Former Chief of Army Staff, General Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika on Thursday accused former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufia as one of the frontline Commanders of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Ihejirika declared this while speaking to Vanguard over allegation by El-Rufai that he (Ihejirika) and former Governor Ali-Modu Sheriff of Borno State were fingered as terrorists sponsors. He said he was not surprised that the ‘unimaginable allegation’ is coming from ‘one of the Boko Haram Commanders’.
“The (Commanders) including El-Rufai know where the problem is. He should stop deceiving Nigerians by trying to divert attention”.
“When the Boko Haram operation started, supporters of the sect like El-Rufai said that there was nothing like Boko Haram and that the army was just killing innocent youths.
“If you also remember, not too long ago, some of their supporters including El-Rufai said that I was re-inventing the killing of the Ibos during the Biafra war following government’s determination to rid the country of terrorism.”
“The likes of El-Rufai started the campaign of human right abuses, in order to divert the international attention of the heinous crime being committed by the Boko Haram terrorists,” the former Chief of Army Staff said.
Speaking further, Ihejirika state: “The likes of El-Rufai have been supporting Boko Haram. In fact, El-Rufai and his likes are the same group of people that ensured the army did not to get the requested equipment to deal with this menace once and for all, as they used their cohorts to tell the government that procuring modern equipment were not necessary”.
He also recalled that the APC Chieftain went as far as granting an interview to Thisday Newspaper at their premises, where he condemned security forces for the efforts at ridding the country of these senseless mayhem by the terrorists.
“At the onset of this crisis, I was the first person to declare that the country was at war but group of sponsors led by El-Rufai disagreed, that it was not true.
“It is the same group of El-Rufai that started the human right abuses campaign. It was done in order to block any international assistance after the state of emergency was declared and the sect was initially tamed. That gave Boko Haram time and respite to build up again”.
Furthermore, General Ihejirika said that when the United States was to initially declare Boko Haram a terrorist organization, the same El-Rufai and his group mounted pressure on the international community, using alleged human right abuses as campaign strategy.
The former Army Chief revealed that this same group including El-Rufai have taken further steps in support of Boko Haram, “which I cannot disclose for now”.
Gen. Ihejirika also recalled recent allegations against him, indicating that that he took away N48 billion, an amount of money which is still in the coffers of the Ministry of Defence and can be verified by anybody, adding that he was not surprised that these allegation is coming from the likes of El-Rufai who started the campaign. [Vanguard]