Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday blasted the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration and the National Assembly for promoting corruption and poor governance.
The ex-President spoke in Abuja at the presentation of books by a former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, retired Justice Mustapha Akanbi.
“For quite some time, the covered and hushed-up corruption has had its toll on the economy,” Obasanjo said.
According to him, the increasing rate of corruption under Jonathan had damaged the economy, warning that “in the future, we will have a budget that cannot be funded.”
He said, “We may have to borrow to pay salaries and allowances. Revenue allocation to states and local governments has already drastically reduced. Capital projects at all levels may have to be drastically cut or stopped.
“Nigeria cannot continue to indulge in disdain of truth, elevation of corruption and incompetence, reinforcement of failure, condonation of heinous crimes and celebration of mediocrity, tribal bigotry, fomenting violence and anti-democratic practices in states and National Assembly.
“Corruption in the National Assembly also includes 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.
“In all these, if the executive is absolutely above board, the offending members of the National Assembly resort to subtle or open threat, intimidation and blackmail of the executive.”
On Boko Haram, Obasanjo blamed the escalation of the insurgency on the delay in Jonathan’s understanding of the sect and the threat they posed to the nation.
“Boko Haram is not simply a menace based on religion or one directed to frustrate anybody’s political ambition. It is essentially a socio-economic problem that is tainted with religion. It is a gargantuan danger to the nation and to all Nigerians.
“Initially, President Jonathan’s understanding of Boko Haram phenomenon suffered from wrong reading and wrong imputation. That is what led us to where we are today.
“It took even the President more than three years to appreciate and understand that it is a terrible mix of poor education or lack of education; misinterpretation of what Islam and the Quran teach and stand for, poverty, unemployment, injustice, drug, gun trafficking, human trafficking, fallout from Libya, revenge, frustration, struggle against inequality, imitation of international terrorism leading to training and part of the absorption by international terrorist groups and general poor governance, including corruption. I have always maintained that the solution to Boko Haram or any organisation like it lies in the application of carrot and stick approach.”
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