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With Ongoing Arrests, Obasanjo Is Not Impressed Says The EFCC Has Become A “Toothless Bulldog”



Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), established by his government to fight against corruption has now become a toothless bulldog.

He said this while addressing guests, during the celebration of his 79th birthday, held at the main auditorium of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

In attendance at the event were former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was represented by the chairman Board of Trustees, American University of Nigeria, Akin Kekere-Ekun; Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; representative of the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha; Senate President, Bukola Saraki, represented by the Senator representing Ogun Central, Lanre Tejuoso, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio; Ministers of Transport and Science and Technology, Mr.Rotimi Amaechi and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.

Others were the deputy National chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Engineer Segun Oni; founder of Living Faith Church (a.k.a. Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo; former governors of Osun and Cross River states, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Liyel Imoke; wife of the late former governor of Ondo State, Mrs Olufunke Agagu; Lotto magnate and philanthropist Chief Kessington Adebutu, among others.

Obasanjo, who took a retrospective look at the activities of the anti-graft agency in the days of its former chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, insisted that the EFCC had lost focus in fighting corruption.

He submitted that the fight against corruption under Ribadu was more pronounced than what obtains today.

Obasanjo stated that Nigerians coined the saying that the “the fear of Ribadu was the beginning of wisdom,” adding that the country needed to get more serious if it wants to develop.

The former president advised the Federal Government and all stakeholders to take a critical look at the situation which had befallen the agency and chart a way forward.

Obasajo said, “Honestly, when Nuhu was handling EFCC, he handled it in such a way that people coined the saying that the fear of Nuhu is the beginning of wisdom.

The thing you will ask is how did we go down? How did we lose that?

“Nuhu Ribadu is still here, he is still alive, the institution we started together is still there, but what made the institution to become a toothless bulldog? What? And that is the matter we have to keep looking at, so that we don’t take two steps forward, one step aside and three steps back.”

He, however, admitted that the country was making progress in terms of democratic experience.

On the issue of insurgency and fighting terrorism, Obasanjo also advised that technology should be deployed to tackle the challenge both at local and international levels.

He noted that such step became imperative because the insurgents and terrorists are deploying technology to fight innocent people.

The former president added that every individual used technology in one form or the other in their homes, pockets, saying such could be used to ward off those who made life unbearable for others.

“One of the things that we now have to take seriously in fighting terrorism and insurgency is technology because technology impacts on us daily.

“Technology is beamed in our homes, is in our pockets and if those who want to do anything to make life unbearable for us in terms of security, then we must also use technology as the antidote, as the means by which we can ward off.”

Eulogising the celebrant, the duo Onu and Amaechi respectively described the former president as an institution, a gift to Nigeria and a detribalised Nigerian.

Onu said, “Obasanjo is a man who has become an institution, a special gift that God gave to Nigeria. At every time the nation faces challenges, God has used Obasanjo to get out of the problem and there are so many paths to this unique personality,” while Akpabio described Obasanjo as a man who loves justice adding that the ruling class believes in his leadership, vision and prophecy.

Both Akpabio and Tejuoso donated their March salaries to the Centre for Human Security, an arm of OOPL.

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