Reno Omokri, former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has accused Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of attempting to divert attention from the corruption allegation levelled against him by a house of reps panel.
Omokri said this in reaction to allegations by Osinbajo that Jonathan president plunged Nigeria into debt.
Osinbajo had said despite earning $381 billion from crude sale between 2010 and 2014, the nation’s external reserves fell to $30bn by 2014 and the Jonathan administration left behind a debt of $63.806bn.
Jonathan was president between 2010 and May 2015.
Reacting to the vice-president’s statement, Omokri, in a statement on Tuesday, asked how Osinbajo, who was recently indicted by the house of representatives over his “illegal” approval of N5.8 billion for National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), could accuse Jonathan of corruption.
“My attention has been drawn to regurgitated and discredited allegations by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo blaming former President Jonathan of saddling Nigeria with debt and ruining the economy by the alleged corruption of his administration,” the statement read.
“How can Vice President Osinbajo, a man who had just been indicted by the House of Representatives in one of the biggest corruption scams ever in Nigeria’s history, have the gall to point accusing fingers on Dr. Jonathan, a man that is celebrated internationally for his efforts at achieving Nigeria’s best rating in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Rating when Nigeria improved 8 paces from 144 to 136 in 2014?
“Having read through the sordid details of Professor Osinbajo’s corruption as revealed in the indictment by Nigeria’s House of Representatives, it is easy to understand why Nigeria made her worst ever retrogression in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception under him this year, moving 11 paces backwards from 136 to 148.”
Omokri said contrary to Osinbajo’s claim, the Jonathan administration inherited a debt of N42 billion.
He said the federal government’s alleged lack of discipline is responsible for the country’s growing debt profile.
“On the issue of debt, the fact remains that in the entire 16 years that the Peoples Democratic Party governed Nigeria, the total amount of money borrowed was ₦8.06 trillion Naira. These are facts sourced directly from the budget office controlled by the Buhari administration,” he said.
“However, in only 3 years, the All Progressives Congress led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has borrowed a total of ₦10 trillion Naira. With this fact in hand, where does Vice President Osinbajo have the moral authority to point leprous fingers at former President Jonathan?
“The claim by Vice President Osinbajo that former President Jonathan left $$63 billion in debt is also a false claim. The Jonathan administration inherited $42.23 billion in debt in 2011 which were debts borrowed by the states and the Federal Government. Throughout the five years that he was President, former President Jonathan incurred the wrath of several state governments because his administration refused to guarantee their foreign loans.
“The reason that Nigeria’s debt has ballooned under this administration is because the Federal Government lacks the discipline that Jonathan had and are thus unable to curb borrowing by both the Federal Government and the states.”
Osinbajo has defended himself, saying he did no wrong as the approval was within his constitutional authority.