Saturday, 25 February 2017

Boko Haram: Shekau Kills Spokesperson over leadership tussle


The leader of Boko Haram’s main faction, Abubakar Shekau, has admitted killing the group’s purported spokesman over an apparent plot to oust him, he said in an audio recording obtained by AFP.

In the 50-minute tape of a meeting with the inner circle of his militant Islamist group, Shekau said he killed “Tasiu” — also known as Abu Zinnira — who appeared in several video messages.

“You should hear me: I killed Tasiu, hear me well,” he told the gathering in Hausa, which is widely spoken across northeast Nigeria.

Shekau states the date of the meeting — December 18 — and said it had been called to discuss “those elements grumbling over the killing of Tasiu”.

The tape which appears to have been meant for circulation only within the armed Islamist movement, was received by AFP this month.

Shekau’s claim appears to lend weight to reports of infighting within Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 in northeast Nigeria since 2009 and left 2.6 million homeless.

In the December audio recording, Shekau accused Abu Zinnira of plotting with another senior commander called Baba Ammar to take over leadership of the group.

He accused them of sending fighters to carry out raids without his consent, spreading rumours among his lieutenants that he intended to kill them and portraying him as unfit to lead.

Abu Zinnira and “other elements” had tried to downgrade him as “not on the right track”, Shekau added.

“Tell me, what is the punishment… for the people that plot against their leader?” he asked.

“By our code of allegiance we don’t hesitate to pass appropriate sanction on any one of us that commit an offence.”

Vanguard

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