The newly elected National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff has spoken out about his alleged connection with the deadly Boko Haram sect.
Ali Modu Sheriff
Ali Modu-Sheriff has denied having any ties with the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist sect, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari would have arrested him if he had any connection with the blood-lust group.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with ThisDay, Sheriff stressed that speculations about his sponsorship of terrorists, exist only as a figment of the imagination of those blackmailing him and wondered why those behind the rumour did not raise the matter when he was in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former Borno governor, who claimed that it was immediately he left the APC that he was labelled a Boko Haram sponsor, reminded Nigerians that he had also been a victim of the Boko Haram attacks which led to the death of his blood brother as well as other relations.
In his words: Well, you see, Nigeria is a country of laws. Nigeria is a country that has the largest black population in the world and nobody today in this country is above the law. It was fiction and imagination of the writers. Let me ask you, I was the governor of Borno State for eight years and, when I was a governor, there was no local government that was under Boko Haram.
“The issue of Boko Haram came when the government at that time, under President Umaru Yar’Adua, destroyed their mosque and, that was it. They succeeded in killing three people when I was the governor and, do you know who those three people are? One of them was my blood brother, same father and same mother; second one that they killed was the gubernatorial candidate of my political party; third one was Chairman of my party who was also my first cousin.
I have never seen anybody in my life that was connected to Boko Haram apart from their leader who was arrested by the military then. The military invited me to see him for the first time in their barracks. If for any reason I had any connection with Boko Haram, I would have been arrested. I am not above the law but you know media is a very strong institution; if your enemy or the people who are afraid of you go to the media and put a false report, the author will write based on information that was given to them by people who believe that unless they dent your image, they will not get what they want politically. Otherwise, there is no way I could be linked to Boko Haram because by my disposition, my background and where I come from, I have nothing to do with Boko Haram.
Boko Haram wanted to kill me all the time because they believed that I was the one that reported them to President Musa Yar’Adua to destroy their enclave when it was destroyed that time. It was after I left government that they moved to their different camps and bushes. Why should they kill my brother? Why should they kill my family if I am a sponsor of Boko Haram? Is there anywhere in the world that you sponsor something to kill you? But unfortunately, the wrong information was circulated to the media by our enemies and, unfortunately, I am not the talking type, so along the line, they kept on fabricating the same lies until it stuck. Let me give you a typical example.
“Just a week ago, all the social media planted my picture, showing me with the card of APC purporting that I was joining the party. At that time nobody wrote that I was Boko Haram, only that Sheriff is going back to APC. When we registered with APC we went to our villages to do it, that village they are showing on the social media was a village that was taken over by Boko Haram for the past three years, so how could I have gone there to register? Few days after I became the Chairman of the PDP, Ali Sheriff is now Boko Haram; so if you are in APC you are not a Boko Haram.
Throughout my period in APC nobody said I was Boko Haram. Immediately I left the APC, I was termed Boko Haram, therefore you could understand that Nigeria is a very interesting country and the fact that today you cannot do without the media and whosoever has the machinery of the media, unless by chance like the way you have talked to me, they would still be disseminating every kind of stories but nobody will ask why is it that when Ali Modu Sheriff went back to APC, nobody said he is Boko Haram but today that he is PDP Chairman, he is Boko Haram.
“To cut the story short, I have nothing to do with Boko Haram in my entire life. Nobody in my family or relation is Boko Haram or close to any Boko Haram member. These people that wanted to kill me? Up till today, if they have the chance they will kill me because they think I reported them to Yar’Adua who leveled their places of worship and, along the line their leader was killed. And that is my crime and why they want to kill me but people that are afraid of me changed the story and they keep on doing it. Every day they write different things, but you and I know that nobody is above the laws of Nigeria.
“I believe today that President Buhari, even if it is his son or blood brother that is Boko Haram member, he will arrest and prosecute him. That includeds me. So the allegation is the figment of the imagination of the writers.”