Australian Negotiator Insists Modu Sheriff, Ihejirika Sponsor B’Haram
Stephen Davis, an Australian hostage negotiator who spent some time in Nigeria trying to secure the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants in Chibok, Borno State, told SaharaReporters that he stands by his widely reported allegations that former Governor Modu Sherriff of Borno State and a former Chief of Army staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika (ret.), were among the top sponsors of the Islamist insurgents who have massacred thousands of Nigerians and foreigners and made the northeast part of Nigeria a highly militarized zone. In an extensive telephone interview with SaharaReporters yesterday, Dr. Davis also accused an unnamed senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as a man based in Cairo, Egypt whom he claimed operates as Boko Haram’s bagman. He said both men, in addition to Mr. Sheriff and former General Ihejirika, were major players in the funding and continued existence of the deadly Islamist sect. Dr. Davis told SaharaReporters that he did not want to name the CBN official as this may prejudice investigation by Nigeria’s security services. Both accused men have reacted furiously to Mr. Davis’ allegation, with the former Borno governor threatening to travel to Australia to sue his accuser while Mr. Ihejirika accused former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El Rufai, of being a “commander” of Boko Haram. Three days ago, Mr. El Rufai had posted transcripts and video of Mr. Davis’ accusations of the former governor and ex-Army chief on social media.