Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President, Federal Republic of NigeriaOtta Farms,Ogun State.
NIGERIANS DESERVE AN OPEN LETTER ON THE $16 BILLION POWER SPENDING
I write on behalf of myself and the members of the South West Peoples Assembly (SWEPA), this letter to you, as a former democratic President who presided over the affairs of our great nation for eight years. I pen this letter with a deep sense of humility and patriotism; formed from the passion and desire to see our dear country Nigeria attain its deserved greatness and fulfil its potentials. Your Excellency, these are the same character traits you have on many occasions during the greater part of your public service career preached.
Your Excellency, Nigeria faces a power problem, the abundance of the absence of power supply. We cannot pretend that Nigeria would reach half its potentials except its power problems are fixed. Leaders who have ruled this country at every point in time, especially since our most recent return to democracy have made attempts at reviving the power sector knowing its critical importance to the development and transformation of the country. You are not excluded. In fact, it is on the record and an open secret that your administration spent the fantastic sum of 16 Billion Dollars to give Nigerians power, that is almost 6 Trillion Naira in today’s rate. Yet what was bequeathed in reality was darkness.
Questions abound. Nigerians are in the anguish of darkness, businessmen are in the pain of losses occasioned by the lack of power supply. This issue has been risen to the tables of National Debate, and the demand is being made that those who have been in charge of the management of this country must account for this lack of power despite heavy spending. The call has become to loud that we cannot pretend not to hear: Nigerians want accountability for why we are where we are. And this is only reasonable and fair. We cannot claim that we want to move forward when we do not know what is dragging us back.
In line with this debate and call for probe concerning the spendings in the power sector during your tenure and those of your three successors, including the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari; we believe it would be in line with your long held principles of truth, accountability and patriotism that you avail the public coherent explanations concerning the often talked about 16 Billion Dollars spent during your time as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As you have done on many occasions, and considering your absolute patriotism to Nigeria which is never in doubt, it is our considered opinion that an open letter from you would help to bring light to some of the issues surrounding the spending of this huge sum, which of course has failed to produce any tangible results.
Considering the importance of the issue and the interest it has generated from a vast number of Nigerians, we are confident that you will not shy away from embracing a most courageous opportunity to explain this whole power mismanagement saga.
We are thankful to you for making out time to read our humble submission, and we are hopeful that the Nigerian public will hear from you soonest on the subject of this letter.
Ismaeel ‘Lanre OguntoyinboSecretary, SWEPA