Former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, yesterday, slammed the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davies for linking him with the sponsorship of Boko Haram activities in Nigeria.
Sheriff addressed a world press conference in Abuja, where he denied having links with the Islamist sect and lamented that the claims against him were unfounded and far from the truth.
The former governor lamented that he was rather a victim of the sect, which did not only kill his brother, Alhaji Goni Mustapha Sheriff, but also took the lives of his brother-in- law, Alhaji Awana Ngala; the 2011 gubernatorial candidate, Engr. Modu Gubioa and his bosom friends, Alhaji Mustapha Fulawama and Bukar Goni Kolo, among others.
“Firstly, I was accused of entering into an agreement with the sect to implement Sharia Law in the State so as to support my candidacy during the gubernatorial election in 2003 and that I broke that promise, which was why they resorted to armed struggle as a strategy to implement it,” said Sheriff, who disclosed Shariah had been implemented in the state before his tenure.
“It may interest you to know that it was the government of my predecessor in office, the late Alhaji Mala Kachallah that introduced Sharia Law in the state in the year 2000.
“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.
“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.”
Speaking further, Sheriff stated; “Secondly, I was accused of having linkage with the sect and thirdly, my Administration was also accused of not acting on security reports related to their activities, which was believed to have given the group the space to operate and cause the mayhem experienced.
“I wish to correct the misconception tenaciously held by some people that linked me to the sect even when several evidences point to the contrary. Ordinarily, I would have continued in my silence, but the smear campaign seems to be assuming a life of its own with the recent purported interview granted by a’ supposed Australian, Stephen Davis, whose identity remains suspect,” he said.
Sherriff threatened to sue the APC and the Australian for making the allegation against him without sending his so-called findings to the Federal Government, which he claimed hired him to do the job.
He wondered why the report of his findings should first be aired on Arise Television only instead of being presented to the Federal Government for consideration.
“It is rather curious that the campaign against me is becoming more stringent at the time I decided to take Borno into mainstream national politics by joining the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.” the former governor said.