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Ex-President accuses Jonathan of squandering oil savings

Obasanjo made the latest allegation on Monday, January 5, during a meeting with women leaders from the South-West at his home in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has once again criticized President Goodluck Jonathan accusing him of frittering away $25billion in crude oil savings left behind by his administration.

Obasanjo made the allegation on Monday, January 5, during a meeting with women leaders from the South-West at his home in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo stated that during his regime the oil savings amounted to $25 billion and were increased to $35 billion by his successor, late Musa Yar’adua.

“Our economy should not have been this bad. When I was leaving office about eight years ago, I left a very huge reserve after we had paid all our debts. Almost $25billion we kept in what they called excess crude. The excess from the budget we were saving as reserve for the rainy days. When we left in May 2007, the reserve was said to have been raised to $35billion,” Obasanjo said.

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“But today, that reserve has been depleted! Today, that reserve has been depleted. The reserve we left when we finished paying all our debts, our debts that was about 40billion dollars, that is including debt forgiveness, the remaining debt was not more than $3billion. Our reserve after we had paid off this debt was about $45billion. As I said, they continued till the end of 2007, I heard that the reserve increased to almost $67billion before the end of the year. Our reserve now, learnt is left with around only $30billion,” he added

Obasanjo also blamed the state of affairs for the current fall in the price of the Naira against the dollar.

“That is why the Naira has been falling against the dollar. What would now happen, I learnt if you want to buy a dollar now, it’s about N192 or N195. What it means is this, what you have been buying at N150 to a dollar, now you need N192 or N195 to buy it. That is the real situation. Is there any remedy? There is, but it does not come overnight because it means we have to give up all the bad things we have been doing,” he said.

“I know that God did not create Nigeria not to be rich or great. Is it that the people he created in Nigeria are not knowledgeable enough or not intelligent enough? Or is that they don’t know their rights? Our problems in Nigeria, let’s look at the foundation of our leadership. In the profession I know very well, the military, what we normally say is that there are no bad soldiers but bad officers. If you see a situation where the soldiers are not doing well, we need to examine the officers in charge. So it is in the family, the community, the town and the country,” he added.

Obasanjo however denied bearing grudges against Jonathan saying that he was only concerned about the welfare of the country.

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“I have no grudges against Jonathan and I think Jonathan equally has no grudges against me. I’m not quarrelling with Jonathan but all I know is that whatever is good for Nigeria, that I’m ready to die for,” he said.

“I emphasize that whatever is good for Nigeria, is what I’m ready to defend with my life. Whoever, I emphasize, whoever says he would not do anything good to Nigeria, even if he says he’s ready to go ‘konko below’, I’m ready to square it up with such a person. I say again, whoever that person may be, I want you to get that correctly. If this country is going to change for the better, it would start from the top and if it’s going to be otherwise, it would start from the top, too,” Obasanjo added.

Obasanjo also advised Nigerians to vote wisely in the coming elections and ensure that only candidates with integrity and good records are allowed to enter office.

The former President has in recent times been vocal with criticisms against Jonathan first through a letter written in December 2013 and repeatedly through his autobiography in which he described Jonathan as selfish and callous.

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