Leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) Alhaji Dokubo-Asari yesterday accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of conniving with Boko Haram peace Negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davies to name Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and Senator Ali Sheriff as sponsors of the deadly sect in order to embarrass President Goodluck Jonathan.
Asari who recalled his personal relationship with the Australian negotiator stated that it was so “shameful” that Davies could compromise his revered position as a principled man to score some “cheap” points.
Speaking to Vanguard in Abuja, Asari who was also the former President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) said it was laughable that the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ihejirika, who was accused of genocide by some northern elements would be named a sponsor of Boko Haram.
“I know Stephen Davies. I meet him in 2004 when he came to my camp with Van Kemedy and told us that he had the mandate of the European Union, the British Government, the Church of England and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo to negotiate with us to come out of our camps and meet with the government.
“I was sceptical but after all there ought to be peace. So, I gave it a chance until Timi Alaibe and others also came. We negotiated and we came out. I was brought to Abuja with some of our men and we met with Obasanjo. Thereafter, we had a very robust relationship: His daughters, other family members, friends. He was very good to me but he was Obasanjo’s friend.
“Lately when I started reading about a Federal government negotiator and Steve Davies name popped up, I was wandering. Steve Davies, a christain with Boko Haram? How possible? Until he came out with his report and I found out that the report made nonsense of all the respect and high regards I have for him. This is the man who says that opposition was sponsoring Boko Haram. That was the main theme of the report; that President Goodluck Jonathan was not acting to bring these opposition elements who are sponsoring Boko Haram.
“But all of a sudden, he made a complete somersault. He never named any member of the opposition. The first person he called was Gen. Ihejirika. This is laughable. It is common sensical to ask: was he “high” or something when he said because any right thinking person, if it is not that so many of these people are made and sick in Nigeria who parade themselves as intellectuals with all prefixes and suffixes behind their names, it is so appalling. When did Ihejirika start sponsoring Boko Haram? Was it in 2002 when the group made an Ijira to Yobe, when they had confrontation with members of the Nigerian Police or was it in 2009 when the leader of the group, Mohammed Yusuf was extra-judicially murdered on the orders of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, which they said Ali Modu Sheriff was misdirected the government for him to be killed?
“What if Stephen Davies had named the President as a sponsor, what would have happened? So, innocent people should just be sacrificed? No. It is not right. The President should be able to discern when this is political.
“Steven Davies is Obasajo’s friend. Obasanjo’s agenda is to kick out Jonathan from Aso Rock. Obasanjo masterminded it. I am 100% sure. Steven Davies is Obasanjo’s friend. Obasanjo brought him to Nigeria. Obasanjo would have told him there is somebody in Central Bank who is sponsoring Boko Haram. Steven Davies did not name that but it was easy to name Ihejirika and Sheriff. When did Ihejirika start sponsoring Boko Haram? Was it at time that Ihejirika who was nobody, who was in the Engineering Corps of the Nigerian Army was sponsoring Boko Haram? For what purpose? Who gave him the money to sponsor Boko Haram? Or was it when he became Chief of Army Staff when some northern elites have been campaigning going to ICC, calling for trial of this man for committing genocide? And Shehu Sani and El-rufia who have been at the top? When did Ihejirika transmute? It is terrible.
“I am so disappointed. I will not deny that I know him, he was good to me. But I think this is the worst period of his life. Whatever had happened for him to compromise his position so brazenly, it will end his career in big disgrace.
“Why was it easy to name Sheriff and Ihejirika but was difficult to name the man at CBN? Steve Davies should be ashamed of himself that he would be so cheaply used by Obasanjo and thinks that he can score a point. I am so ashamed of him. Their agenda is to continue to embarrass Jonathan with their friends in the international scene.
“Also, reacting on the involvement of former Governor of Borno State, Sen. Ali Sheriff, the Niger-Delta Activist said that as a muslim, it was possible that Sheriff may have had an encounter with some members of the group in the beginning and later opted out when it became obvious that their activities were weird.He tongue-lashed the All Progressive Congress, APC, for making the alleged involvement of Sheriff a priority, saying that their interest on crucifying him was prompted by his exit from APC.
“For Modu Sherrif, it is very simply. If he was had a relationship with the group at the beginning, it was possible. Somebody can be affiliated to a group. I was the President of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC. But now I am no longer a member because I am more than the constitutionally prescribed age to be a member of IYC. If it takes a decision today, is it binding on me?
“Yes, in an Islamic Group, you can pray together with people. You can like their preaching, purity of Islam. They said they are Salafins. They want to purify, restore Islam to its pristine condition and everybody will be attracted to it. But when they start to do certain action that becomes contradictory to one’s belief, he is free to say I can’t associate with you any longer. He can move on.
“When did APC realize it? They have been hyping it. He was chairman, BoT of APC until about 3 months ago. All along they didn’t realize he was a Boko Haram sponsor. If he didn’t go back to the PDP, he would still have remained a non-sponsor of Boko Haram”, he posited. [Vanguard]