by Stanley Azuakola
When ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo is in the mood to talk, there is simply no stopping him. He was in such a mood on Tuesday at the 4th Annual Conference of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies (AES) titled: “Strong systems: Necessity for building a virile nation”.
In his speech at the event, Obasanjo mentioned the judiciary, legislature, and the police as the three most corrupt institutions in the country. The executive arm was missing from his list, most noticeably.
In his remark which is likely to draw the ire of the legislators, Obasanjo said, “Integrity is necessary for all systems and institutions to be strong. Today, rogues, armed robbers are in the state houses of assembly and national assembly. What kind of laws will they make?”
Earlier this year the former president
was forced out stepped down as chairman of the PDP board of trustees, the party most members of the legislation belong to, and a party which he steered the course for many years after leaving his position as president.
Other prominent individuals at the event were Lagos governor Babatunde Fashola, former heads of state, Yakubu Gowon and Ernest Shonekan, and former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais.
The judiciary was also not spared Obasanjo’s ire. “The judiciary is also corrupt,” said Obasanjo, “During my tenure, many of the corrupt judges were removed, some are still there. If the judiciary becomes corrupt, where is the hope for Nigeria? Justice no doubt will go to the highest bidder. The judiciary did not see anything wrong with a former governor but the same set of evidence was used to convict him in the UK.”
He stressed the need for the country’s political system to be purposeful and beneficial to all citizens. “We must build a sustainable, self-defending, and preserving system. Such institution must have integrity, must have an objective, and be self-improving.”