Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General, Azubuike Ihejirika, on Friday warned against inflammatory statements from northerners over the recent arrest of 486 alleged Boko Haram suspects in Abia State.
Ihejirika spoke at a public presentation of the biography of the 17th Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, in Abuja.
The book entitled: “The Pursuit of Providence” was written by the Abuja Bureau Chief of the Guardian Newspapers, Mr. Madu Onourah.
Ihejirika said rather than speaking in a manner that portrays the country as divided, northern elders should assist the military to identify the insurgents among those arrested by the military.
He said: “Referring to the contemporary situation, currently, we have some people of northern extraction arrested somewhere in my state by the military and other security agencies.
“Let us not forget that not too long ago, we spoke in one voice that we are going to join hands to rid the nation of the menace of terrorism.
“One good way of doing this is for people from that same extraction to avail their services to the military and they will definitely help the military in sorting out the chaff from the wheat rather than speaking in a manner that tends to create the impression that this country is divided.
“The truth is that ordinarily you do not choose who to buy pepper from. If you want to eat in a restaurant you do not ask is the owner a Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa…you just buy.
“If a man is good he is good, irrespective of where he is coming from. I think all we need in this country is development and progress.”