By Ademola Olatubosun
Finally, the chickens have come home to roost, over the true identity of the man called Senator Modu Ali Sheriff, aka SAS. In spite of his repeated denials, the weighty allegations against him as the evil mastermind behind the establishment of the dreaded Boko Haram extremist sect, his funding and tacit support of their atrocities have all come to light. The final Report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Security Challenges in the North-East under the Ambassador Gaji Galtimaru affirmed this. That was in September 2011. Subsequently, in 2012 the media was awash with the arrest of a member of the sect in Sheriff’s house in Maiduguri.
Besides, his ignoble role as a master mole in the chess game of politicking for self aggrandizement is obvious as well. His traits as a traitor are indeed legendary. Firstly, he was the man who worked hand-in-glove with the late dictator, Sani Abacha in his overt and brazen bid to prevent the democratic dream from seeing the light of day. Yet, he later benefitted as a state governor. And even though he then belonged to APP he worked underground for the ruling party, the PDP while Chief Olusegun Obasanjo held sway as the president.
In his bid for political relevance, he joined the All Progressives Congress, APC with the sole aim to control its political affairs. Soon after, he attempted to seize the political machinery from the incumbent governor of Borno state, Alhaji Kashim Shettima but failed. But when it became obvious that he could not turn the main opposition party into his instrument for unleashing more bloodshed on innocent Nigerians he started a campaign of calumny against the top hierarchy of the APC, beginning with the highly esteemed person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Having had a shouting match with the latter, he accused Tinubu of denying him the major role of shaping up the party in preparedness for the 2015 general elections. In fact he accused Tinubu of hijacking the party for his personal and selfish interests. He also accused Buhari as a” coward, weak and whimpish general who has no stomach to challenge Tinubu’s excesses.” Unknown to him however, Tinubu has been hailed and globally as the leading light in the consistent struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria as well as its sustenance so far.
Not done, he attempted to link the APC with the funding of the Boko Haram sect. He alleged that the money stolen by members of the sect was deposited into APC accounts, which the former CBN Governor and new Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi Lamido laundered for the purchase of arms and ammunition in the international market that supplies that of al-Qaeda in Somalia, Algeria and Kenya. But only the PDP, in its desperation to capture political power through the back door using the tool of impeachment would believe that white lie.
Currently, his planned defection to the Peoples Democratic Party has exacerbated fears that it might ignite a combustible political crisis in the state. The belief in some quarters is that with Sheriff’s defection alongside some members of the State House of Assembly, the legislators will commence impeachment proceedings on Governor Kashim Shettima. Already, the former governor has three members of the House of Representatives, AbdulRahman Terab, Peter Biye and Lawan Isa, who are set to move with him to the new party.
To political observers, the recent permission given by the presidency to the former governor to land at the Maiduguri International Airport, gives an inkling to the extent the PDP bull dozing machinery will go to empower the ex-governor to upturn the political carte in the state.Though the feeling is that with what happened in Adamawa State where the governor was recently removed and in Nasarawa, where the governor has been served with notice of impeachment, many believe Borno may be in the radar of the President and the PDP for a similar treatment. But this is likely to fail.
According to a top aide to Shettima, “The issue of impeachment doesn’t arise in Borno State. The issue will only be a distraction and the governor is focused on delivering on his promises to the people of Borno State.” He added, “Of course, you know that unlike what obtained in Adamawa, a PDP lawmaker in Borno State defected to APC. The State chairman was from the State Assembly, all of these confirm the level of cohesion between the two arms, and it will be difficult to change this.”
With all of this, it should be obvious to peace-loving Nigerians that the PDP-led government does not mean well for them. It angles to capture power for power’s sake. If it was serious in fighting the menace it should have arrested Ali Modu Sheriff years back. As highlighted by Dr. Peregrino Brimah in an online medium News24 Nigeria on 15th January, 2014,“It is public knowledge that the politicians of Borno invented ECOMOG, an armed civilian hooligan force, which was used for political intimidation during Ali Modu Sheriff’s battle to edge out Governor Mala Kachallah from the Government House.”
Furthermore, he reiterated that “it is an insult and vituperation to the nation and gravid misconduct of the authorities of Nigeria, that the sponsors and inventors of terror remain lose and above the law, while our youth and army who we portray as dispensable and disposable, die to clear up the mess.”
The PDP should therefore, not be allowed to foist a fascist government on us all as Asiwaju Tinubu has rightly warned in a recent media chart. To analytical minds, the federal government has benefitted the most from the Boko Haram insurgency, in financial terms going by the huge sums voted to foil it to no avail.
For the APC, the defection of Sheriff to PDP is good riddance to bad rubbish. Indeed, according to a pro-President Jonathan group, Bayelsans Advocay and Defence Roundtable, Sheriff’s move amounts not only to the biggest joke in the life of the PDP but” the most unintelligent political step to take in an election year that will be dominated by debates concerning Boko Haram.” That is PDP’cup of tea.
But in our collective interest, it is high time we raised our voices and say “no” to the PDP that tolerates and embraces impunity as symbolized by its romance with a villain, a traitor and a mole such as Modu Sheriff. We should also say “no” to the PDP that poaches for political power only to turn around to use it to oppress the citizenry.