$16 Billion Electricity Money: Buhari vows to investigate Obasanjo, Jonathan
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu
General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has declared if elected, former President Olusegun Obasanjo would have to explain how he spent over $16 Billion dollars on electricity power generation between 1999 and 2007.
This is even as former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Presidential Candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu vehemently denied ever calling former Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a corrupt politician.
In 2006, Ribadu told Journalist that “Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu's corruption is of international dimension.” And in 2010 in Abuja, he told Journalists that “I won't bother myself with the integrity of politicians that would sponsor my campaign as long as they won't keep their stolen money in my pocket.”
However, Buhari at the Presidential debate organized by NN24, a cable television network in Nigeria also said that President Goodluck Jonathan will also be expected to explain his roles in power generation since his administration between 2007 till date.
Buhari stated that the effort made so far by former President Obasanjo and president Jonathan under the People's Democratic Party, PDP, are not sufficient.
The Presidential debate was attended by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Buhari. President Jonathan did not attend the debate but explained that he had already committed to attend another Presidential debate organized by the Newspaper Proprietors Association, NPAN, the Broadcasting organization of Nigeria, BON, The National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS and other bodies.
“We need to know how much has been spent so far. Over $16 billion was spent by Obasanjo regime, yet we don't have power. Also, the current government under Jonathan said we now have over 4,000 mega watts, yet our people don't have the power” Buhari said.
Asked whether he would probe successive governments on power fund, he replied: “What I said was very clear. We want to know how the money was spent because Nigerians doesn't have the power.”
While the CPC candidate was keen to know how the public fund has been expended on the different failed power projects by the PDP government, his ACN counterpart believes the problem of power sector needs holistic approach.
Ribadu, former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said there are lots of problems that needed to be addressed in the area of personnel and government dealings for power to stable in Nigeria.
“There are basic problems that must be fixed. In fact, there are lot of saboteurs in and outside the government that must be effectively checked in the interest of our country.”
He lampooned the Federal Government for not doing enough to tackle problems associated with power supply. Shekarau noted that one of the reasons why power has not been stable in the country is as a result of a disconnect between government's plans and genuine effort to concretize its actions.
Confronted with corruption allegations, he allegedly leveled against the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, Ribadu denied calling Tinubu a corrupt politician and a looter.
“I never passed judgment on Tinubu or any other Nigerian as EFCC chairman. It is not within my purview to sentence any Nigerian before trial” he said.
All the three candidates faulted zoning formula for elective posts in the country. They averred that every Nigerians should be allowed to aspire to the office of their choice without ethnic and tribal sentiments.
Soliciting votes from Nigerians, they all said a new Nigeria is possible and urged the electorate to defend their votes.