A former Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, on Monday said he was quizzed by the police in connection with an alleged plot to frame him up as a sponsor of the new Ombatse violence in Nasarawa State even as he denied any link with the group.
Maku, the National Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, in a statement obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja entitled: “Plot to destroy my reputation”, denied the accusation by Governor Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State that he was sponsoring crisis in the state.
According to him, the sudden attempt to associate his name with the new Ombatse violence is politicaally motivated to destroy his reputation and silence the oppressed in the state.
He said, “I can never be part of any group to sponsor violence in my native state which is still largely buffeted by crisis in Doma, Nasarawa, Obi, Kokona and Lafia local government areas where herdsmen still kill and maim people and displace communities within and outside the borders of Nasarawa State.”
He added, “On my way to attend the stakeholders meeting of my party, APGA, in Lafia on Thursday, August 11, 2016, I got a call from the police commissioner (Bello Mohammed) to see him at the command headquarters, Lafia. Even though the invitation came by way of a phone call, I decided to honour the invitation as a law abiding citizen.
“At the command headquarters in Lafia, I was informed that I was invited in order to respond to some information of an alleged fresh plot by a new Ombatse group to attack Asakio on Saturday, August 13, 2016. I was asked if I was aware of the plans by the new Ombatse group and I made it clear that I had no knowledge of either a new Ombatse group or plans by them to cause violence anywhere in the state.”
He claimed that the police told him that they had information that he was the sponsor of the new group, to which he replied that it would be strange to associate himself “with violence in any form because throughout my life I have never belonged to any cult or taken part in any evil against any human being.”
Maku said, “For the sake of clarity, I took the security chiefs down memory lane. It will be recalled that when Ombatse group arose in 2011 mainly as part of the governorship campaign by the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, I was the only public figure in Nasarawa State that rose against the Ombatse group.”