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EXCLUSIVE: Boko Haram ‘funded through CBN’

EXCLUSIVE: Boko Haram ‘funded through CBN’
August 31
11:55 2014
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TheCable: Can you share with us your experience with Boko Haram leaders?

Davis: Let me take you back a bit. I specialise in negotiation. It may interest you to know that I have been involved in peace negotiations in Nigeria since 2004 when President Olusegun Obasanjo invited me to intervene in the Niger Delta crisis. With a local Nigerian colleague, I spoke with Asari Dokubo and took him to Obasanjo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Because Asari is a Muslim, the Muslim boys in the north heard about me and warmed up to me. I did a report in 2005 on the threat of extremism among young northern Muslims. Obasanjo’s security chiefs dismissed the report with a wave of the hand. They said no such thing existed.

In 2007, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who desired to end the militancy in the Niger Delta, invited me and made me presidential envoy. I toured all the northern states. I went to the country’s borders. I came back with a report that there were some budding sects in the north. The national security adviser (NSA) at the time, Gen. Sarki Mukhtar, dismissed the report. He said they didn’t exist. A succession of NSAs dismissed all these reports and allowed the groups to flourish. By the time President Goodluck Jonathan came to power in 2011, these groups had spread all over the north. They had cells and commanders in 16 out of the 19 northern states.

President Jonathan called me and sought my opinion on the best way to tackle the militancy and bring it to an end. I knew many of the leaders. I spoke with them. They trusted me. They initially wanted to kill me. They thought I was an American but I told them I was not. They also thought I was British but I said I was not. I told them I was an Australian. They relaxed. I don’t know why but they became more accommodating. They became friendly and, gradually, we built the trust. They started feeling free with me. I don’t call them Boko Haram. I call them JAS. People call them Boko Haram. They don’t call themselves Boko Haram.

TheCable: What deal were you seeking under Jonathan’s mandate?

Davis: The president wanted peace. He asked me to discuss with them so that we could arrive at the terms of peace. They came up with some terms that were acceptable and others that were not acceptable.

TheCable: What were those terms?

Davis: They wanted training for the widows of their deceased fighters. They asked the government to give these women cottage training. They, ironically, wanted education for the children of their deceased members. That is why I don’t call them Boko Haram (“Western education is a taboo”). They asked that the children be sent to school. They also wanted the government to rebuild villages that were destroyed by the security agencies. They asked for amnesty as well.

TheCable: What terms were unacceptable?

Davis: The president said he would not grant amnesty in the sense that they meant it. He said those who surrendered their arms would not be prosecuted, but those who continued to commit more crimes would face the law and would be charged with treason. They also wanted women and children who were being held in custody to be released. Their leaders that I spoke with were ready to accept the conditions. But the NSA then, Gen. Owoye Azazi, went vehemently against it. He said there should be no negotiation with terrorists. He completely turned the military against the peace deal I was working on, even though we were very close to bringing an end to the insurgency the same way we did it in the Niger Delta. The military then refused to back the deal. They succeeded in convincing the president not to accept it. I could understand where they were coming from: the security budget was like $6 billion and any peace deal would seriously reduce their budget.

TheCable: How did you become involved in the negotiation for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls?

Davis: Because I had built trust among the militants, I made calls to them when I heard about the abductions. They confirmed to me that the girls were with them. I came to Nigeria in late April (the girls were abducted on April 14). I told the president I would try to intervene and help get the girls out. He said he would give me the needed support if I wanted. However, what I discovered was that thrice we tried to get the girls released, and thrice my efforts were sabotaged. That was when I now realised that some politicians were also involved in the insurgency. There were the remnants of those involved in the former peace deal as well as a political arm and what I call the ritual arm which specialises in butchering human beings.

While I was making efforts to get the girls released, the political backers of the group threatened that if I got 30 or 40 girls out, the militants would kidnap another 60 to replace them. I became very frustrated. They threatened that any commander of the group who agreed to participate in any dialogue would be slaughtered by other commanders. The political sponsors are very powerful because they supply the finances and the arms. Until they are cut off from the group, those girls will not be released. We are talking about 200 Chibok schoolgirls, but there are over 300 other girls that have been kidnapped. There are many young men that they also kidnapped and turned them against their families. They asked them to go and slaughter their family members and they are doing it. Nobody is talking about those ones. They are the new child soldiers.

TheCable: How can we get these girls released?

Davis: The first thing is to stop the bagman who supplies weapons and military uniforms. We know his name, location and associates. If the man is stopped, the slaughterers, the ritual arm of the group, would be demobilised. The girls can be released afterwards. This man controls these ritualists.

TheCable: Was there really any deal to release the girls?

Davis: Yes, there was. Some commanders of the group told me that they would first release 100 of the girls and that would be the first step towards dialogue. They needed a guarantee from President Jonathan that they would not be arrested or prosecuted if they showed up for dialogue. They agreed with me that if they did that and no one was arrested, then they would return to the camps to release the rest of the girls.

TheCable: In all your discussions, did they name their sponsors?

Davis: They named the man who lives in Cairo. He is of the Kanuri tribe. He passes arms, ammunition and uniforms to them. The CBN official who handles the funding (name withheld by TheCable for legal reasons) is an uncle to three of those arrested in connection with the Nyanya bombings. The three boys lived with him. They were arrested by the SSS (Department of State Security) after the bombings but they are yet to be interrogated about their uncle. The official still works with the CBN. He is still there. He works in currency operations. He knows how to handle the transaction in a way that it can never be traced. Western countries are frustrated that they cannot trace the funding. How can they when it is passed on legally, through the gatekeeper, through the CBN?

Also, a senior official of CBN, who recently left the bank, was very close to Sodiq Aminu Ogwuche, the mastermind of the Nyanya bombings who also schooled in Sudan. Ogwuche’s wife used to visit this official in his office at the headquarters in Abuja before the bombings. They were very close. Don’t forget that the CBN official who handles the transactions also used to report to his superior, the official who recently left the bank. Also, there is a politician who was supplying operational vehicles for the suicide bombers. He gave them Hilux vans. He is a prominent politician. If the president goes after these guys, they will say it is political. That is part of the problem. Everybody will say the president is going after his political opponents, especially as there is a general election next year.

The militants also named the former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff. In 2003 and 2007, Sheriff was very close to them. He used them for his elections. They worked for him. However, in 2007, the leader of the group, Muhammed Yusuf, collected money from Sheriff in return for support. Yusuf’s mentor, Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, exposed and criticised him for collecting money from Sheriff, and Yusuf ordered his killing in April 2007. But eventually, Yusuf and Sheriff fell out. However, it is acknowledged that Sheriff was and is a major financier of the group. He pays for young men to go for lesser hajj. From there they are recruited into the group. They interact freely with the Al-Shabbab militants from Somalia. They are trained by Al-Shabbab. Some of them go to Mali for training. These guys are in touch with the ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which now simply calls itself Islamic State and controls parts of Iraq). They are deadly. They share the same philosophy.

The militant commanders I spoke with also named a former army chief as one of their sponsors. You have senior military officers who are benefiting from the insurgency because of the security budget. It pays them to keep the insurgency going so that they can continue to make money. I asked them several times who the army chief was and they told me it is… (name withheld by TheCable for legal reasons).

Editor’s Note: In the second part of this interview, Dr. Stephen Davis opens up on why the Nigerian military is unlikely to win the war against Boko Haram and why it is particularly difficult to tackle the militants in the deserts of north-eastern Nigeria.

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50 Comments

  1. The Cat
    The Cat August 30, 13:19

    What Davis is telling Nigerians have been reported by the local Media and he is not making any meaningful sense at all. At least our securities agencies might have some challenges but they sure know what they are doing. When they claimed Shekau was dead nobody believed them but the Almighty America has come out to corroborate that indeed he was killed

    Reply to this comment
  2. Diskat
    Diskat August 30, 13:47

    I concur that MR Davies confessions are what we already know

    Reply to this comment
  3. sk
    sk August 30, 14:49

    I take the content of this interview with a pinch of salt. The flow of the English does not sound oyinboyish at all. There are lot sentiments and African coloration to the content of the interview. There a lot of unprofessional statements like ‘ If the president goes after these guys, they will say it is political. That is part of the problem. Everybody will say the president is going after his political opponents, especially as there is a general election next year’. Let Thecable give us a video clip of the interview. That will be more convincing!

    Reply to this comment
    • Ibrahim
      Ibrahim August 30, 17:51

      In truth, you are on point, sk.

      Reply to this comment
    • Ibrahim
      Ibrahim August 30, 17:58

      In truth you say the truth, sk. I won’t be surprised if Mr Davis tomorrow of parts of his statements being stretched.

      Reply to this comment
    • AZ
      AZ September 01, 06:40

      Any sane person will equally receive this info the way you have. However, even with a video clip, this interview makes no sense. It is only a smokescreen meant to divert attention and whip ip sentiments. i

      There is no way BH would name their genuine and real sponsors. They are more intelligent, more strategic, more organized and more determined to do so. We know the real sponsors of BH, and BH will never name them.

      Reply to this comment
    • l4lukman
      l4lukman September 01, 12:10

      you can watch the video clip on Arise tv.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Akpan
    Akpan August 30, 14:51

    It is good to get a reliable confirmation of what we already had been speculating about.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Liberty
    Liberty August 30, 16:48

    I think you may be decieving yourself if you must refer to your ‘almighty America’ for people to accept or buy your opinion.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Godman
    Godman August 30, 16:58

    God will expose those people involved and ultimately make them m** before the people they have betrayed the people they are suppose to lead

    Reply to this comment
  7. kit
    kit August 30, 18:16

    All the crisis about whose turn to rule Nigeria is about having their filthy hands on the oil money. Not about you & I. That’s all.

    Reply to this comment
  8. kit
    kit August 30, 18:27

    I’ve always known that once USA &others get involved in the boko haram saga the truth will be revealed. My worry is that innocent people are dying on a daily basis. Is it possible that the Security agencies are not aware of what Dr Davis said. I doubt it. For insurgency to thrive the way boko haram has done there must be strong local support.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Jagz
    Jagz August 30, 19:22

    Why bringing up this kind of story now? Is it another way to distract the Federal Government?

    There is God o!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Janut
    Janut August 30, 21:04

    The report looked contrived.
    Who were those Boko haram commanders he met with? None of those commanders would divulge secret finance of the sect to a mere negotiator
    Enough of this hide and seek game.Come out with name,facts and figures that will help the state to quickly get freedom from the sect.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Prince
    Prince August 30, 21:09

    I know that there is time for every thing, now the time has come for the president to give order for arresting those people without wasting a time.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Goodness
    Goodness August 31, 00:09

    The thief may have all the days to himself but one day is for the owner. There is a supernatural eye watching every activity under the sun whether good or bad and shall be rewarded accordingly.

    Reply to this comment
  13. ejire
    ejire August 31, 06:30

    What all these going to give us .agony let deal with the situation now .Why can start with this clue

    Reply to this comment
  14. akynkunmi
    akynkunmi August 31, 08:01

    its well known to us that every day is for the thief but, a day is for the owner. Oviously, he can never be the only one but, God will surely expose them all.

    Reply to this comment
    • @Sweat
      @Sweat August 31, 11:39

      Davies reveals shld not be taken lightly.There is a school of thouhgt dat.Somewhere one is planning to disorganize the North so dat block votes will not come frm that end to scuttle some political ambitn of those buzzed with power.BH cant triumph in our country for so long without support frm the top.My views will becm prophesy one day, mark it.

      Reply to this comment
  15. mr noble
    mr noble August 31, 13:57

    What i know is that we shall live and see the end of boko haram . Weather fake information or real information nigerian government should do something

    Reply to this comment
  16. Engr mna
    Engr mna August 31, 16:04

    We have to be very careful with this kind of report with no substantial evidence, especially with the likes of Reno Omokri in the kitchen cabinet and election is quite approaching.

    Reply to this comment
    • concerned9ja
      concerned9ja August 31, 20:43

      This is a vintagely contrived story to save a sinking and clueless government. this is Reno’s handiwork and thecable has fallen for it.

      Reply to this comment
  17. ss
    ss August 31, 16:07

    Reno Omokri style of story.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Bennoit Kenny
    Bennoit Kenny August 31, 17:04

    The report is false and there is no how the CBN can transact such a business on behalf of the BOKO HARAM as at then without records, whereby the new CBN Governor Emefiele can not reveal such details to the Federal Government. We need to be very careful because the northerners are coming up with a very new game.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Dr. Seawave Osimiri
    Dr. Seawave Osimiri August 31, 17:05

    Every story is a lie… Boko haram sponsors are not hiding. Nigeria my country! Listen: if you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten! Dr. Seewave has spoken.

    Reply to this comment
  20. H Dogara
    H Dogara August 31, 22:02

    The Almighty Allah, creator of all is watching and he will surely intervene in no time that’s my faith.

    Reply to this comment
  21. lord
    lord August 31, 22:50

    Jonathan has the chance of writing his name in gold on this issue by arresting and prosecuting those involve,his refusal to act means he too is involve

    Reply to this comment
  22. orovan
    orovan August 31, 22:57

    This story just does not seem right some thing is missing…

    Reply to this comment
  23. Bobo
    Bobo September 01, 15:30

    Let’s take the case to ICC (Hague), the truth shall come out.

    Reply to this comment
  24. deBoy
    deBoy September 01, 20:04

    unbelievable!! How could this criminal gang divulge sensitive information that could truncate the source of their financing? Has the negotiation come to an end? If not, the next time he dares to see the leadership of BK in their den, he must be ready for beheading. I can bet it, this so-called negotiator is fake. Let him mention the names of the BK leadership he negotiated with. This is a plot to implicate some perceived political enemies.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Eev
    Eev September 02, 13:57

    And what has the Nigerian security structure or the govt itself done with the information we purportedly already know or have? What the man highlights is the need for immediate actions.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Y2
    Y2 September 02, 14:12

    Whatever has a beginning must have an end. The end of BH is almost here. Just wait and see. No matter how powerful their sponsors are.

    Reply to this comment
  27. dan
    dan September 03, 15:01

    Govt will end this when they choose to end it!They have the Necessary might, resource and intelligence to do so what is lacking is the WILL POWER! People will believe what they want to believe.Chibok girls people doubted, police officers kidnap some still doubt, this news many will doubt! GOD WILL SOON SHAME THOSE INVOLVED.

    Reply to this comment
  28. UCHE-KASY
    UCHE-KASY September 03, 15:30

    This man speaks so well about these b******* called Islamic sect or Boko Haram. He was bold enough to mention Asari Dokubo from the Niger Delta but cowardice enough to mention the name(s) of the “Leaders” in the Boko Haram he almost concluded a peace deal with. NSA and the Military have always hindered his effort (Davis). while he consistently mentioned Azazi, Dokubo but not the CBN boss should be critically examined.
    I think we already know what Mr Davis is telling us.

    Reply to this comment
  29. Sina
    Sina September 03, 17:22

    Good

    Reply to this comment
  30. Chibuikemi
    Chibuikemi September 04, 09:35

    My prayer is for God to take perfect control of this situation soon and put end to this terrible actions of these bh in Jesus name. I pray that God will preserve the lives of those girls.Father, keep Nigeria together for us in Jesus name.

    Reply to this comment
    • abeem
      abeem September 05, 20:44

      We need to grow up as individuals and as a nation and stop hiding behind God for our lazy approach to resolving critical issues. This matter calls for swift and prompt response but the country is drifting like a ship on high seas without direction because we have a president who is incapable of leading and is not a leader in the right sense of the word.

      Reply to this comment
  31. shawn
    shawn September 04, 19:00

    If u can read properly u would see “name withheld by THE CABLE for LEGAL REASONS “

    Reply to this comment
  32. Patriot
    Patriot September 04, 22:14

    Dr, Davies, ss a father to three daugthers and the nrgociayor for the release of our Chibok daughters, has discharged his moral duty to humanity and the families of the innocent lives lost and displaced.
    Now it’s for Jonathan and the politicians to square up.
    The real Boko Haram are the sponsors, financiers and collaboraters and not the BK commanders and their foot soildrrs. If we sincerely and honestly want to end this BH thing, we must simply go after tthese sponnsor/financiers and collaborators.
    Time is runing out before they link up to Al-Qaeda , Al-shaibab, ISIS and terror groups as Davies warned.

    Reply to this comment
  33. box
    box September 05, 22:21

    The toad does not walk in the day time for nothing, is either something I’d chasing him or he is going for something.
    You don’t need a prophet or would you need a fortune-teller, no, by their fruits, works, speeches & actions, they’re known.
    Our major problem now is public office holders, their sins are worst than the sect, fueling them is worst than the man who carries the sword.
    The same persons had gone to king same the very souls they sacrificed to attain their ambitions.
    Too bad, & the people are quiet?
    God, help Nigeria bring these men to disgrace.

    Reply to this comment
  34. einb
    einb September 09, 06:48

    I quite agree. When d militant saga started, Nigerians knew who their leaders were up till the time it was partially brought to an end. My heart bleeds that some persons can sponsor such wickedness as Boko haram to the point of abducting other peoples kids to satify their sextual urge. Imagin the trauma those children would be going through right now being used as sextual slaves. Nigerians wake up. We have never liked outsiders telling us the truth. We will go the extra mile to discredit any information that will make us feel wanting. Our CBN is the legal route used to transfer money to BH. Oh God, what sought of country is this that allows very few people so much liberty to do what they like, and others who are aware are shut up with bribery. God help Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  35. mati
    mati September 09, 10:25

    I quite support the view of those that believe that bk will not disclose their source of finance. This piece of information is from bk I think it is not intelligent enough to relate such to the public without proper investigation. The motives of Davis is questionable!

    Reply to this comment
  36. Emmanue
    Emmanue September 10, 10:35

    Well, take it or leave it we some of us have always known that Boko Haram is sponsored and financed by Nigerian politicians with the help of some top officers in the mentioned bank.This is why it is believed that this administration is not doing enough when it comes to rescuing this country from the hands of terrorists. Somebody should not be dormant because he doesn’t second term bid. There is God o”

    Reply to this comment
  37. Joe
    Joe September 12, 23:41

    The Australian nam is an agent of the west.Hes another john campbell the former US ambassador who predict Nigeria will become a fail state in 2015.Therefore Boko Haram has an outside influence ,and their primary goal is to distabilize Nigeria as one nation because of the following reasons.
    1 Nigeria is black nation if resources well manage can become a powerful voice the world has to recognize when Nigeria talk
    2.A black nation to have permanent seat in the UN is a nightmare for the western power,and prefer South Africa for the Position, whether enemy like it or not Nigeria would prevail.Fellow Nigerians the time to work together is never better but now. Urging all eligible voter to go the polling booth and vote overwhelmingly in the next election february 2015. Nigeria will remain together despite the prediction forrmer US Ambassador says Nigeria would seize to exist as a nation in 2015.Nigeria should remain very vigilant because among Nigerian is whom the same people would use to carry out their dirty work.But our biggest problem is enemy within that can easily fall to the enemy.Its very sad that some CBN Staff named not mention and some Top government and Politician remain an agent of Satan because had never witness a good administration as GEJ Administration the record speaks for itself.Even in the face of corruption and security challenging facing the country the Economic growth remain number one priority of the administration. Nigeria would rewrite history if we hardly want to.Lastly,Government should level with her citizens at all time.Mr President should use every power vested on him ,and to make sure the country is safe so that more investment would come to nigeria.Additionally,Epilepsy of electricity supply should become things of the past under the present administration.

    Reply to this comment
  38. Jboy
    Jboy October 06, 18:05

    Dr Davies in my opinion made a true revelation. The triumph of evil men is just but temporal. They labour in vane pursuit of power to dominate until nemesis caught them all. May the soul of our innocent brothers and sisters rest in perfect peace.

    Reply to this comment

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