Controversial Islamic Cleric, Shiekh Ahmad Gumi has called on the Nigerian populace to ignore people agitating for the break-up of Nigeria.
In a recent interview with BBC Pidgin report by POLITICS NIGERIA, Gumi described the agitators for Biafra, Oduduwa republic and Arewa as ‘Useless Youths’, adding that they were the same as ‘Boko Haram’.
Responding to a question on agitations for the division of Nigeria, Gumi said: “Who is coming to divide us? Let me give example, General Murtala Mohammed, the man from Kano, the head of state that was assassinated by Dimka, his wife is a Yoruba woman. So where do you want his children to go? if the nation is divided?”
“Are they going to be with the Yorubas or are they going to be with Hausas in the north?
“Look, let’s forget these Useless youth. These people agitating for Oduduwa and Biafra or Arewa or this Boko Haram, they are the same group of people.
“Majority of Nigerians want to stay in Nigeria, if they are in doubt, let’s make a referendum.”
Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist group has confirmed the death of its chief Abubakar Shekau, who sources say died during infighting with a rival Islamic State-allied faction, according to a video message from its presumed new commander.
In the short video in Arabic, top Boko Haram commander Bakura Modu, also known as Sahaba, urged his faction’s commanders to remain loyal despite the loss of their historic commander.
Shekau’s death was seen a major shift in Nigeria’s conflict, though Islamic State in West Africa Province or ISWAP has recently emerged as the dominant force in the more than decade-long Islamist insurgency in the country’s northeast.
The video, provided to AFP by a source close to Boko Haram and confirmed to be Bakura Modu by another local source, illustrates that jihadist infighting is far from over in Africa’s most populous nation.
Shekau, who gained notoriety after kidnapping nearly 300 schoolgirls in 2014, killed himself last month rather than surrender after IS-allied rivals attacked his base camp in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state, security sources said.
In an audio, ISWAP commander Abu Musab Al-Barnawi had already claimed Shekau killed himself while on the run from ISWAP fighters.
The undated Boko Haram video shows Bakura flanked by scores of armed fighters in formation as he addresses the camera, in what is traditionally a jihadist group’s way of presenting a new leader.
“Commanders of Jama’atu Ahlu Sunna Lidda’awati Wal Jihad. Be steadfast and draw your swords, spreading your jihad, decapitating the enemy,” he said, using the official name of Shekau’s Boko Haram faction also known as JAS.
“Don’t allow what befalls you these days to weaken your resolve on the jihad your are waging, because Allah has not forsaken your efforts.”
Read Also Buhari praises troops, says North-East ‘enjoys relative peace’ Army kills six suspected ISWAP terrorists in Borno Suicide bombers abandon mission as troops decimate terrorists in Borno He also urges Boko Haram commanders to reject ISWAP commander Barnawi.
Soon after the initial reports of Shekau’s death last month, infighting between Nigeria’s two rival jihadist factions intensified. ISWAP fighters moved against Boko Haram commanders who refused to surrender and join their ranks, intelligence sources have said.
The two factions have skirmished in the past since ISWAP split from Boko Haram in 2016, objecting to Shekau’s indiscriminate targeting of Muslim civilians and use of women suicide bombers.
Bakura’s faction is one of the Boko Haram elements operating in the Lake Chad area where they have access to porous borders with Chad and Niger.
ISWAP fighters have taken over Shekau’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest in their bid for consolidation, analysts and security sources have said.
But they said Barnawi would face potential resistance from hardline, pro-Shekau factions along Nigeria’s border regions.
More than 40,000 people have been killed and over two million displaced from their homes in fighting since the conflict in northeastern Nigeria began in 2009. (AFP)
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has cautioned former Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, that his recent comments were capable of inciting ethnic cleansing and turmoil in the country.
The group said it is laughable that the likes of Wamakko could not find solutions to the frightening insecurity challenges in the North for the last 7 years.
Ohanaeze said it was the same security issues the north incubated as a political instrument to force power from former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, in a statement signed by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General, accused the North of being responsible for all the disaster in the Southeast based on the earlier warning of the USA Embassy Abuja.
Ohanaeze recalled that the US embassy had warned that the bandits and killer herdsmen are changing positions to Southern Nigeria to wreak havoc.
“Northern Elders are behind the chaos in Nigeria as a ploy to retain the Presidency in the North beyond 2023 as they did to Jonathan in 2015,” the statement said.
“So they exported violence to the southeast to keep Igbo leaders busy with insecurity challenges and set traps for them (Igbo leaders) to fall in and get arrested.
“We are amazed at how someone who couldn’t remove a spark of dust in his eyelashes could see the remedy for the log of wood in the eyes of Ndigbo.
“Wamakko’s assertion that Igbo leaders are behind the scenes motivating the violence in the southeast, exposed the northern secrets of supporting bandits and Boko Haram for economic and political reasons.
“The silence of Igbo leaders is golden and will generate confusion in the camps of sponsors of terror in the Southeast.”
In February, Anonymous International, a world acclaimed hackers did warn the new Chief Of Army Staff that the departing Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai is not happy that he is leaving because he a major leader of Boko Haram and would do anything to eliminate anyone who works against their agenda.
In what first seemed like a joke, though Anonymous International are never known for a joke because they can hack into any system around the world and extract classified information of interest and make them public, they warned the new Chief of Army Staff to watch his back because they will kill him if refuses to follow the order in line with their agenda. They warned him to watch what he eats, drinks, and others.
Just yesterday, the new COAS Gen. Attahiru died with 11 others in a fatal plane crash in Kaduna in what many now view as suspicious.
In Anonymous International site 12hrs ago after the death of Attahiru and others they had this to say: “All linked to the Agenda. Some Nigerians claims it’s a mere coincidence! All Anonymous says and all happening according to plan though coincidences some said. They discredit our exposition and tag them to coincidence”
By Oct1 2022, it shall be a repeat of another Coincidence. (That is if there’s a Nigeria then), Anonymous wrote. This is another hint of another major event that would take place in 1st October 2022 but they are not detailed in what would happen but said, if there is still Nigeria then.
Anonymous International claimed that the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai is a major leader of Boko Haram and the new Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru is known to be against the agenda to support deadly Islamic terrorist group so, Anonymous warned that he will be killed in active service if he ever fails to take orders in line with Boko Haram terrorists support.
So, the question is, what is going on in Nigeria and is this why several years of wasted trillions of Naira Boko Haram has not been defeated but growing from strength to strength and gaining grounds. What is the plan of these people about Nigeria?
■ Nasir El-Rufai explains why he now says negotiating with criminals is objectionable.
By Alfred Olufemi
Six years ago, before his election as Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said he would explore all means, including negotiations with Boko Haram terrorists, to rescue the kidnapped Chibok girls if he were the president, a statement that contradicts his present stance.
After a video clip of his 2015 statement went viral this week, Mr El-Rufai has explained why he as governor has moved in the opposite direction.
No fewer than 270 schoolgirls were abducted when Boko Haram terrorists attacked their school in Chibok, a community in Borno State, in 2014.
While some of the girls managed to escape, others spent over two years with their abductors before the Nigerian government negotiated their release.
Seven years after the kidnap, about a hundred of the girls are still in the captivity of the insurgents.
Reacting to the federal government’s handling of the kidnap of the Chibok girls in 2015, Mr El-Rufai blamed former President Goodluck Jonathan for not exploring all possible means.
in an interview with Sahara TV, Mr El-Rufai, whose All Progressives Congress was in the opposition then, said: “We have no apologies for pointing out to Nigeria’s that this government is incompetent and has failed to provide security. If you say we are politicizing it, fix the problem so that we cannot politicize it, okay?
Asked for the way forward, Mr El-Rufai said: “The government has the solution to this problem. Several committees have given them recommendations. They should just implement the recommendations in their drawer, okay?
“As for rescuing the girls, we have seen examples of what countries do when this situation happens, you should have military action, on the one hand; the negotiation on the other. You should not foreclose anything because the lives of your citizens are at risk and you don’t want to lose one life. You don’t want to lose the life of one person.”
Asked if he was in support of negotiation, he said:
“I’m in support of every option. When you have the lives of your citizens at risk, you should not take any option off the table. You should be flexible. You should listen. You should negotiate and look at the price. You have to be and get those girls out,” he told the interviewer.
In crisis But today, Mr El-Rufai is faced with a similar situation in Kaduna but has said he will never negotiate with kidnappers or pay their ransom demands to free their victims.
In what seems like a test of Mr El-Rufai’s previous statements, several attacks have been launched in Kaduna with many kidnapped persons still with their abductors.
Last month, 39 students were kidnapped at Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka. While a few of them have been rescued nearly 30 students are still with the abductors.
Last week, bandits attacked Greenfield University, a private university in Kaduna State, and kidnapped an undisclosed number of students. Five of the University students have been found dead, suspected to have been killed by their assailants.
Others are still in captivity with promises to secure their release by the state and federal authorities.
Meanwhile, Mr El-Rufai has repeatedly emphasised his stance not to negotiate with the bandits.
“Our position on Kaduna State has been clear and consistent: bandits, cattle wrestlers and armed militia must be degraded and decimated to a state of unconditional submission to constituted authority.”
While speaking at the presentation of the state 2020 security report last month, Mr El-Rufai said the government would never negotiate with bandits of any kind or support any grant of amnesty to them.
This “no ransom, no negotiation” was reiterated in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Tuesday.
In the statement sent to this newspaper, Mr Adeyeye said those sharing the video clip of the previous interview took Mr El-Rufai out of context.
“The years since 2014 may have led some people to forget the denial and doubt that defined the FG’s response to the Chibok abductions, especially the initial refusal to acknowledge that it happened. That was the context under which civic pressures were brought on the government.
“Nigeria’s journey since the 2014 Chibok tragedy has proven that the solution to violent crimes, including terrorism and banditry, is a robust response from the state and its coercive agencies. The quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have not stopped kidnappings, reduced their frequency or deterred the criminals.”
He said negotiating with the criminals does not conform to the current realities.
“Mass abduction was like a novelty in 2014. But the facts have changed since then. Negotiations and ransoms have been undertaken, but these have not stopped the criminals. It has only encouraged them.”
Mr Adekeye further stated that the fact that criminals seek to hold the state government by the ‘jugular’ does not mean it should surrender and create an incentive for more crime. (Premium Times)
The British Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, has described Nigeria’s security situation as massively complex.
He said no partnership would resolve the multiplicity of the country’s problems, whether it is Boko Haram insurgency or a number of other issues.
Duddridge was fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday during his courtesy visit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
“The situation is massively complex and no partnership is going to resolve the multiplicity of problems whether it is Boko Haram or a number of other issues,” Duddridge said.
“In the UK, you have a strong partner across the full gamut of issues. So, it’s not just about intelligence and hard security and military, it’s about societies, it’s about humanitarian support, it’s about education and development partnership.
“It is not an end game, we don’t get to a point where we would say ‘this is the end of our relationship with Nigeria’ because we got what we want, we set a higher bar, we’re long-term partners.” he said.
He also recognised the role that Nigeria played in Africa, saying both Nigeria and the UK would deepen post-COVID-19 relations and work together to tackle climate change.
He also sought the need for both countries to realize the objectives of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Earlier, Onyeama had said Nigeria was dealing with very difficult challenges, especially the unconventional nature of the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism.
“It is asymmetrical warfare, and we’re dealing with very difficult situations. We have an intelligence fusion unit with our partners -the US, UK, France,’’ he said.
He said Nigeria was struggling with unemployment and high inflation level, but that the country was gradually overcoming the situation.
He commended the British Government for all the support given to Nigeria to tackle her numerous challenges, especially in the Northeast.
Meanwhile, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who also received Duddridge on Tuesday, sought the support of the British Government to address Nigeria’s security challenges.
Duddridge was at the National Assembly in company of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing.
“We believe that our country, our government has to do a lot to secure the people, their lives and their property and this is the time that all our friends across the world need to support us, give us the kind of support that we need.
I was young when I made some of the comments, I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a…
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Ali Isa Pantami, has renounced some contoversial comments he made on Al Qaeda and Taliban.
The minister has been under fire over the comments which were interpreted as endorsing the extremist sects.
Social media users and some government critics have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to fire him if he fails to step down.
But while answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, the minister said he now knows better about some of the comments he made in the past.
He said the campaign against him is politically motivated.
“For 15 years, I have moved round the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism. I have traveled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in Niger Republic to preach against terrorism.
“I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path.
“Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity.
“I was young when I made some of the comments; I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a teenager. I started preaching when I was 13, many scholars and individuals did not understand some of international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later.”
Though Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami denounces any allegiance to Boko Haram, he expressed support for the global extremist groups, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria,’’ Mr Pantami said in one of his vicious preachings in the 2000s. “Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm al Qā‘ida).”
Mr Pantami’s call to Jihad and unalloyed support for murderous groups portray him as a dyed-in-the-wool Islamic fundamentalist. Yet, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr Pantami as communications minister to control the country’s massive data and telephone infrastructure and other sensitive details of national intelligence.
When contacted on Wednesday by newsmen regarding his support for the terrorist groups, the minister did not comment.
On Monday, Mr Pantami threatened to sue some media platforms for reporting that he is on the U.S. terror watchlist for supporting Boko Haram.
The minister had claimed on Twitter that his lectures “against the doctrines and all other evil people (terrorists) have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria.”
But he failed to acknowledge that he is an avowed supporter of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, as revealed in a 2019 academic document ‘Debating Boko Haram’.
Mr Pantami invited Muslims, especially “Ahlus Sunna” (Salafis), to be sceptical of politicians and religious leaders calling for peace and understanding but retaliate with jihad.
“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria (hādhā jihād farḍ ‘ayn ‘ala kull muslim wa-khuṣūṣan fī Nījīriyā),” he added. Mr Pantami’s comments were translated by Professor Andrea Brigaglia, an African expert at Naples University in Italy. Nigerian scholar Musa Ibrahim of the University of Florida in the United States contributed to the paper that explored the onset of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Top journal publisher academia.edu published the research in March 2019, several months before Mr Buhari tapped Mr Pantami as a minister. Mr Pantami’s violent preachings, which he rendered in Hausa and Arabic throughout the late 1990s and early to mid-2000s, had gone largely unreported in the Nigerian mainstream media.
The document detailed how Mr Pantami offered himself as a volunteer to mobilise the Hisba police of the North, requesting to be appointed as the “commander” (kwamanda) of a militia (ready to travel to Yelwa Shendam) to fight in defence of the Muslims.
The speech, which is about 20 minutes long, concluded with the prayer, “Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm alQā‘ida).”
“During his speech, Pantami is in tears, and his voice is often broken by sighs. The genuineness of his emotional response to what was, without doubt, a dramatic episode in the history of violent conflict in Plateau state is obvious,” said the report.
In a second speech, delivered in 2006, Mr Pantami offered his public condolences for the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Zarqawi.
“May God have mercy on Aḥmad alFāḍil al-Khalayleh, raḥmatullāh’ alayhi. May God forgive his mistakes. He is a human being. He has certainly some mistakes in front of God, so may God forgive his mistakes. Who am I talking about? He is Abū Muṣ‘ab al-Zarqāwī.
“He was born in 1966 of the Christian era, that is forty years ago. […] After some time, he was given responsibility for a camp in Herat. It was the Commander of the Faithful (Amīr almu’minīn) Mollah Omar ‒ may God preserve him ‒ who personally gave him the authority to run this camp.”
The document noted Mr Pantami as further saying, “To this date, in the community of the Prophet we have some awesome people, people of awesome faith, who follow the creed of the Sunna and thanks to whom the enemies of God are unable to find rest in this world.
“They have killed the Shaykh, the martyr Abdallah Yusuf Azzam ‒ may God have mercy on him ‒ but did the struggle end? They went on to strike Chechnya, and they killed many of them: did it end? […] Whenever one goes, another one comes, and he is even more awesome than the first,” Mr Pantami added.
In 2012, former President Goodluck Jonathan made a veiled reference to the fact that terrorists and their sympathisers had infiltrated his government. Boko Haram and other terror groups in the country have continued to terrorise Nigerians by the wanton destruction of lives and property. Source: Peoples Gazzette
The military source told SaharaReporters that Brigadier General, S. S. Tilawan had asked soldiers to stay back rather than attack the terrorists who invaded Damasak town on Saturday.
A military source has explained why the Nigerian Army of 5 Brigade and 145 Battalion could not repel Boko Haram attack on Damasak town, Borno State despite heavy military presence.
The military source told SaharaReporters that Brigadier General, S. S. Tilawan had asked soldiers to stay back rather than attack the terrorists who invaded Damasak town on Saturday.
According to him, the Boko Haram militants had come through the town where civilians are residing making it difficult for the fighter aircraft to strike.
He said the airforce personnel had monitored the movement of the terrorists and informed foot soldiers who ought to tactically combat the attack. He, however, said S. S. Tilawan asked soldiers to retreat, giving the terrorists a smooth operation.
“The Boko Haram terrorists came through Damasak town and started the attack from 4:04 pm to 8 pm. The attack lasted for that long, the Boko Haram militants came through the town where civilians live. The airforce personnel tried, they were there on time to attack Boko Haram but couldn’t because of civilians.
“It was supposed to be the duty of the army to enter that town and fish out these bad boys, but we don’t even have what to use, talkless of other things. The jet cannot bomb that town because the Boko Haram militants came from where civilians are staying and the governor of this state, Babagana Zulum, has so much confidence in this battalion, that is why he opened IDPs’ camp in Damasak to protect his people because he so much loves his people. He wants to ensure that the people live comfortably but now it seems like the army has failed the man due to high corruption in the army, this country is so bad.
“With my five years in the army, even common helmet we don’t have, even those who fought first and second world wars used the helmet to fight and in this modern day and age, we don’t have a helmet, I am very angry.
“Within a month now, we have lost 18 soldiers in this battalion because of one useless Brigade Commander S. S. Tilawan they brought to us. This man is creating unnecessary work, he scattered the camp. I believe he is an agent of Boko Haram. A few days ago, a company was dislodged by Boko Haram militants and when our people tried to go for reinforcement, he said we should not go. That day we lost 10 soldiers and today when the jet came, they told us that they could sight the Boko Haram guys but could not bomb because civilians were there, and that we should go with our little weapons and recapture the town.
“Tilawan still gave order that we should not go to that town. He has forgotten that we are here because of these people. The world should come and do something about this man before the issue gets out of hand. The governor should know that his people are no longer safe because of the Brigadier General S. S. Tilawan, he should come fast and do something.
“People are dying anyhow, and we are here for them. I don’t know the number of people who died but I know Boko Haram militants entered the area and looted it. I feel angry because we could not help these people and we are here for them. It is my duty as a Nigerian soldier to protect people but there is nothing we can do when our leaders make decisions against the people.
“Boko Haram killed people in the town and injured some. The people are doing burials in their cemetery now. We would’ve rescued them yesterday but the commander gave the order that we should not enter the town.
“They didn’t enter our camp but they looted Damasak town to their satisfaction. They even took civilians’ cars away. We lost 3 soldiers to yesterday’s attack, totalling 18 soldiers under just one month.”
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how the Boko Haram fighters invaded Damasak town in Borno State on Saturday, burning United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.
It was learnt that the terrorists, aided by their deadlier Islamic State West African Province fighters, set fire to the UN office and at least three other international charity organisations contiguous to the UN facility.
“The terrorists came into the town in gun trucks. They first embarked on a looting spree. They carted away aid supplies meant for the Internally Displaced Persons before they set fire to the UN hub in the town and three other buildings belonging to other aid organisations,” a source in the town narrated.