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SSS INVITATION: I'M NOT ON THE RUN -NPLF SCRIBE

By NBF News
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Secretary of the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF), Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim has described as untrue, newspapers reports that he was being hounded by the State Security Service over an alleged participation in a meeting where it was alleged that an idea to poison President Goodluck Jonathan was mooted.

Reacting through a statement personally signed by him, the NPLF scribe also maintained that there was no iota of truth in the insinuation that he was on the run asserting that up till the time of issuing this statement, he had not received any invitation from the SSS and as such, no cause to be on the run.

The statement reads:
'My attention has been drawn to various newspaper reports that I am being hounded by the department of state security for allegedly participating in a meeting at which it was allegedly claimed that an idea was mooted to poison President Goodluck Jonathan. There were other reports which claimed that I have gone underground to avoid arrest.

'When I first read the report in a national daily (not Daily Sun) of Friday, March 8, I decided to let it ride because I was not sure if the paper had, somehow, obtained the information from the department of state security ahead of me and did not, therefore, want to rush to counter the report only to be picked up by the SSS later in the day. Since then, I have waited for a call from the SSS but, up until the time of issuing this statement, no such call came through.

'While it is true that my colleagues, Bello Abdulkadir and Farouk Bibi-Farouk have been invited and questioned by the SSS on Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7 respectively and subsequently released, I wish to state unequivocally that I have neither received any invitation from the SSS nor gone underground to avoid arrest.

'More importantly, neither Bello Abdulkadir and Farouk Bibi-Farouk nor myself were party to any meeting at which the poisoning of President Jonathan or anyone for that matter was mooted. The insinuation that people like us could be party to such a diabolical plot is, to say the least, comical and absurd.

'When the news of the arrest of Bello Abdulkadir came to my attention, I placed several calls to his cellphone. If the SSS was interested in speaking with me, those operatives would have answered the call and invited me or called me the way they called him when they invited him for interrogation.'

Alternatively, they could have dropped an invitation either at my office or at my private residence and I would surely have honoured it. When they called Farouk and invited him, he sent an SMS to me informing me of his invitation and when he did not return after a while, I issued a statement to the media condemning the detention of my colleagues.

'All this while I have, in the normal course of my business moved in and out of my office and private residence in Abuja freely. I spoke to both Bello and Farouk after their release. Both have mentioned to me that my name never came up during the course of their interrogation at the headquarters of the SSS. I am concerned that a number of publications and commentators have repeated the obviously inaccurate report that I am being hounded by the SSS and have, therefore, gone underground to avoid arrest.

'This morning, I have read one such report in my friend, Sam Nda-Isaiah's column online. I have received hundreds of inquiries from friends and other concerned Nigerians who care about my wellbeing. I wish to assure all and sundry that I am currently on a business trip outside the country and will be returning on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 by KLM at 8 PM. I'm not being pursued by the SSS or anyone else and I have certainly not gone underground.'