There is brewing tension among the hierarchy of the Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP), the two major terror groups operating in the North-East, it has been reliably gathered.
A reliable source close to some of the repented Boko Haram commanders, said that there is a major plot to execute the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shakau, over growing mistrust and struggle for supremacy.
According to the source, who craved anonymity, many of the Boko Haram and ISWAP commanders have been killed as a result of infighting among the insurgents.
It was gathered that fresh crisis hit the terrorists’ camps after the extermination of Muhammad Shuwa, Abu – Mossad Albarnawee and Baa Idirisa on February 9, 2020.
The death of these two top commanders, the source said has deepened the suspicion and distrust in Shekau’s camp.
He disclosed further that most of Shakau’s key commanders and fighters had deserted him and are secretly planning to execute him.
According to the source, “key commanders under the leadership of Mallam Bakura have been constantly planning to kill Shekau because of his high handedness, erratic disposition, mental imbalance and non-adherence to pristine Islamic tenets or the original BHTs’ doctrine and Ideology.
“They further accused him of serial clandestine killings of some terrorists’ commanders that he viewed as threats to his despotic leadership. Also it was revealed that Shekau has uncontrollable mad desire for women including his fellow jihadists’ women and daughters”.
All these the source said have “increasingly alienated him from some of his high profile commanders that are now surreptitiously planning to eliminate him. It is just a matter of time that Shekau will be no more.
The source added that “the latest information from though yet to be confirmed is that Shekau has been eliminated by his detractors who are averse to his inordinate lust for raping women and under aged girls including those married to his fellow jihadists fighters. His penchant for the use of girl-child for suicide bombings has been a great issue of concern in the terrorists’ camp.
“The major point of disagreement between the two camps lies in what a source described as anti-Islamic activities and indiscriminate killing of people whether Moslem or Christians, children or adults, including raping women who are married or unmarried.
“These problems are compounded because of the increasing operational activities of Nigerian troops and the Multinational Joint Task Force in Northern Borno State”.
However, no fewer than eight Boko Haram fighters and their family members, including six women and eight children have surrendered to troops of 152 Task Force Battalion deployed at Banki Town in Bama Council Area of Borno State during clearance operations by troops.
The surrendered terrorists, according to a statement by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col Aminu Iliyasu, yesterday, include Tija Bo Isa, Ba Amodu Aba Kaka, Modu Zantalami, Malam Zantalami and Bakura Aba Kaka (Boko Haram logistics supplier).
Others were Bulama Modu Zantalami, Abukar Izahi and Bana Katum.
“During preliminary interrogation, the surrendered terrorists regretted their involvement in the dastardly acts of killing and abduction of innocent people as well as attacks on security agencies.
“They equally disclosed that their leadership has been in disarray for the past four months since the renewed offensive actions by the troops against their enclaves leading to high casualties on their foot soldiers amidst serious dislocation of their command structures.
“They further disclosed that many of their erstwhile colleagues are wandering in the forest and willing to give up their unholy adventure but are afraid of being killed by the security agencies. They therefore call on them to take the bold decision and surrender to any Nigerian Army unit closest to them as the safety of their lives are guaranteed”, the statement read in part.
“Troops of 5 Brigade Mobile Strike Team in conjunction with Chief of Army Staff Intervention Battalion II and elements of 145 Battalion (Main) also rescued 126 Boko Haram captives while conducting clearance operations within the Gudumbali general area in Guzamala LGA of Borno State. The rescued victims comprised of 36 adult males, 36 adult females and 54 children.
“In a related development, troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade rescued 17 Boko Haram captives comprising six adult males, six adult females and five children”.
According to the statement, all rescued victims were evacuated and handed over to Internally Displaced Persons Camp officials.
It added further that, “in a separate development on the same day, February 21, 2020, the combined troops of 19 Brigade, 127 and 130 Battalions in conjunction with Army Headquarters Strike Group conducted a massive clearance operation along Mile 4 – Cross Kauwa – Tukul Village – Daban Shata all in Kukawa LGA of Borno State.
“Troops made contact with some marauding Boko Haram criminals along a River Bank at Daban Shata. After a brief encounter, one Boko Haram criminal was neutralized while two others were captured alive by the gallant troops.
Additionally, seven AK-47 rifle magazines, two bandoliers, one camel bag, one military waist belt and a sample of receipt were recovered. Preliminary investigation revealed that one of the captured insurgents is the Amir (a high ranking member of Boko Haram) of Daban Shata.
“Relatedly, on the same February 21, 2020, the combined troops of 29 Task Force Brigade, 273 Tank Battalion, 156 Task Force Battalion, Army Super Camp 4 and elements of 7 Division Garrison also conducted a robust clearance operation to Lambuwa, Abbusuri, Bamti, Malumti, Goni-Kanuburi and Sheworam all in Konduga LGA of Borno State. At Lambuwa, troops conducted a snap Cordon and Search Operation and arrested three suspected Boko Haram criminals with one of them bearing the name of Modu Solum (a high profile Boko Haram member and logistics supplier). However, further profiling is ongoing to ascertain the suspects’ real identities”.