BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA — Security operatives of the Joint Task Force have thwarted an attempt by the Boko Haram Islamic sect to hoist what they said would have been their national flag, “a yellow, white and red stripes” with weapons of mass destruction inscribed, at the centre in Damaturu, Yobe State capital which sources said is scheduled to be the headquarters of the Boko Haram nation.
The disclosure was made just as security sources said indigenes of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe and other states harbouring the sect’s ‘cells’ are under immense pressure and fear owing to threats on them to support the group with funds by a percentage of their salaries or profits made from their businesses, which is said to be non negotiable.
Failure to remit such money is most times met with the killing of a loved member of that family or the family is wiped out. That is why the sources of funding for the Islamic sect have been difficult to trace, the source said.
Why Policemen, other security agents are targets
Another mode of funding for the sect, according to the security sources, is the daily killing of security agents particularly the police, soldiers of the JTF, armed Customs and Immigration officials.
Vanguard was told that there was a reward of N5,000 for each security personnel killed and if such a security agent killed has a rifle and the killer or killers succeed in collecting his rifle for the sect, the reward is N10, 000. Hence, the killing of security agents by members of the group is seen as a source of generating funds and acquiring arms and ammunition for the group.
According to the source, the source of arms for the sect members has also been traced to the porosity of the nation’s borders especially those of Niger, Chad and Cameroon through which most of the weapons used in the Arab Spring crises find their way to the country.
The source noted that allegation of killing of innocent indigenes, especially during crossfire with the sect by the JTF was ‘political talk’ especially since great efforts through intelligence and surveillance are carried out by the JTF before they strike.
The source added that such efforts had always yielded unquantifiable discoveries in large stockpile of IEDs, AK 47 rifles, GPMGs and hundreds of thousands of live ammunition.
Vanguard has, consequently, learnt that it was this mode of killing for financial benefits by Boko Haram adherents that has been the stumbling block to officers of security agencies, who when they are deployed to Maiduguri, Damaturu, Potiskum, Mubi, Bauchi, Jos and parts of Kaduna among others protest vehemently and embark on all sorts of lobbying to prevent their being posted to areas considered Boko Haram states.
It would be recalled that recent mass transfer of Police officers especially those from the South-East and South-South to parts of the North recently, experienced such protestations as most of the officers threatened to resign than allow themselves to be used as guinea pigs.