State of the Nation: Boko Haram’s leadership tussle and serious matters arising?

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State Of The Nation: Boko Haram’s Leadership Tussle And Serious Matters Arising?
By: Ifeanyi Izeze
Who is actually thinking for this country called Nigeria? Even when clues on how to solve the security challenges we current face across the nation manifest, it is tragic that those in charge either by deliberate decision or outright nonchalance let it slip without any serious thought on following the pointers. This has nothing to do with any section of the country as it is now a blanket mindset by all those entrusted to handle our affairs as a nation.
 Can anybody actually blame some people who believe that most of the security challenges we currently face is either being created or fanned by some people in or around authourity in this country? Deep rethinking of the recent Boko Haram leadership drama no doubt produces a picture that is at best curious and at worst suspicious.

Now, the Islamic State Jihadist group, ISIS, on August 2nd 2016 announced a change of leadership in the Boko Haram militants group. The terrorist group said the leadership for its West African branch, Boko Haram, has been adjusted and named Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who was formerly the spokesman for the group to replace Abubakar Shekau as the leader of the sect.

However, this may not have gone down very well with Shekau who took over as Boko Haram leader after the group’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, died in police custody in July 2009. Shekau, who all these while has been underground fuelling speculations that he was actually killed in an air raid as claimed by the Nigerian Army, resurfaced less than 24 hours from the announcement of the group’s leadership change in a video recorded in Arabic and Hausa to reject and protest the coup that dethroned him.

Curiously, the video as transcribed and translated had Shekau and his group issuing direct threats to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Butatai and the spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Sani Usman, whom they labelled as their avowed enemies and infidels.
As said: “To you, President Buhari, very soon you will see us inside your home the presidential palace. You will hear from us right in there by the will of God. Abuja will hear from us very soon. We will demolish infidel and bring down the green white green and replace it with our flag. And under that flag, we shall worship Allah and we shall bring justice to all of you. Don’t think it is only this weapon that will aid us to destroy you but Allah will assist us to do this. Die you all in your rage. We are out to wage war on the world.”
“Especially, the Chief of Army staff, General Buratai and the army spokesman, Kukasheka; we are going to show you our strength in Nigeria. And the battle has just begun. It is going to be a fresh battle for you soldiers of Nigeria.”
Shekau also expressed angst displeasure with Albagdadhi-led ISIS for recognising Mr. Al-Barnawi as the new leader of Boko Haram. It however failed to withdraw its loyalty to Mr. Albagdadhi whom they repeatedly referred to as Khalifa (Supreme leader) – an indication that Boko Haram is still very much comfortable being under the stronger umbrella of ISIS.
Now, is it not curious that Shekau is dragging President Buhari, Chief of Army Staff, Buratai and the Nigerian Army spokesperson, Kukasheka, into what ordinarily should be a leadership tussle in the camp of the terrorists and a protest against their mother body-ISIS?
What is President Buhari’s business in this matter? Was the leadership change done by the president or the Army Chief of Staff; were they the ones that asked for the removal of Shekau and/or recommended the new leader? The government officials are known enemies of Boko Haram and have been at the forefront of checkmating the menace of Boko Haram sect and restoring sanity and security in the country especially in the northeast, so why blame your enemies for and in-house no-confidence vote that was decided and announced by someone you pledged and continue to pledge allegiance to- the ISIS leader?
Questions, questions, questions! Why is Shekau not threatening to visit/attack Albagdadhi- the Khalifa, who stepped him down and announced a replacement, in his house or operational headquarters?
So who appointed Mr. Albarnawi to replace Mr. Shekau because from estranged leader’s outburst and with his strong faith in the leadership of Mr. Albagdadhi, it appears it is not Mr. Albagdadhi that appointed him to replace Shekau otherwise the former leader would have felt betrayed by the ISIS leadership?
Who are these people that “deceived” Mr Shekau to the extent that, instead of venting his anger on them, the anger is directed at our president, the army and Nigerian people? Was there any agreement between them and Shekau that he is feeling betrayed by them?
And then how is the promised mayhem to Nigeria and its citizens going to reverse the decision by the Khalifa to replace him as leader of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria or rather West Africa?
Just as Nigerians were still contemplating the outbursts from Shekau and his group and their threat to our president and the military High Command, a leaked Nigerian Army document that disclosed Boko Haram terrorists plans to hit locations in Lagos, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, Katsina, Imo, Yobe and Borno states as well as the Federal Capital Territory was thrown up in Nigeria’s leading online news site- Saharareporters.
The first question is: which Boko Haram is this one threatening to bomb everywhere across the country- Shekau’s or Al-Barnawi’s?
As exclusively reported by Saharareporters, the intelligence document, revealed that “the terrorists’ targets include markets, schools, police stations and formations, prison facilities as well as the just re-opened schools in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
“The document (AHQ DATOPS/G3/240/225/3), marked “Secret”, was signed by Colonel B. Suleiman on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff.  Dated 5 August 2016 and distributed to the headquarters of 1 and 2 Division of the Army, the document said the Army Headquarters is in possession of information that strongly points to a wave of Boko Haram attacks in the aforementioned locations and other parts of the country.”
Is Nigeria not truly fast becoming a joker country? In the first instance, how did a military document marked “secret” get into the hands of a US based journal and published for the whole world to read? Could it have been deliberately given to them by the Nigerian Army and to achieve what purpose? Could this be another “arms deal” in the making or even something bigger?
As said by an analyst, “The witches cried last night and the baby died today,” where did our very own Army Headquarters obtain the intelligence information about Boko Haram’s plan to bomb those locations in Nigeria after Mr. Shekau has issued his intention to deal with them for their betrayal?
Could it be that Shekau has fully served the purpose for which he was employed and it is time to put another shadowy figure thereby opening another chapter of their next game plan?
Is it the same Boko Haram that the Nigerian Army said they have decimated so much that they are already becoming history that is now planning this kind of massive attack that the Army is issuing a force majeure to all its commands? Questions! Questions! Questions! God help Nigeria!
(IFEANYI IZEZE: iizeze@yahoo.com; 234-8033043009)

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