By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—FORMER Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Adamu Aliero, has rejected the claims in some quarters that northern states governors and some politicians in the North were behind Boko Haram insurgents in the abduction of Chibok School girls.
He also took a swipe at leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, over a statement credited to him that the girls’ abduction was a fiction. He said it was a wrong notion that should be widely condemned, stressing that no responsible person could ever fathom and eventually encourage the killing and maiming of innocent Nigerians.
Aliero who was also a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) spoke in an exclusive chat with Vanguard, Sunday.
He said the insurgents were acting on a religious ideology and belief that completely ran at variance with Islamic principles and dictates, stressing, “Certainly, the insurgent attack is condemnable and contrary to certain beliefs in certain quarters that some politicians are the ones pushing this insurgency, I think they are wrong.
No responsible politician will support the killing and maiming of innocent people in Nigeria. Afterall, it is the very people you aspire to govern, then how can you come and sponsor their killing, crippling the economy, causing untold hardship to them? It is my belief that the insurgents have no local support.
“After all, we know it started in 2009 when the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was the president and we know that the killing of their leader is what caused the escalation of the insurgency. The whole thing was wrongly handled. If government had handled it properly, we wouldn’t have reached where we have reached today. So, there is a lot of misunderstanding and some people are making misleading statements about the insurgency. It is my believe that politicians are not behind it.”
According to him, the Islamic extremists had a link with Al-Qaeda and other terrorists cells from where they got their training and funding and urged the federal government to step up effort to contain the insurgency in the north east.
He said: “My belief is that they got contact with Al-Quada and El-Shabab in the Middle East and also East Africa, Somalia in particular and they got some training from there and even funding from what we hear from the security agencies, experts when they speak on TV. Certainly, it is not Nigerians that are supporting them. It is not Nigerians that are arming them. And if they are Nigerians, why can’t the security agencies expose them?
They have all it takes: intelligence gathering, investigations to expose them. So, why don’t they expose them so that we know them? I don’t want a situation where Nigerians will keep on getting wrong information, getting influenced by certain propaganda.
“So, the true position is that this insurgents are acting on a wrong ideology, on a wrong belief which is not Islamic and Nigerian. It is foreign based. They got indoctrinated and they are inflicting heavy injury on our national psyche. So, government should do all what is human possible to control the situation.”
On a similar note, the former senator who is currently a delegate to the ongoing national conference in Abuja lambasted Asari for calling the girls’ abduction a scam.
Aliero who appeared visibly agitated by the outburst called Asari a tout, saying that save for protecting the unsuspecting Nigerians from being hoodwinked by such “irresponsible” statement, he wouldn’t have responded to it.
While enjoining the security agencies in the country to take note of the statement, Aliero called on the government to condemn the statement saying it is painting it in bad light.
“By my stature and position, I am not supposed to respond to what Asari Dokubo said because I regard him as a tout, as somebody that has no standing whatsoever in the society. But I am responding to this issue because I have heard so many people talking in this vein that these girls were not abducted.
It was only after the international community came to talk about and offered to give assistance, the video clips were shown. BBC went and even took pictures, CNN also went to Chibok that some of these people who are making this statement started to believe that it is true. Ordinarily, it would have gone just like. And let me tell you, there are several incidences that happened in that area that went unnoticed.
“Anybody who makes that kind of statement is irresponsible. He doesn’t have the feeling of the people. These are young schools girls between the ages of 15 and 16. Some of the parents, that’s all they have. One daughter or two daughters and to them, there is nothing that can be done to get them comforted if they don’t get their children back. So, this kind of statement is irritating and grossly irresponsible.
“I for one will never subscribe to that view. There is no question of saying that these girls were not abducted. They were really abducted. They were shown on TV. Their parents came crying. The government is doing all what is humanly possible to bring them back. The community even went to search for them in the forest without water and food and they had to come back because they were helpless. So, for anybody to come and make that kind of statement, it is either he is mad or he doesn’t known what he is doing or some people are behind him to make this kind of statement that will irritate some of us who feel very bad about this situation. The international community is very much concerned and that kind of statement is painting government in bad light and the security agencies should take note of that.
“If they don’t, it means whatever he says government is behind him. I am sure that if somebody made a similar statement from another bad of the country, he would have been arrested. El-rufai made a statement that is even milder he was invited. Why not invite this man who is making this stupid statement. I feel pained if people are making this kind of statement. I am a parent, I wouldn’t want my daughter to be abducted and I will do anything possible to bring this girls back. So, you should ignore this kind of irresponsible statement.
“They are meaningless. It is painting government in bad light and government should come out to condemn this kind of statement because it is even dividing the nation. There are statements that are like a flame. Once it is said, it spreads like that. Youth will take it serious. So, it is not helping the nation,” he stated.