Bauchi and Jos — A renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, on Wednesday, denied endorsing the claim by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, who said a certain northern governor is a commander of Boko Haram.
In an interview with Daily Trust on Wednesday, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, 93, also said he did not send any of his protégés to Mailafia with a message of solidarity, endorsement or sympathy over the claim he made a month ago during an interview with a radio station in respect of the killings in Southern Kaduna and the alleged involvement of a governor from northern Nigeria in Boko Haram activities.
Mailafia had been invited thrice by the Plateau State office of the DSS.
During the last visit on Monday, September 14, 2020 after his interrogation at the DSS office, Mailafia told a waiting group of clerics, lawyers and journalists outside the building that prominent people in the country were supporting his struggle.
"I have received messages from many distinguished Muslim clerics including Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.
"He sent a message to tell me that he has been praying for me," Mailafia said during the interview.
"Muslim youths have stood beside me. They have prayed with me.
"They believe that I am their voice. Christian youths have stood with me.
"They believe that I am their voice," he said.
I'm not with him
However, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who is among the leaders of the Tijjaniyyah sect which has millions of followers in Nigeria and other parts of the world, said he did not speak or send anybody to Mailafia.
"If it is the Mailafia, who was a deputy governor of Central Bank when Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the governor, yes, I prayed for them to succeed when they were at the bank and this was because of Sanusi," the nonagenarian said after watching the video of the interview Mailafia granted on Monday.
"But on his recent claim and allegations against northern governors, I am not with him and I didn't send anybody to him," he said.
Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi prayed for peace and stability in Nigeria and advised Muslims to seek Allah's forgiveness and stability of the country.
Foundation seeks apology from Mailafia
In a related development, the Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi Foundation has warned Mailafia to desist from mentioning the name of their leader while discussing his ordeals.
This was contained in a statement distributed by the legal adviser of the foundation, Barrister Aminu Balarabe Isa.
Expressing concern over the comment made by Mailafia, Isa said the claim was a source of concern and capable of causing disharmony considering the large followership Sheikh Dahiru has.
"We demand an apology from Mailafia over the false claim.
"We advise him to desist from making false allegations using the name of Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi," he said.
Our correspondents report that before he mentioned the name of Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi outside the DSS office in Jos on Monday, Mailafia had made some confessions inside the building which were recorded by some pressmen.
"Gentlemen of the press, I am delighted and honoured to address you this morning. Just a moment ago I heard a routine appearance with the Department of State Security Service (DSS) Plateau State Command Headquarters.
"I am very pleased that I was treated very professionally; there was no harassment or intimidation.
"This has been the third invitation, and as a law-abiding citizen, I honoured it, and we had a good conversation.
"I want to also say that over a month ago when I gave a radio interview, I made certain statements based on what I heard, and you grant that I am a prominent public figure in this country, a presidential candidate and I was third overall, so I am a stakeholder in this country.
"If I had my way, there are a few things I would have said differently.
"But I spoke on the spur of the moment and I believed that for me it was a matter of greatest urgency that I needed to make a wakeup call with regard to what is happening in this country.
"I didn't really mean to say that the government was part and parcel of the killers.
"I implied that they could be better because thousands are dying.
"Innocent women, children, elderly, youths; my personal conscience would not allow me to ignore their condition and their fate; so I spoke out.
"But if I had my way, I would have put it in a better language; and I had no way of corroborating some of the things; I heard it, I couldn't have followed them to their camp to confirm because I might not come back to tell the story.
"So, that is the reality of the way I spoke.
"I have also indicated but I have reason to believe that my life has been in danger.
"I have no conclusive proof but I get threats, I get calls...
"Where I was staying on Thursday (September 10), at midnight, there were some strange people at the gate trying to break in and I had to scale over the fence and escape for my life.
"I don't know who they are.
"They could be criminal bandits; they could be hired assassins.
"I have been told that some powerful elements have hired assassins to eliminate me.
"Let me tell you, I am not afraid of death.
"My life is not worth more than that of the innocent children being killed and slaughtered every day.
"My life is not more than theirs. Who knows what that child would become?" he said.
The beginning of the trouble
The former CBN deputy governor had on Monday, August 10, 2020, during the Nigeria Info 99.3 station's programme, 'Morning Cross Fire' aired at 8.30 am, alleged that the commander of Boko Haram is a governor of one of the northern states, alleging that the group plans to instigate a civil war in the country in 2022.
Following the allegation, the DSS in Plateau State on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, grilled Mailafia for seven hours after which he was allowed to go home.
However, the following day, Thursday, August 13, he said he got his information on the alleged commander of Boko Haram from traders he met in his village market where he went to buy hungry rice (also called fonio acha).
He apologised to all those who were offended by his statements, saying they were not targeted at anyone.
He also said they were not aimed at causing trouble.