Under fire former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia has issued some clarifications to his recent comments which has put him on the spotlight following his guest appearance Nigeria Info’s morning breakfast programme, Morning CrossFire.
Dr. Mailafia on Thursday said that he got his information on the alleged commander of Boko Haram from traders he met in a local market.
Mailafia, who had earlier alleged that an unnamed governor in the northern part of the country was a commander of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, said that he obtained the information from Fulani traders he met in his village market, where he had gone to buy fonio (acha).
He apologised to all those who felt offended by his statements, saying they were not targeted at anyone.
The former CBN deputy governor had on Monday during the Nigeria Info 99.3 station’s programme, Morning CrossFire aired between 8.30am to 9am, alleged that the commander of Boko Haram is a governor of one of the Northern states, and that the recent attacks by the group is part of coordinated efforts aimed towards instigating another Civil War in Nigeria by 2022.
Following his comments, the Department of State Security (DSS) in Plateau State on Wednesday invited him over. He was reportedly grilled for about six hours after which he was released.
In a reactionary comment, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, called for investigation into the matter. He held that the allegation was too heavy to be dismissed flippantly.
The former CBN deputy governor said he spoke out of concern for the North and country at large, he maintained that he did not know that the video would go viral.
In an interview granted to the BBC Hausa, Mailafia said he had agreed to an online radio interview with people who were unknown to him from Lagos, but did not know that they were recording it.
“I thought it was for a local FM radio in Lagos,” he said.
Speaking on his meeting with the DSS in Jos, Mailafia said,
“when they invited me they told me they had seen a video clip in which I said I was against the killings of innocent people and that I met with some people who told me that when they are done with the villages, they will move to the cities and go after big personalities in their homes and lead to war in the country. That was what I heard and I repeated it.”
He said that during the interrogation the security agents were of utmost professional conduct.
“They did their job as they should and I cooperated with them. I gave them the necessary information at my disposal and I cannot lie about what I do not know, so I told them to pardon me because I cannot say what I don’t know. It was not my intention for my words to go viral but since it has gone viral, I cannot say I did not make that comment,” he said.
When asked to address his earlier comment that a northern governor is the sponsor of the Boko Haram terrorists, he said he had already spoken to the DSSS and would not want to create further tension.
“What I can tell you is that I am a fan of President Muhammadu Buhari and the president is doing his utmost best but there are some wicked people around him who do not give him the right advice.
“I am not a troublesome person, my name is Mailafia (peace lover), I said what I said because of my sympathy for the people, my love for northern Nigeria. They are those who have been accusing me of not being a northern patriot but the killings are more in northern Nigeria” he said.