The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has declared Kazeem Afegbua, the Media Adviser to former military president Ibrahim Babangida, wanted over the controversial statement issued Sunday.
The order for Afegbua’s arrest was made known in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, on Monday, Punch writes.
The statement reads, “The IGP has ordered the arrest of Kashim Afegbua for making false statements, defamation of character and for an act capable of instigating public disturbance throughout the country.
“He is therefore declared wanted by the Nigeria Police Force and should report at the nearest police station anywhere he is in the country.”
This comes amid the furore generated over two statements purportedly written by Babangida which touched on a number of burning national issues including the 2019 elections, herdsmen/farmers’ crisis and the pitfalls of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
In the first statement titled, ‘Towards a National Rebirth,’ and signed by Afegbua, Babangida advised Nigerians to do away with analogue leaders and embrace those of the digital age.
“In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29, 2019, and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country,” the statement read in part.
But in another statement issued in Minna hours later, the former dictator said the earlier statement was Afegbua’s personal opinion.
“I have unfettered access and channel of communication with the highest authorities in the country without necessarily going public with a sensational statement. Therefore, the views expressed in the alleged statement are not mine but the writer’s.”
Meanwhile, Afegbua had stood by the statement, insisting that he sat with the former dictator and got his approval before releasing it.
“I extracted commitment from him and authorisation before I issued the statement; but of course you know IBB is for everyone and so people want to love him more than he loves himself.
“When the statement was sent and some of his friends saw the twist of the reportage on the social media and how they sensationalised it, they felt that we were just trying to put the former President on a collision course with the present President and they went to write a statement to deny it but I have since spoken to him.
“He has called me to say that statement stands and the kernel of that statement should inform public discourse and not people necessarily personalising it as if it were against the sitting President.”
The saga continues…