The Grandfather Of Corruption And His Grandchildren

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The Grandfather Of Corruption And His Grandchildren By Ahmed Oluwasanjo

Shortly before the 2015 general elections, former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) declared the beginning of a letter-writing season with an explosive letter he addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, his one-time political son.

This piece was written by Ahmed Oluwasanjo. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Obasanjo’s letter went viral and became the crux of public discourse, drawing serious rejoinders in the run up to 2015 general elections.

The most remarkable rejoinder came from Iyabo Obasanjo, OBJ’s beloved daughter, who appeared to have dipped her pen in gall. Jonathan also responded; but Obasanjo’s letter contributed a great deal to wrecking his re-election bid.

READ ALSO: Reps Brands Obasanjo Most Corrupt Nigerian In History

And that season passed.

We are now in another season – the season of confessions: one in which past and present kleptomaniacs who are responsible for the political and economic woes of Nigeria publicly trade abuses.

Last week, at a lecture to mark the first Akintola Williams Annual Lecture in Lagos, Obasanjo disagreed with the plan of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to obtain a foreign loan and also urged the president to stop blaming his predecessors. In addition, he repeated his allegation against the lawmakers, calling them unarmed robbers.

Looking back at how Obasanjo squandered the opportunity to put Nigeria on the right part as two-term president, one feels obliged to ask, is Obasanjo morally worthy to advice the present government or call lawmakers thieves?

From the $182 million Halliburton scandal to the $16 billion he allegedly spent on power, his desperation for a third term to his failure to fix major roads, Obasanjo contributed immensely to the woes of Nigeria.

However, the aphorism about accepting a message and overlooking the messenger behooves us to look at the merit of what Obasanjo said.

What has Obasanjo said about the Buhari-led government that is different from what many Nigerians are saying – that they’re hurting from the recession? What has he said that is different and more caustic than what Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the emir of Kano, once warned the Buhari-led government about?

What has Obasanjo said that reputable media platforms and veteran Nigerian columnists have not written about?

If what Obasanjo said is sensationally interpreted as throwing Buhari under the train or an attempt to sully him, then Buhari has done far worse to himself through his flip-flops on the economy and the government’s lack of direction.

Let’s call a spade by its name. Buhari’s government is becoming a joke and a disappointment by the day. That Aisha Buhari, the First Lady, whose activities ought to be restricted to the “kitchen, living room and the other room” crawled out to publicly criticise him is a testimony to this.

Moreover, if Aisha, the president’s for-better-for-worst partner, could sneak out of “the other room” to publicly criticise him, why should we split hairs about Obasanjo’s comment?

Obasanjo called our lawmakers “thieves,” and so what? If they are not what Obasanjo called them, then they should let Nigerians know what they earn as salaries and allowances monthly. Or can our lawmakers justify the constituency development fund put at N900 billion between 2004 and 2014, according to Muhammed Ndume, onetime chairman, Senate Committee on Millennium Development Goals?

It is not enough for the House of Representative’s Spokesperson, Abulrazak Namdas, to call Obasanjo the “grandfather of corruption,” however fitting the title may appear. It is more important that lawmakers prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not worse than their grandfather – Obasanjo.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Slams Buhari: ‘Stop Complaining, Clean Our Mess’

If Abdulmumin Jibrin’s allegation on budget padding is swept under the carpet, it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Nigerians to believe that lawmakers are not what Obasanjo called them.

The war of words between Obasanjo, and his grandchildren has once again, revealed that some persons are above the law in Nigeria. Otherwise, both Obasanjo and some of his grandchildren, especially those alleged to have padded the 2016 budget, should be behind bars for their atrocities against Nigeria and Nigerians.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja.

This piece was written by Ahmed Oluwasanjo. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of



I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism. If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you...

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