Boko Haram: Ihejirika, ex-Army chief, dares northern elders

Posted: January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, yesterday called the bluff of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), who had threatened to drag him and six others to the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC), based in The Hague, Netherlands, saying it was “ill conceived and based on misinformation.”

Less than 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan changed the Service Chiefs, with the appointment of new ones who assumed office with immediate effect last Thursday, NEF had, through a statement endorsed by its Chairman, Professor Ango Abdullahi, said the forum would prosecute Ihejirika and six other unnamed persons at ICC for their roles in Bama and Giwa Barracks in Borno State while confronting Boko Haram members.

Ihejirika, fielding questions from journalists shortly after attending a post-pilgrimage thanksgiving service in Aso Villa Chapel, which coincided with the first Sunday service within the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said on the threat to drag him to ICC, “My reaction is that their statement is ill-conceived, perhaps based on some misinformation. The northern elders should be thanking the service chiefs, my officers and me for making huge sacrifices, first to see that Nigeria is safe and the north in particular since they are the first beneficiaries of the sacrifices made.

“There is no senatorial zone in this country that has not lost a  personnel of the armed forces. It is unfortunate that the same elders, if they are really elders, have not cared to send a single condolence message to the military.

“I think their statement is discouraging and it impacts negatively on the counter-terrorist efforts, because as we speak, there are soldiers that have not had a meal since yesterday because of the peculiarity of where they are at the moment.”

Ihejirika, further reflecting on his experiences while fighting the war against terrorists, declared that very soon, there would be no hiding place for the terrorists, adding “It has been a very busy thing, I believe that very soon, Nigerians will be very happy, because we have put quite a number of structures in place.

“I want to say that with some equipment and training that were carried out in recent days, there will be little or no hiding place for the insurgents,” adding that now that he was out of service, “The immediate thing is to have a small vacation with my family and thereafter we can think of what next.”

Earlier in a brief remark, President Jonathan maintained that real politicians have forgiving spirits in order to work together to achieve permanent interests, adding that any politician who cannot forgive is an “imposter.”

According to him, “These days, we learn not to talk, or we talk very little. The chaplain accused us politicians that we do not forgive, or that some politicians do not forgive. Apparently, the Bible says politicians are the people who forgive.

“If somebody is your enemy today and there is a change of interest and A becomes your friend, first of all, you have to forgive, otherwise, you cannot have a friend that you cannot work with. But politics is just like some kind of trade.

“More than 50 per cent of us who are into politics are not supposed to be politicians. For example, in the profession of nursing and teaching if people with wicked heart and unforgiving spirit are not the kind of people who should be nurses or teachers but we find them there.

“So, most of us who are in politics are not supposed to be there but because we have no other thing to do. So if you see a politician that cannot forgive, he is an impostor.”

In a sermon, which theme was “Forget not all His benefits”, Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, noted that there were many reasons to give thanks to God, adding, however, that there was nothing enough to repay God all His benefits to mankind.

Taking citations from Psalm 103:3, where the theme was taken and Psalm 116:12, Okoh charged all to emulate David and be good servants of God wherever position one finds oneself.

The Primate who charged that “We should, therefore, emulate David and serve God in all our capacities; serve with honesty and fulfill what we vowed to do in our offices,” noted that life is a pilgrimage and the nation is on a pilgrimage.

He commended the president for assenting into law the Anti-Gay Act, noting that with the boldness, he has satisfied the wish of the majority of Nigerians.

posted by delight exclusive

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