Ali Modu Sheriff: Presidency Is Being Economical With The Truth – APC

Ali Modu Sheriff
Former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Presidency of being economical with the truth in its response to condemnation of President Goodluck Jonathan for “hobnobbing” with accused Boko Haram sponsor, Ali Modu Sheriff.

In a statement issued in Dubai on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said that the Presidency’s stout defence of Sheriff’s presence at President Jonathan’s meeting with host President, Idris Deby of Chad, and the fact that the Presidency’s statement was coordinated with the one by Sheriff’s spokesman, has shown that the APC is right to have called for the trial of Sheriff and other alleged Boko Haram sponsors by the International Criminal Court (ICC), instead of the Nigerian security agencies which are under the Jonathan spell.

It said President Jonathan has not got the liver to investigate and prosecute the accused, who are his friends, adding, “How can you prosecute a person who accompanies you on a high level security meeting to a foreign head of state?”

The Presidency said the security agencies are investigating Sheriff and that the President will not interfere, but what message was the President sending to the security agencies by circulating the picture of the accused with himself? Is that a subtle message to the security agencies that the accused is a friend of the President hence he is untouchable?

The Presidency said Sheriff has a long standing business in Chad. Is the presidency not aware of the memo sent home by the Nigerian Defence Adviser in Chad concerning Sheriff? Why didn’t the Presidency tell Nigerians whether or not the investigation recommended by the Defence Adviser over Sheriff’s alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram was ever carried out, and if so what was the outcome? APC queried.

It insisted that President Jonathan exhibited palpable indiscretion by allowing himself to be photographed with an accused terrorism sponsor, Ali Modu Sheriff, while on a foreign trip to rally support for his country’s anti-terrorism efforts.Ali Modu Sheriff

It is really irrelevant whether or not the President took Sheriff along to Chad or he met him there. What matters and what the entire world saw, through the picture that was widely circulated, was that Sheriff sat in with President Jonathan and President Deby at their meeting. That was the clincher.

The Presidency, in its reaction to the global condemnation of the President’s unholy alliance with an alleged Boko Haram sponsor, should have realized that while President Jonathan has definitely subjected Nigerians to the most harrowing experience, they are not stupid yet.

Why would the President even allow Sheriff into the venue of his meeting with President Deby? Can anyone just go and be sitting with President Jonathan in a meeting with the Chadian President just because the fellow happens to be in the Chadian capital at the time? What happened to security clearance, protocol etc.?

Is the presidency telling Nigerians that if President Jonathan were visiting the South African President Jacob Zuma, and Atiku Abubakar, who is well known to be a good friend of President Zuma, also happens to be in Pretoria at the same time, he will simply drive up to the venue and be part of the meeting? The truth is that President Jonathan was wrong to have showcased Sheriff, an accused Boko Haram sponsor, as a face of his Administration while on a foreign trip to rally support against terrorism, unless of course the President wanted to send a subtle signal to those investigating the allegation,” APC said

Jonathan Did Not Travel With Ali Modu To Chad

JonathanThe Presidency has described as erroneous, the allegations by critics of the Jonathan administration and the All Progressives Congress party that President Jonathan is hobnobbing with former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif.

Senator Sheriff was one of the two persons recently accused by the Australian, Stephen Davies, of being supporters of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, an allegation he has since denied, threatening to sue the Australian negotiator.

Speaking to State House correspondents, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, dismissed the claim that Senator Sherrif accompanied President Jonathan on his trip to N’Djemena as a member of his entourage, reiterating that the former Borno State Governor was not even a member of the delegation to Chad.

He listed those on the entourage to have included the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.), the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed and the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, and other presidential aids and journalists.

He said that Ali Modu Sherif was seen at the N’Djemena Airport in Chad on his own volition and not at the instance of the President. He wondered why anyone would rush to condemn the President over it.

He said that President Jonathan was fully aware of the allegation made against Senator Sheriff by Stephen Davies and that the allegation was already being investigated by the security agencies who would make their findings known to the public in due course.


Ali Modu Sheriff Denies Sponsoring Boko Haram

Boko HaramFormer Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has denied sponsoring the Boko Haram sect and threatened to sue the Australian negotiator, Mr Stephen Davis, who was reported to have linked him to the Boko Haram sect.

Senator Sheriff, at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the fact that one of his commissioners was identified as a Boko Haram member doesn’t make him one.

He went on to say that he had no association with any terrorists anywhere and denies ever meeting the Boko Haram group.

“I cannot be a sponsor of a group I have not met before. Today, there are 10,000 members of Boko Haram terrorising our people. All my actions as governor was to guide my people right.

“I don’t have foot soldiers, as they alleged. The allegation that some foot soldiers who turned against me became Boko Haram is not true. I am prepared to face any panel in the world to clear my name of Boko Haram,” he said.

He, however, cleared the air about his recent invitation to the office of the Department of State Security Service and that it has nothing to do with the Boko Haram sect.

Boko Haram: The Northeast Is A Zone That Has Fallen – Modibo

ModiboA journalist from the Northern Nigeria based Verbatim Newspapers, Ibrahim Modibo, has described the Nigerian states ravaged by insurgency as a theatre of the absurd.

Describing the region as a zone that has fallen, Modibo who is also from the region decried the hardship being faced by people in the region since the insurgency started, adding that there had been no clear vision or mission while trying to subdue the insurgency.

He said that the emergence of the Boko Haram was an offshoot of people who believe that “education instead of being a blessing has been a curse, in the sense that most of the Boko Haramists up till the moment were educated people” as it would be impossible for an illiterate to mix chemical together to make a bomb to destroy lives and property.

“I can tell you they are educated people and they have seen how the democratic governance has been able to turn the zone and Nigeria as a whole in a topsy-turvy, where the people have not been able to benefit directly from the government.

“There has been failure of governance in the sense that the democratic atmosphere has not been able to give the people the democratic dividends they need.”

“It is in view of this that this people assembled to fight the system. They have been driven by puritanical vindictiveness as the inspiration to wage a war against the people or the government has not been drawn from any scriptural perspective, whether it is Islam or Christianity.

He stated that they carry out their terror acts “feeling that the country should move towards more of puritanical nuances rather than the democratic atmosphere in which it lives”, a situation he referred to as “one of the saddest and most unfortunate things that have happened to the country.”

He stated that there could be no justification for the killings by the sect based on religious or moral views or the alleged failure of the government, as the sect could have stood to form a political party or a group to pressurize the government.

He added that the Boko haram has not been fair to the people in the Northeast because they were the ones suffering the attacks as well as the lack of liberty, economic challenges and the neglect by the government and its failure in taking care of the masses.

The Northeast indigene noted that the Boko haram started as a religious movement but was hijacked by religious extremists who believed that making Government responsible could only be done through violence.

He insisted that this was about the political system and not a religious war as the insurgents have been going to both mosques and churches to kill people, adding that with their spate of attacks, they may have killed more Muslims than people from any other religion.

We Don’t Need State of Emergency

“With the State of Emergency, our economy has been in comatose, the people have been devastated, they’ve been hopeless and helpless, the region has been completely destroyed.

“Some villages and towns have been razed to the ground and in terms of people, because of all these checkpoints the social and economic activities have been crippled.

“I can tell you, in the Northeast we are suffering, we don’t even have a sense of belonging because honestly and sincerely Government has not been able to do a lot.

“How we wish it would take up its responsibility and come to our aid and also look at the issues dispassionately. This is not time for politicking but one for serious reflection on the problems in which the region has found itself”, he said.

“We are suffering; whenever I go home within Yola where I live it is very difficult if not impossible for free flow of movement. You can’t associate beyond 9pm.

“We don’t even need State of Emergency to fight Boko Haram”, if the military was serious”, he said.

We Have The Military Might

Mr Modibo also said that the Nigerian military and the Government would need to stand up to the Boko Haram sect with some seriousness.

He noted that the civilian JTF had tried its best to help the military but they could only do little with information gathering because they have not been trained nor equipped to face a Boko Haram that has sophisticated weapons.

He wondered why Boko Haram has been on since 2009 and they have not been subdued.

“Are we now saying that the Boko Haram which is a ragtag hungry looking religious extremist would be able to override this country with all the military might that we have as the largest and also the most sophisticated country in sub-Saharan Africa?”

“We must stand up to this people but in the event of us not being able to conquer them in terms of warfare, what is the next option? I strongly believe an olive branch can be sent to them just like what happened in Niger-Delta.

He, however, further expressed confidence in the Nigerian Army to conquer the sect, provided the government was willing to empower its Army. “I am sure we have a Nigerian Army that has the force; the might and psychological balance to go and meet these people and conquer them or at best make them to surrender.

“Let the President challenge the heads of the security units, give them the next 4 or 5 months, if there’s a will and a determination to fight these people we can finish it in 2 to 3 months because we have the capacity.”



Okupe Examines What Boko Haram Wants, Promises Victory

Sunrise Okupe BHThe Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe has admitted that the growth of terrorism in Nigeria may indeed be connected to the poor socioeconomic conditions in the country.

Dr. Okupe was the guest of Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise, where he was joined by Journalist, Sola Ojewusi, and a Legal Practitioner, John Oloyede to examine ‘What Boko Haram Wants’.

The group – whose official Arabic name translates as “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” – says it is fighting to overthrow Nigeria’s Government and establish an Islamic state.

Dubbed Boko Haram or “western education is sinful” by locals for its rejection of European values, the sect was founded in the early 2000s by cleric, Mohammed Yusuf, and gained a steady following in the northern city of Maiduguri, preaching against secular values in a nation which is split between large Muslim and Christian populations.

Okupe, tracing the strength of the group back to the founding strategies of its leader, noted that the late cleric gained the loyalty of many youths because he was assisting them to solve issues bordering on their economic challenges, while teaching them his beliefs.

“In his method of recruitment, he stood in the gap, giving social services and helping young people.

“A young man whose parents are not wealthy and has gotten to the age of getting married and he hasn’t got the means to pay dowry and somebody helps him; that man becomes his mentor. So, poor economic conditions may have some measure of role to play in the festering of this phenomenon”, he said.

The provision of economic and social support by Boko Haram – which included providing meals and economic schemes, a youth empowerment programme, support for trading, as well as helping to arrange cheap marriages between sect members – has led some to ascribe the group’s growth to a failure of governance in Nigeria.

Mr. Ojewusi, however, noted that it would be too simplistic to attribute the growth of the sect to bad governance, as the issue of Boko Haram started way before the present administration, and looking at the history of terrorism, it was not new in Nigeria.

“What we are having is an offshoot of what has been from the beginning”, he noted.

While also admitting that Government indeed has a role to play, he explained that examining Boko Haram as an entity should not be done in isolation as it was not peculiar to Nigeria, being an international body. “You have to look at it from countries like Niger, Northern Cameroon, and Chad.

He stated that the escalation of the group in Nigeria showed that there was more than meet the eye and those underlying factors should be what Nigerians need to focus on, if they would find a solution to the menace.

The Legal Practitioner, John Oloyede, admitted generously.

“You cannot tell me that because America has had to contend with terrorism in Iraq is simply because the American Government does not know how to handle terrorism. Even the terrorists took the war to America and they had their way”, he said.

On the view that America differed from Nigeria in the sense that it was not dealing with home-grown terrorists owing to its higher economic standards, Oloyede disagreed, claiming that the situation in Nigeria was also not totally home-grown.

He argued further, “America has gone through the same situation we have now. You can take from history the case of Cuban refugees – those who were sympathetic towards the Cuban cause then. America was on fire, the Cubans were bombing all the places, the Government didn’t know what to do, it took like 10-15 years before they could nip that problem in the bud.”

Referring to an earlier statement by Dr Okupe that poor and unemployed people had become easy prey for the sect’s recruitment strategies, using the maxim “Devil finds work for an idle hand”, Mr Oloyede said: “Poor people cannot afford AK47; they can’t buy these arms and ammunition – anti aircraft guns – that we see, so they are not poor people, we need to clear that from our conscience, because Nigerians we are turning against one another – APC accusing PDP, PDP accusing APC.

“When Al-Qaeda struck America, the American people came together. These elements are using psychology, and we are doing exactly what they want us to do out of fear. We are blaming each other instead of us to see them as a common enemy and face them as such.

“We are blaming our military men that they are not doing the job, they are ill equipped, No. I don’t think President Jonathan or General Buhari is happy with what is happening; they just can’t do anything about it.”

The response and sensitivity of the Federal Government then came to the fore as Dr Okupe defended the President, stating that the case of America’s 9-11 attack should not be compared to Nigeria’s.

“For every attack that becomes visible and devastating, eight or nine have been stopped; but you know when an attack is foiled Government does not come to the air to talk about it.

Okupe, speaking on the demands of the sect, noted that their demands were clear on wanting full implementation of Sharia laws; he added that they also demanded that the Holy Quran becomes the guiding principles of the country amongst other requests which he said could be negotiated if the insurgents were truly representing Islam.

“Today we’ve got infiltration by actual crass criminals who are not really totally Nigerians complicated by political activists who also demand some other things. So it has become an appearance of incongruous gathering of people you cannot easily discern.”

He, however, stated that even as the country is at war with the Boko Haram sect, the Federal Government was working relentlessly to win the war but Nigerians need to understand that the war has been made difficult by the nations peculiar population and topography.


Boko Haram Link: Buhari Demands Apology, Threatens Legal Action Against Metuh, PDP

BuhariFormer Head of State and leader of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari, has asked the People’s Democratic Party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, to apologize to him in seven days or face legal action.

General Buhari wants Mr Metuh to retract statements linking him with the Book Haram sect and has asked the PDP Spokesman to tender an unreserved public apology for accusation linking him with the Boko Haram terrorist acts.

The former military leader said that the widely publicized and very serious allegations made against him by the PDP and its Spokesman, Olisa Metuh, to the effect that his utterances were responsible for the current state of insecurity and terrorism bedeviling Nigeria, were absolutely without basis.

General Buhari said that Mr Metuh intentionally chose to misquote his interview in 2012 that the opposition was determined to fight in the 2015 Elections.

“I used the Hausa idiom ‘Kare jini, Biri jini’, which is a metaphor for a very tough fight. But, like the Islamic fundamentalist toga they falsely put on me because they cannot impinge on my personal and professional integrity, PDP apologists deliberately twisted this idiom to mean I called for violence”, he said.

The APC chieftain went further: ”I take very serious exception to this grave accusation against me by the PDP Publicity Secretary. It is a false allegation aimed at tarnishing my image and reputation in the hope of destroying my political and electoral standings, and that of my party, the APC, in the country.”

General Buhari denied having any links with the Boko Haram sect and said that he was not a violent person and that other than his military training; he abhors violence and has never associated with violence.