Boko Haram Splits into two groups

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Following the ceasefire deal the Federal
Government entered into with Boko Haram, the
violent fundamentalist sect has split into two. While
one faction wants peace, the other doesn’t.

It was gathered on Sunday that the Federal
Government might have entered into the ceasefire
with the faction interested in the cessation of
hostilities in the North-East.
A reliable source in government told The PUNCH in
Abuja that the leaders of the pro-peace faction of
the sect , were the ones who took part in the
negotiations with representatives of the Chadian,
Cameroonian and Federal Government in
Ndjamena, Chad last week.

Federal Government and Boko Haram
representatives are expected to fine tune the
details of the ceasefire at another meeting in
Ndjamena on Tuesday.
Our source said he believed that the attacks on
Shafa in Borno State and Sina, Adamawa State on
Friday, could have been carried out by the faction
not be interested in ending the violence.

He said “The Boko Haram faction that carried out
the attack is the one that wants the insurgency to
continue. It is made up of hardcore elements who
believe their goal of imposing Sharia on the whole
country has not been achieved and for them, the
violence must continue until they win the war or
perish in their quest.”

There had been reports of disagreements among
the top members of the sect following the clamour
by some of its commanders for an end to the
insurgency.

A yet to be verified report had said that unknown
sect members died a few weeks ago in a shoot-out
between the pro-peace and the pro-Jihad factions.

The military is however keeping its side of the
peace deal by suspending all hostilities against the
insurgents, The PUNCH learnt.

This, according to a top military source, was a
direct outcome of a directive issued by the Chief of
Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

Badeh had on Friday ordered the suspension of all
on-going aerial and ground offensives against the
sect.

Our source, who pleaded not to be named because
he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said
the military did not consider the latest attacks as a
violation of the ceasefire.

He explained that it was very likely that the
operatives of the terrorist cells who carried out the
attacks were not aware of the peace deal.

The source said, “One cannot say the peace deal
has been violated; it is the nature of most terrorist
organisations to act that way, and it should be
expected because they have several layers of
operation.

“They have such a long chain that it takes time for
them to communicate with the top unlike the
military where you are very quick communication
channels.

“Another thing is that each of the cells operates
independent of the other. So those who carried out
the attacks in the villages in might not even be
aware of the deal.”

He however explained that security forces would
not allow the other faction to exploit the peace deal
to violate the security and safety of the people.

It was learnt that while the security forces would
not be on the offensive, sustained efforts would be
made to prevent crimes from being committed
against the people.

The PUNCH gathered from another source that the
military had ensured the suspension of aerial and
land offensive in compliance with the CDS’ directive
to give peace a chance.

He said, “We will not be watching any violation of
the security and safety of our people, we will not be
on the offensive but we won’t allow crimes to be
committed.

“The air operation is suspended for the duration of
the ceasefire; we will not be on the offensive; we
really need to comply with the peace agreement at
least to give peace a chance.”


Investigations confirmed that soldiers have
remained in their areas of deployment in the North-
East.

Another security source warned that soldiers would
be left with no option than to act if attacked.

He said while the troops fighting the terrorists
learnt of the ceasefire from the media, they were
awaiting briefing from their commanders.

He said, “This is ceasefire does not say pull back
soldiers; so soldiers have not been pulled back. It is
logical, if soldiers are attacked, they would fight
back; they won’t sit and watch but soldiers have not
gone for any operation since the ceasefire.”

Efforts to speak with the Director Defence
Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade,on the latest
developments did not succeed as calls to his mobile
telephone line did not connect.

But other sources in government said that the
government was still expressing cautious optimism
in its dealings with the sect.
This, it was learnt, was the reason behind its
decision to refrain from making a categorical
statement on the ceasefire since the news broke on
Friday.

A top official, who pleaded anonymity, said the
government has so far decided to keep a dignified
silence to “see how the matter plays out during the
week.

This, according to him, was the reason why the
government was not surprised about the attacks
after the ceasefire agreement became a public
knowledge.

He said, “The government does not want to jump
into the fray. It is true that discussions are ongoing
but the government is watching the situation
critically.
“The thinking is that once the process scales
through, the government will make a public
pronouncement.

“Hopefully, once the Tuesday meeting is
successful, the government will talk. For now, we
are watching events.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the Special Adviser to
the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben
Abati, did not yield result of the time of filing this
report.

Sect captures another Borno town, beheads six
On Sunday, members of the sect captured another
Borno community, Abadam, after laying siege to it.
They also beheaded six people along the Biu –
Garkida Road in the state.
It was gathered from security sources that the
insurgents, numbering 100, invaded Abadam on
Friday night and took it over on Sunday morning.

They said the heavily armed terrorists arrived in
the town in a convoy of about 50 Toyota Hilux
vehicles and motorcycles.
They however did not give a casualty figure but a
resident told journalists in Maiduguri on the
telephone that he saw six corpses, including that of
his friend, while fleeing the town.

He said, “Boko Haram gunmen entered Abadam on
Friday night and shot at any resident in sight for
almost two days until the early hours of Sunday
when many of us started to flee to our farmlands,
bushes and border areas of Bosso in Niger
Republic.

“I escaped by crossing River Kumadugu to Diffa
and from there, I boarded a bus to Damasak before
arriving in Maiduguri today (Sunday).

“Among the people killed was my friend. My parents
and other relations I believe are still in the bush
and I do not know their state as I speak to you .”
The resident added that there was no security
presence in the town throughout the period of the
attack.

Another resident also told journalists that the sect
members, as in other places they had captured,
hoisted their black and white flag in three strategic
locations in the community.
He lamented the possibility of the town, being
declared an Islamic Caliphate.

Some communities in the state under the control of
the sect are Dikwa, Gwoza, Marte, Damboa, Banki,
Bama, Wulgo, Kirenowa.
Our correspondent in Borno State also gathered
that the insurgents beheaded six people on the
same road where the Emir of Gwoza, Idrissa Timta,
was killed a few months ago.
The Executive Director of Stefanos Foundation, Mr.
Mark Lipdo, said on Sunday that the terrorists left
the bodies of the slaughtered victims lying on the
road for a long time.

He said the son to one of the victims was injured by
the insurgents when he attempted to remove his
father’s body from the scene.

Source;- Punch NG

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