The former Governor of Adamawa State, Barr Bala Ngilari, has made a surprising statement about money. He said that if he were to personally see and have one billion Naira, he would faint.
This statement comes in the context of a corruption case that he was involved in, which made him the first politician to be convicted in court since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. The case was related to corruption involving 166 million Naira, and he was sentenced to prison after his tenure as governor ended in May 2015.
During a recent interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics program, Ngilari was asked if he had one billion Naira of his own. In response, he said that if he were to suddenly have one billion Naira, he would be so shocked that he might even faint.
When asked if he had “like N1bn of your own?”, he retorted, “If I see N1bn now, I will faint.”
“In fact, the good thing is that the greatest difficulty for a person who tries to be honest and righteous is that you gather so many enemies. Till tomorrow, I say it boldly without fear or favour, if you take the proceedings of the courts that arraigned me on a five-count charge, there is not one count of the five that said I took one naira or diverted one naira, not one,” he said.
He further said that after losing the governorship seat, he wanted to contest as a senator in the following election year, but could not because the delegates in his party were asking for N1m each.
“In fact, I tried to contest for the Senate too under APC. I went round, toured and two, three days to the primary election, I called and reached out to the delegates through my director general and my coordinators.”
“The delegates told me, ‘Look, sir, when it comes to the right person to go for this thing, you are the right person, but honestly we will be sincere and honest with you we cannot accept N100,000 which you want to offer us.’
“To help. My idea was that I could offer N100,000 for probably 200 people. That would come to about N20 million, so that they could go and start something at home.
“I mean N100,000 at that time was something. (But) they said, ‘No, sir, we will not collect your N100,000 because there are people who are willing to give us one N1 million each.’”