The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing on Sunday threatened to label the All Progressives Congress an ‘anti-Igbo political party’ if it fails to apologise to former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, within 48 hours.
The threat was issued in a statement jointly signed by its National Secretary, Emmanuel Nnabuike, and Publicity Secretary, Obinna Adibe, followed the APC’s demand for Iherjika’s prosecution over alleged sponsorship of the Boko Haram sect.
The APC demanded Ihejirika’s prosecution in the wake of claims made by Australian negotiator, Mr. Stephen Davies.
In the statement titled, ‘Ongoing Attempts To Brand Gen. Ihejirika a Boko Haram Sponsor’, the Ohanaeze youth wing described the negotiator’s claims as “spurious”.
The group expressed regrets that the APC did not bother to ascertain the veracity of his allegations before calling for Ihejirika’s prosecution.
Ohanaeze youths noted that Ihejirika deserved an apology from the APC since the Department of State Security has now absolved him of any involvement with Boko Haram.
It said, “It is on record that the same people trying to frame up Gen. Ihejirika are the same people who claimed they would make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan, in the aftermath of the 2011 presidential election.
“We view the call for Ihejirika’s trial by the APC through its spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, without bothering to confirm the authenticity of the statement, as malicious and premeditated.
“Now that the Director of State Security has officially absolved Ihejirika of any complicity in the matter, we ask the APC to issue an apology to Gen. Ihejirika and Ndigbo within 48 hours.
“If they fail to do so, the APC shall be formally labeled an anti-Igbo party and other sanctions shall follow.”
Continuing, the group described Davies as a “fraudulent character and mercenary”.
It said, “Security is too weighty a matter to be politicised. Therefore it is unpatriotic for political leaders to embark on character assassination based on unsubstantiated and misguided rumours.
“Dr Stephen Davies has shown himself to be a fraudulent character and a mercenary, whose stock in trade is the distortion of information in order to cause chaos, thereby creating more business for him.”
Ohanaeze youth wing added that Davies employed “cheap propaganda tactics” by naming Ihejirika alongside former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, who has been consistently linked with the emergence and sponsorship of Boko Haram as the sect’s sponsor in order to lend credence to his claims in the eyes of “gullible members of the public”.
The group noted that Davies did not provide any evidence or motivation for Ihejirika, a Christian and an Igbo from the South East, to sponsor Boko Haram.
Further casting doubt on his claims, the group noted that his allegation that the Central Bank of Nigeria official who handled the funding of Boko Haram was an uncle to three of the Nyanya bombing suspects was equally disproved by the DSS.
“It is uncharitable for Nigerians to reward someone who laid down his life in defence of his country by associating him with the sponsorship of the sect,” it said.