A former governor of Kaduna State in the Second Republic, Balarabe Musa has said that nobody can become the President of Nigeria without first being a thief or backed by thieves.
Musa said there was hardly how any politician can legitimately raise the kind of money required for presidential campaign in Nigeria.
The former governor further blamed the socio-economic woes of the country on the political structure.
Musa claimed that 99 per cent of the people in the corridors of power were thieves.
He said this in a video clip circulating on the Facebook.
He was captured as saying this while playing host to a presidential hopeful, Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of an online news medium.
Sowore, in the clip, said he visited the Kaduna politician to seek his counsel on how to go about his presidential ambition in 2019.
Musa said, “What is the quality of Nigeria’s leadership? The quality of the Nigerian leadership is a thief, [sic].
“Since the end of the Second Republic, how has it been possible in Nigeria to have a political leadership which is not made up of thieves?
“Of course, there are exceptions… I’m not saying that 100 per cent of the leadership in Nigeria is made up thieves, no, there are exceptions, but I doubt if there are up to one per cent who are clean…99 per cent are thieves.
“For example, how can you win on the basis of the Nigerian laws and the Nigerian culture; how can you be a Nigerian President without being a thief first?
“Because it is through stealing that you can make it. Both the political parties and election in Nigeria are based on money power and this money power is equal to corruption. So, this is what you have.
“We have a socio- economic and political system controlling all developments in the country and the political leadership produced by that system both of which are made up of people who regard self -interest first, public interest second, as opposed to public interest first and self-interest second.
“Now, how can you have order; how can you have development in a situation like this?
“I gave you the example of the President; nobody can be a President of Nigeria unless he is a thief or supported by thieves.
“I mean, the fact is clear. You know, the reasonable estimate of the cost of campaigning for presidency in Nigeria is billions. How can you acquire these billions?”
Musa added that the situation was not so before the Second Republic, recalling that “( Shehu) Shagari became the President of Nigeria without being a thief.”