THE self-acclaimed chief spokesman of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, popularly known in media circles as Usman Al-Zawahiri, has been nabbed by the Department of State Security Service (SSS), just as he opened up on those backing the sect.
Fielding questions from newsmen at the SSS headquarters in Abuja, on Monday, Umar named former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, the late Ambassador Sheidu Pinda and serving Senator Ali Ndume, both of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the real brains behind the group in Borno State.
Umar, who spoke through an interpreter, explained that members of the group had a good working relationship with former Governor Sheriff, of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) until he fell out with the group after sacking a member of the group from his cabinet, a commissioner, who was later murdered.
According to him, “Usman Al-Zawahiri is not my real name; it was given to me to portray me as an extremist and as well to conceal my true identity. We were political thugs to former Governor Sheriff until the relationship went sour. We switched over to the late Ambassador Pinda, who promised me N10 million to work for his political party, the PDP, in Borno State during the last elections.
“Unfortunately, Ambassador Pinda died on his way to make the part payment of N5million and Senator Ali Ndume took over from where the late ambassador stopped.”
Umar, who described himself as a student under the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, claimed that Senator Ndume “scripted and relayed” to him all threat text messages he sent to prominent Nigerians.
Those prominent Nigerians, according to him, included former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Justice Sabo Adamu and other judges of the Election Petitions Tribunal in Borno State; Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa State; Babangida Aliyu of Niger State; Ambassador Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, Director-General of President Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation and Senator Sanusi Dagash, former Works and Housing Minister, among others.
He said that the threat messages were being sent to former President Olusegun Obasanjo based on the belief that he had sympathy for the former and present governors of Borno State, while same messages were sent to Senator Dagash when it became clear to them that he was allegedly going to sabotage the electoral victory of the PDP in Borno State despite the fact that he was a member of the party.
He revealed that the text messages of the group, which forced the Borno State Election Petitions Tribunal to be relocated from Maiduguri to Abuja as well as those sent to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, were meant to compel him (AGF) to influence the judgment of the tribunal against the government in Borno State.
He said that the same Senator Ndume, who was a member of the Presidential Committee on the Security in the North-East, promised to supply the telephone numbers of the members of the security committee to the group for necessary action before he was eventually picked up by security operatives.
When questioned about the grievances of the group, Mallam Umar hinged them on what he described as “failed promises and lack of political will on the part of the government to fulfill its numerous promises.”
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These terrorists known as Boko Haram members caught must be charged to Fire Armed Tribunal for murders they have committed and they must face firing square as well. They should be in prison custody for long because of our security laspes.
Hell has no fury for my judgement on these guys.
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