Mar. 19, 2014
Rudolph Okonkwo, SaharaReporters
The Second Republic politician and a Kano State delegate to the National Conference, Dr. Junaid Mohammed has blamed the 1966 coup as the reason why the North is today left with “scoundrels, crooks and despots” as leaders. He made the accusation during an interview with SaharaTV over the weekend.
“From the time the Igbo staged a coup and decapitated the entire military and civilian leadership of the North, the North has never had decent leadership,” Dr. Mohammed said. “That’s the tragedy of the 1966 Coup.”
The Russian-trained medical doctor acknowledged that it would be uncharitable to blame the federal government for the mess in the north. The North, he said, has been completely irresponsible in the way it chooses its leadership.
“Look at the governors we have in the North, for Christ’s sake,” he said to SaharaTV’s Rudolf Okonkwo. “Will these people lead anybody to the promised land? I don’t think so.”
Mohammed, a follower of Aminu Kano, urged the North to do more to challenge their own local despots. “A lot of crooks and rouges and scoundrels are stealing them (the North) dry,” he said.
He, however, reserved his worst venom for the former Army chief, General Azubike Ihejirika. He called Ihejirika the “lousiest, the least competent, and the most irresponsible army chief of staff in Nigeria.” He accused Ihejirika of dividing the army along regional and tribal line. He said that a lot of the money given to the army to fight insurgence was stolen.
Dr. Mohammed alleged that the first Igbo Chief of Army staff, Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi was part of the disaster called the Nigerian Civil War. Then he stated that Ihejirika, the second Igbo army chief of staff, ran an army of mercenaries who called themselves Nigerians. He said that those who were agitating for Ihejirika’s replacement with another Igbo man were essentially asking for “the end of the Nigerian army and Nigeria itself.”
Ihejirika, he said, used the Nigerian army as an army of occupation. “If Sarduana had been alive,” Mohammed lamented, “Ihejirika would have been taken to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.”
In what may be a subtle reference to the altercation between the Defense Minister Aliyu Gusau and the Service Chiefs, Mohammed said, “It is impossible for an army officer today to respect another officer from another tribe. “That’s the legacy of Ihejirika as chief of army staff.”