IBB Denies Stealing $12bn, Says Nigerian Media Branded Him As Corrupt
Babangida, has reacted to the common
assertion that he enthroned corruption in
Challenging any individual or group with facts
on corruption against him to release such,
IBB insisted that the $12.4billion Gulf Oil War
windfall of 1991 was not stolen.
Babangida made the clarifications in an
exclusive interview with a team of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commissionâ€™s
press crew for the agencyâ€™s in-house
magazine, â€œZero tolerance.â€
The EFCC released the transcript of the
interview to journalists in Abuja on Monday.
IBB, who denied looting billions from the
treasury, challenged anyone with proof of
corruption against him to reveal it.
â€œLet me tell you something; I have
been the most investigated President
Nigeria has ever had. By now,
somebody should have come forward
to say here it isâ€ , IBB said.
â€œEvery government that came after me
investigated me because of that
perception because they wanted to
retrieve the billions I stole.â€
According to the former Head of State, he
and those who served in his administration
were saints and angels going by the level of
corruption in the country.
â€œWell, we had different approaches. I
think my government was able to
identify corruption prone areas and
checked them. If you remember in this
country, there were things they call
essential commodities. These are also
sources of corruption.
â€œYou go and buy Omo or food or
whatever it is and we got government
to take its hands off such activities. Let
people use their own brains, hands and
labour, nobody has to do it for them. So
we did, but I am proud to say that it was
much more effective.
â€œI donâ€™t have the facts but if what I read
in the papers is currently what is
happening, then I think we were
On the allegation that his military regime
institutionalized corruption in Nigeria, IBB said
though he had been aware of such
insinuation, the assumption was incorrect.
â€œYeah, I know. Maybe I have to accept
that but anybody with a sense of
fairness has no option but to call us
saints. I give you an example, in a year
I was making less than $7billion in oil
â€œIn the same period, there are
governments that are making
$200billion to $300billion .
â€œWith $7billion, I did the little I could
achieve. With $200billion, there is still a
lot to be achievedâ€ .
The ex-President said being branded as
corrupt was a question of perception.
His words: â€œIt is said that perception is
not reality. Why the perception? I
should ask you because it is the
perception of the media. You believed
quite wrongly that we are all crooks
and I bear no grudge whatsoever
against anybody .
â€œBut I know time will come when they
will say after all, they did something
and this is what is happening. Now,
even our fiercest critics give us credit
for certain things we did.â€
On the $12.4billion oil windfall from the 1991
Gulf War, Babangida insisted the money was
â€œFirst of all, that war lasted three
months, about 90 something days. It
didnâ€™t last up to a year. So get the facts
â€œSecondly, the oil price at that time was
below $18 per barrel. So, there is no
way you could make $12.4billion in
â€œWe could not have made that amount
of money but Pius Okigbo knew what
he was doing. He had brains and he said
between 1986 or 1988 to 1994, monies
accrued to the Federal Government at
that time was about that money you are
calling windfall. He said so. It is there in his
â€œThen the other thing he said, the
monies could have gone into
generative investment. I am not an
economist but I have an understanding
of what this isâ€ , IBB stated.
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