© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
ISIS NOT OPERATING IN NIGERIA – FG
The Nigerian government has allayed fears that the Islamic terror group, Islamic State, ISIS, is penetrating Nigerian territory.
The coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, asserted that the recent pledge of allegiance made by the Boko Haram leader, Abu Shekau, to ISIS leadership was nothing but a confirmation that the insurgents in the North east were having a hard time in the hands of the coalition of Nigerian and multi-national forces.
This is coming as Ahmed Salkida, a conflict journalist who had contact with the Boko Haram leadership in 2013-2014, has observed that the Boko Haram sect may actually expect an IS-inspired change in leadership following Shekau’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader, Abubakar Bagdadi, over the past weekend.
Salkadi, who is probably the only Nigerian journalist to have contacted the leadership of Boko Haram, asserted that the “methodological transformation of Boko Haram into a well-organised terror and propaganda machine” is evidence of a burgeoning alliance between the two terror groups.
Salkadi also stated that the implications of Shekau’s pledge are that “Abubakar Bagdadi will henceforth take decision for the insurgents as Shekau’s self-governance ended on Saturday, the 7th of March 2015”.
According to Salkadi, a source close to the Boko Haram insurgents also informed him that “the emissaries by Bagdadi are already here with us, they are making a lot of changes that I cannot share but we have started seeing the impact of our Bay’ah”.
Bay’ah is a pledge of allegiance and according to Islamic scholars, it can only be offered to the leader of the Muslims.
Islamic tradition also states that once allegiance is offered, as in the case of Boko Haram to IS, it is accepted because the leader that is being offered Bay’ah assumes total and absolute authority over his subjects, except the subjects discover that the actions of the leader contradicted their kind of beliefs.
However, Omeri dismissed these fears stating that Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS was “a sign of weakness and a result of pressure on the Jihadist militants by the Multi National Joint Task Force”.
Omeri stated the pledge was “an act of desperation and comes at a time when Boko Haram is suffering heavy losses”.
“Troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger have claimed a series of successes against the militants since last month, pushing them out of captured territories in northeast Nigeria.
“No foreign extremists can or will change this fact –- as long as the Nigerian military continues to receive cooperation and commitment from its citizens and allies.
“There will be no Islamic State in Nigeria, the only state that will exist is the united Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he stated.