Yusuf Idris, Kaduna
The Northern Governors Forum has called on security agencies to investigate the allegation by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya in which he alleged that “one of the Northern Governors is the Commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria”.
Dr. Mailafiya is a former official of the African Development Bank Group and one-time Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He was also the Chief of Staff of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the 79-Nation Multilateral Development Institution based in Brussels, Belgium.
In a statement signed by Dr. Makut Simon Macham, Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, said the Forum is concerned about the weighty allegation made by Dr. Mailafiya which must be thoroughly investigated.
He said the Forum which has been working with the Federal Government, security agencies, community, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, as well as development partners to defeat terrorism, banditry and other forms of crimes in the region, finds the allegation by very weighty which deserves further investigation.
The statement quotes Lalong as saying “we as Northern Governors have met severally to discuss insecurity in the Northern Region and the nation at large, where we did not only condemn the activities of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals, but also engaged the President and all heads of security agencies in finding solutions to the problem. To now say that one of our members is leading Boko Haram in Nigeria is a serious allegation that cannot be swept under the carpet. We demand immediate and thorough investigation”.
According to the statement, the Governor also urged Dr. Mailafiya and all citizens with useful information on the activities of criminals and terrorist groups to assist security agencies and Governments at all levels with such intelligence for proper action.
Lalong also “hopes that such allegations are not smear campaigns or attempts to discourage the Northern Governors, who are putting in their best to bring an end to insecurity in the region”.
He reiterated that the Forum does not, and will not support the activities of any criminal group, adding that they as Governors and their families are also not spared as was recently witnessed when the convoy of Governor Babagana Zullum of Borno State was attacked.