators on their inauguration in 1999 to vote against the majority candidate of PDP, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. That was how Senator Evan Enwerem became Senate President. Have we forgotten the sacks of money displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives being bribe money paid by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to some Honourable members to impeach Speaker, Ghali N’abba?
“Have we forgotten that Obasanjo used his position as president to extort money from businessmen and contractors with his government to build his Presidential Library?
“The list of his corrupt acts while in office is endless. Unquestionably, he is the greatest corrupt person ever to hold office in Nigeria. He remains the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria and lacks the moral authority to discuss corruption or, indeed, abuse of office in Nigeria as he remains the most corrupt Nigerian on record.
“It is unfortunate that he has started his very familiar method of bringing down governments. He did it to Alhaji Shehu Shagari, he did it to General Buhari, he did same to General Babangida, he attempted to bring down General Abacha before he (Abacha) imprisoned him for treason. He made frantic efforts to derail the government of former president Umaru Musa Ya’Ardua; when he couldn’t use him. He supported former president Goodluck Jonathan but when he refused to take dictation, Obasanjo turned against him. He supported president Buhari, but, since he has sensed that Nigeria is having economic difficulties under him, he has pounced to derail his government.
“The way Chief Obasanjo talks gives the impression that he is a lifetime opposition leader who has never held any office. What did he do about the issues he raised in his eight years as president?
“This is a man with unlimited access to president Buhari. Or, is it because he has not appointed all his cronies as requested? We may never know. His stock in trade is blackmail, subversion and treachery.”