West & Central Africa

A Muslim army must fight Boko Haram, says Sheikh

An Islamic legionary army should be set up to combat the terror group, Boko Haram, according to a Muslim scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, son of the founder of a radical fundamentalist Islamic sect.

He called on the Nigerian government to permit establishment of an Islamic fighting force.

He accused Nigerian soldiers of engaging Boko Haram of fighting “under the influence of substances.” The Muslim cleric said, “This is why immediately Boko Haram insurgents chant Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great); some of our soldiers would throw away their weapons and took to their heels. But if we have exclusively Muslims legions under the leadership of Imams, they will fight the war as Jihad.”

He claimed: “They will follow the principles of holy war and this insurgency would come to an end, insha Allah. If Boko Haram chants Allahu Akbar, our soldiers, who know that they are fighting a holy war, would also chant Allahu Akbar and fight to the end.”

he Catholic Bishop of Bauchi, Northeastern Nigeria, Hilary Dachelem, has called on the Nigerian government to “leave politics and protect lives” following the abduction of 110 girls in a government school in Dapchi and the continuous attacks on predominantly Christian communities in Benue, Plateau and Taraba States in the Central region of the country by Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen.

“My call is for the government to leave politics aside and retrieve these girls; leave politics and protect lives. You do not politicize life, for Christ’s sake,” the Bishop said “I do not need to know who you are, political affiliation or religious beliefs, but all I know is that life is sacred and must be protected and respected by everybody,” he added.

In response to the claims of inability to contain the Boko Haram scourge, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, speaking at the 8th Edition of National Security Seminar 2018, of the Alumni Association of the National Defense College, insisted that “the nation’s armed forces have been fully mobilized to Borno and Yobe states to ensure the security and safety of the people as well as schools in that part of the country.”

Osinbajo claimed that “Boko Haram, as we all know, rejects authority and strives to take over territory, establishing a caliphate  in line with ISIS objectives. Between 2012 and 2015, they seemed to be well on their way to achieve their objectives by annexing some territory of Nigeria and contesting territory with it.”

He latest Boko Haram propaganda video released this week claimed that the terror group is still firmly in control of the Sambisa forest. Shuaibu Moni, the Boko Haram commander freed in exchange for some 82 kidnapped Chibok girls, brokered by the Swiss authorities, said, the Nigerian government continues to lie to the Nigerian public. He insisted that the terror group had not be flushed out of the forest and neither are they on the run.

Moni did not however mention the Dapchi school girls giving speculation that the girls are probably in the captivity of Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the son of the founder of Boko Haram, Yusuf Mohammed, who was killed in the custody of the police and a sect recognized and endorsed by ISIS.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image credits: Google Images/Abubakar Gumi/Yobe School girls/Boko Haram propaganda video