Senator Ahmad Zanna of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Borno Central Senatorial District, in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service yesterday, revealed that the Joint Task Force in Maiduguri was referring to him when they claimed that they arrested a 'Boko Haram commander' at a 'senator's residence.' Though he claimed that he knew the supposed 'Boko Haram commander' Senator Zanna denied that the arrest was made at his residence. Below are excerpts from the interview:
What do you have to say about the arrest of a Boko Haram commander at a senator's residence?
The JTF said they arrested the man at a house belonging to someone in the Senate. I am a member of the Senate and I am the only one living on the Dambuwa Road. So, the JTF didn't arrest the man (Boko Haram commander) in my house. They went to my house and carried their investigations, but they did not come up with anything. Since they did not get anything, they arrested some boys in the house and asked them out. They forced them to sit under the sun. The soldiers started start beating them. They asked them if they knew someone called Shuaibu Bama. The boys told JTF that 'yes, they knew him.' One of the boys then led JTF to where that Shuaibu was.
What is your relationship with Shuaibu Bama?
Shuaibu Bama is my nephew.
The man arrested was accused of being a Boko Haram commander and you said you have a relationship with him. Some, more especially those soldiers, are accusing you (politicians) of not co-operating with them and at the same time helping Boko Haram?
What I'm saying is that, for them to say they arrested the man in my house is a lie. And we are not going to hide anybody who we known is a Boko Haram member. They should investigate who the owner of the house where JTF arrested the 'Boko Haram commander' and the owner's connection with the supposed Boko Haram member.
Soldiers said for long they had been trailing him in order to arrest him. Have you had any knowledge about this?
Did I know? It was just yesterday they mentioned this in front of my house. They said they had been after him for long and that they even sat down and had some chat with him some times ago.