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Babangida Opens Up

Nigeria’s former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd.) has eventually opened up.

He said; “Abacha’s government was very smart. They knew who were the most vociferous discussants about the election, about the coup, about June 12 and so on.”

“They started talking to them and sold a dummy to them and encouraged them to get rid of the interim government: ‘when we get rid of the interim government, we will bring you back to come and take over your democracy so that a civilian government would be installed’.”

“They sold that dummy to the public and to some prominent persons within the society, and when Abacha stepped in, there were drumming and sighs; ‘Good thing! Next thing is going to be a democratically-elected government’.”

“I knew, we knew, that it wouldn’t be because the argument was: ‘Why should I risk my life only to come and hand over power to you?’ That was what happened.”

“I knew it will not come as a surprise because even though I was outside – outside the service – I knew what was going on.”

“I sacked a governor for misappropriating N300,000. Now there are people – we read in the papers, thank God there are papers to read and social media and so on – who steal N2 billion, N3 billion and nobody is saying they are corrupt; only us because we are military, that is all.”

“I still maintain that we are saints if you compare somebody who is accused of stealing N3 billion to one with N300,000; then I think we are saints.”

“I sold an idea but because it came from me, nobody likes it, nobody will like to hear it:”

“Identify areas of corruption and attack them from the source. I read in one of the newspapers where a judge was complaining that they are not well remunerated by the public and that is a sure source of corruption.”

“Wherever you have a system where you have a lot of control there will be corruption.”

“So what did we try to do? We got government not to be involved in things like production.”

“Anything to do with ‘I have to come to you and you will always think you are doing me a favour, so maybe I should reciprocate it’; that is the sort of thing.”

“And that is why we introduced freeing the economy; you don’t need a licence to be graded Grade A; your groundnut or cocoa or cotton or whatever it is.”

“You don’t need to go to the Central Bank or to go to banks to get foreign exchange.”

“There are Bureaux de Change. They set it up in market areas, where you can easily go and get it.”

“So the sources of corruption has to be identified and attacked.”

“My economic policy of liberalisation and government stepping back from the economy were emulated by Yar’Adua and Obasanjo.”

“They did and the current regime was also doing it even though in a different name but it is all the same concept.”

– Source: TrustTV

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