A Nigerian Boko Haram negotiator yetserday claimed that former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff and former Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika could not have been Boko Haram sponsors as alleged by Australian negotiator, Dr Stephen Davis, as the two men were actually sworn enemies of the Islamist group.
The negotiator, who pleaded anonymity for security reasons, told Vanguard that none of the two persons accused are actually sponsors of the sect.
The source, who has been assisting the government in finding a lasting solution to the insurgency in the North-east, pointed out that Sheriff was even one of the three most wanted enemies of the sect, although he did not say who the other two were.
“The statement credited to advise that Sherriff and Ihejirika are sponsors of Boko Haram is far from the truth because, as at today, the former Borno governor remains one of the three worst enemies of Boko Haram,” he stated.
“I can tell you that the group has not forgiven Sheriff over the killing of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who was arrested and killed during his tenure as governor.”
The negotiator also confirmed the claim by Davis that he was not hired by the Nigerian government to broker peace with the sect, saying that the Australian came on his own to secure the release of the Chibok girls.
He however said that Davis never met the real commanders of Boko Haram when he came to Nigeria, but only depended on information from a member of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Amnesty for information on the activities of the sect.
He blamed what is now playing out on the issue of Boko Haram sponsorship on the information given to Davis by the member of the presidential committee.
“We can say with all amount of seriousness that Davis did not meet the leadership and main commanders of Boko Haram during his visit to the North-east.
“If Davis insists that he met with any senior commander or leader of the sect, we challenge him to mention their names and ranks,” he said.