REMNANTS of the terrorist sect Boko Haram have teamed up with the resurgent Islamic State of West Africa Province (Iswap) to take on the Nigerian military in the fight for control of the northwest of the country.
Iswap broke away from Boko Haram and has operated as a rival group, with both laying claims to supremacy in the fight against the Nigerian state. Last month, fighters from both groups clashed after the Iswap insurgents led by their commander Bana Duguri, stormed Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest hideout and during the clash Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader was killed.
Apparently, Sheikh Shekau blew himself up to avoid being captured alive and following his death, Iswap have embarked on a mop up operation. Following the death of Sheikh Shekau, Iswap have been mopping up Boko Haram camps across Borno State in northeast Nigeria but it appears that the two sides have now agreed to work together.
Over the weekend in Maiduguri, Boko Haram and Iswap commanders placed their palms on top of each other chanting words of solidarity as a sign of new alliance. In the about 13-minute video, the terrorists of both camps pledged their allegiance to one Aba Ibrahim Al-Hashimiyil AlKhuraishi, who they unanimously ordained as Khalifan Muslimai, translated as The Leader of all Muslims.
Four insurgents, drawn from Boko Haram bloc and Iswap, were seen in the clip pledging their loyalty to their new commander while speaking in Arabic, Hausa, English and Fulfulde. One of the speakers confirmed the report that intelligence services played critical roles in creating divisions in the camps of the terrorists when he claimed that the enemies succeeded in dividing them, but said they have now reunited for a common goal.
In the video released by Boko Haram, one terrorist who first spoke, extended his greeting to their new Leader, Khuraishi, thanking him for eventually bringing them together. Pledging his loyalty, he said every member of Boko Haram and Iswap should be happy that they are now united.
Another terrorist, while speaking in Hausa, greeted Al-Hashimiyil Khuraishi, assuring that he and his colleague-insurgents will not flout his orders and commandments. He expressed delight that they are now back as one indivisible entity after the mutual hatred that hitherto divided them, gave way.
One Iswap fighter added: “What is left now is Jihad. We will not stop fighting the unbelievers. All the unbelievers are now in trouble.”