Former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff on Tuesday denied allegations that he has any ties with the arrested Boko Haram Commander, Shuaib Mohammed Bama.
The military Joint Task Force (JTF) had on Thursday announced the arrest of Mr Bama in Maiduguri, the Borno capital, describing him as “a high profile Boko Haram Commander who has been on the list of wanted terrorists operating between Bama and Maiduguri.”
The SSS had linked the arrested Boko Haram Commander to “a serving senator’s house along Damboa Road, GRA Maiduguri.”
The Senator, who was later identified as Ahmed Zanna, representing Borno Central Senatorial district, has denied the allegation that the Boko Haram member was arrested in his house saying although the suspect is his nephew; he was not arrested in his apartment.
He said the suspect was arrested in a house belonging to Mr Sheriff and that the former governor is scheming with security operatives to robe him in the saga in order to claim his seat in the senate.
However, in a swift response, Mr Sherriff’s party, the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), said: “it is laughable that instead of defending his obvious involvement with Boko Haram, given his past antecedence where people finger him as illegal importer of arms via his Hajj-by-road fame, Senator Zanna is desperately looking somebody to hang for his sins.
“It is common knowledge in Borno state that Senator Zanna takes along some hapless Nigerians on a seeming religious voyage by road only to put some of them into terrorist activity and illegal arms importation. Some of the so-called pilgrims by road have been traced to terrorists’ camps in Afghanistan and Syria, and not Saudi Arabia, their preferred destination. It is very much on record that 27 of such pilgrims are still missing up till date.
“Senator Zanna’s inconsistencies in trying to defend himself are clear indication of a sinking man’s desperate attempt to hang himself on anything available in order to save his neck. If not so, what would his nephew be doing in the so-called house of Senator Ali Sheriff, the man he said is his political rival?
“Contrary to his claims in the media that he had parted ways with the suspect, we can authoritatively confirm that his nephew, Shuaibu, was still his associate up to the time of his arrest.
“It is an act in futility for him to try to name Ali Sheriff as an accomplice in his nefarious activity with Boko Haram, knowing fully well that the wild allegations being levelled by him will never amount to an acquittal of his guilt.
“The one million dollar question is why has Senator Zanna never spoken against the atrocities being committed by Boko Haram, rather he has been calling for the declaration of state of emergency or the disbandment of the JTF which he knew are antithetical to the quest for peace.
“Again being the second senator fingered, as having links with Boko Haram, it is a confirmation of the wildly believed theory that the PDP in Borno state is the engine room behind Boko Haram.
“At his age and with the position he holds as a senator of the Federal Republic we felt it is the height of un-patrioticism and irresponsibility for Senator Ahmed Zanna to not only fuel the crisis in Borno, but to attempt to drag the names of descent citizens, like Ali Sheriff in the mud.
“We know that since his inauguration Senator Ahmed Zanna has never visited Borno nor his constituency even for once can afford to play politics with the serious issue at stake by sponsoring terrorism against his own people.
“On this note, we want to call on the relevant security authorities to fully investigate the incident and senator Zanna’s possible links with Boko Haram, and also his Hajj-by-road activities for which he was suspected to have used as a façade for the importation of arms and window for the training of terrorists.”
Below is a a clip of the press conference by Senator Zanna debunking ties with Boko Haram: