In reaction to accusations linking him with Boko Haram, former Head of State and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to retract its accusation or face legal action.
Buhari in a statement in Kaduna yesterday said: “I cannot sit back and allow my image and that of my political party to be smeared by falsehood in the name of politics.”
He said the widely publicised and very serious allegations made against him by the PDP and its spokesman, Olisa Metuh, to the effect that his utterances were responsible for the current state of insecurity and terrorism bedevilling Nigeria, were absolutely without basis.
“To support his claim, Mr. Metuh engaged in twisted logic and outright distortion – which he called facts – in which he said that I, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, beckoned on my ‘supporters to go on lynching spree’ should I lose the 2011 presidential election, as a result of which unprecedented violence broke out claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent people.
“I take very serious exception to this grave accusation against me by the PDP publicity secretary. It is a false allegation aimed at tarnishing my image and reputation in the hope of destroying my political and electoral standing, and that of my party, the APC, in the country.
“Firstly, it is public knowledge that Boko Haram as a terror organisation long preceded the 2011 presidential election. My utterances or lack of them on the 2011 presidential election could not therefore have created nor sustained the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Secondly, the PDP government of President Goodluck Jonathan constituted the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu Panel of Inquiry to investigate and report on the post-election violence in some parts of the country. The panel discharged its duties within its terms of reference and submitted its report to the president.
“This report was accepted by government and a white paper issued. Nowhere in that report, a product of thorough investigation of that unfortunate incident, was I mentioned in the remotest way to have uttered a word or acted in any form or manner that sparked off the violence. If I had, certainly that investigation would have uncovered it. The truth is that I had not.
“Thirdly, 2011 was not the first time I contested a presidential election and was declared defeated, it was the third! If I had had no cause to ‘beckon on my supporters to go on a lynching spree’ in the two previous occasions, I would have had no cause to change in 2011 and I did not,” Buhari said.