Human rights activist, Femi Falana, on Friday urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to admit that he (Obasanjo) brought shame to the country during his time as Nigeria’s leader.
Falana said the ex-President should stop insulting the collective intelligence and memories of Nigerians having instituted the culture of impunity in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, Edo State, Falana said he was surprised when he read that the Senate had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to bring a fresh person to replace Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He noted that Obasanjo had the opportunity to be great by providing good leadership and rid the country of corruption.
The lawyer stated that apart from the allegations of nepotism and clannishness Obasanjo leveled against President Buhari, “other allegations made there were nothing to write home about.”
He said: “In another words, all the other allegations took place under President Obasanjo and in fact, he institutionalized the culture of impunity under the democratic dispensation in Nigeria.
“If President Obasanjo who ruled this country for 11 and half years has institutionalized democracy, rule of laws and respect for human rights, we will not be in this mess and the control of Nigeria by the Nigerian people, we will be having an Eldorado by now.
“So, please, let Obasanjo and others be honest to admit that they brought us to this shameful episode. So, nobody should grandstand when it comes to the mis-governance of Nigerians.
“Nobody has apologized. The fact that from 1999 to 2007, this country, made close to hundred billion dollars from the sale of one commodity, oil. What is there to show for it rather than permanent darkness?
“The more you spend on energy, the more darkness you get. So what is there to celebrate? What we have were mass unemployment and sales of national assets to few boys who were closed to the presidency, rigging of elections.
“You have all forgotten that the results from Delta, Ondo and others were announced in Abuja and in those states in order to rig those elections. What is there to celebrate?
“President Obasanjo is entitled to form his own political party or his own movement but he should please desist from insulting the collective intelligence and the collective memories of Nigerians.
“When Sharia started, the federal government did not challenge the unconstitutionality. Under that era, we had ethnicity and religious violence that claimed lives of over 20,000 Nigerians.
“With great respect to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, apart from the allegations of nepotism and clannishness, which cannot be disputed, every other allegations made there, is nothing to write home about. In other words, all the other allegations took place under Obasanjo and in fact, he institutionalized the culture of impunity under the democratic dispensation in Nigeria.
“Many of us have forgotten the abduction of Governor Chris Ngige, many of us have forgotten the fact that the National Assembly and the House of Representatives displayed bales of naira with which it was alleged that the presidency wanted to bribe the legislators.
“Many of us have forgotten about the third term agenda or the fact that many people who were also closed to the seats of power were treated like sacred cows even in the fight against corruption. But I do not want to join issues with Obasanjo for now on his letter so that one is not seeing as endorsing impunity in our country but other than the allegations of nepotism and clannishness which the presidency is notoriously noted for, I think, they are birds of same feathers.”
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