Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and former Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has condemned former PresidentÂ Olusegun Obasanjo and former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), forÂ writing open letters to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying both of them institutionalised corruption in Nigeria.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja yesterday, Adamu said Obasanjo wasÂ especially lucky that Buhari has not jailed him over the funds he allegedly committed to promote the failed third term bid in 2006 among other alleged crimes.
According to Adamu, â€œObasanjo said President Buhari is selective inÂ his anti-corruption war. I agree with him because if the president were not selective, he (Obasanjo) would be in the dock today on trial on charges of corruption arising from the corrupt practices in the pursuit of his third term gambit in the National Assembly in 2006.
â€œToday he denies that he ever nursed such ambition. And being a man much favoured by God, he has repeatedly said if he had wanted it and asked the Almighty for it, he would have given him the third term.
â€œHe knows as well as I and other leading members of the PDP that he badly wanted it and initiated the process of constitutional amendment.
He allegedly bribed each member of the National Assembly who signed to supportÂ the amendment, with the whopping sum of N50 million to make theÂ constitutional amendment scale through.â€™
The senator claimed that the fresh, mint money was taken in its original boxes presumably from the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria and distributed among the legislators by Obasanjo, saying the money was not his and it was not appropriated by theÂ National Assembly as required by law.
He added: â€œ I therefore, agree that in failing to make former president account for that money, President Buhari is waging his anti-corruption war selectively.Â Nor should we forget that President Buhari has also not bothered toÂ interrogate Obasanjoâ€™s role in the Halliburton scandal for which someÂ Americans are cooling their heels in jail.
â€œPerhaps, President Buhari might wish to look in the Siemens affairs in which the Obasanjo administration was indicted and for which some Nigerians were on trial. What became of the trial?â€
He said he was ready to give IBB a benefit of doubt in view of the controversy that was generated around the statement, adding that IBB and his spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, capitalised on Obasanjoâ€™s letter to say what has been itching to say.
He said: â€œWhile I am prepared to give General Babangida the benefit of doubt for now, I would like to point out that he and his aide appear to have been encouraged to issue their separate statements by Obasanjoâ€™s letter. It is as if they wanted to take advantage of that to say what they had been itching to say about the president all along.
â€œI wish to remind the General that although men have short memories, history has a long memory. We can trace nearly all our present economic and political problems to his transition programme. We cannot forget SAP that sapped the economy or the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election for which the country is still paying a stiff price. It is not always advisable to be holier-than-thou.â€
Still dwelling on Obasanjoâ€™s letter, Adamu said the former president was not driven by altruism in writing the letter, contrary to his claim, adding that he merely wanted to heat up the polity and cause problems for the Buhariâ€™s government.