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Published On: Sun, Mar 6th, 2016

EFCC Is Now a Toothless Bulldog Under Magu – Obasanjo

Obasanjo

Obasanjo


LAGOS MARCH 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday lamented that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has become a toothless bulldog.
He said the anti-graft agency has lost its fear factor among Nigerians unlike when it was under its pioneer chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

Obasanjo spoke at the Conference Hall of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State where many eminent Nigerians gathered to celebrate his 79th birthday.
Among those at the event were Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; his Science and Technology counterpart, Ogbonnaya Onu; Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio; ex – governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun) and Liyel Imoke (Cross River).
They described Obasanjo as a true nationalist and detribalised Nigerian.
The ex-President explained that there was the need for an appraisal on why the EFCC, which was dreaded because of its effectiveness during his administration, began to lose courage.
He said this was necessary so that the nation does not take one step forward and take three steps backward.
Obasanjo said: “As all know when Nuhu Ribadu was handling the EFCC, he handled it in such a way that people coined the saying that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of Ribadu.
“And the thing you will ask is how did we go down? How did we lose that? How did we?
“Nuhu Ribadu is still here; he is still alive. The institution that we started together is still there. What made the institution to become a toothless bull dog?
“We need to work things out so that we don’t take two steps forward, one step and three steps backward.”
He also recommended deployment of technology to fight insurgents at local and global levels.
He called for justice and fairness at all levels of human existence to fight insurgency.
According to him, “People see perceived injustice or grievances and they try to react. But as I said earlier, when you have to treat violent extremism and radicalisation as an issue, then it costs you more.
“What we should do which will be cost effective, wise and cheaper is to prevent and if we do what we should do at all those areas, we should be able to prevent.
“One of the things that we now have to take seriously in fighting terrorism and insurgency is technology because technology impact 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.”
Paying tributes to Obasanjo’s roles in the nation, Amaechi said: “Nigerians agreed that you love Nigeria and I have never seen a Nigerian that disagrees you love Nigeria.
“As you want to save Nigeria, areas you may take a decision, some will support, others will not support. I think Nigerians will agree that you’ve made a lot of infrastructural contribution to the development of Nigeria.”
He added: “Anytime you’re out of government and you withdraw, crises come. You come back to the scene to help out and to ensure that we don’t destroy as a country and because of those roles, Nigerians have continuously prayed for you.”
Amosun said Obasanjo is a nationalist “who is neither ethno-centric nor an irredentist” but “puts Nigeria first in everything he does.”
Onu described the former president as a “special gift to the country because every time the country faces any challenge God uses him to solve that challenge.”
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was represented by Senator Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun Central), said at 79, “the former President’s strength and wisdom have not waned.”

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