Babangida stated this during an interview with the press team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the agency’s in-house magazine, “Zero tolerance.”
Nigeria’s former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has denied allegations of corruption levelled against him
IBB stated this during an interview with the press team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the agency’s in-house magazine, “Zero tolerance.”
Babangida also said that anyone who could provide evidence of corruption against him should not hesitate to release it to the public.
“Let me tell you something, maybe you (EFCC) have a hand in it. I have been the most investigated President Nigeria has ever had. By now, somebody should have come forward to say here it is. Every government that came after me investigated me because of that perception because they wanted to retrieve the billions I stole,” IBB said.
Babangida also compared corruption in his time to modern-day corruption saying that he and all who served under him were saints and angels.
“Well, 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. You 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 was much more effective,” he said
“I don’t have the facts but if what I read in the papers is currently what is happening then I think we were angels,” Babangida added.
The former military ruler also spoke on the general image of corruption attached to him saying it was a matter of perception.
“It 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 but 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,” Babangida said.
IBB also refuted reports that the $12.4billion oil windfall from the 1991 Gulf War had been stolen.