Obasanjo’s vindication of Buhari wrong
FORMER President, Olusegun Obasanjo has been chided for exonerating the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), of complicity in the massive mismanagement of funds perpetrated while he served as chairman, Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
Obasanjo’s motives was described as a desperate bid to change the course of history in favour of his preferred candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
Addressing a press conference recently, Mr. Ayo Fadaka and Apostle Jaiyeola Joseph of the Integrity and Justice Initiative (IJI) and the Nation Builders Christian Network (NBCN) respectively, said Obasanjo owes Nigerians an apology for his position on the matter.
Obasanjo, while hosting the presidential campaign team of the APC in his Abeokuta residence on Tuesday was quoted to have said the report of the audit panel on the PTF showed “discrepancies” in figures purportedly used for the procurement of goods and services during the period Buhari was the chairman of the body.
The group said that the position Obasanjo took typifies one that: “defies logic and undermines public good, passed a not guilty verdict on Buhari in a way that makes mockery of the PTF’s probe report.”
Fadaka added, “Obasanjo’s seeming vindication of Buhari has thrown up a number of salient issues that bother on embezzlement and mismanagement of public funds.
“This, coming at a period like this when corruption has become a major campaign issue between the two major political parties in the country, is tantamount to an attempt to throw wool over the face of Nigerian people.
“For the purpose of record and in order to save future generations of Nigerians from a deliberately orchestrated re-writing of history being attempted by some of our leaders, we have decided to put the issues concerning the incorruptibility or otherwise of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in their proper perspective.
“The PTF as you may be aware was the agency created by the late dictator Gen Sanni Abacha in March 1995 when he unilaterally increased pump price of petroleum products from N3. 25k to N11 per liter in October 1994; it had a startup sum of N61 billion, which increased progressively to over N182 billion over a period of four years and Buhari was appointed by the late General Abacha to manage this fund as an intervention fund for critical infrastructure in all geo-political zones of the country.
“However, by May 1999 when Nigeria was restored to democratic rule, the management of the PTF had been dogged by multiple controversies most of which bothered on total lack of accountability in the award of contracts, lopsidedness in the location of projects as well as absence of control mechanism to ensure quality assurance on programmes and projects executed by the PTF.
“This was mainly why the then government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo inaugurated the seven-man committee headed by Dr. Haroun Adamu to look into the programmes and expenditure of the PTF under Buhari.”