A Lagos-based lawyer, Femi Falana, on Thursday blasted former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his vice, Atiku Abubakar, over their ownership of private universities.
Speaking at the launch of civic media lab, a joint project of citizen platforms Sahara Reporters and Budgit, Mr. Falana said the pension benefits of Messrs. Obasanjo and Abubakar are not enough to build a primary school, yet they own universities.
Commenting on how leaders appropriate illegal wealth to themselves while in office, Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, questioned where the former leaders got their monies from.
He explained that politicians advocating for restructuring of the nation are the same men who “restructured” the economy of Nigeria against the common people.
Mr. Falana said, “These guys who have restructured the economy of Nigeria. Or you are not aware that these guys restructured the economy of Nigeria to the extent that Nigeria is the only country today where former heads of states openly own universities.
“Have you ever heard of that anywhere in the world?,” he said, noting that “the likes of Obasanjo, Atiku, Babangida and others, own universities, and of course, the man who is now pushing for restructuring, Atiku, has a university as well.
“None of these guys worked outside the government. One was a customs officer, the others were soldiers; their pension cannot establish a primary school, not to talk of a university,” he argued.
Calling on young Nigerians to use the instrumentality of the new media to change the narrative, Mr. Falana said there is enough frustration on ground already.
“For young people, I think there is enough provocation on the part of the ruling class,” he said.
Mr. Obasanjo owns Bells University of Technology, Ota, in Ogun state, while Mr. Abubakar is the founder of American University of Nigeria in Yola, Adamawa state.
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