The immediate past Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdul-Rahman Dambazau (rtd), on Friday said the O’odua People’s Congress (OPC) and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are extremist groups like Boko Haram.
Dambazau said this at Army War College in Abuja while delivering a lecture to participants of course 5/2021.
He alleged that the two groups were sponsoring a new wave of extremism that could ignite ethnic conflict so as to achieve their aims of dividing the country.
Dambazau said the Police have a critical role to play in quelling recent agitations across the country, “instead of leaving everything for the military”.
“The two groups have been making efforts to ignite nationwide inter-ethnic conflicts through their violent attacks on northern residents or transacting businesses in the south as a quick way to realise their dream for a divided Nigeria.
“We see parallels between Boko Haram and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) both ethnic extremist groups. All the three groups operate on the platform of extremism,” Dambazau said.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, directed all Nigerian Army training institutions to build appropriate capacities and competencies in order to make the army a formidable force that can tackle all security threats.
He said the college was conceptualised to bridge the training gaps in the area of strategic and tactics among officers of Nigerian Army.
“In this regard, I have directed that all Nigerian Army training institutions should build appropriate capacities and competencies that will make the Nigerian army a formidable force.
“As you are all aware, our nation has been grappling with a myriad of security challenges which includes insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality across all the states of the federation.
“As daunting as these challenges may be, I strongly believe that they present opportunities for leadership, especially at the operational levels which you currently belong to.
“Therefore, I challenge you to make good use of your time at the college and imbibe knowledge to open your mind to new ideas that enhance the defence and security of our nation.”
The Commandant, Army War College Nigeria, Maj.-Gen. Solomon Udounwa, said the course had 62 participants from the armed forces, other security agencies with three from allied countries of Togo, Liberia and Congo.