Maiduguri Blast: Ex-Governor's Campaign Office Denies Accusing Borno Govt
SAN FRANCISCO, January 21, (THEWILL) - The controversy generated by the recent Maiduguri suicide bombing in Borno State is not yet over.
On Tuesday, Bako Buba Kolo, the chairman of the campaign organisation of the former state governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, denied issuing any statement alleging that the agents of the state government masterminded the blast.
He had allegedly accused the agents of the state government of sponsoring the attack which claimed over 43 lives, saying the suicide bombing was meant to blackmail the former governor.
But speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Kolo said he did not issue any statement on the incident,alleging that the statement was planted by a serving commissioner in the state whom he did not name.
Kolo, who pleaded that his name should not be dragged into the face-off between the ex- governor and Governor Kashim Shettima, said it was sad that his name was used without his express approval as a signatory to the said statement.
'I chose to address the press today (Tuesday) to clear my name off the statement that was issued in my name and sent to journalists which said it was Borno State Government officials that planted the Tuesday bomb.
"I knew nothing about the statement, even though I have been with former Governor Sheriff for over 12 years as the coordinator of the youth wing of his campaign organisation.
" He is our leader, which is not disputable, but for somebody to drop my name and pitch me against our governor is something I cannot accept.
'I am a loyal member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and obedient to its leadership, so I should not be dragged into any controversy," he stated.
Kolo also denied being coerced to make the denial, saying 'I have no fear of anyone at all; because my conscience is clear.
' On the lingering conflict between the Modu Sherrif and Shettima, Kolo said 'though politics is a matter of one expressing his feeling and interest, I hope that our leaders wouid be able to sort out what ever differences they had so that our party would forge ahead as one family.
' He had allegedly said in the statement that the suicide bombing was not the handiwork of Boko Haram but agent of government out to discredit Senator Modu Sheriff.
Kolo was also said to have argued that the suicide attack was a calculated attempt to stop Sheriff at all cost and that "the Boko Haram incident was used as an alibi for some people to perpetrate mayhem and distract the attention of the security operatives.
" In the statement, Kolo had allegedly said: "We consider it even childish that highly placed government officials can condescend so low as to instigate thugs against their leaders.
" It is a pity that upon all the good things Sheriff did for Borno State; his reward has been to instigate public anger against him and attempt to link him with terrorist activities.