Buhari defends COAS appointment, says IPOB a dot in a circle

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The President Muhammadu Buhari has described the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) clamouring as a dot in a circle stating that even when they secede they will have no access to the outside world.

The President in an interview with Arise TV broadcast on Thursday also explained why he appointed Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff.

He said, “That IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere.

“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about.

“In any case, we say we’ll talk to them in the language that they understand. We’ll organize the police and the military to pursue them.”

Buhari also said that he has been assured by “the elderly people” and “the youths” from the South-South part of the country that their region has no intention of seceding.

He said IPOB will not have “access to anywhere” even if they eventually secede from the country.

Read Also: Poverty, unemployment fueling insurgency says Buhari

The President then reiterated his statement that IPOB members will be treated in the “language that they understand”.

“I was encouraged by what I heard, nobody told me. Two statements from the south-south. One by the elderly people, they said this time around there would be no (secession). And again the youth made the same statement; such encouragement,” Buhari said.

Speaking on the appointment, Buhari explained Yahaya was appointed as the Chief of army staff ahead of other superiors because of his experience fighting Boko Haram in the North-east.

The appointment of Yahaya had created controversy and speculations that there is going to be a mass retirement of some generals in the Nigerian Army but the Defence Headquarters refuted the reports.

Buhari further explained the choice of Yahaya was because he had the support and understanding of the troops.

“They trained in Zaria or Abeokuta, they come through the ranks and because they served under all the circumstances, the crises and everything and they gradually rise to the status.

“And you think, you will just pick somebody just to balance up. These positions have to be earned. There are people who have been there for 10 to 15 years.”