Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), in this interview with Daily Independent, Blasts Obasanjo over the controversial power project.
President Buhari and former president Olusegun Obasanjo last week engaged in war of words over the $16bn Power project. Will your body advise the president on whether it should be probed or not?
Yes, when the time comes certainly we will do that. It is an issue that we didn’t really think about in my committee. The anti-corruption agencies are the ones who have all the facts, names and figures.
So, we will leave them to use their initiative but if this issue becomes political issue as it is being turn into, it may be necessary to get the facts and take the necessary action. If anybody wants to make capital of politics by running down this government which in my view is the most upright government we have had since a part of the Murtala Mohammed government, then this government may have to show that it is a government of principle and one which has the will to suppress corruption and those who challenge it may face the music.
Former South African president, Jacob Zuma is currently trial for his actions in office. Do you think Obasanjo is sacred cow that cannot be prosecuted?
Heavens will not fall if Obasanjo is prosecuted and jailed if found guilty. In my opinion, this government has a very kind disposition towards former presidents out of respect. The government doesn’t want to create the impression whereby a former president who is the image of the country is being brought to trial. It will look a sorry sight. But no one should challenge this government and then compel it too establish that those who are talking are not the best and they allowed a lot of dirt under them for which they are not being prosecuted.
Why do you think Obasanjo is too critical of those who succeeded him in office unlike what obtains in the United States where you hardly see former presidents criticising the incumbents despite political differences?
Why even go to the United States? Let’s look into Nigeria. How many times has Yakubu Gowon under whom Obasanjo served as a military officer criticise anybody? I am sure when he has anything to say he will go quietly.
How many times has Abdulsalami Abubakar criticised anybody? Even Ibrahim Babangida was quiet before, respecting himself until Obasanjo started pushing and egging him to speak. You could see it wasn’t natural with Babangida coming out to attack a successor.
So, this is an Obasanjo ego trip. He has to be the President-General forever. He is always envious of anyone who came in after him.
He has to interfere to be relevant and you must allow him preside over the presidency otherwise there will be no peace.
He didn’t allow Yar’Adua to rest; he didn’t allow Jonathan to rest now it is the turn of Buhari. I think this tendency of putting your hands in the eyes of those who succeeded you really has to be stopped.
His shenanigans has to be stopped. He went to Afenifere, a group he has had nothing to do with for years for support. He has to formed some artificial party ADC and all sorts of ridiculous associations thinking he can destabilise this government when he was allowed a free reign as president.
He got two terms and then wanted a Third Term. Nobody killed him for it even though that attempt failed woefully. So, I think Obasanjo should allow Nigeria to rest.
He should give Nigeria peace. He should just go to his house and leave us alone.
We have had enough of him.