Ambassador Bola Dada, an expert of International Affairs and a former diplomat, has stated that Ahmad Sani Yariman Bakura, former governor of Zamfara State instituted Sharia law after his visit to camps headed by Osama Bin Laden?s loyalists.

Ambassador Bola Dada said that Yerima was in Sudan for two weeks and underwent indoctrination with the sect members.

His words: ?He was exposed to all the training camps of Osama Bin Laden, who was my neighbour. In fact, Osama Bin Laden?s office in Sudan was just a few blocks away from our embassy. No report was made. Our embassy never reported Osama Bin Laden.

?In addition to having his headquarters in Sudan, Osama Bin Laden also had many firms and industries which he only used as a fa?ade because he was actually using those firms as training camps for Al-Qaeda. Among his trainees were many Nigerians from the North.

?They would leave Nigeria as if they were going to study but were at the training camps of Osama Bin Laden. I got wind of all these things and told them, but my reports were dismissed. It was a policy of ?see nothing, say nothing? because they were working for Muslims.

?They were not able to draw the line between Arabisation and Islamisation. What Sudan was practising was both Arabisation and Islamisation which led to the breakaway of the South from the North. That was the dangerous part of it which was also my major concern. In fact, that was the main concern of Mo Ibrahim, the richest Sudanese.

?That?s why it pained him seriously up till now that Sudan must not have divided just because of religion. And it?s one of the reasons why he established the Mo Ibrahim prize. That is the motive behind the prize. Up till today, the man is still pained.

On whether terrorism was exported to Nigeria from Suden, he said ?When Sudan came under pressure during the US Bill Clinton era, they sent Bin Laden away. Osama Bin Laden had established himself there. In fact, one of his wives was the daughter of the Speaker. So when Sudan was under pressure to send Osama Bin Laden away, he decided to divide his Al-Qaeda army into three; he took the first team to Afghanistan and kept the second team in Sudan; the third group he sent out to be disturbing the whole world, including Magreb which is close to Mali, Chad and Niger. I raised an alarm in 2001 that Al-Qaeda was in Nigeria.

?You know Chad has a border with Borno State. We have about eight million Nigerians in Sudan: people who settled there after pilgrimage. Many who couldn?t reach Saudi Arabia just settled there. And Al-Bashir (Sudanese president) was a descendant of Borno State. I reported all these, including the fact that Yerima was there at that time but I was ignored. Yerima got back to Nigeria and the following day, he declared Sharia. And from then, they were sending students for Jihadist training.

?Then when I got wind of the distribution of Osama Bin Laden Al-Qaeda groups, I reported. I told them to check our borders between Mali, Niger, and Chad?that Al-Qaeda was on the move. It got to a stage that it became evident that my report was becoming a concern to our permanent secretary then who incidentally had intelligence security background as a former director of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency. His name is Ambassador Heart. He brought in his NIA background into the Foreign Service. He knew what was sensitive and newsworthy.

?So he took the case seriously and played his part. But instead of our government sending inspectors were to check the veracity of my reports, they didn?t do that; they would just call the NIA man there who was also a Borno man who would refute anything I said. He would tell them not to mind me because I was a Christian and a religious bigot.

In fact, he said Obasanjo deliberately sent me there to spy on the ambassador. That was how they usually dismissed my reports.

The former Diplomat also opined that the Boko Haram insurgency started with the introduction of Sharia.

?As far as I am concerned, Boko Haram is an offshoot of Sharia. It also has its roots in Sudan and has connections with Libya.

On what can be done to effectively tackle the problem, Dada said ?I think the government is already doing something about it through the help of France, because most of these countries are Francophone countries. If they would not listen to us, they would listen to France. By the time France talks to countries like Cameroon, something good will come out.

?Let?s deal with the problem from the root. We need France?s assistance. Our traditional and political rulers should also change their bullish mindsets about Nigeria. Also, no part of the country should think they can bully the other parts or that it?s their right to rule the other parts.?


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