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Budget padding: I ‘ve been vindicated – Obasanjo

By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Sequel to the current gory allegations of corrupt practices in National Assembly precisely the House of Representatives, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has reiterated earlier his position in 2012 that rogues and armed robbers filled the legislature.

President Buhari and former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at the Statehouse Abuja on 25th July 2016
President Buhari and former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at the Statehouse Abuja on 25th July 2016

Recall that Hon. Abdumumuni Jubril (APC, Kano) who was hitherto the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation on Friday opened a can of worms on the padding of the 2016 budget by the lawmakers, implicating the Speaker, Mr. Yakubo Dogara in the padding controversy of over N40 billion.

The exposure came on the heels of his sack on Thursday by the Speaker.

Obasanjo while attending the Fourth annual conference of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies in Lagos had said “Integrity is necessary for all systems and institutions to be strong.

Today, rogues, armed robbers are in the state houses of assembly and the national assembly. What sort of laws will they make?”

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents on the mind-bogging, revelations in the House after meeting privately with President Mohammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, Obasanjo said that the institution stinks.

He urged Nigerians to vote credible people in the parliaments, advising President Buhari to be wary.

He said: “Well, if you said that I have said it in the past and if they are people who didn’t believe what I said ‎in the past then you now say that what has come out confirms what I said in the past, then you can say what I said in the past is what I will say now.

‎”Is not question of investigation, we should get men and women of integrity in the place and the president should be very vigilant, whatever should not pass should not pass.”

Commenting on his mission, Obasanjo said he was in the Villa to deliver messages from Liberia, Gambia and Seychilles to President Buhari.

“I am visiting this time because I have some messages for the president. Not too long ago I was in Liberia and Gambia and I have messages these two countries will want me to deliver to the president. Also, only yesterday I came back from Seychelles Island where I attended this year’s Annual General meeting of Africa Export Development Bank. And there are aspects of the proceedings that I think I should update the President”, he said.

Obasanjo said traveling to different countries has educated him more.

“Travelling is a good education, what you will learn about a country by visiting that country for two or three days you won’t learn by reading through books”, he said.

Asked whether he intended to slow down, he said “May God not allow you to slow now”


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