Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung, has revealed that rejecting a tempting bribe former President Gooluck Jonathan offered him at the State House in 2014 saved him from incarceration at the Kuje Medium Prison.
Dalung made the disclosure at a workshop organized by the Citizenship and Leadership Training Center in Abuja yesterday, explaining that though he won’t mention the figure offered to him, it was however tempting enough to transform his life from poverty to riches.
Describing the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, who presented a paper, as a man of impeccable integrity, Dalung blamed Nigerians for encouraging leaders to be corrupt.
His words: “In this country, we will ever be grateful and celebrate some people like Attahiru Jega not because of anything but because he is an embodiment of integrity. One of the major problems we have in this country is the collapse in our reward system.
“It has even become criminal in this country to have integrity. If you ask Jega, he will sincerely confess that people have been mocking him for spending four years at INEC without anything to show for it. All that he is known for is his integrity. They would ask him whether it is integrity they will eat.
“In reality, Nigerians promote corruption. They are the architects, scholars and advocates of corruption. Every human being is a product of his social environment. Jega deserves commendations because the environment with which he established himself as a man of integrity was quite tempting that only rare human beings can survive it,” he noted.
Recounting his experience at the State House under former President Goodluck Jonathan, he said: “In 2014, I was invited to the State House as a human right activist, and after meeting with our leaders, I told them that I don’t have any hatred for them but I have issues in the way they govern us. My leader then challenged me to proffer solutions and I gave him some three sound advises.
“I also advised him to look closely at the ambitious environment around him that is contributing negatively in allowing him to take wise decisions about this country. I was given something when I was living the State House which memory has lived with me for a long time. I was given something in a leather and that was the first day I saw the devil physically.
“Before we went, I had told my colleagues that they are going to offer us money at the State House and it is either we collect the money and rubbish ourselves or reject it to defend our integrity. We took a voice vote and agreed to sustain our integrity. Before I got to the State House, I new the antics with which you can be lobbied and ambushed.
“I collected all their telephones and left them inside the car. I was the only person who went in with a phone, when we finished I availed myself of being the last person and then came this fantastic gift which I don’t want to disclose the content but I saw devil that day.
“I had only N5000 on me that day but what I was given would have catapulted me from Nyanya to Maitama. The first place I could have been secured enough to live that day was at Transcop. I kept resisting the pressure to collect even though the other person in me pressured me to collect it.
“It was too difficult decision to take but at the end of the day, I succeeded in leaving the State House without collecting the money. I would have been among those receiving attention at the Kuje prison if I had collected that money. Many of my friends that collected such money are still in Kuje,” he narrated.