•ISWAP abducts six, traditional ruler near Niger Republic
•Faction reorganises, realigned with other Jihadists
•Why they turned to banditry
The Boko Haram Terrorists and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP)have reportedly kidnapped the head of Hunters and chief negotiator in the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in Borno State, North East Nigeria.
Abdulkareem Umar, also known as Baba-Maigiwa, a 69-year-old, Leader of the Borno state Hunters is said to has been held hostage by Boko Haram factional Commander, Modu Sulum in a failed negotiation deal.
According to sources, Baba Maigiwa is known to control a group of about 5000 hunters selected across regional states – Cameroon ; CAR ; Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Nigeria.
“The 69 years old is known to control one of the biggest HUMINT source in the region,” said a Counter Terrorism Expert, Mr. David Otto.
Otto also noted that the hunters group have received support from the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, including 10 Toyota Hilux vehicles that have been branded Mai-Giwa Hunters Group. The vehicles, he said, are used by the hunters to move into the deep forest.
The hunters are known as “Yan-Tauri or die-hards for their resilience. There is a local belief that these hunters possess spiritual protection against gunshots and other kinds of firepower but this may not include hostage taking.
In a related development, ISWAP at about 13.14am on Friday kidnapped six people Kinchandi, a Lake Chad border town with Niger Republic.
The sources disclosed those abducted to include six males, one female with three of the males coming from Buduma tribe as well as a traditional leader of Gegime town, certain 65 year old Alhaji Abba Kuru.
Jihadists reorganised, Maman Nur ISWAP realigns
The Jihadists in Niger Republic are reportedly reorganising after the air raids on most of their locations.
Otto who is conversant with the latest development also confirmed this via his tweet, saying they coordinate with other jihadist in the Northern side of Borno.
To this end, he called for synergy between neighbouring countries to arrest the situation.
While this is going on, he hinted about ongoing strategic alliance between ISWAP renegade unit loyal to deceased strategist Mamman Nur and other Jihadist groups.
The faction is said to has merged with the tribes of Buduma, Sukurti, Manga and Mobar in NigerRepublic and Nigeria respectively.
According to sources, the armed alliance met with infamous Amir #Bakura, alongside whom they launched a joint attack on Chad Republic at about 5:51pm on Thursday, killing 10 Chadian soldiers in the process.
The ISWAP’s Nur units have reportedly secured about 63 Golf Model Vehicles in Diffa town, Niger Republic, which are used to raise funds for the group.
To this end, Otto asked the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to “investigate these reports and ensure such activities are blocked”.
Mamman Nur ISWAP faction turned to bandits
Mamman Nur was assassinated by some of his close commanders in late 2018 accused of engaging in negotiations with the Nigerian government. An architect of Ansuru , ISWAP & first deputy to Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf, he is credited to have internationalised Boko Haram.
Later on some of Nur’s loyalists fighters and commanders who were equally targeted for assassination split from ISWAP and created a loose faction engaged in criminal activities in the Lake Chad Basin similar to other Boko Haram renegades turned bandits operating in the North West of Nigeria.