by Isi Esene
The National Leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Muhammadu Buhari, has denied any link with members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
Buhari was chosen by the sect to lead a team of “trusted” Nigerians to serve as mediators between the group and the federal government in a ceasefire offer released last Thursday.
During the CPC’s Board of Trustees meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, the former military president reacted to insinuations in certain quarters that he is linked with the sect saying, “I do not know any member of the Boko Haram sect. I do not believe and I do not know of any religion that will go and kill people, burn schools.”
“There was a stage where I mentioned that I agreed with one intellectual where he said there are three Boko Haram, one of Muhammed Yusuf, whom we know.
“A leader of the military then in Maiduguri then did what we know in the military about internal security. They looked for Yusuf, they handed him over to the police; healthy young man and he died under a very dubious account in the police custody.
“The second Boko Haram was a criminal attacking banks and market places stealing money. They issued a statement that they are Boko Haram, and I said and I have no regret saying it, that the biggest Boko Haram is the Federal Government itself, because it has all the powers to stop anarchy in the country.
“Now the social part of the country has been paralyzed, economic activities have stopped. People are no longer thinking of employment, they are thinking of what to eat and how to go about the following day.”
Buhari spoke about the BOT meeting agenda and his party’s strategy to dislodge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party from government in the next general elections.
He reportedly said, “Among the things discussed is the matter of merger which has occupied the minds of most Nigerians. The only realistic way of consolidating the multi-party democracy system is for opposition parties to come together and fight the ruling party Peoples Democratic Party.”