A former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described those calling on him to account for the recovered Abacha loot, as “illiterates and stupid people”.
Obasanjo also faulted those criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent trips overseas, saying Nigeria needs to be in touch with important centers of the world.
Obasanjo, who stated this at the weekend in an interview with Vanguard, said the role of his office was to facilitate the recovery process and not how it was put to use.
“They said the money recovered from Abacha, I should account for it. What stupidity! The man who asked for it, the man who gave the judgement or who answered them are all stupid, with due respect,” he fumed.
“I don’t keep account, all Abacha loots were sent to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and every bit of it was reported to Minister of Finance. My job was to write to where we can get help to recover the money.
“Every penny that comes out of it went to CBN, so if they want to know what happened to the money, they should call CBN governor or call the Minister of Finance.
“But again, it shows ignorance, total ignorance, which is lacking and you wonder, are these people educated? They can also approach the man who helped us in recovering process to give the list of money recovered and where he took it.”
Adding his voice to the fluctuating oil price, Obasanjo said President Buhari was lucky than he was, saying: “When I assumed office in 1999, I inherited $3.7 billion in reserve, while Buhari met $30 billion, almost 10 times of what I met then, and the price of oil then was $9. When it got to $20, I was dancing.
“I know the price is down now and with time, it will jump up again. What Buhari is doing currently is preparing ground for Nigeria to take advantage when it goes up again.”
“He needs to be known and to know people. How do you make friends and influence people except you know them and this cannot happen if he sits in Aso Villa, especially in a situation that we found ourselves, a situation where we have bad image in the world, a situation where we need to play leadership role, especially in Africa, because during Jonathan’s administration, Nigeria was not on the table.”