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Falana tackles OBJ over claims of making 25 billionaires in Nigeria

Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has blasted former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his statement that he created 25 Nigerian billionaires during his administration.

Falana took a swipe on the former president while speaking on Wednesday at a symposium organised by the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, saying Obasanjo was shameless for saying that he created 25 billionaires amidst the problems inherent in the country.

The theme of the symposium is, “X-Raying 50 Years of Military Intervention In Nigeria’s Politics.”

Falana said, “despite the quest to know the rationale behind the fact that Africa is the richest continent, but yet it is the poorest, Obasanjo shamelessly expressed that he created 25 billionaires while he was in power.

“That statement would have been enough to impeach him if he were in power because the wealth of this nation is concentrated in the hands of the few.”

Falana pointed out it was no longer secret that the level of corruption witnessed under the military rule could not be compared with any other African countries, adding, “it is pertinent to know that the level of corruption witnessed under the military rule cannot be compared with any other African countries,”

Speaking further, the human rights lawyer said that a particular team of lawyers instituted by the previous administration had uncovered those who stole about 6.2 billion barrels of oil recently.

“It may interest you to know that the team of lawyers instituted by the previous administration has been able to figure out those who stole about 6.2 billion barrels of oil,” he said.

On the issue of recession, Falana said the Federal Government was only begging the question on proffering a solution.

He tasked the government to look inwards rather than putting the country for sale through unnecessary borrowing.

Speaking at the symposium, the first Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, charged Nigerians to start asking critical questions, saying such was the bedrock of transformational leadership.

“It is fundamental to intimate you that we are being ruled by imbeciles because we have not been asking them critical questions that inform infrastructural development and progress of the country in all ramifications,” he said.

A renowned expert on civil-military relations in Africa and the guest speaker, Prof. Bayo Adekanye, advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to address the obvious fundamental questions before embarking upon restructuring of the country.

“If restructuring of the country would be embraced by the Federal Government, it is pivotal to address the pressing fundamental issues facing the country first in order to avoid putting a square peg in a round whole,” he said.

The UNILAG Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rahman Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the institution owed it a duty to historicize the country’s political trajectory through the investigation and explanation of socio-economic and political variables that had contrived to shape the polity.

According to him, One of such variables is the series of coup d’etats and coups that plagued the country after her hard-won independence in October 1960 till 1995, calling on the organisers and participants to produce a communique on the lesson learned from military intervention in Nigeria’s politics and suggest measures to move the country forward on the path of social and political stability and development.