Obasanjo blasts legislators in letter to the Senate (READ)

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has sent a letter to the leadership of the National Assembly.

According to The Cable, the letter dated January 13, 2016 addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara bashed the lawmakers for being ‘insensitive’ as they planned to buy cars for themselves despite the economic crunch in the country.

The ex-president also said the lawmakers in the National Assembly, have over the years, promoted a culture of financial misconduct.

Obasanjo said: “The recent issue of cars for legislators would fall into the same category. Whatever name it is disguised as, it is unnecessary and insensitive. A pool of a few cars for each Chamber will suffice for any Committee Chairman or members for any specific duty. The waste that has gone into cars, furniture, housing renovation in the past was mind-boggling and these were veritable sources of waste and corruption. That was why they were abolished. Bringing them back is inimical to the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.”

He also slammed the legislators for not following the emoluments fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) which he considers as a breach of the consitution.

“By our Constitution, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission is charged with the responsibility of fixing emoluments of the three arms of government: executive, legislature and judiciary. The Commission did its job but by different disingenuous ways and devices, the legislature had overturned the recommendation of the Commission and hiked up for themselves that which they are unwilling to spelt out in detail, though they would want to defend it by force of arm if necessary. What is that?”

Obasanjo also challenged the lawmakers to embrace openess and accountability by publishing their recurrent expenditure and opening their books to an external auditor from 1999 till date.

“The National Assembly should have the courage to publish its recurrent budgets for the years 2000, 2005, 20 10 and 2015. That is what transparency demands. With the number of legislators not changing, comparison can be made. Comparisons in emoluments can also be made with countries like Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and even Malaysia and Indonesia who are richer and more developed than we are,” Obasanjo wrote.

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