The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing him as an “old master thief.”
Oshiomhole made this known yesterday in Akwa Ibom state during the welcome rally for former Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, following his official defection to the APC.
The key takeaways from Oshiomhole’s remarks:
– Power Sector Fraud
“It is only in Nigeria that old thieves will be regrouping; they are being organized by an old master thief who spent 16 billion (USD)… the more dollars he spent on light, the more darkness you suffered. Buhari asked: $16billion, where is the power? You say ‘Buhari, why are you asking? How dare you ask? If you ask, we will ask Nigerians to reject you,” Oshiomhole said.
This is a repeat of a popular accusation against former President Obasanjo with regards to embezzling about $16 billion on power projects with nothing to show for it. This line of fire against Obasanjo has become the APC’s talking point with President Buhari making the same claim three months ago.
While addressing his supporters, Buhari had said: “One of the former Heads of State between that time was bragging that he spent more than 16 billion American dollars (not Naira) on power. Where is the power? Where is the power?”
Obasanjo has denied this allegation several times and even released a 2007 EFCC report that absolved him of any wrong doing. A newspaper reported that the Presidency might have revisited the issue in the light of the former President’s attacks on President Buhari.
– Political Irrelevance:
“ How can a man who has never won his polling booth in Ogun State suddenly become a… (incoherent).. And look at those who are paying pilgrimage to Ota, who are they? They are the thieves of yesterday, the thieves of today and those are to be thieves tomorrow,” Oshiomhole said.
Oshiomhole tried to dismiss the political relevance of the former President. In doing so, he falsely claimed that the former President has never won his polling booth in Ogun state. Obasanjo has never backed a candidate who lost in the presidential elections since he stepped down from office in 2007. Between 2011 and 2015, Obasanjo had won his polling booth for Jonathan who he backed in that election and did the same for Buhari in 2015. While Oshiomhole dismissed the PDP leaders for their visit to Ota – Obasanjo’s hometown and political mecca of sorts, he conveniently failed to mention that his party embarked on a similar pilgrimage during the last election.
The beef goes way back: Obasanjo and Oshiomhole had been at each others throats since the latter was the leader of the Nigerian Labour Congress during the administration of the former. Oshiomhole virulently opposed Obasanjo’s plans to liberalize the Nigerian Economy. In a recent speech, Oshiomhole said he would ‘jail’ Obasanjo if he were President Buhari.