Monday, 25 February 2013

IS BOKO HARAM GONE OR NOT


A faction of Boko Haram
has vowed to bring into
line renegade members
who, despite the
declaration of ceasefire,
have continued with the orgy of violence which the
Islamist group embarked
on since 2009 in the
group's quest to Islamise
Nigeria. It warned at the weekend that
members who have continued
the killing spree despite the
declaration of the ceasefire
agreementto immediately stop the offensives or face the consequence of their
action. The group, led by
Abdulaziz Ibn Adam, said it had
realised its goals were not
achievable through violence. But as if the warning was of no
effect, seven persons were
killed in separate attacks
carried out in Kano and Kaduna
States at the weekend. The death toll in Saturday's
sectarian clash in Wukari,
Taraba State, which was
triggered by disagreement
during a football training
session, rose from five to 31 by Sunday. Adam, according to a report by
the News Agency of Nigeria
(NAN), said his group wouldgo after those who continued to engage in violent campaign
since they had been warned
several times. He said at a news conference in
Maiduguri, the Borno State
capital, that the leader of the
sect, Abubabak Shekau, was
behind the ceasefire agreement
and hence all members must abide or face sanctions. "You will recall that we
announced a ceasefire last
month as a precondition for
talks with government. But
sadly after a few days of
respite, violent began again in the country," Adam added.
"Those currently engaged in
this violence are not our people
because our people are
obedient to their leaders. Since
the leadership has asked them to cease fire, they won't
continue with violence." The ceasefire announcement
made in January by the Adam-
led group cautiously welcomed
by the government, was soon
denounced by another faction
of Boko Haram, which distributed leaflets rejecting
dialogue. {read_more} Violence has continued,
although on a relatively lower
scale in Borno and Yobe States,
residents say, an indication
that the supposed ceasefire
may have been a fluke. In Kaduna State at the
weekend, gunmen suspected to
be Fulani herdsmen, invaded
Aduwan village in Zangon Kataf
Local Government Area, killing
five people, including a nursing mother and her three-month-
old baby. Several others who sustained
varying injuries from gunshots
were rushed to an undisclosed
hospital. Eyewitnesses said the incident
occurred at about 10 pm on
Saturday when the villagers
were mourning the death of an
elderly man in the community. "You know as part of our
culture, just like in other
cultures, when an old man dies
at a very ripe age, we
celebrate him by dancing. So
our people were dancing at the residence of the late man,
when at about 10pm, some
people came and started
shooting at the crowd." Sunday, youths in the area
staged a mass protest against
the attack accusing the military
and police personnel manning
the numerous checkpoints in
the area for not doing their work. The state Governor,Alhaji Mukhtar Yero condemned the attack, urging the people
of the area to remain calm as
government has ordered an
immediate investigation. But in Kano State, the Joint
Security Task Force (JTF) on
Saturday shot dead two
suspected gunmen and
arrested four others in the
Kano metropolis. An eyewitness said the incident
happened around 1pm at a
security checkpoint on Hadeja
Road in Kano City, during 'a
stop and search' operation. "It was in the process that one
of the passengers opened fire
on the operatives at the
checkpoint and as a result, one
soldier was injured. Soon after
that the security operatives responded by killing the
attacker instantly," the source
said. It was learnt that another
passenger in the vehicle
brought out a knife and tried
to attack the soldiers but he
was also shot dead instantly. JTF spokesman, Capt. Ikedichi
Iweha, confirmed the incident
and the killing of the two
gunmen. A day after a bloody
clash between youths of
different faiths in Wukari, Taraba State, the casualty
figure rose yesterday as the
violence continued. The death toll in the religious
crisis that erupted between
Christians and Muslims in the
town on Saturday night has
risen to 31 as the violence that
engulfed the ancient town enters its second day. In a bid to restore peace to
the town, the state Acting
Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar,
has declareda 24-hour curfew in the town even as a combined team of security
personnel have been
dispatched to the town to
restore normalcy. About 40 people have been
arrested in connection with the
crisis. Also yesterday, Boko Haram
has warned the management
and staff of The Sun
Newspapers over its publication alleging that the group
collected N26.6 billion before agreeing to lay down
their arms. Spokesman of the sect, who is
the commander in-charge of
Borno North and South, Sheikh
Abu Mohammad Abdulazeez Ibn
Idris, issued the warning
yesterday on behalf of the Boko Haram Leader, Imam
Abubakar Shekau while briefing
journalists in Maiduguri, the
state capital. He said the reason for the
briefing was to express its displeasure on how The Sun Newspapers had been reporting
its activities. The group therefore used the
opportunity to debunk such
publication, pointing out thatit has not received a single
kobo from anybody or government before it decided
to end the hostilities. Abdulazeez however said, the
group declared ceasefire as a
result of intervention from
respectable individuals who
pleaded for peace to reign in
the land. He wondered why a newspaper like The Sun would
mislead the public that the sect
collected billion of naira from
the government before it
chose to have peace. While reiterating the group's
position on the recent
declaration of ceasefire which
has generated a lot of
controversy in the country and
the world at large, he admitted that there is a faction in the
group, as according to him, in
any association, group, or
movement, there must be 'bad
eggs', and, therefore, condemned the recent
killings and bombing in Maiduguri and other parts of
the north. He said, "It is unfortunate that
immediately after the ceasefire,
Borno and other places started
enjoying relative peace, but
after sometime, some faceless
individual(s)/ groups resorted to killings and bombings,"
pointing out that the leader of
the sect, Imam Abubakar
Shekau and the sect are out
for peace: if not, he wouldn't
have supported the ceasefire. On the recent kidnapping of
seven French nationals in
Northern Cameroun and other
related abductions, Abdulazeez
distanced the group from such
act, calling on government and security agencies to investigate
and punish those responsible.

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