Ngilari, who governed the North Eastern state for a brief period between October 2014 and May 2015, was convicted of corruption and sentenced to prison after leaving office.
The former governor made the remarks while appearing as a guest on Trust Television Daily Politics program.
When asked if he had “like N1bn of your own?” he replied, “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,” Ngilari 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,” he added.
Speaking on the state of the nation’s economy, he said Nigerians should be patient with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu because he inherited a myriad of challenges from successive governments over the past 20 to 30 years
Ngilari stated that the average Nigerian is not patient with the government because he wants to see results immediately.
He said: “This government inherited a backlog of so many things. I mean going back to probably 20, 30 years that didn’t begin with this government, and there is no magic wand that any other person would have done, and the problem is solved,” Ngilari said.
“Therefore, in all fairness, President Tinubu has been steadily tackling these things. It will take some time for us to see the results.
“Yes, but the problem with the Nigerian, is he’s so impatient; he wants results immediately. It doesn’t happen anywhere in the world. I do know that given the steady rate at which they are going, give this regime the next six months; believe me, we will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Reacting to why he was optimistic that Tinubu’s administration would bring good results, he said, “I am because, look at this, for example, one very radical decision that the Tinubu government has taken is to say no more borrowing.
“For me, this is a wonderful economic step. They are saying whatever we will do, in terms of development, will be based on what we can generate internally. We will not borrow again, Nigerians are overburdened.
“What is more, here is a government that appears to be a listening government. I’ve seen some criticisms, like the initial attempt by the government to give Nigerians N8,000 palliative. There was massive criticism, and the government made a U-turn. That is the way it should be.”…..CONTINUE READING