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Alhaji Alhaji: Why IBB fired Olu Falae and appointed me Finance Minister

Abubakar Alhaji Alhaji, former Finance Minister, has opened up on an encounter between ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) and Chief Olu Falae.

Abubakar Alhaji Alhaji, an elder statesman, has opened up on an encounter between ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) and Chief Olu Falae.

Falae had served as minister of finance under IBB, but the military president later replaced him with Alhaji.

Speaking when he featured on Reminiscence, a programme on Trust TV, Alhaji, who is a British trained scholar, said Babangida found out that Falae transferred N2 million to London for his purported Presidential ambition at the time.

“I took over from Olu Falae, who transferred N2million to the Nigerian High Commissioner because he wanted to become president. Babangida got to know of this transfer. Babangida got to hear of it and sacked him as minister of finance and appointed me,” he said.

Falae contested the 1999 presidential election under the Alliance for Democracy (AD) but lost to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In the Trust TV interview, Alhaji narrated how IBB later moved him to the UK High Commission as a diplomat.

“I was appointed a high commissioner to the UK at 3pm. Babangida said Alhaji was translating from the Ministry of Finance to the High Commission, but I knew he was getting rid of me,” he said.

Asked if he was happy being sidelined and sent abroad, he responded, “I took it in the stride.”

Alhaji also responded to a question on whether he bears a grudge against Babangida who didn’t allow him to complete his tenure as minister.

“To be honest, I didn’t like it. My brother, Aliyu Dasuki, was in hospital in Germany, so I stayed there for two months and people were bringing files from the High Commission to me. Babangida got to know this but I said I wanted to look after my brother first.”

Alhaji spent six years at the UK High Commission.

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