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Nigeria: Group wants ex-governor arrested over Boko Haram links

By Konye Obaji Ori
Posted on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 12:29

A group known as Borno Patriots has been set up to campaign for Sheriff’s arrest following claims that he played a role in the formation of the terror group.

We can no longer allow [Sheriff] to dance on the graves of Boko Haram victims

“The former governor [Sheriff] will not allow the military to end the insurgency as he will continue to sabotage such move,” a joint statement by Borno Patriots’ chairman, Ibrahim Modu, and secretary, Samuel Mshelizza, read.

“If he is not arrested within seven days, we shall lead a mass protest of all members in the north east and widows of soldiers to shut down the northeast.”

The campaign against Sheriff intensified after he took part in negotiations to release an arms-filled Russian cargo plane.

The plane was seized at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano state after it was suspected to be carrying weapons intended for Boko Haram.

However, Sheriff has denied the allegations that he has a link with the arms-filled plane.

Allegations that Sheriff had connections with Boko Haram surfaced in 2003, when, according to reports, he courted the terror group during his campaign for the post of governor of Borno State.

Sheriff allegedly courted Boko Haram for the mass appeal that they had in Borno and Yobe states, and for the militant, strong-arm tactics that the Islamists had to offer him to defend his influence.

Boko Haram in return received resources to buy weapons and were promised that a strict sharia law would be enforced in the state.

Sheriff eventually implemented sharia in Borno state after he came to power in 2003. But Boko Haram felt that it didn’t go far enough.

Kabiru Sokoto who became known as the Christmas Day bomber in 2011 was arrested at the official lodge of the governor of Borno State.

An Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis who participated in negotiations to release the kidnapped Chibok girls has also linked Sheriff to Boko Haram in his post negotiations report.

The Borno Patriots group is convinced Sheriff is part of the terrorist group.

“We can no longer allow [Sheriff] to dance on the graves of Boko Haram victims and add salt to the injury of grieving mothers,” Borno Patriots added.

Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands of Nigerians in its campaign to turn the country into an Islamist state.