Obasanjo visits Buhari, insists legislators are corrupt
President Muhammadu Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, on Monday held a private meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.
The former president arrived at the villa about 12:50pm, and he proceeded into a closed-door meeting with the president.
Both men had had a series of such private discussions since Buhari assumed power on May 29.
Obasanjo had visited Buhari for private talks on November 10, and on August 8, and he returned to the villa a month later.
Both men, who go into record as the only Nigerians who have presided over the country as military heads of state and civilian presidents, seem to be enjoying a good relationship.
Answering a question on the ongoing corruption scandal in the lower chamber of the national assembly, while speaking with journalists after the meeting, Obasanjo said he had not changed his stance on his previous impression of corruption in the legislature.
In January, Obasanjo had written to Bukola Saraki, president of the senate, and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the federal house of representatives to specifically accuse lawmakers of fixing and earning salaries and allowances far above what the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) approved for them.
He also alleged that most of the 109 senators and 369 representatives were receiving constituency allowances without maintaining constituency offices as the laws required of them.
“Mr. President of the Senate and Hon. Speaker of the House, you know that your emolument which the Commission had recommended for you takes care of all your legitimate requirements: basic salary, car, housing, staff, constituency allowance,” he had written.
“Although the constituency allowance is paid to all members of the National Assembly, many of them have no constituency offices which the allowance is partly meant to cater for. And yet other allowances and payments have been added by the National Assembly for the National Assembly members’ emoluments.
“Surely, strictly speaking, it is unconstitutional. There is no valid argument for this except to see it for what it is – law-breaking and impunity by lawmakers. The lawmakers can return to the path of honour, distinguishness, sensitivity and responsibility.”
Asked on Monday what he had to say in the light of the scandal rocking the house of reps and his previous corruption allegation against lawmakers, Obasanjo said: “Well, if you said that I have said it in the past and if they are people who didn’t believe what I said in the past then you now say that what has come out confirms what I said in the past, then you can say what I said in the past is what I will say now.”