The newly appointed Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff has denied having any involvement with Boko Haram. Speaking in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, the opposition party Chair and a founding member of the leading All Progressives Congress (APC) party believes that the wave of criticism against his appointment is a calculated mischief by his enemies to assassinate his character. He said his critics are fabricating lies against him to score political points. “Throughout my period in APC nobody said I was Boko Haram. Immediately I left the APC, I was termed Boko Haram,” Sheriff said.
When asked why the masses believe he is a Boko Haram supporter, Sheriff denied any involvement and stated that he would have been arrested if the allegation had any merit. He said his enemies are propagating lies against him. He said:
“I have never seen anybody in my life that was connected to Boko Haram apart from their leader who was arrested by the military then. The military invited me to see him for the first time in their barracks. If for any reason I had any connection with Boko Haram, I would have been arrested. I am not above the law but you know media is a very strong institution; if your enemy or the people who are afraid of you go to the media and put a false report, the author will write based on information that was given to them by people who believe that unless they dent your image, they will not get what they want politically. Otherwise, there is no way I could be linked to Boko Haram because by my disposition, my background and where I come from, I have nothing to do with Boko Haram.”
Sheriff said Boko Haram group sees him as their enemy. “Nobody in my family or relation is Boko Haram or close to any Boko Haram member. These people that wanted to kill me? Up till today, if they have the chance they will kill me” he said.
“They succeeded in killing three people when I was the governor and, do you know who those three people are? One of them was my blood brother, same father and same mother; second one that they killed was the gubernatorial candidate of my political party; third one was Chairman of my party who was also my first cousin.”
When asked how he plans to rebuild the party, he said, “I have the capacity to rebuild it or not, but I tell you very clearly, PDP will be rebuilt, will be reunited, PDP will come together. I formed a party from the scratch that won elections all over Nigeria.”
“I won election to the senate and 80 per cent of those that won election at that time were from UNCP and I, by the grace of God with few other leaders like Jerry Useni who is still alive, Issah Mohammed, built it together and it won elections all over Nigeria. So, I have the capacity to rebuild PDP.”
Sheriff said he is committed to bringing the party back to limelight. “PDP is a deep rooted political party in Nigeria but it was unfortunate that few people destroyed the party. Why they did it, only they know but we will rebuild PDP and put that all behind us and bring the party back to life.”