The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the last presidential poll, last year, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, dropped a bombshell recently that shocked some folks and baffled some more others. In an exclusive interview he granted the Lagos-based Nigeria Info 99.3FM’s programme called “Morning Cross Fire” he had talked about terrorism, regular killings of christians in southern Kaduna and possible civil war.
During the controversial interview he had declared that some repentant Boko Haram terrorists had told him confidentially that an incumbent northern Governor was the Commander of the mass-killing jihadist organization! That declaration must have sent alarm bells ringing loudly in power circles. He equally alleged that the notorious armed and dangerous sectarian group had infiltrated the southern part of the country with the aim of igniting a war.
His declaration went thus: “Some of us also have our intelligence networks. I have met with some of the bandits; we have met with some of their high commanders – one or two who have repented – they have sat down with us not once, not twice….They told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria….Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. They have a sophisticated network…..During this lockdown their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown….They were moving ammunition, moving money, and distributing them across different parts of the country”.
An anonymous northern sitting Governor commanding Boko Haram? How? Why? What then is the role of the fugitive invincible Abubakar Shekau? Ordinary figure head or field commander? Or could it be that the Boko Haram elements had sponsored one of their own as Governor who now leads them from the government house?
Mailafia made it clear that he was not kidding by saying what he said. Yet what he said sounded more of an infantile prank than a serious submission by a serious character.
If not for his rich and impressive academic résumé and ‘meritorious’ service to the motherland one would have expresslly dismissed him and his outburst as an alarmist seeking attention of those in power. Or worse still, someone suffering from bouts of senility.
However the truth is that Mailafia may be accused of impetuosity but not senility or insanity! He is still very much active politically and intellectually so dismissing his submissions (when he made same initially) could amount to disservice to the well-being of the nation especially now that security issues are mounting.
Nigeria is going through hell in the hands of jihadists hell-bent on shedding blood of the innocent and taking prisoners. They have informants inside the system! That they could still hit targets even when we were told presidentially that they had been ‘technically’ defeated years ago goes to show how ‘connected’ they are.
Boko Haram is a lucrative ‘business’ involving the rich and mighty in Nigeria! The inability of the Nigerian military high command to devise a working strategy to defeat Shekau and his drug-addicted rag-tag army diminishes our military claim as the continental giant. President Idris Derby had shown how possible it could be to give Shekau a bloody nose.
Following the Obadiah declaration in Lagos the Department of State Services (DSS) summoned him over to their Jos zonal office where he was grilled for six hours. And upon regaining his freedom he appeared unruffled reiterating his position and standing by same. He confessed that he was treated professionally well by the secret police while in their custody in the Plateau state capital city.
However, the DSS had issued a strongly-worded statement declaring that Obadiah was out to cause mischief and incite people against the government. The spokesman of the agency declared that the former presidential aspirant ought to be conversant with official information management protocols yet deliberately chose to cross the lines of decorum and conduct expected of a personality of his status.
The DSS claimed that Obadiah had admitted the error in his outburst but chose the part of mischief after a six-hour interrogation upon his exit from their Jos office. But what did they expect from a grandstanding old man seeking attention from high quarters?
But beyond the DSS statement the major question remaining unanswered in our reckoning is: during the interrogation of the ex-CBN boss did he reveal the identity of the northern Governor he claimed was heading Boko Haram? If he did what did the DSS make of the earth-shaking revelation bordering on national security?
If otherwise was the case why then was Obadiah released to go home? Why were charges not pressed against him for sedition or treason? If a man from another region, religion or ethnic group in Nigeria had made such wild allegation would they have been left off the hook, so soon, so easily?
The matter became even more ridiculous when Obadiah Mailafia granted yet another interview to the BBC Hausa service where he sang another cacophonic tune. Suddenly he had changed the narrative childishly claiming surprisingly that he got his information from the “Fulani traders in a market”, adding that he never knew that his comments would go viral.
A well-read man like Dr Mailafia living in the 21st century internet age and civilisation did not know that the callous statement he made publicly would go viral? Declaring his support for President Muhammadu Buhari he maintained that the President lacked good people and quality advisers around him.
For Dr Obadiah Mailafia the bell seems to be tolling dangerously. Something could be wrong without him even knowing. We advise him to do that which is needful now before it is too late.
Author: Ozodinukwe Okenwa…
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