Corruption: We’re saints compared to Buhari, Obasanjo, others, says Babangida

By Newsie Events Media:

Compared to what is happening and what has happened in a democratic governments President Muhammadu Buhari and his successors, i am saint.

This was the description of the Former Military Dictator, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida while reacting to questions about the deep rooted corruption in the country during his interview with AriseTV on Friday.

During his military regime, Babangida was blamed for internalising the culture of corruption (settlement) in Nigerian Polity.
When asked why his is perceived as corrupt, Mr Babangida said he is a saint when compared to democratically elected presidents like Mr Buhari and others who have led the country since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic rule. 

“You cannot compare it with the fact on ground now. From what I read, from analysis, I think we are saints when compared to what is happening under a democratic dispensation,” Mr Babangida said.

Explaining further how not so corrupt his regime was, Mr Babangida, who led a junta that ruled Nigeria from 1985 to 1993 and annulled Nigeria’s most credible June 12, 1993 election, said he sacked a governor for misappropriation of less than N313,000 but today people steal billions are are walking freely in the country. 

“I sacked a governor for stealing less than N313,000. Today those who have stolen billions are in the court and parading themselves on the streets. So who else is in fighting corruption,” Mr Babangida said. 

Presently, the much touted corruption fighting by the President Buhari-led administration has garnered so much criticisms and  some dirty deals exposed.

Newsie Events recalled that the senior pastor of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, and a former ally of President Buhari had said corruption has become more deadly under the watch of Mr Buhari. 
“If because of insecurity and corruption, we voted Jonathan out and now insecurity is worse, corruption is much more deadly now, what do you think should happen?,” he asked in his sermon last Sunday. 

Since Buhari took over the mantle of leadership, claiming to be leading an anti-corruption war, several corruption scandals, ranging from certificate forgery among his aides to theft and diversion of public funds have rocked his presidency.
In 2017, Secretary to government of the federation Babachir David Lawal, was fingered in diversion of N544million fund meant to cater for Internally Displaced Persons in terrorism ravaged North-East. Mr Lawal was suspended after much pressure from then-Senate. He subsequent trial by the EFCC has effectively been inert. 

Also, in December 2020, Peoples Gazette had exclusively exposed how top operative in Mr Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, Isa Funtua, got a  N840million windfall from the Federal Inland Revenue Service without any justifiable reason. The government has kept mum of the matter till date.
In April 2017, $43 millon slush fund belonging to the NIA was found in a residential apartment at Okoyi, Lagos by EFCC officials. The then NIA boss, Ayo Oke, was sacked with President Buhari vowing that those involved in the IkoyiGate scandal will not go unpunished. Nothing has been heard of the matter till date.

Former Nigerian Finance minister Kemi Adeosun was in July 2018 exposed by Premium Times to have skipped NYSC and forged a certificate to secure her appointment in Mr Buhari’s government. She later resigned from office but was not prosecuted for forgery.

Anti-graft agency boss Abdulrasheed Bawa was exposed by Peoples Gazette to have diverted recovered assets in September 2020 when serving as a zonal head of EFCC in Port Harcourt. Less than five months after the exposé, Mr Buhari appointed him to lead the anti-corruption agency.

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