The Governor of Borno State, northeast Nigeria, Kashim Shettima has revealed details how Boko Haram insurgents had re-incarnated in the state under different guises, making their way back to terrorize the nation.
Governor Shettima who spoke on Thursday at the joint inauguration of the State Islamic Preaching Board and the Pilgrims Welfare Board in Maiduguri, urge to board to campaign for proactive measures to be taken to stop the terrorists from coming back.
In a statement presented at the inauguration, the Governor said while the state celebrate the defeat of Boko Haram in Maiduguri and other parts of the state, most people tend to pay less attention to history. Shettima said:
“If we cast our minds back to 12 or 13 years, we will realise that the same group had had the history of being defeated, going under for some years, regrouping and coming back in different form.
“The group went under after an attack in 2003 in Kanama in Yobe after suffering defeat in the hands of security agents. But they regrouped in 2004 and carried out attacks on police stations in Bama and Gwoza, got defeated and melted into the air.
Speaking further, he recalled that in 2007 they appeared in Panshekara in Kano State, got defeated and disappeared again, before their subsequent return as Yusufiyya movement in 2009, with mass followers in Maiduguri, Bauchi and Potiskum.
Governor Shettima stated that insurgent was defeated by the security agents after the 2009 crisis. But they regrouped in December 2010 and were chased out of Maiduguri in 2013 and 2014. He continued:
“They shifted to local government areas and caused mass destruction of lives and property,”
“They recruit their members mostly through open preaching to sell their ideologies to unsuspecting youths, with leaders who preached in Mosques and special gatherings without showing violence at the initial stages.”
Mr. Shettima advised that concrete effort must be invested to prevent the terrorists from returning in any guise, urging members of the two boards to justify their appointment by working for the progress of the state.
“We must take firm and consistent knowledge-based steps to separate those clerics who preach in the name of God and those who kill innocent souls and say it is in the name of God.”