The Federal Government has denied hiring Australia’s Stephen Davis as a Boko Haram negotiator.The Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, who disclosed government’s position on the issue in Abuja on Friday, said the government has no plan of prosecuting any Nigerian for now following the allegations made by the Australian.
Davis has insisted that former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff and former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika are Boko Haram sponsors. He also mentioned an unnamed senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria and an Egypt-based man as those funding the sect.Davis, who refused to disclose the identity of the CBN official, said his allegations were informed by discussions he had with several Boko Haram field commanders.But Omeri insisted that government has not hired anybody to negotiate on its behalf with the Boko Haram.
“For now nobody has been hired by the government to negotiate on its behalf with Boko Haram. Anytime the government decides to do so, it will make it known to the public.The government is still investigating the allegations made by the alleged negotiator. However, the government has no plan to question anybody because of those allegations made by the Australian,” he stated.
During a press conference which was held today, former Borno State governor, Alimodu Sheriffdenied the allegations against him, and said he would sue Davis, AIT reports.
Here is what he said:
“I condole with the people of Borno, particularly the people of Bama, Gwoza and Gamboru over the recent attacks. My name has been mentioned for political reasons over the attacks of Boko Haram. I have been accused unfairly in connection with Boko Haram since I left office.
For the records, let me state categorically that I do not share the same ideology with Boko Haram. By my nature, I am opposed to the philosophy of Boko Haram.
The recent purported interview granted by Australian negotiator, Stephen Davies, could not avail the federal government of the information concerning the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram… but he sneaked out of the country to make false claims.”
It is instructive to point out that I have been one of the greatest victims of Borno. I was a target of Boko Haram during my time because I refused to abdicate my responsibility.”
Among those killed by Boko Haram was my younger brother, Alhaji Goni. Some of my friends and associates were killed in cold blood by Boko Haram.”
For the records, the late leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, once named me, Umaru Yar’Adua and some other leaders as targets. He boasted he would deal with all of us.”
I banned Boko Haram. I was the one who made a law that outlawed the group. The sect later changed its name. And in spite of our efforts, the group continued to wreak havoc.
The sect has become captive of political forces and [has been] used for settling political scores.
I have no association with any terrorists anywhere. I have never met the group. I cannot be a sponsor of a group I have not met before.
Today, there are ten thousand members of Boko Haram terrorizing our people. All my actions as governor was to guide my people right.
The fact that one of my commissioners, Buji Koi, was named as member of the group does not make me a member. It doesn’t make sense.
I leave the rest for Nigerians to judge whether it is a crime to do good to all men.
I will sue the Australian. I have instructed my lawyers to sue the faceless Australian.
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.”
According to reports, he acknowledged that he was recently invited by the State Security Service (SSS). But he emphasized that his dealings with the SSS had nothing to do with Boko Haram.