- Insists he won’t step down from office
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, yesterday shed light on the controversial issue of his alleged funding of the Boko Haram sect, saying he is a victim of political mischief and bad blood.
Responding to a question during an interactive session with journalists at the PDP national secretariat after the former Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus handed over to him, Senator Sheriff said, contrary to the speculations, members of Boko Haram insurgents marked him for elimination for thwarting their plans to Islamise the entire country.
He said he was the governor of Borno state when the Boko Haram erupted and contributed in great measure with others to put the sect in check within five days.
He explained that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua ordered the military and the police to ensure the Boko Haram insurgency did not escalate and because of the support he gave to ensure that the group was curtailed, he got into their bad books.
Senator Modu Sheriff emphasised that the allegations that he was sponsor of Boko Haram were borne out of mischief for political reasons as he is a major victim of the violent sect.
“One of the first victims of Boko Haram is my blood brother. They killed my chairman and they (Boko Haram) said on BBC that they will kill me because I stopped them from Islamising Nigeria.
“Why should I sponsor people that killed my own brother?” he said.
While describing them as “criminals”, Modu Sheriff further explained that he does not share anything in common with Boko Haram members, especially their lifestyle and stressed that these are a group of people that eat only once a day and sleep in the bush.
“I like to enjoy myself with my friends all over the world and cannot be Boko Haram.”
He also added that, contrary to allegations being peddled around by his detractors, no security agency or people “in position of authority that knows the truth have ever linked me to Boko Haram.”
He also declared that, if indeed he is a member or supporter of Boko Haram, how come none of the members of the sect that have gone through trial in court ever linked him to the group.
Modu Sheriff declared that, after the Australian linked him to Boko Haram two years ago; shortly after he dumped the APC, he wrote to the Australian Embassy to request for details of the man where it was revealed that the man is of no known address.
He said the Australian was employed to do a hatchet job and even all those that posed in a picture with him that claimed to be Boko Haram members were later arrested by security agents.
He also hinted that he will no longer fold his hands and watch people like Chief Femi Fani-kayode label him a Boko Haram member.
“People like Femi Fani-kayode will not go scot free this time around.”
On the call for his resignation, Modu Sheriff declared that he will not resign as demanded by a group of aggrieved party members called PDP Rescue Group.
The group led by one of the chairmanship candidates, Ambassador Wilberforce Juta had on Sunday demanded for the resignation of Modu Sheriff on the ground that his appointment did not follow due process.
He maintained that Ambassador Juta lacks moral ground to ask for his resignation since he (Juta) was one of the candidates that contested for the same position.
According to him, Juta like other candidates presented himself for screening before the leaders of PDP and scores were allocated to all the candidates based on their performance.
“I will not resign, the legitimate leadership of the party appointed me.
“The person that said I should resign got one vote and he said I should resign.
“I have no plans to resign. I will not resign, I will reposition the party which is the assignment the party gave me,” he asserted.
Speaking on his agenda for PDP, Modu Sheriff said he was given an assignment to rebuild the party and this will entail his reaching out to all the aggrieved members of the party, including founding members that defected to other parties.
He said he has no regret leaving the APC and gave assurance that the strategy they employed when he was in APC to dislodge PDP will now be used to upstage APC in subsequent elections.