A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, has yet again alleged that some of the bandits terrorising the country were sponsored by persons who wanted to push former President Goodluck Jonathan out of power at all cost.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Mr Mailafia had recently had a running battle with the Department State Security Service, SSS, after accusing a serving Northern governor of being a top commander of the Boko Haram insurgents.
Mr Mailafia had since denied the allegation, after series of grilling by the secret police.
Speaking with The Punch on Thursday, Mr Mailafia offered another insight into the banditry wreaking havoc across the Northern region.
He said, “During the 2015 elections they brought in thousands of foreigners into this country, armed them because it was a case of if Goodluck Jonathan doesn’t surrender, there will be war. They were ready for civil war; they were not ready for peace.
“Of course, Jonathan handed over to them and then they turned their backs on the hoodlums and the hoodlums said ‘look, you brought us here and we are still here’.”
The former central banker also alleged that some foreign powers were behind the bandits terrorising some parts of Nigeria.
“There are certain world powers that want to destroy our country. That is what I believe. There was a container load of weapons that were brought in from Turkey.
“Another time some were brought in from Iran. But nobody probed further and everything was swept under the carpet and that was the end of it,” he said.
Mr Mailafia further disagreed with the approach of the Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, on the issue of amnesty for bandits.
According to Mr Mailafia, it is wrong to offer such hoodlums amnesty and then make no provision for the victims, adding that they have no agenda other than to destroy.
He argued that appeasing the bandits would never work even as he said the Niger Delta militancy and the banditry ravaging the country are two different things.
“I do not believe that the Niger Delta militancy can be compared to the terrorists. These people (terrorists) are not even bandits.
“A bandit is a common thief or a brigand. The ‘agbero’ are bandits. These people carrying sophisticated weapons and rockets are not bandits. They are terrorists.
“They have killed, they have maimed, they have raped and they have wreaked havoc,” Mr Mailafia said.