The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army has dismissed the claims made by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike against the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division and Land Component Commander Operation DELTA SAFE, Major General Jamil Sarham, as false allegations.
Wike had accused Sarham of operating an illegal oil bunkering squad to finance his ambition to be Chief of Army Staff.
The Division in a statement by its spokesperson Colonel Aminu Iliyasu recalled that the Governor purportedly released a video clip on the 15th of May showing Sarham leaking proceeds of State Security Council Meetings to criminals in Rivers State.
The Army described the actions of Wike as a deliberate campaign of calumny against the commander and a reckless, spurious and mischievous accusation.
The Army Division challenged Wike to provide the public with any evidence of such meetings with Maj Gen Sarham in attendance.
It also requested the Governor to take the most civilised way of putting up a petition to the relevant authorities to make a point as regards the accusation of oil bunkering
The full statement read
“The attention of the 6 Division (NA) has been drawn to a yet another round of bizarre and spurious allegations against the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division and Land Component Commander Operation DELTA SAFE, Major General Jamil Sarham, by the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike in a video clip released to some sections of the press and social media outlets.
“The clip was purportedly released on the 15th of May 2019 by one Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media in which the Governor made unfounded false allegations gainst the GOC 6 Division.
“Although Nigerian Army do not wish to join issues with the Governor, yet it is important to strongly state that the allegations are false and figment of the Governor Wike’s imagination. It is a deliberate effort to tarnish the towering image of the Chief of Army Staff and the General Officer Commanding 6 Division. Needless to say that in response to many accusations against the Division, already some responsible good individuals and groups in Nigeria have exposed the antics of Governor Wike against the leadership of the Division and the NA.
“It is imperative to state the campaign of calumny against General Sarham and the Nigerian Army leadership by Governor Wike did not start today. Recall that on 22nd February 2019, Governor Wike brazenly alleged that there was an attempt to exterminate his life by assassins organised by the GOC 6 Division. As weighty as the allegation was, we are yet to know any action taken by Mr Wike that guarantees his safety. Mr Wike has since failed to use civilised legitimate options to prove his allegations against Maj Gen Sarham.
“On the mischievous accusation against General Sarham leaking proceeds of State Security Council Meetings to criminals in Rivers State, Mr Wike knows well that Maj Gen Sarham is not a member of the Rivers State Security Council, neither has he ever approached the gates of Rivers State Government House since his assumption of office as the GOC 6 Division. Mr Wike only came face to face with General Sarham on the 15th of January 2019 during the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Parade at Isaac Boro Park.
“However, the Nigerian Army challenge Wike to provide the public with any evidence of such meetings with Maj Gen Sarham in attendance.
“Accordingly, Wike’s allegation against Major General Sarham’s selfish involvement in illegal oil bunkering is another reckless, spurious and mischievous accusation.
Hence, Headquarters 6 Division wish to request the Governor to take the most civilised way of putting up a petition to the relevant authorities to make a point.
“Mr Wike’s resentment against the GOC is based on the latter’s choice of professionalism and integrity over the billions of naira offered to him by the Governor to compromise the 2019 General Elections. His refusal to be bought over and the rejection of such hefty offer is the genesis of Wike’s hatred and vociferous criticisms against Maj Gen Sarham.
“Consequently, 6 Division Nigerian Army wish to reiterate its commitment to the protection of lives and properties as well as the protection of critical national infrastructure in its Area of Responsibility for the benefit of the nation. The Division wishes to also state that no amount of blackmail and Area boy gerrymandering will affect its resolve and commitment to discharge its roles professionally and in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff.”