Boko Haram kills 24

By Tony Akowe
In Nigeria
May 26th, 2014
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Insurgents attack market

There seems to be no let-up  in the extremist Boko Haram’s bloody campaign, with the invasion yesterday of a Borno State village.

The sect’s fighters invaded Kamuyya village in Biu Local Government Area, killing no fewer than 24 people.

The village’s market was in full swing when the insurgents, carrying sophisticated guns, emerged from the bush and opened fire on defenceless traders and customers.

They stromed the village centre and burnt down houses, shops and other landmarks.

They also carted away some food items from the market and set fire to those they could not evacuate.

They reportedly operated for over five hours, unchallenged.

According to residents, the insurgents visited the village about two months ago and requested the village head to mobilise his subjects to contribute N250,000 “to execute Allah’s work”.

Peasant farmers and petty traders, who populated the village, could only raise N70,000. But the insurgents were angry and threatened to return to collect the balance or the village would face a deadly attack.

“Actually, when they issued the threat, we took it lightly. Nobody bothered to make any extra effort to put in the amount they requested. Maybe that was what ignited this bloody attack because we were unable to meet their demand,” said a resident.

According to him, they were taken unaware, as the town had not come under such heavy attacks for a long time.

He expressed dismay that innocent people were killed freely without the protection of security forces.

“Throughout the onslaught, which lasted for over five hours, there was no single security personnel to confront the invaders. They had a field day on us. The invaders snatched several vehicles and loaded them with bags of assorted foodstuff , before fleeing the area,” he added.

He also said the attackers burnt almost all the houses, shops and vehicles and carted away assorted food items.

“They destroyed everything we have, carted away our foodstuff and burnt down the remaining ones”, said the resident.

Another resident, who declined to be identified,  claimed that over 100 houses were burnt after the attackers killed 24 people, leaving many others injured.

Also yesterday, controversial Islamic scholar and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly called the Shiite Muslim group, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, alleged in Kaduna that the leader of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau, was being shielded by the military.

Zakzaky, who spoke at the Movement’s 2014 Martyr day in Zaria, also alleged that the Boko Haram activities were part of covert operation by the West to balkanize Nigeria and plunder its resources.

Saying he knew the hideout of the nation’s most wanted man, Zakzaky said: “Abubakar Shekau is being kept safe in a military camp. Let no one be fooled; there is nothing like Boko Haram. It is a covert operation to balkanise Nigeria and steal its resources in the name of search for Boko Haram insurgents. If you can fool others, we cannot be fooled.

“They have realised that there is gold in Zamfara and Zaria, Birnin-Gwari, gold and platinum in Sokoto and Borno. They did it in Iraq, as they went in search of weapons of mass destruction which they never found but plunged the country into chaos.

“The same thing was experimented in Afghanistan before our eyes. The Western countries are experimenting the second phase of scramble for Africa with great expectations from Nigeria.

“The U.S. and Israel see the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as the greatest threat to achieving their sinister objective, hence the constant clampdown attempt and arrest of our members.”

While alleging victimisation of its members by the Nigerian authorities, he asked for the immediate release of two of its members Haruna Abbas and Ibrahim Hussain, arrested over a year ago and “unjustifiably” detained without trial.

“No law or constitutional provision allows for such a lengthy detention without trial and without visitation by families and friends, especially in a democratic government Nigeria is claiming to operate,” Zakzaky said.

Meanwhile, an inter-religious group, Think-Nigeria Christian/Muslim Initiative, wants Nigerians to work hard to expose activities of terrorist groups in the country and ensure religious harmony in the country.

While praising multi-billionaire businessman Alhaji Umaru Abdulmutallab, who reported his son Farouk to the authorities when he became radicalised, the group, in a communiqué at the end of a two-day summit in Kaduna, wants parents to pay more attention to their children and wards to protect them from activities of religious extremists.

The Communique, signed by Abdul Ishiaq, said: “Nigeria is currently in trying moments and all efforts must be made by the two religions in support of the government to defeat the insurgency.

“Muslims require an exemplary leadership to be able to accentuate the meaning and message of Islam in Nigeria.

“The fact that Prophet Muhammed lived and interacted with non-Muslims peacefully should be emulated by Nigeria Muslims while Christians should also imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ in harmonious and peaceful relationship with others.

“Christianity and Islam have their root from Prophet Abraham. Therefore, both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria must engage and embrace one another as brothers and sisters.

“The conference saluted Alhaji Umar Mutallab for exposing his radicalised son to the authorities and called on parents across Nigeria to monitor their children and wards for prompt alert on any radical tendencies

“Nigerians were called to strive in ensuring success of the 2015 general elections while the government must adhere to the principles of free and fair election.”

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