President Goodluck Jonathan is aware of the link between former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff and the terror group, Boko Haram, a video obtained by a Nigeria based online medium, has shown.
The clip, shot in April 2013 when Ali Modu Sheriff was still a member of the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), shows the president describing the ex governor as a ‘friend’ of the founder of Boko Haram, Yusuf Mohammed.
Yusuf Mohamme died in police cell in 2009 after he and many of his follers were arrested during a violent clash between his group and law enforcement agents.
In his speech to a cross-section of Borno State’s elders, Jonathan explained that the militarization of the region began after the crises that trailed the murder of the Boko Haram founder.
For a moment, the president could not remember the name of the slain Boko Haram leader and he called on the audience for help.
“Ehn ehn, what is the name of ehn ehn Governor Sheriff’s friend?” the president asked. The audience clapped and laughed. Some echoed Yusuf!
“When Yusuf was killed, that was the beginning of the crisis…” the president continued his speech.
Mr. Yusuf was the founder of the Boko Haram sect. His extrajudicial murder in 2009 marked the beginning of the deadly insurgency that is now threatening the entire northeast region of Nigeria.
The president had since the defection of Ali Modu Sheriff to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) established a cordial relationship with him. It was alleged that Jonathan took Sheriff with on a visit to the Chadian president, Idriss Deby, a week after the SSS said he was under investigation for sponsoring Boko Haram. Both the president and Sheriff denied this, claiming that Sheriff was invited to Chad by Deby.
Read the transcript of the video below…
… Bunkers in Maiduguri or Borno state. Why should the bunkers come? Who wants to send bunkers to Borno state. There are too many APCs (armoured personnel carriers). Why should there be APCs in Borno state? Who wants to send APcs to Borno state? We are talking about soldiers.
There are some people even saying JTF should go. Who wants to spend money paying allowances of soldiers for God-sake. We need money for development.
If the circumstances that brought the soldiers are no longer there, that day, they will all leave. [Audience clap clap clap]
They were not in Borno state in 2001, 2002, 2003, up to 2009. Probably that is when ehnn this man was killed, and that was the beginning of crises.
Ehn ehn, what is the name of ehn ehn governor Sheriff’s friend? [Audience clapped, laughed and echoed Yusuf].
When Yusuf was killed, that was the beginning of the crisis…