$16bn allegation: Statement made out of Buhari’s ignorance – Obasanjo
A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has responded to the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari who indirectly threw a jibe at him while addressing members of the Buhari Support Organization headed by the Nigeria Comptroller-General Col.Hameed Ali at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.
Buhari had said Obasanjo was bragging about spending $16bn on power sector that still remained Nigeria’s problem, calling him out to explain how the money was spent.
Responding, Obasanjo attributed Buhari’s statement to ignorance, referring him to his book “My Watch” where he gave detailed explanation on the power project that allegedly consumed $16bn.
The response was made on behalf of Obsanjo by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi.
“It has come to the attention of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that a statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari, apparently without correct information and based on ignorance, suggested that $16bn was wasted on power projects by “a former President.” We believe that the President was re-echoing the unsubstantiated allegation against Chief Obasanjo by his own predecessor but one.
“While it is doubtful that a President with proper understanding of the issue would utter such, it should be pointed out that records from the National Assembly have exculpated President Obasanjo of any wrongdoing concerning the power sector and have proved the allegations as false.
“For the records, Chief Obasanjo has addressed the issues of the power sector and the allegations against him on many occasions and platforms, including in his widely publicised book, My Watch, in which he exhaustively stated the facts and reproduced various reports by both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which conducted a clinical investigation into the allegations against Chief Obasanjo, and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the Recommendations in the Report of the Committee on Power on the investigation into how the huge sum of money was spent on Power Generation, Transmission And Distribution between June 1999 and May 2007 without commensurate result.
“We recommend that the President and his co-travellers should read Chapters 41, 42, 43 and 47 of My Watch for Chief Obasanjo’s insights and perspectives on the power sector and indeed what transpired when the allegation of $16bn on power projects was previously made. If he cannot read the three-volume book, he should detail his aides to do so and summarise the chapters in a language that he will easily understand.
“In the same statement credited to the President, it was alleged that there was some bragging by Chief Obasanjo over $16bn spent on power. To inform the uninformed, the so-called $16bn power expenditure was an allegation against Chief Obasanjo’s administration and not his claim. The President also queried where the power generated is. The answer is simple: The power is in the seven National Integrated Power Projects and eighteen gas turbines that Chief Obasanjo’s successor who originally made the allegation of $16bn did not clear from the ports for over a year and the civil works done on the sites.
“Chief Obasanjo challenges, and in fact encourages, anybody to set up another enquiry if in doubt and unsatisfied with the EFCC report and that of the Hon. Aminu Tambuwal-led ad hoc committee.”