Says ex-Army chief retired after serving out term
Insists GEJ remains a nationalist not driven by narrow, tribal sentiments
A sibling of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has taken the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to the cleaners over his claim that Northerners forced him to prematurely remove his Chief of Army Staff, Azubike Ihiejerika, from office so as to pave the way for Boko Haram to attack and destroy Nigeria.
Kanu, who is operating from exile after fleeing Nigeria in the wake of IPOB’s proscription by the Federal Government, also said on Friday that the North created Boko Haram as an instrument to frustrate the administration of both Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo.
But in a swift reaction, Dr Faith Robert, who is President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, described Kanu as a liar, who needs urgent help in order to cure his predicament.
Dr Robert in a statement sent to Vanguard in Abuja on Friday said Mr Kanu is not only a serial liar but someone with a wrong sense of history, who needs to urgently update his knowledge of history and current affairs so as not to confuse, misinform and mislead himself and others.
Robert pointed out that contrary to Kanu’s pedestrian and mundane fairytale, Jonathan appointed the former Chief of Army Staff, Azubike Ihiejerika, strictly on merit and did not do so because he was an Igbo man.
Robert said: “It is the figment of the imagination of Nnamdi Kanu that Goodluck Jonathan was forced to remove Gen. Ihiejerika from the post of Chief of Army Staff in 2014 by Northerners.
“For Kanu’s information, in case he did not know, Ihiejerika’s appointment as Chief of Army Staff was based purely on merit as was in the case of appointments of other service chiefs during Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure as President.
“It must be made known to Kanu and his ilk that Gen. Ihiejerika duly served out his tenure and retired at his terminal retirement age or service years under Nigeria’s extant laws. If you look at it, GEJ was not in the business of extending people’s retirement date. He believed that, given the opportunity, there are many other people who have the capacity to do the work. He believes in powerful working systems, not powerful men.
“For GEJ, Nigeria was his constituency and although Ihiejerika was Ibo, his tribe was not the primary motive of his appointment, as he always considers the national interest as his primary motive.
“It is my strong conviction that the said Nnamdi Kanu needs help in order to come out of his delusion and should be more circumspect on his utterances, which in most cases are in bad faith as they are capable of impacting negatively on well-meaning and hardworking Igbo people in the service of the nation.
“Mr Kanu should refresh his memory to enable him to remember that President Jonathan did not take over from Obasanjo but from Yar’Adua and that Boko Haram actually started during Yar’Adua’s time and not during Obasanjo’s tenure,” Jonathan’s cousin pointed out.
It will be recalled that Nnamdi Kanu had on Friday carpeted President Jonathan, accusing him of giving in to pressure from the north to remove Ihiejerika so as to weaken the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, which he described as the creation of the north.
Kanu claimed that while Obasanjo summoned the courage to deal with the leadership of Boko Haram before Jonathan took over, Jonathan had the opportunity of dealing with them but was deceived into removing Ihiejirika.