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A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has denied claims he said Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, and Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, are the chief sponsors of bandits in the North.

Mr Ribadu on Thursday described the statement being circulated on social media as “devilish insinuations.”

The alleged statement quoted Mr Ribadu to have said: “Bandits were created by Gen Mohammadu Buhari Rtd to oust Jonathan.”

He allegedly said Mr Buhari “assembled his ardent supporters, promoters and strategists in April 2014 to determine how to remove President Goodluck. Prominent amongst them were El-Rufai, Gen Danbazo (Rtd).”

“Specifically, Gen Buhari, in his address, told the fighters that “the British handed Nigeria over to us, the Fulanis, at independence. The land (Nigeria) belongs to us. We must reclaim what belongs to us.”

Mr Ribadu, in a statement on Thursday, disowned the viral message and appealed to security agencies to investigate the genesis of the ‘fake message’ and fish out the perpetrators.

“The statement shared around social media platforms attributed to me (giving) devilish insinuations on alleged origin of banditry in parts of Nigeria.”

The former EFCC boss said he initially “ignored what was clear inanity and cheap blackmail, as I thought no right-thinking person will fall for such mischief.”

READ MORE: 90% of Boko Haram victims have been Muslims — Buhari

He said, “I have never, at any time, wrote or said those words being attributed to me.”

“I have no knowledge contained in the disjointed propaganda message in circulation and I urge the public to disregard it,” he added.

He said purveyors of fake news, more so, one that is clearly a threat to national security, should not be allowed to thrive.

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