Thursday, December 17, 2020 9:34 pm
As embarrassments go, there is perhaps no bigger one than the one dished out to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Abubakar Shekau faction of Boko Haram last Thursday.
The President turned 78 on that day. As expected congratulatory messages were flowing from politicians and non-politicians to celebrate the milestone.
But as if lurking in a corner to strike when it will matter most, the insurgent group end the party for the President with the release of a video confirming that it was indeed behind the Friday 11 December of over 300 schoolboys in Kankara, Katsina State.
On the night of that Friday, hundreds of gunmen riding on motorbikes had stormed a boarding school in Kankara where they carried out the mass abduction.
Some of schoolboys jumped over a fence and were able to escape as the gunmen engaged the security guard protecting the school in a gunfight.
But more than 300 were unlucky. They were abducted by the gunmen who took them into the forest.
The initial believe was that the students were abducted by one of the gangs of bandits that have been have plundering farmlands and kidnapping villagers for ransom in the area.
Indeed, the military and the Katsina State Government had indicated that they were on the trail of the bandits and that the abducted students will be rescued in a matter of days.
However, things took a different turn on Tuesday when Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction of the students in an audio message by the leader of a faction of the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau.
The group claimed the boys were kidnapped because they were pursuing western education which the terrorists claimed is not in line with Islamic religion in a 4:30 minutes audio message first published by HumAngle.
“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet.
“They are also not teaching what Allah and his Holy Prophet commanded. They are rather destructing the Islam. It may be subtly, but Allah the Lord of the Skies and Earths knows whatever is hidden. May Allah promote Islam, may we die as Muslims.”
“In a nutshell, we are behind what happened in Katsina,”
“The speaker is Abubakar Shekau, leader of Jama’atu Ahlussunna Lid-Da’awati wal Jihad,” Shekau said in the message in which he neither gave detail of the attack nor number of the abducted schoolboys nor mentioned issue of negotiation with government.
However , many, including the Katsina State Government had raised doubts on Shekau’s claims.
Indeed, Aminu Masari, the State Governor had insisted that he was in talks with the abductors of the students on Wednesday.
It was believed that the video of the students sent out by Boko Haram to clear doubts that it was behind the mass abduction of the Kankara students.
The video may has also been released to get the military off the back of the abductors of the students.
For instance, the student who was allowed to speak in the video advised against the use of military to rescue them.
“Dan Allah, you have to dessolve (sic) any gang of vigilantes and close any kind of schools excluding Islamiyya” he said.
All the Armis (SIC) that have come here to help us please send them back, they can do nothing to help. Please sir, you have to send all the Army, the Soldiers and this Jet back, please Sir, we need your assistance please” he pleaded
A voice was heard in the background saying that the aim of the video is to show the Katsina State Governor that the students are all fine.
But PRNigeria quoted an intelligence source as confirming that the attack on the school was carried out by a group of armed gangs contracted by Boko Haram terrorist group.
“The group who carried out the attacks were specifically hired by Boko Haram to carry out the abduction.
“The gang were in the process of transferring the kidnapped boys to the custody of Boko Haram but could not do so due to heavy security presence around the route.
“That was why they used the boys to make that video urging us to withdraw our forces.”
The source however said that the Military are not on an offensive in the area but are just carrying out a routine air surveillance and ground patrols for protection of lives and properties.
PRNigeria further noted that the clip was not shot in the typical pattern of Boko Haram terrorist group.
Usually, Boko Haram will have their flags at the background and armed terrorist will be seen standing behind the abductees.
Further examination reveals that the voice of the abductor heard in the background of the clip is not a typical tonation of the Kanuri ethnic stock who are predominant in the Boko Haram movement as the accent sounded more like that of local Fulani.