Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has said he is prepared to lay down his life like South Africa’s late Nelson Mandela.
Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who was incancerated for 27 years by the British apartheid government for accusations of conspiring to overthrow the state.
Mailafia was invited by the Department State Service (DSS) in Jos over a statement he made in an interview with an Abuja-based radio station that the leader of Boko Haram is a Northern Governor.
After being grilled by the DSS for over five hours, the former deputy CBN governor affirmed before his supporters who had stormed the office of the secret police at Kuba road, carrying placards, insisting not to leave until he was released, that the statement credited to him were indeed his words.
“We had a lively and intense interview over a radio interview I granted. That interview which was meant for an FM radio station, some just picked the clip — a small section of the 55 minutes broadcast — and put it on social media and it went very very far all over the country, raising a lot of concerns,” he said.
“What I want to say is that, yes, all of those words were made by me. You know if the whole of the 55 minutes was played out, the context of what I said in a small clip that went viral would have become clearer.”
Mailafia went further to say that he could not corroborate some of the security information he divulged because he was in no position to follow the insurgents to the camp.
“This is not the time to disown what I said. Yes, I was privy to some very sensitive information which all statesmen are entitled to have by virtue of our public roles,” he said.
“I know that I should have taken more care to corroborate some of the information I received, but perhaps some of it was uncorroborated. I was in no position to follow them to the camp to corroborate what was going on.
“But I am not a sensationalist, I am an economist and a central banker; by nature we are not given to sensation. Let me make it clear: I am a humanist; I am a man of peace. Even my name, Mailafia, means a man of peace.
“From the bottom of my heart, I love our country dearly and I abhor all the killings and violence which the innocent people of this country have been subjected to. I pray that Nigeria will never experience another civil war.
“The most elementary duty of government is to protect its citizens. When a government fails to protect its citizens, to protect little children, that is a serious matter. Any innocent boy or girl that is killed is my own child.
“I love Nigeria. Like Mandela, let me say if need be, I am prepared to give my life for Nigeria.”
The former deputy CBN governor thanked officials of the security agency for their conduct, and prayed for peace in the country.
“One of the greatest compatriots of this country, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, observes that no country can survive two civil wars. One civil war is bad enough. I also pray that the killings will stop in Zamfara, in Daura, in Katsina, in Birnin Gwari, in my beloved southern Kaduna, in the whole of the middle belt, in Borno, Adamawa and other places,” he said.
“Let us join hands together to build a new country. Let us work together to save our country and I pray that all of us will do our part to maintain the peace and make sure that our country makes progress.
“I want to thank the officials of the state department. They have done a tremendous job. They treated me professionally. I have not been rough handled and they have been very very fair and gracious to me.”