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“During our time, we did not know anything like corruption” – Yakubu Gowon

BellaNaija.com

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"During our time, we did not know anything like corruption" - former Head of State Yakubu Gowon | BellaNaija

Former Head of State Yakubu Gowon has said there was no corruption when he was in power, The Cable reports.

Gowon said this while speaking at the 8th Commonwealth regional conference for heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa on Monday.

Some of his ministers were accused of corruption, he said, but it was not allowed to “go into the public service.” He said:

During our time, we did not know anything like corruption. Some of my ministers were accused of corruption but we did not allow it go into the public service.

After I left office, apart from my salary, it was the staff that worked with me that contributed their estacode so that I have something to live on. During our time, we did not know that thing. We were afraid of being exposed.

It is sad to read reports that all former heads of state are thieves.

I will like to ask you (heads of anti-corruption agencies) to find a way of making those in leadership not to be tempted – let them be honest.

15 Comments

  1. Naija News

    May 14, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Hmmm… I doubt Gowon… Nigeria has always been corrupt

  2. Ebere

    May 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Say what?The genesis of Nigerian corruption…..Mchew

  3. ceetoo

    May 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    You did not have development either.
    That is where our problem started… were you not the one dashing money to one country saying we have money and dont know what to do with it…. Mchewwwwwwwwwwww

    • Ovadje

      May 14, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      @Ceetoo, Nigeria certainly had relatively much better development under Gowon than it does these days. Eko Bridge and most of the core infrastructure that has sustained Lagos until recently, Festac village, ports, the Warri and Kaduna refineries and the petrochemicals complex in Warri (albeit completed under Mohammed/Obasanjo), the universities at Jos, Calabar, PH and Maiduguri, power stations, student loans (yes, Nigeria had those), scholarships, bursaries, etc. In fact, under Gowon, TIME magazine did a cover on Nigeria titled “The First Black Power”!

      Yes, the Gowon government paid a couple of months’ salaries for civil servants in Grenada and possibly a couple of other small Caribbean nations, but it also built up foreign reserves (it was the biggest investor in UK gilts) and basically founded ECOWAS. Nonetheless, there was certainly corruption under the Gowon administration (even if not up to today’s massive scale and pervasiveness).

  4. nwa nna

    May 14, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    He personally may not have been corrupt, but I guarantee yo that those around him were..

  5. Baybie

    May 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Baba, e go better make you enjoy your retirement, leave this matter for us sir. In the spirit of ‘respecting’ my elders, I comment my reserve on this case.

    • Dayo

      May 15, 2018 at 12:12 am

      Baybie, if the attacks against Noble and the defenses of Yahoo is anything to go by, I would not be in to much of a hurry to retire the “elders”. At least when Gowon was removed, the dude did not even own a house after 9 years in office and in the midst of a real oil boom!

    • Baybie

      May 15, 2018 at 2:21 am

      Dayo, that’s a valid point

  6. cicimeleko

    May 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Bros Gowon maybe you (personally)
    BBBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    Your platform set the ball (stage) Rolling.

  7. John

    May 14, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    The funny part was that the first coup done by ironsi and ifeajuna was done bcos of the immense corruption in the Nigerian Government.

    The young soldiers came back from london after their training and was astounded by the level of corruption in Government.
    Just a fews years after independence.

    The coup was done to kill off all the top men in Government. The only problem was that the north believe that only top northerners like ( abubakar) were killed in the coup while the likes of Zik were hidden.

    So tell it to the birds

    • Bala

      May 15, 2018 at 2:38 am

      Can you give is instances of curruption that brought the coup. Why didn’t they use the electoral process to fight their cause?

  8. Ure

    May 14, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Emmm and I am sure you are regretting it. People laughed at my father for retiring with a small house. He knew no corruption but he was mocked for being in government for so long and coming out with nothing

  9. Ovadje

    May 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    @John, while it was well before my time, Ironsi was not part of the Jan 1966 coup and Azikiwe was out of the country. It was a majors’ coup to eliminate corruption (and probably adopt a socialist/communist ideology) that basically went off the rails and took on an ethnic coloration because all of the top Ibo politicians supposedly tagged for elimination (as well as Ironsi) somehow survived. Accordingly, of the 4 region Premiers only the 2 Ibos survived (Okpara of the Eastern Region and Osadebey of the Midwest Region – the former reportedly was hosting the Archbishop of Cyprus), while the North’s Ahmadu Bello and the West’s Akintola were brutally murdered. The fact that an Ibo person (Ironsi, who was head of the Army and led the suppression of the coup, reportedly after only survived assasination because he was at a UK high commission party on a boat) assumed power, eliminated the regions and the cabinet, and instituted a unitary form of govt run by civil service bureaucrats (of which the head of service was coincidentally an Ibo, and which meant that the then less-educated and less-senior Northerners would take mostly a back seat) further served to stoke the embers of ethnic suspicion.

    Nigeria really need to be teaching its modern history in our schools.

    • Professor X

      May 14, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      IGBO, not Ibo. What is Ibos???

    • 9ja

      May 14, 2018 at 11:40 pm

      PROFESSOR, somehow you still understood whom he was referring to. You can correct him but quit acting as if many people (including Igbo people) do not use the term “Ibo”. SMH @ folks who prefer to chase shadows in derogation of substance.

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