Gap toothed former military President General Ibrahim Babangida (retd.) has taken a swipe at the past administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing it as corrupt. In an exclusive interview with a monthly magazine People Monthly, Babangida accused the Obasanjo administration of institutionalising corruption in the country.
He berated Obasanjo for achieving less than he (IBB) achieved while in office as military president in spite the huge revenue the administration got from oil.
“What accrued to us as an administration was about N565 billion. That is less than what was accruing to the Obasanjo government in a year. What they were getting in one year, we got less in eight years. And I know what we achieved with that little amount of money in eight years. If I had that kind of money, may be we could have gone places. That I am absolutely confident about.
“The world is made to believe that my administration institutionalised corruption. Now, we know better who institutionalised corruption. So, I am grateful to God and may be history will eventually vindicate us,” he stated.
A new low for Obasanjo
He also said Obasanjo probed him for eight years between 1999 and this year when he left Aso Rock.
The Minna-born general also supported recent moves by the Yar’Adua administration to reverse most of the policies and programmes of the Obasanjo administration, describing it as “perfectly in order”.
Babangida argued that as President, Yar’Adua has the responsibility to right all the wrongs that were done by the Obasanjo administration.
“Where there are a lot of cries by members of the society, it is the duty of the president to look into whatever is causing this. So to me, it is not a surprise (that Yar’Adua is reversing most of Obasanjo’s programmes), it is perfectly legitimate,” he stated.
He said Obasanjo also reversed some programmes of his predecessor General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), immediately he was sworn in as civilian president in 1999. “I think what the administration of President Yar’Adua is doing now is perfectly in order,” he submitted.
Babangida also revealed the role played by Obasanjo in the 1983 coup which toppled the civilian administration of President Shehu Shagari.
He explained that the 1983 coup actually wanted to instal Obasanjo as president after toppling Shagari but that the Ota chicken farmer rejected the offer.
“It is true we wanted to bring General Obasanjo back as head of state in 1984). But to be fair to General Obasanjo, he rejected the offer. He said no. He said it would destroy his integrity; that he handed over to Shagari and that it is not right for him to get involved. But he (Obasanjo) said he was not stopping us from going ahead with the plot,” he explained.
He also said Obasanjo probed him for eight years between 1999 and this year.