Elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a former maximum ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, made corruption attractive to state governors in the country.
Braithwaite said the former helmsmen’s policies and actions elevated corruption in governance, adding that many state governors were merely emulating them.
The human rights activist said this during a telephone interview with our correspondent on Tuesday.
He was reacting to a statement credited to Obasanjo in which the former president slammed state governors for living like emperors – to the detriment of the masses.
Obasanjo, who spoke at the inaugural conference of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Ibadan, on Monday, said, “Nigeria is a country where some governors have become sole administrators, acting like emperors. These governors have rendered public institutions irrelevant and useless.”
But Braithwaite said, “Obasanjo is not saying anything original because when he assumed office in 1999, I warned that the military constitution would make the governors emperors. Governors determine security votes which they do not account for. Since 1999, the military constitution clothes them (governors and president) with immunity against being arrested for criminal misdeeds. Many of them brazenly looted the treasury and got away with it. Obasanjo became rich through this structure.
“Something appears to be driving Obasanjo to be making frivolous statements everywhere. He and Babangida made corruption attractive to governors and they elevated corruption in governance which subsequent presidents and governors are emulating.”
Speaking on the recent terrorist attacks, Braithwaite said the Federal Government’s declaration that Boko Haram had been technically defeated was premature, adding that such an assumption was wrong.
He said the Federal Government could be forgiven for its statement that the sect had been defeated because of its (FG’s) good intentions and wishes of ending terrorism, insisting, however, that the Federal Government’s good intentions were far from reality. (Punch)