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Obasanjo urges Buhari to be vigilant, reaffirms NASS full of rogues


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be vigilant in his dealings with the National Assembly, reiterating that they are corrupt. He said it is not just about investigation but putting men and women of integrity in the right place.

“What has come out confirms what I said in the past, … what I said in the past is what I will say now. “Its not a question of investigation, we should get men and women of integrity in the place and the president should be very vigilant, whatever should not pass should not pass” Obasanjo said while fielding questions from journalists at the Presidential Villa, after a closed door meeting with President Buhari.

Obasanjo was  reacting to the ongoing budget padding impasse between the leadership of the House of Representatives and the ousted Chairman of the House of Reps Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Jibrin who was replaced as chairman of the committee last week, had alleged that the padding of the 2016 budget with N40 billion was done at a secret location with the backing of the Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, the Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun and three other principal officers.

Recall that Obasanjo had in 2012 and 2014 at the fourth annual conference of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies and the public presentation of the autobiography respectively declared that the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly were institutions filled with “rogues and armed robbers”.

“Integrity is necessary for all systems and institutions to be strong. “Today, rogues, armed robbers are in the state houses of assembly and the national assembly. What sort of laws will they make?” he had asked
while speaking at the conference in 2012.

In January this year, the former president listed corruption in the National Assembly to include “what they call constituency projects which they give to their agents to execute but invariably, full payment is made with little or no job done” adding that the National Assembly has never singled out any corrupt lawmaker.

Responding to questions on his visit to President Buhari, the former Nigerian president said he had come to deliver some very important messages to the President. “Not too long ago I was in Liberia and Gambia and I have messages these two countries will want me to deliver to the president. Also, only yesterday I came back from Seychelles Island where I attended this year’s Annual General meeting of Africa Export Development Bank. And there are aspects of the proceedings that I think I should update the President on” Obasanjo said.

Asked if he was enjoying his numerous trips, he retorted in his usual gaily manner “travelling is a good education, what you will learn about a country by visiting that country for two or three days you
won’t learn by reading through books”.

Do you intend to slow down? he was asked by pressmen, considering his age and he replied “May God not allow you to slow down”.