… says ex-minister losing touch with reality
The O’odua People’s Congress (OPC) said the former chief of Army staff and minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau (rtd) is gradually losing touch with the realities of the moment over his recent comment on the socio-cultural group.
OPC in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, reacted to the statement credited to the former minister that the OPC was the same as the dreaded Boko Haram.
Speaking on Friday at the inauguration of Army War College Nigeria Course 5/2021 in Abuja, Dambazau said both the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and OPC, are exhibiting features similar to that of Boko Haram when the insurgent group started out in 2009.
He explained that all three groups operate on the platform of extremism alongside secessionist threats. However, OPC condemned in strong terms the statement credited to the exminister, pointing out that such statements were capable of heating up the polity and disrupting national peace.
Oguntimehin also described Dambazau as a northern irredentist and extremist popularly noted for his unguarded statements and utterances. “From his statement, it is obvious that the ex-COAS is suffering from acute dementia and he is gradually losing touch with the realities of this time.”
“Dambazau’s statement that OPC and IPOB are very much the same as the dreaded Boko Haram was made in bad faith and such statements have raised some fundamental questions about his intentions, interests and morality as a former COAS and minister of Interior that have allegedly been supporting the bandits by offering both financial and technical support to the group.
“Such high profile exmilitary officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasions pleaded on their behalf.
“In 2014, before the general election, Dambazau and four other top northern leaders had their hands in the recruitments of bandits into the country. And when he eventually became the minister of Interior, under President Muhammadu Buhari, he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over 800 billion naira to settle the bandits, request which Nigerians opposed.
“So for such a person to have said that OPC is the same as Boko Haram is not only derogatory, but it is most unfortunate to say the least.”
O g u n t i m e h i n continued:”Boko Haram is adjudged globally as the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world. And up till today it remains as such with various cases of killings across the North.
“For instance, presently, Boko Haram and bandits have taken over four states in the North and Danbazau had never condemned their atrocities, he didn’t raise a finger.”