Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has come hard on President Muhammadu Buhari, a few days to the general elections, for making unsubstantiated allegations against him, on the reckless spending of $16 billion, on the power sector, during his administration, from 1999 – 2007.
Speaking through his Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said that it is wrong for anyone to continue with the unsubstantiated allegations against him, by the then leadership of the House of Representatives, over the power project.
In the statement, the former President said: “It has come to the attention of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, that a statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari, apparently without correct information, and based on ignorance, suggested that $16 billion was wasted on power projects, by a former President.
“We believe that the President was re-echoing the unsubstantiated allegations against Chief Obasanjo, by his own predecessor.
“While it is doubtful that a President with proper understanding of the issue would utter such, it should be pointed out that records from the National Assembly, had exculpated President Obasanjo of any wrong-doing concerning the power sector, and has proved the allegations as false.
“For the records, Chief Obasanjo has addressed the issues of the power sector, and the allegations against him on many occasions and platforms, including in his widely publicised book, My Watch, in which he exhaustively stated the facts and reproduced various reports by both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which conducted a clinical investigation into the allegations against Chief Obasanjo, and the ad-hoc Committee on the review of the recommendations in the report of the Committee on power, on the investigation into how the huge sums of money was spent on power generation, transmission, and distribution, between June 1999 and May 2007, without commensurate result.
“We recommend that the President and his co-travellers, should read chapters 41, 42, 43, and 47 of ‘My Watch’, for Chief Obasanjo’s insights and perspectives on the power sector, and indeed what transpired when the allegation sof $16 billion on power projects was previously made.
“If he cannot read the three-volume book, he should detail his Aides to do so, and summarise the chapters in a language that he will easily understand.
“In the same statement credited to the President, it was alleged that there was some bragging by Chief Obasanjo, over $16 billion spent on power. To inform the uninformed, the so-called $16 billion power expenditure was an allegation against Chief Obasanjo’s administration, and not his claim.
“The President also queried where the power generated is. The answer is simple: The power is in the seven National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), and eighteen gas turbines that Chief Obasanjo’s successor, who originally made the allegation of $16 billion, did not clear from the Ports, for over a year, and the civil works done on the sites.
“Chief Obasanjo challenges, and in fact encourages, anybody to set up another enquiry, if in doubt and unsatisfied with the EFCC report, and that of the Hon. Aminu Tambuwal-led ad-hoc Committee.”
Post-Nigeria had earlier reported that President Buhari vowed to ensure the recovery of the $16 billion, allegedly wasted on the power sector, during the reign of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, particularly under the administration of Obasanjo.