Abduction of Unimaid staff unusual – Experts
Boko Haram terrorists are stepping up plans to attack Maiduguri, locals living in neighbouring communities, said yesterday.
But residents living in hamlets not far from Maiduguri told our source yesterday, that there was the need for aggressive surveillance because the terrorists were inching closer to the state capital.
Some of the sources, who do not want their names mentioned, said Boko Haram foot-soldiers more often brought girls on suicide mission from the forests and coerced the villagers into silence ahead of carrying out their nefarious activities.
“The terrorists bully us into silence all the time; they always threatened that they would sack our villages if we talk,” one of the villagers, said.
He listed communities around Maiduguri that were under threat to include Dunomari, Ngubodori, Garin Maliki, Jiddari, Tamsugamdu, Garin Kwayam, Zaragajri and Jelta Kawu all around the University of Maiduguri.
Another source said communities around Barracks road were also being threatened by the terrorists. “Places like Bale, Galtimari, Fasha, Garin Shuwa, Kayamla, Taujeri and Kayamari are all having sleepless nights,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ambush and killing of military operatives and oil workers, including the abduction of some staff of the University of Maiduguri by a faction of the Boko Haram has been described as “unusual.”
The faction of Abu Mus’ab Albarnawy, the son of Mohammed Yusuf, the slain leader of the group, on Friday released a video of three Unimaid staff, with one of them, Dr. Solomon Yusuf, calling on the Nigerian authorities to accept the demands of the group and negotiate their release.
The is the first time the Al-Barnawy group, under the influence of Mamman Nur, which was recognised by ISIS, in August 2016, displayed a video of their captives.
“The video showed a sign of desperation on the side of Al-Barnawy faction to show that they are equally deadly considering that nothing much is being said of them, everything is about Abubakar Shekau,” said retired Colonel Mohammed Abdul.
“The faction is not known for abductions or outright killings, in fact that was the reason they parted ways with Shekau. I believe the oil explorers may survive if the delicate issue is handled very well. I think they launched the Tuesday’s terrible ambush so as to make a point, to send a message and to get money in exchange for the Unimaid staff,” he said.
“It seems the Al-Barnawy faction is also taking the path of Shekau who got what he got during the two separate negotiations for the Chibok girls,” another source, a retired Captain, said.