The Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) has realigned with Boko Haram to fight Nigerian soldiers and impose taxes on peasant farmers.
This development came after the recent military offensive that led to the death of many leaders of the insurgents.
An interim council headed by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawiy has restructured the leadership of the extremist sect, according to PRNigeria, a news website with strong knowledge of the insurgents’ activities.
The shake-up, FIJ has gathered, is in line with a directive from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an international terrorist group that claims religious authority over all Muslims.
After losing some of their prominent leaders to military offensives, a combination of the two terror groups held an emergency meeting attended by their chiefs and commanders.
At the meeting, one Abbah Gana was reappointed as the new leader of ISWAP. Gana had been expelled six months ago by the ISWAP council for allegedly betraying the confidence of his loyalists and top commanders.
However, the al-Barnawiy-led committee has reinstated Gana to lead what they termed the ISIS Caliphate of Africa or Wilaya of Africa in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Malam Bako, a Boko Haram commander, was appointed his deputy (Na’ib) in that capacity.
Abba Kaka, a commander of the joint Forces, was appointed the new Governor of Tumbumma, commanding Marte, Abadam, Kukawa, Magumeri and other parts of the Lake Chad. A certain Abubakar Dan-Buduma was made the Operation Commander of the Timbuktu Triangle in the region.
Baba Isa, the terrorist in charge of taxation and revenue on fishing activities, has now been redeployed to Kangar in Abadam. Ibn Umar is the Chief Prosecutor, Abu Umama is the leader of Tudun Wulgo, while Muhammed Maina is the Commander of Sabon Tumbu.
NEW TAXES IMPOSED ON FARMERS
The insurgents have however lifted the ban imposed on fishing and farming activities in the Lake Chad area of Borno. They had chased the farmers out of Marte, Abadam, Kukawa and Guzamala for allegedly spying on them for Nigerian troops.
Now, new taxes and levies have been imposed on farmers in the areas controlled by the insurgents to regulate trade and agricultural activities.
Representatives of the terrorists will henceforth be collecting the sum N5,000 monthly from traders and farmers, while fishermen will have to pay N2,000 per bag of fish.
The major shake-up and restructuring by the terrorist groups cannot change the ongoing military operation, PRNigeria quoted an intelligence official as saying when contacted.
“As you are aware, despite the alleged reunion of Boko Haram and ISWAP factions, coordinated multiple airstrikes by NAF aircraft have been sustained in the destruction of their strongholds,” he said.
“The intelligence-inspired operations were targeted at various terrorist camps in Sabon Tumbu, Jibularam, Kwalaram, Timbuktu Triangle and Parisu and other targets in the Lake Chad.
“Similarly, ground troops also engaged terrorists after air bombardments at Lamboa forest, Bula Yobe, Jabullam, Yauma Wango, Mainok and Dikwa axes where ISWAP fighters and commanders were eliminated including Umar Tela, Modu Sulum and One-Eye ISWAP Commander, Modu Kennami among others.”
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