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Published On: Fri, Sep 26th, 2014

Boko Haram splits over ceasefire

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boko-haram-groupFrom Umar Dankano, Yola and Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

That appears to be nemesis seems to have caught up with the rank and file of the Boko Haram insurgents as the group’s leaders are said to be embroiled in a stiff and bloody disagreement over ceasefire and leadership status.

In Madagali, one of the local Government areas taken over by the militants, disagreement over whether or not to lay down arms and who takes over as leader following the reported death of “Shekau” is said to have led to exchange of gun shots between members of the dreaded group. 30 of them were feared killed in the infighting.

Reports say that the fight ensued over disagreement as to whether or not to surrender and sheathe their swords as well as who should be the new Amir (Leader) after the killing of the former leader of the insurgents by Nigerian troops in Bazza, about a fortnight ago.

“I can tell you now, that over 30 Boko Haram fighters were killed in Madagali town after a fight that ensued between them over disagreement to surrender their weapons. They just kept shooting themselves sporadically,’’ said Bello Musa a trapped resident.

Musa said that there has been disquiet among members of the group with some calling for ceasefire. “Already, there is also leadership crisis over who should emerge the new leader in Madagali,’’ he said.

It could be recalled that for almost three weeks now, Madagali, Gulak, Shuwa and Michika towns have been under control of Boko Haram members who installed their regime.

Residents say that, many ‘’ defaulters’’ who violated rules had tested their laws with some having their fingers cut-off, while others were meted with corporal punishments.

“They cut-off fingers, lash offenders and marry-off spinsters,’’ said Bitrus Kwache, a trapped resident in Michika.

In a related development, suspected members of the dreaded sect on Wednesday night attacked Shaffa and Shindiffu villages, in Hawul Local government area of Borno state, killing 20 persons.

Among those killed was a pastor, Pastor Eliud Gwamna Mshelizza, of the Living Faith Church, a teacher (name withheld) at Government Girls Secondary School, Shaffa and 18 others.

The rampaging insurgents also razed down about 10 churches, such as E.Y.N No. I; E.Y.N No. II and III, in Shaffa and Shindiffu villages, including several houses as well as destruction of a clinic and some staff quarters and structures at the Government Girls Secondary School in Shaffa.

However, sources said when the terrorists were about to leave Shindiffu and proceed to Turaku village, a Christian community to continue their deadly act, military troops from Adamawa axis and Biu Military barracks who were on their trail ambushed them and killed almost all of them.

The attackers according to fleeing residents invaded Shaffa at about 8pm and wrecked havoc before storming Shindifgu village.

Shaffa is south and about 20 kilometres drive from Azare, the headquarters of Hawul which is 215 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital which has remained under series of attacks by Boko Haram due to none availability of security operatives in the area.

Sources said, before the sect were about to complete their mission in Shaffa, there was a deployment of some troops to Shaffa, who were trailing the fleeing terrorists before wreaking another havoc on Shindiffu, a nearby village.

On whether arrest were made by troops, the source however said: ” I cannot give you details yet, but the troops deployed to trail the terrorist were making a headway; Unfortunately, after the attacks, telecommunication services were interrupted for security reasons; but I am optimistic that the troops will succeed in killing or arresting some of the attackers.

A military source, who is not authorized to talk to press, said: “Our men from Adamawa and Biu axis repelled the attacks on Shaffa, Shindiffu and Turaku village. Over 100 of the terrorists were killed while several arms and ammunition were also recovered in the encounter”.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin confirmed the incidents to newsmen, but said due to absence of telecommunication networks in the area he is yet to get details on the casualty figures.


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