Pulse.ng logo
Go

Buhari This is why Obasanjo and president are fighting again

If you want to know why Obasanjo and Buhari are going after themselves all over again, here's a simple piece to guide you through.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

We aren't exactly sure what Season we are in the Obasanjo Vs Buhari blockbuster, but it has gone down again this week.

Let’s just say it was Buhari who started it all this time.

On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, while speaking to members of the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) who were led to Aso Rock by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, President Buhari took shots at Obasanjo without calling him by name.

Oshiomole says he would jail Obasanjo if he was Buhari play Obasanjo and Buhari used to be cool. Not anymore (Presidency)

 

Here’s what Buhari said

"And one of the former heads of state was bragging that more than 15 billion American dollars (not Naira) was spent on power. Where is the power? Where is the power??

 

"And now we have to pay the debt", Buhari said.

What is this $16billion power allegation all about?

in January of 2008, the House of Representatives with Dimeji Bankole as Speaker, passed a resolution mandating its Power and Steel Committee, headed by Godwin Ndudi Elumelu, to probe the power sector over the alleged disappearance of $16billion in investments.

play Ndudi Elumelu chaired the HOR Power sector probe in 2008 (Niger Delta)

 

The Elumelu committee was asked to look into how much money had gone into the power sector from 1999 to 2007 under Obasanjo--without commensurate addition to the national grid.

Among its many findings, the committee submitted that $16billion had disappeared into private pockets in the name of fixing Nigeria’s perennial power problem.

The Elumelu committee also recommended the interrogation of some former and serving public officials by the EFCC for their roles in what became known as the ‘power scam’.

Dimeji Bankole play Dimeji Bankole was Speaker of the House of Reps in 2008 when the power sector probe committee was inaugurated (Punch)

 

Among those the committee recommended for EFCC probe were former president Olusegun Obasanjo; former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu; former Governor of Cross River state, Mr. Liyel Imoke; former Central Bank Governor, Professor Charles Soludo; former Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, among others.

It was alleged thereafter that the Elumelu committee was given a bribe of N100million to halt their investigation and kill their report.

However, a hurriedly reconstituted House Ethics Committee immediately cleared Elumelu and other members of the power committee of bribe taking allegations.

What Obasanjo said in response to Buhari

In a statement issued through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo called Buhari an ignorant president who should ask his aides to read for him if he can't read for himself.

Here's Obasanjo's statement in full.

“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 $16 billion 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 had exculpated President Obasanjo of any wrong-doing concerning the power sector and has proved the allegations as false.

President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo in Lagos on April 7, 2015. play Buhari and Obasanjo used to be cool. Not anymore (Twitter)

 

“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 (EFCC), 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 Sums 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 $16 billion 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.

  play Obasanjo and Buhari during one of their past meetings (NAN Photo)

 

“In the same statement credited to the President, it was alleged that there was some bragging by Chief Obasanjo over $16 billion spent on power. To inform the uninformed, the so-called $16 billion 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 $16 billion 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."

_____

What's your take on Buhari's allegation and Obasanjo's response?

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.