By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU), Ishaq Usman Kasai, has alleged that new evidence showed that the two terrorists groups, Ansaru and Boko Haram may be re-emerging in Birnin-Gwari Emirate of Kaduna State.
He said in an interview that although the 2 terrorists groups were rivals,they do form a synergy to launch attacks
out of necessity as they would not want to risk weakening themselves by fighting each other.
He expressed worry that already, Ansaru terrorists who had found a place to stay in the Birnin-Gwari forests,had commenced a recruitment process of locals in the villages,majority of whom were youth who believed the terrorists would give them protection against minor bandits and allow them go to the farm.
Usman Kasai explained that “the presence of Ansaru in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area and their recruitment of locals are a great cause for concern to our people. We fear the growth of the interaction and movement of terrorists to our area.”
“This means that Ansaru’s presence in our area and recruitment of locals amidst the inability of government to provide security have ramifications for the growth of Al-Qaeda in West Africa because it could lead to Al-Qaeda uniting its Sahelian and Nigerian jihad theatres.”
“We are afraid that Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area is being considered by internationally connected terrorists as their new operational base after being technically dislodged from the North-East.”
“Fresh evidence shows that the two terrorists groups (Ansaru and Boko Haram) may be re-merging. We have been raising the alarm and calling the attention of government and security agencies to the recruitment of locals and propagation of Ansaru terrorist ideology and activities in our area but no serious action has been taken to arrest the situation.”
” You will remember that the group claimed responsibility for the prison break at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters in Abuja in November 2012. It also said it was responsible for the attack on the Emir of Potiskum on Kaduna-Zaria Road on 14 January, 2020, in which about 30 people were killed.”
“In fact, the group has carried out several attacks, killings and kidnappings in Nigeria. This is our concern because as of now, the group has begun preaching and recruitment in the eastern part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area, in villages like Old Kuyello, Kazage, Kutemeshe, Kwasa-Kwasa, Gobirawa and Farin Ruwa.”
“Ansaru members go to mosques in various communities in the area wearing military uniform, preaching and sharing pamphlets containing their ideology to congregations”.
“It is our concern that many villagers are losing hope in government for protection against bandits and are beginning to develop interest in joining Ansaru so that they can live freely and do their businesses without fear in their communities. Therefore, the operation of this terrorist organisation in our area is a serious concern.”
A message asking the state Commissioner of Home Affairs and Internal security on the state of affairs in the area, could not yield the desired result.
A source in Birnin-Gwari told Vanguard that the terrorists have made the Emir to be spending most of his days in the state capital and only visits his palace occasionally with the help of Air Force helicopter .