There appears to be a growing rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as the former has taken time out to call out the latter on accountability in government. This development came about yesterday as President Buhari challenged President Obasanjo on how $16bn was spent on power under him with little or no effect on the country.
President Buhari gave the remarks while playing host to a group known as the Buhari Support Organisation led by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) in Abuja.
Though President Buhari did not mention names, he pointedly took shots at Obasanjo by saying that a former leader was bragging at a time that his administration spent $16bn said amount on power sector and yet there appears nothing to show for it.
He further lamented the state of infrastructure in the country noting that “You know more than I do on the condition of our roads. Some of them were not repaired since the PTF petroleum Trust fund days. No matter what you think about Abacha, I agreed to work with him and the PTF, we constructed roads from here Abuja to Port Harcourt, to Onitsha, to Benin and so on. This was in addition to other things in education, medical care and so on. You know the rail was killed and one of the former heads of states between that times was bragging that he spent $16 billion, not naira but dollars on power. Where is the Power? Where is the Power? And now we have to pay the depts.…”
This obviously was a shot targeted at the former President Obasanjo who was Nigeria’s President between 1999-2007. It was alleged during this period that a sum of $16bn was expended on the power sector, an allegation that led to the institution of probes by the EFCC and the Tambuwal led ad hoc committee in the national assembly.
Meanwhile former President Olusegun Obasanjo has refuted the claims made by the President that $16bn was spent on power stating that rather than the amount being peddled by the government, it was $6.4bn that was spent.
In a statement made by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi said. “The answer is simple. It is in the seven National Integrated Power Projects and eighteen gas turbines purchased and installed by the government. Furthermore, in his response to the allegation, Mr Akin Osuntokun described the allegations as mere rumour and called on the President and his handlers to always check facts before coming public with falsehoods. He stated that though the $16 billion was voted for the project, a warrant was issued for only $6.4bn which was spent on drawing, designing, transportation and compensation paid to communities that would be affected by the project, stating further that various reports have exonerated President Obasanjo of any wrong doing.
by Victor Alagogooko for IbadanCityAnnouncer