Monday, 13 February 2012

Brand New Boko Haram Revelations: The Inside Story

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As recently reported detained Boko Haram topshot Abu Qaqa, gave more stunning revelations yesterday on why the Islamist sect rob banks, besides suicide bombings. As he squealed, 12 people were killed on Sunday night in a shoot-out between the Joint Task Force (JTF) and members of the sect in Maiduguri, Borno State, even though a hospital source said it received five bodies.

Abu Qaqa, who the group denied being its spokesperson, but a top official, was arrested in Kaduna about two weeks ago on his way to honour Federal Government’s invitation for dialogue. He is one of the 30 high profile personalities in government’s custody as the crackdown on the sect intensified following the Januaty 20, 2012 multiple bomb blasts in Kano. The group’s deadliest attack so far, claimed 185 lives.
Qaqa revealed that whereas the group is funded by some politicians, it also finds some other lucrative use for members’guns.When the group is cash-strapped, the members’ find recourse to carrying out bank raids to raise fund and keep the wheels of violence turning. In one of such spates of diverse use of violence and guns, he said that Boko Haram members stormed a bank which he (Abu Qaqa) could not reveal its identity or location and harvested N41million.
Qaqa explained that when a member is killed in action, the leader reserves the right to allocate the wife or wives to other members as adopted or new wives. Such ‘gifts of generosity’ are never refused by members because even the leader, Shekau, most times appropriates some of such widows after dishing out to other members or even before any other member gets. In one of such wife swap deals, Shekau, inherited one of the wives of the assassinated sect leader, Mohammed Yusuf, and still keeps her till date. Yusuf was killed by security agents in 2009.
From Qaqa’s revelations, it seems Boko Haram may have suffered a terrible blow by reason of his arrest, and he, in fact, noted that if he, Qaqa, could be arrested by security forces, or another kingpin, Abdullahi Damasak neutralized by the security forces, then any Boko Haram member is vulnerable and could spell doom for the dreaded group.
“Everyone lived in fear, more of leadership of the group even than security agencies. For instance, I never for once believed I could be arrested. I thought I was invincible. But now I have realised that if I could be arrested, if Abdullahi Damasak, the spiritual adviser, could disappear (arrested), then it is a matter of time before everyone is caught.”
But the windfall of the bank raid made possible by power of the barrel at last became a sore point in the body polity of the group. And Qaqa squealed: “A major source of distrust and acrimony in the group was the N41million got from the bank robbery that was not accounted for. Normally, the money is supposed to be shared among five groups: the less privileged, widows of those that died in the Jihad, Zakat, those that brought in the money, and the last to the leadership to be used in prosecuting the Jihad.
“We don’t know how this particular income was spent and nobody dared ask questions for fear of death. Even those that took part in the robberies are also always compelled to pay Zakat on their share to the leadership. The leader, Shekau, appropriates what goes to the widows, less-privileged, Zakat and leadership.
“The leader also gives out wives of those killed the way he wants and marries some in the name of giving them protection. For instance, he is married to one of Mohammed Yusuf’s wives.
Meanwhile, the JTF and Boko Haram on Sunday night claimed 12 people were killed in the gun battle.
Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Hassan Ifijeh Mohammed, who confirmed the gun battle with the sect at Budum area in Maiduguri metropolis on Sunday night, said on the contrary, the troops killed 12 members of Boko Haram at about 8.30pm. He said two of their personnel were however injured.
The JTF said it has observed that some individuals were allowing their places of worship and business centres as well as residences to be used by the Boko Haram to launch attacks on security agencies. He warned that the task force “will deal with the issue appropriately.”
But sources at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) mortuary claimed that five bodies were brought to the morgue yesterday morning.
In its account, Boko Haram told journalists in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon that the sect ambushed the soldiers around Budum, killing about 12 of them. The sect said the attack was a warning to the security agencies that it has not abandoned its course, adding that it will attack Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and telecommunication service providers particularly in the northern part of the country for collaborating with the security agencies to reveal data that led to the arrest of their members.
The group said that it would no longer issue any warning on planned attacks again as it used to do in the past, insisting that warnings were treated with kid gloves by the people and security agencies.
Reacting to the allegation of foreign sponsorship especially from Saudi Arabia, the group said it did not get sponsorship from any where. “There is no foreign sponsorship from any foreign country or body. It is a mere allegation and there is no truth in it, it is all tissues of lies.” The group maintained that there was no division among the sect members contrary to the claims of one of them in the custody of the SSS.
In another development, there was heavy gunshot yesterday afternoon as security operatives attached to the gate of Kaduna State Government House shot a man , believed to be on a suicide mission.
But Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa and some top government functionaries were said to be in Abuja for a public event during the incident.
The absence of the governor, did not, however, stop the security operatives from resisting the alleged attempt.
The alleged suicide bomber was said to have been rushed to the 44 Army Reference Hospital, just a few metres from the Government House, even as he had earlier allegedly waved aside a good number of bullets with his bare hands, but couldn’t save the ones that hit his legs.
At Press time, the car used by the suspect was still being held by the security men to ascertain its content which was believed to be containing some explosives.
However, in a statement issued by the Commissioner of Police, Ballah Magaji Nassarawa said: “Today, 13th February, 2012, at about 1328 hours, a combined team of security personnel attached to Government House main gate, Kaduna, intercepted a Toyota Corrola saloon car with Kaduna State official Reg. No. Kaduna KD-06-A 04.
“The driver drove dangerously in a suspicious manner towards the Government House gate. The security personnel stopped the lone occupant but instead of stopping, he forced himself through the exit gate and found his way into the Government House.
“The security agencies thereafter, opened fire and shot the suspect on the leg and the lower abdominal part of his body.
“The suspect was later identified as Pastor Isuwa Kiforo (M) of no. 7, Abba Rimi road, Narayi, Kaduna, who is the Director, Finance and Administration, Ministry of Information, Kaduna State.” Source: sunnewsonline

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