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Why I turned down N250m bribe to support third term agenda – Wabara

Adolphus Wabara, a former Senate President, has reiterated that he turned down a bribe of N250 million aimed at swaying him to the side of the pro-third term senators in 2006.

He said he rejected this because of his educational background.

It would be recalled that the third-term agenda came in the form of a bill for a constitutional amendment that would see then-President Olusegun Obasanjo qualify to run for a third term in office.

Wabara, who had lost his position as Senate President after resigning in the heat of a budget scandal in 2005, gave a moving speech on the floor of the Senate, which many believed changed the course of the voting that followed.

Recalling that moment in a recent interview on the television show, Untold Stories with Adesuwa Giwa-Osagie, Wabara said he had no regrets about rejecting the bribe and believes his educational background in the Soviet Union, where he was trained to hate corruption, played a huge role in his decision.

In a snippet of the interview, Wabara said, “I turned down a N250 million bribe to support the third term agenda. The money came to me by 1:30 a.m., before my third-term speech. It came in a sparkling black G-Wagon. I can still remember that it was in a black G-Wagon and a rickety 504 station wagon. The money was discharged, and my wife was there.”

Also speaking on the current situation in the country, Wabara, 76, said it was unfortunate that those in power had weaponised poverty.

He said: “Hunger misdirects, and my people say that when you are having leaves or whatever the goat eats, you are the person they will continue to follow. That is what is happening in our democracy today because of hunger.

“The elders and the politicians—those in government—are not creating the enabling environments to eschew hunger. It is a deliberate act to continue to make the electorate hungry so that they will continue to follow sheepishly.

“So, there will be stomach infrastructure before they start thinking whether we are being led aright.”

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