The Nigerian Army has slammed Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for accusing the GOC, 6 Division, Major General Jamil Sarham of engaging in oil bunkering and leaking information to militants.
The army said in a statement, signed by Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 6 Division that Wike’s claims were spurious.
The statement also challenged the Governor to provide evidence that the GOC has ever attended security meetings in Government House.
Reacting to the alleged oil bunkering, the Army said, “Wike’s allegation against Major General Sarham’s selfish involvement in illegal oil bunkering is another reckless, spurious and mischievous accusation. Hence, Headquarters 6 Division wish(es) to request the Governor to take the most civilised way of putting up a petition to the relevant authorities to make a point.
The GOC said Wike was after him because he rejected his billions of Naira in bribe to compromise the last governorship elections in the state.
Sarham said Wike decided to witch-hunt him when he turned down the offer by launching verbal attacks against his person.
Wike had accused Sarham of running a massive oil theft in the state as well as sending troops to assassinate him on the 15 of February 2019.
Sarham said: “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 civilised way of putting up a petition to the relevant authorities, to make a point.”
It would be recalled that Wike had been having a running battle with the GOC prelude to the February 19 elections,during and after the elections.
Wike had accused Sarham of failed attempt to assassinate him. This was denied by the GOC and described as false alarm by the governor to tarnish the image of the senior Army officer.