I earned no salary as minister, says Falae

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and ex-Minister of Finance, Olu Falae
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and ex-Minister of Finance, Olu Falae

A former Secretary to the Government of the federation, Olu Falae, on Wednesday, recalled some of his experiences in the hands of his captors, who demanded N100million as ransom after kidnapping him from his farm in Akure in September.

Mr. Falae, who spoke when he received a former Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, in his residence in Obaile, said when he told the hoodlums he had no money, they were angry, pointing out that he was finance minister.

“When I told them I had no money they said how can I say that when I was once the country’s Minister of Finance,” he said.

“When I was Minister of Finance I did not earn salary. It was by choice, but they would not believe me.”

Mr. Falae was Minister of Finance between January and August 1990 under the military government of Ibrahim Babangida.

Mr. Falae told Mr. Shekarau that he had to call his wife and asked that his family raise the money demaned by the kidnappers in order to save his life.

“They actually wanted to kill me. As soon as they arrived they shot at my car, but the bullet was deflected by the glass and narrowly missed killing my driver before they came to me and began to slash me with matchette,” he said.

“They tore my clothes and dragged me into the bush, and mentally tortured me by continually threatening to kill me.

“If they had killed me, I know it would have resulted in the death of many others, so I thank God that no one had to die on account of me.”

He noted that he had said all he needed to say about his ordeal at the kidnappers’ hands, promising that he would say no more.

Mr. Shekarau prayed that such an occurrence would not repeat itself, saying such incidents were threatening the peaceful coexistence among Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities.

He also said his visit was to identify with Mr. Falae in his trying moments and also to rejoice with him now that he was able to make it alive.

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