Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says while in prison, he learnt the art of fraud known as “419” in local parlance.
Obasanjo was imprisoned in 1995, by Sani Abacha, former head of state, but stayed till 1998 even though he had been sentenced to a 30-year-jail term.
In an interview with New Telegraph, Obasanjo said, “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.
On why he feels the need to call out any underperforming government, he said, “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 being immodest, there is nobody who has had the kind of outreach I have had and the type of experience that I have had.
“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.”