Obasanjo: Leave Electricity Problem to God

  • Friday, July 25, 2008 - This Day Online
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•Nobody can stampede us on decisions on power probe, says Bankole

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said Nigerians should take their electricity problem to God, adding that they should take to God anything they do not have which they wished to have or cannot get.

Obasanjo spoke yesterday when he reluctantly fielded questions from journalists as he arrived the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Also yesterday, House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole warned that lawmakers would not be stampeded into taking final decisions on the recommendations of its committee that probed the expenses in the power sector between 1999 and 2007 when Obasanjo held sway as president.

The Speaker said the House would follow due process to ensure that the recommendations brought before it were thoroughly considered.
Cornered at the airport, Obasanjo responded to questions thus: Sir, what advice do you have on the power problem in the country?
Obasanjo: Power, which power?
Journalists: Electricity
Obasanjo: Do you have electricity in your area?
Journalists: No
Obasanjo: Anything you don’t have or you cannot get, then leave it to God
Journalists: How do you feel when Nigerians don’t appreciate your contributions to the development of the nation?
Obasanjo: Hey! Hey!, calling a friend of his who was on his entourage; the man walked up to him and he said to him: “They are asking about good governance.. ..Go into your car. Bye bye o,” he said, waving.
Obasanjo, who arrived in a chartered HS125 aircraft from Abuja, also described his political “sons” including the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose, as his good children.
The former president retorted when asked his reaction to the move to reconcile him to all his estranged political supporters in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), “All my children are good children.”
The interview went thus; “How do you react to the move by some leaders of your party to reconcile you with some of your estranged political children?”
Obasanjo humorously responded: “All my children are good children. Do you have bad children, if you have bad children na your own toro”

The former president was besieged by Aviation Correspondents but he did not say anything again.

He walked leisurely to his GMC four-wheel-drive, boarded and departed with a stream of convoy.

Bankole spoke against the backdrop of reports that the recommendations of the House Committee on Power and Steel which recently probed the power sector were already being implemented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Angered by revelations that the panel report had been submitted to the House leadership in the last three weeks without it being listed for presentation and consideration, Hon. Mohammed Maifata yesterday raised a point of order on Matter of Privilege, insisting that the House had breached the rule by sending the report to EFCC before it had been laid on the table.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, while addressing the House said," Nobody has released the report of the committee. It has been ready for presentation but it has not been listed or called up for presentation
“Does it mean it should jump the queue? That report is what our integrity is built on. But it does not mean we should jump the queue since we are not witch-hunting anybody."

Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Ita Ennag, in a bid to wriggle out of the controversy said the committee had already slated the report for presentation but that a date was yet to be fixed.
But while ruling on the matter, Bankole told his colleagues that the House would follow order and would not unnecessarily overheat the system.

He said the House would not be stampeded to take decisions on the matter.

The Speaker who just returned from Zambia where he spent one week attending the Africa Parliamentary Union Congress, however, referred the issue to the Ethics and Privileges Committee for further investigation.

Yesterday, the House also killed a motion on the Privatisation of Niger Dock, which 24 lawmakers had brought before it saying that due process was not followed in bringing up the motion.

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