Sheriff to Sue APC, Davies, Insists He’s Not a Sponsor of Boko Haram

Former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, has said he will seek redress in court by suing the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davies, who recently fingered him as one of the sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Sheriff said he would also drag the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to court for repeating the same allegation.

Sheriff, who insisted that the accusation was part of the campaign of calumny against him, said he was prepared to face any probe panel that is aimed at addressing the Boko Haram phenomenon.

“I’m ready to face any panel in the world that is set up to clear my name. I’m ready for any investigation. But I would sue the faceless Stephen Davies and the APC leadership that repeated the lies told by the Australian,” he said.

He said he was shocked at the statements credited to the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun, that Davies’ allegations were true.

“You can see the type of leaders we have. Oyegun was in my house the other day urging me to rejoin the party. Then he’s now making this kind of comment,” he disclosed, blaming his defection from the APC to the PDP for his travails.

Reading from a press statement, he noted that “as much as I do not consider changing one’s political party an anathema, I am particularly concerned that my defection from the APC to PDP seems to further galvanise my detractors who have converted the matter into a political weapon”.

“Even as the brain behind the whole charade, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in its seeming desperation to retain my membership went rather too far in its political mudslinging. I consider it most uncharitable for the party to use me as an alibi for the obvious culpability of some of its members.

“As much as I do not want to politicise such a serious issue like security, I am compelled to correct Chief Oyegun’s faulty generalisations and judgemental attitude in acting out this well rehearsed script, conceived, written and directed by the APC.

“It has never been a secret that one of the most disturbing developments to the APC of late, is the massive departure of very prominent members, including my humble self. But this is not enough to warrant the callous campaigns against me or any person for that matter,” he said.

Sheriff said he doubted the authenticity of Davies’ press interview, wondering why the negotiator did not make his findings known to the federal government that commissioned him.

The former governor said he believed the Australian was acting out a script designed to embarrass him.

On the issue of the sponsorship of Boko Haram, Sheriff said it was a ploy to evade the main issues concerning the insurgency, tracing the origin of the sect to the late Governor Mala Kachalla regime.

He insisted that it was Kachalla who started the introduction and implementation of Sharia in Borno State.

According to Sheriff, “That could be said to be the starting point of the sect’s ascendancy as the executed leader of the insurgents, Mohammed Yusuf, featured prominently in Kachalla’s effort at establishing Sharia.”

He added: “It may interest you to know that it was the government of my predecessor in office, the late Alhaji Mala Kachallah (May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace) that introduced Sharia Law in the state in the year 2000 through the ‘Borno State Sharia Administration of Justice Law 2000’.

“As a matter of fact, late Mala Kachallah signed the bill into law at an elaborate ceremony at the Ramat Square in Maiduguri and appointed the Borno State Sharia Law Implementation Committee in February, 2001 under the chairmanship of Professor Abubakar Mustapha, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri.

“Interestingly, the late Mohammed Yusuf, leader of the Boko Haram sect, was a member of the committee among other Islamic scholars. If indeed there was an agreement between the sect and my predecessor on the issue of Sharia implementation, I am not aware of it, as I was neither in government then nor was I a party to it.

“And since the law precedes my administration, I may not be in a position to speak on how it was conceived, promulgated and implemented. I present to you a copy of the Borno State Sharia
Administration of Justice Law 2000 and the letter of appointment of the chairman and members of the Borno State Sharia Law Implementation Committee for your perusal.

“Let me state categorically at this point that I do not share the ideology of the Boko Haram sect, which is against western education, western culture and modern science or any other sect with similar ideology.

“From my background, it could be easily seen that we are completely opposed to one another in terms of our viewpoints and convictions. By my nature and upbringing, I have neither associated myself with nor shared the beliefs of religious fundamentalists such as the Boko Haram sect or any other sect for that matter.

“While in office as governor, I did my best to curtail the activities of the sect. I have never associated myself with any terrorist in any part of the world. I have never in my life met Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the Boko Haram sect, who died in circumstances that are being investigated.”

He recalled that Yusuf was arrested by the police and military authorities in a situation he had no control over apart from providing logistics for the officers.

Commenting on his relationship with a leader of the sect and former Commissioner for Religious Affairs, the late Buju Foi, Sheriff said Foi was already the chairman of a local government before he made him a commissioner in his cabinet, pointing out that Foi was the nominee from his local government.

“Buju Foi was the choice of his own people and that is why he became part of my government,” he said.

Sheriff maintained that he is a victim of the insurgency and not a sponsor, adding that he lost his brother and many other associates to the insurgents.

“It is instructive to point out that I had been one of the greatest victims of the atrocities of the Boko Haram sect. As the Executive Governor of the state at that time, I did not abdicate my responsibilities of protecting the lives and property of the people and did not give them (Boko Haram) any breathing space to operate outside the law of the land.

“Because of this, they were driven by a desire for vengeance against me, my family and my political associates. From the number of casualties amongst my relations and political associates, it is evident that I suffered considerable personal losses from the crisis.

“Amongst those killed in cold blood were my younger brother, the late Alhaji Goni Mustapha Sheriff, the defunct ANPP state chairman and my brother in-law, the late Alhaji Awana Ngala, the gubernatorial candidate of our party in the 2011 elections, the late Modu Fannami Gubio, my bossom friends, Alhaji Mustapha Fulawama and Bukar Goni Kols, and a host of other close political associates. May their gentle souls rest in peace,” he said.



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