Ihejirika fires back at El-Rufai, calls him ‘Boko Haram commander’

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 28th, 2014
Lt-General OA Ihejirika

Lt-General OA Ihejirikaeji

Former Chief of Army Staff, General Ihejirika, has responded to allegation by a former minister of the FCT, Nasir El-Rufai, that he is a sponsor of Boko Haram sect.

The former Army Chief called El-Rufai’s allegations a “diversion” to take attention from his own involvement.

Speaking to Vanguard on Thursday, the retired senior officer said, “The (commanders), including El-Rufai, know where the problem is. He should stop deceiving Nigerians by trying to divert attention.”

He further accused El-rufai of organising weaponry and equipment needed to fight the insurgency from the military and giving same to the sect.

“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 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 added.

The former Army Chief also said that El-Rufai and others allegedly green-lighted Boko Haram’s activities and attempted to divert concern from the atrocities of the sect.

He said, “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.

“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.”

Iherjirika also said that he was the first person to declare that the country was dealing with a war situation, but El-Rufai and others allegedly denied the gravity of the situation, disagreeing with his judgment.

This move, the General said, gave Boko Haram time to regroup and redevelop.

“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”, he added.

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