Northern govs demand probe on claim that one of them is Boko Haram’s commander

Simon Lalong, Plateau State governor.

Northern state governors have called for investigation into claims that a governor from the region is the commander of Boko Haram terrorists.

The claim was made by Obadiah Mailafia, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a presidential candidate in the last year general election.

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Mr Mailafia, during a radio programme earlier in the week, said he got wind of the information through a repentant Boko Haram terrorist whom he met.

“They (the repentant insurgents) told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. They have a sophisticated network,” the former CBN chief alleged.

But the state helmsmen under the aegis of Northern Governors Forum (NGF) in a statement by Simon Lalong, its chairman and Plateau State governor, demanded an investigation into the allegation.

In the call made to security agencies, they described the claim as too weighty to be swept under the carpet.

“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 Mailafia in which he alleged that ‘…one of the Northern Governors is the Commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria,’” the statement read.

“The Forum is concerned about the weighty allegation made by Dr. Mailafia which must be thoroughly investigated. 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 Dr. Mailafia very weighty which deserves further investigation.

“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.

“The Forum does not, and will not support the activities of any criminal group, because we as Governors and our families are also not spared as was recently witnessed when the convoy of Governor Babagana Zullum of Borno State was attacked,” it further stated.

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