I Was A Minister And I Was Not Corrupt, Says Ezekwesili

Oby EzeFormer Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, on Thursday declared that during her tenure, she did not embezzle public funds.

Ezekwesili, who refuted the general assumption that all top government functionaries were corrupt, said she was ready to defend her name anywhere.

She spoke in Abuja at the launching of the web portal and mobile apps of the Anti-Corruption Internet Database organised by the West African NGO Network.

In response 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.”

The former World Bank Vice President (Africa), served as Minister of Solid Minerals before she was transferred to the education ministry under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

Ezekwesili argued that instead, she was a victim of corruption and should not be grouped among corrupt politicians.

In her words, “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.”