By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has denied a statement credited to him to him on Wednesday to the effect that IPOB and Yoruba nation agitators are the same with Boko Haram and ISWAP.
Recall that reports emerged on Wednesday during Gbajabiamila’s welcome address in the Green Chambers of the House of Representatives that agitators and terrorist elements are the same.
But denying the report in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Mr Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker insisted that he never made such comment, hence, he was misquoted.
The statement which was made available to newsmen on Wednesday further clarified the Speaker’s address that some miscreants were taking advantage of separatist groups to perpetuate crime.
Gbajabiamila said: “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.
“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 separatist agitations to carry out their activities.
The statement quoted the Speaker to have mentioned during his address at the plenary: “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 separatist activists have emerged to wreak havoc, take lives and commit economic sabotage against fellow Nigerians and the state.
“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.”
Gbajabiamila insisted that he never condemned activities of separatist groups, but those of criminal elements.
“As a matter of fact, the Speaker is not alone on the concern about an apparent emergence of a band of miscreants and criminals as different patriotic Nigerians have expressed similar concerns and even condemned the act of maiming, killing, destruction of property and other criminalities perpetrated by the masqueraders.”