Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has denied comparing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba Nations agitators with Boko Haram terrorists.
Reports had quoted Gbajabiamila as saying that secessionists must not be allowed to make any attempt to place the country on the path of destruction like terrorists.
However, in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, today, the Speaker said no group was mentioned during his speech at yesterday’s plenary.
According to Lasisi, his principal only explained that “some miscreants and criminals are taking advantage of the separationist agitations to carry their activities”.
“It has come to the attention of the Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives, that some media reports on Wednesday, September 15, claimed that the Speaker, in his welcome address to his colleagues at Wednesday’s plenary, purportedly said IPOB and Yoruba nation agitators are the same with Boko haram”, the statement reads.
“In view of the impression created by the said reports, it has become necessary to clarify that the Speaker, in his speech, never mentioned any group.
“For the records, the Speaker said some miscreants and criminals are taking advantage of the separationist agitations to carry their activities”.
The lawmaker further said he referred to miscreants, who are masquerading as separatists in the South-east and South-west to “wreak havoc”.
“We must now add to these concerns an emerging threat that presents the same clear and present danger. In the South of Nigeria, East and West, MISCREANTS AND CRIMINALS MASQUERADING AS SEPARATIONIST ACTIVISTS have emerged to wreak havoc, take lives and commit economic sabotage against fellow Nigerians and the state,” Gbajabiamila was quoted to have said during plenary,” he stated.
“These people, in their inclination for devastating violence against fellow citizens, their appetite for the destruction of private property, their disruption of academic activities, commerce, and industry, their propensity for defiling institutions of the state, society and community, their refusal to engage in debate, or to consider the possibility of dissenting opinions and alternative viewpoints, are no different from Boko Haram and ISWAP. Given space and time, they will take our nation down the same path of destruction.”