January 28, 2023

Suspected sabotage, ISWAP expels former loyalists of Shekau 

ISWAP, Boko Haram,

ISWAP fighters

By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja

The Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) terrorist group have expelled former members of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād (Boko Haram) group who had earlier defected and pledged allegiance to ISWAP following the death of their leader, Shekau.

Recall that Abubakar Shekau, former leader of the factional Boko Haram sect, killed himself during a violent confrontation with some renegade ISWAP top commanders in June 2021.

Weeks after his death, thousands of the Boko Haram pledged their allegiance to ISIS Aba Ibrahim Al-Hashimiyil AlKhuraishi, whom they unanimously ordained as ‘Khalifan Muslimai’, translated as “The Leader of all Muslims”.

The source said ISWAP faction had continued to speculate that the unrelenting successful offensive attacks by the Nigerian troops was not ordinary and blaming it among themselves.

They justified their stand following the waves of the intra-group rivalry clashes that culminated in the Boko Haram’s Bakoura Doro (Abou Oumaymah) led–JAS faction leading deadly attacks against the the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) positions.

While addressing the fighters and their families in the Timbuktu Triangle, the Leader of the ISWAP, Abbah Shuwa also known as Ba’a Shuwa, accused the Boko Haram defectors of doubled face.

He said “You may claim to be with soldiers of the Khalifah but your heart and souls is with thr Murtad and Khawarij. You are still loyal to the Abubakar Shekau’s Boko Haram group. You are still supporting Abou Oumaymah, and Ali Ngulde, to wage war against us.

Shuwa also accused the Boko Haram fighters of collaborating with the repented Boko Haram to expose their pre-planned attacks which in many case resulted to failures

He gave example of 14 January and 23 January 2023, attacks which resulted in the elimination of scores of the terrorists and the recovery of hilux trucks, weapons and Phantom MRAP APCs by the Nigerian troops in Damboa.

He therefore warned that they should surrender their weapons and leave immediately or face the wrath of the group.

Consequently, on January 24, the ISWAP led by Ba’a Shuwa, carried out attacks in Boko Haram positions in Mantari, Gabchari and Maimusari in Bama axis, killing scores of the fighters and forcing others to flee to the axis of Banki.

Military sources said that the ISWAP leadership told the Boko Haram elements that it was time to for them to leave, believing that there were moles working against the groups in disguise, 19 months after their unification, the ISWAP

Confirming the development, a counter-insurgency expert and security analyst in Lake Chad, Zagozola Makama said the aggressive deployment of intelligence, kinetic and non-kinetic onslaught by the Nigerian Armed Forces have led to the death of hundreds of the terrorists and obliteration of their enclaves within the past few months.

 He pointed out that the fear of battlefield elimination forced many commanders of Boko Haram and their families to abandon their missions and surrender to troops.

Many more of the fighters have also given up their arms following intense hunger and the near impossibility of accessing drugs or feeding on normal food.

Apparently, their fighting capability has depleted seriously with remnants deserting various camps, leaving behind a few diehards who stand no chance of not being eliminated by either the Nigerian troops or the terrorists themselves.