Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said he will not retract his allegation that an unnamed governor from northern Nigeria is the commander of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Mailafia stated this after he was released by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Wednesday.
The former CBN deputy governor was invited by the DSS to shed more light on his allegation, which he made on an Abuja-based radio station on Monday.
He arrived at the DSS office accompanied by his lawyers, Pius Akubo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and Yakubu Bawa, around 12.30pm and was not released until 6.40pm.
Speaking to hundreds to supporters who thronged the DSS office, Mailafia said he stands by his comments, but admitted that he should have corroborated some of the information he got hold of before disseminating it to the public.
He also stated that he is ready to lay down his life for his country like the late Nelson Mandela, a former president of South Africa.
He said: “We had a lively and intense interview over a radio interview I granted. That interview which was meant for an FM radio station, some just picked the clip — a small section of the 55 minutes broadcast — and put it on social media and it went very very far all over the country, raising a lot of concerns,” he said.
“What I want to say is that, yes, all of those words were made by me. You know if the whole of the 55 minutes was played out, the context of what I said in a small clip that went viral would have become clearer.
“This is not the time to disown what I said. Yes, I was privy to some very sensitive information which all statesmen are entitled to have by virtue of our public roles.
“I know that I should have taken more care to corroborate some of the information I received, but perhaps some of it was uncorroborated. I was in no position to follow them to the camp to corroborate what was going on.
“But I am not a sensationalist, I am an economist and a central banker; by nature we are not given to sensation. Let me make it clear: I am a humanist; I am a man of peace. Even my name, Mailafia, means a man of peace.
“From the bottom of my heart, I love our country dearly and I abhor all the killings and violence which the innocent people of this country have been subjected to. I pray that Nigeria will never experience another civil war.
“The most elementary duty of government is to protect its citizens. When a government fails to protect its citizens, to protect little children, that is a serious matter. Any innocent boy or girl that is killed is my own child.
“I love Nigeria. Like Mandela, let me say if need be, I am prepared to give my life for Nigeria.”
Mailafia acknowledged that he was treated professionally by the DSS and thanked the officials for their conduct.
He also prayed for peace in the country, saying: “I pray that all of us will do our part to maintain the peace and make sure that our country makes progress.”