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Obasanjo Ex-President says some Governors live like "emperors"

He said the continuous fall in the price of oil in the international market had exposed Nigeria's weakness, stating that Nigeria was moving towards becoming a nation of debt.

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Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned the extravagant lifestyle of some Governors, saying they live like emperors, yet demand sacrifice from the citizens.

Speaking today, February 1, at the inaugural conference of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, held at the University of Ibadan, he said corruption returned to the country on a high scale after he left office.

Obasanjo said he set up anti-graft agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) when he became the President in 1999 after he realised that corruption is Nigeria's major problem.

He said: “Leaders who call for sacrifice from the citizenry cannot be living in obscene opulence. We must address these foundational issues to make the economy work, to strengthen our institutions, build public confidence in government and deal with our peace and security challenges.

“We must address the issue of employment for our teeming population particularly for our youths. Leadership must mentor the young, and provide them with hope about their future as part of a process of inter-generational conversation.

“Nigeria is a country where some governors have become sole administrators, acting like emperors. These governors have rendered public institutions irrelevant and useless.

“Is there development work going on in the 774 constitutionally recognised local government councils, which have been merely appropriated as private estates of some governors?

“Some governors have hijacked the resources of the local governments and this has crippled the developments of the local government councils in the country. The National Assembly must also open its budgets to public scrutiny.”

READ: Obasanjo draws first blood, insults Biafra supporters

He said the continuous fall in the price of oil in the international market had exposed Nigeria's weakness, stating that Nigeria was moving towards becoming a nation of debt.

Obasanjo added: “The drastic fall in the price of oil in the international market has unraveled the weakness of governance in Nigeria. The Minister of Finance has recently announced that the 2016 budget deficit may be increased from the current N2.2 trillion in the draft document before the National Assembly, to N3 trillion due to decline in the price of crude oil.

“If the current fiscal challenge is not creatively addressed, Nigeria may be on its way to another episode of debt overhang which may not be good for the country."

The former president was the Chairman of the two-day conference, tagged, "Getting government to work for development and democracy in Nigeria: agenda for change".

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