Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo says he learnt the art of fraud (419) while in prison. Dr. Obasanjo was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1995, by former dictator and Nigeria’s Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. He was later released in 1998 by then Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar. He went on to contest and won the 1999 general elections and won reelection in 2003.
In an exclusive with New Telegraph, Obasanjo said while in prison, he called those involved in the fraudulent act to teach him the tactics they use.
He said the lesson was borne out of his passion to learn from every situation he finds himself.
“Like I have told you, I learn in every situation. Even in prison, I called the 419 boys to come and teach me their tactics, just to learn. I think I love Nigeria and humanity and my experience has shown me what is possible,” he said.
He went on to add that he only speaks against the vices in the society, saying he will be punished by God if he refuses to talk.
“I won’t call it confrontation; I won’t call it taking on. Again, I will thank God for the perspective He has given me and as I have said to you now. Again, without been immodest, there is nobody who have had the kind of outreach I have had and the type of experience that I have had,” he said.
“I thank God that the prison was not the end of my life. I thank those Nigerians and my international friends who stood by me and I came out.
“What will be my benefit from government for me to see something that is wrong and not be able to say this is wrong? For me, it is a sin punishable by God.”
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