Former World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, on Thursday declared that she was not corrupt during the period that she served as a minister in Nigeria.
Ezekwesili refuted claims that all top government functionaries were corrupt, saying she was ready to defend herself anywhere.
She spoke in Abuja at the inauguration of the web portal and mobile apps of the Anti-Corruption Internet Database. The event was organised by the West African NGO Network.
Reacting to a comment by a participant that every government official was corrupt, Ezekwesili said, “It is a false premise to conclude that we are all corrupt. My goodness, I was in government (and) I was not corrupt. I am ready to go anywhere on this matter.”
She added, “I was not corrupt. So, I cannot be in a room and then somebody says we are all corrupt. When you define a context wrongly, you fail.”
Ezekwesili served as Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Minister of Education under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
She argued that she was a victim of corruption and should not be grouped among corrupt politicians.
She said, “How can you possibly say that some of the victims of corruption are corrupt. They will say to you, so after paying the cost and consequence of corruption, you also group me among those who created the situation?
“That is a wrong definition of context of corruption, but it is something that the corrupt have cleverly created. It is their narrative and it is a narrative that makes you reduce your capacity to take on the issue.”