Obasanjo attacks Nigerian governors, says they live like emperors

2016-02-02 13:04
Olusegun Obasanjo (Herman Verwey)

Olusegun Obasanjo (Herman Verwey)

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Abuja - Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo lambasted governors in his country on Monday, saying they "live like emperors" while diverting public funds for personal gain, local newspaper Punch has reported.

Speaking at an inaugural conference at Ibadan University in Oyo State, Obasanjo claimed that corruption took root in Nigeria after his administration, draining billions from the nation's economy.

Obasanjo said the country's leaders were demanding sacrifices from Nigerian citizens to finance their opulent lifestyles.

"Nigeria is a country where some governors have become sole administrators, acting like emperors. These governors have rendered public institutions irrelevant and useless," Obasanjo was quoted as saying.

Reflecting on his time in office, Obasanjo said he recognised corruption as a major impediment, saying this prompted his decision to introduce the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Several corruption scandals

The former statesman's utterances came just days after he wrote an open letter to the National Assembly leaders, calling them corrupt and lambasting their alleged extravagant wastage of the country's resources.

Lawmakers accused Obasanjo of misdirecting his criticism and not facing up to wrongdoing during his own administration.

The former president was not without his fair share of scandals. He was implicated in several corruption scandals, the most notable of which involved a bribe paid by oil and gas exploration company Halliburton.

According to Sahara Reporters, Obasanjo allegedly benefited from the bribe, receiving a large portion of the $74m that exchanged hands during 2000 and 2001.

Steadfast in his denial of any wrongdoing, Obasanjo has maintained his innocence through several accusations, even going as far as almost attacking Steven Shakur on BBC's HARDtalk, for bringing up corruption claims.

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Read more on:    olusegun ­obasanjo  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  corruption

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