Few days after the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike accused the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Jamil Sarham of engaging in illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta in a bid to finance his quest to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff, the Nigerian Army has come out in his defense.
The Army described Wike's allegations as spurious, stressing that the attack followed the GOC's refusal to compromise the last governorship election in the state.
In a statement issued by Aminu Iliyasu, the division’s spokesman, Sarham said Wike declared war on him when he refused to accept his billions of Naira few days to the conduct of the elections. The statement further challenged the Governor to provide evidence that the GOC attended security meetings in the Government House or disclosed the outcome of such meetings to criminals.
“Wike’s resentment against me is based on my choice of professionalism and integrity over the billions of naira offered me by the Rivers state governor to compromise the 2019 general election,” the statement read.
“My refusal to be bought over and the rejection of the hefty offer is the genesis of Wike’s hatred and vociferous criticisms of me.
“On the mischievous accusation against Maj.-Gen. Sarham of leaking proceedings 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 Maj.-Gen. Sarham on the 15th of January, 2019, during the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day parade at Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to challenge Wike to provide the public with any evidence of such meetings, with Maj.-Gen. Sarham in attendance. Wike’s allegation against Maj.-Gen. Sarham’s selfish involvement in illegal oil bunkering is another reckless, spurious and mischievous accusation.
“Hence, Headquarters of 6 Division wishes to request the Rivers governor to take the most civilized way of putting up a petition to the relevant authorities, to make a point.”