•Fresh attack claims 4 in Yobe
From TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri
Boko Haram insisted yesterday that it did not kill civil war veteran, Major Gen. Mamman Shuwa (rtd).
The assassination occurred barely 24 hours after the sect’s offer of a ceasefire.
Shuwa was murdered in Maiduguri, Borno State at the weekend.
Gen Shuwa, a civil war veteran and former member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC), was killed last Friday in his house at Gwange 1, Maiduguri by gunmen.
The military Joint Task Force (JTF) said four gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members, appeared at Shuwa’s residence as guests and subsequently opened fire on him.
“One of the guests died on the spot while the General died on his way to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital,” JTF said.
But in a telephone conference addressed yesterday in Maiduguri by Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz, one of Boko Haram’s commanders, who had been speaking on behalf of the Islamist sect recently, the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which is also known as Boko Haram, maintained it was not responsible for the killing, even as he warned those putting the murder at the doorstep of the sect to stop forthwith.
Abdulaziz said: “We heard that people were saying that we had a hand in the killing of General Shuwa. I want the people to know that we didn’t have any problem with the man. We don’t have anything against him. He was a respected person and has not offended us in any way. We have no hand in his killing. We were even surprised when we heard about the incident.
“We want to warn those who are using our names to do this thing to stop and we also warn those who are also spreading the rumour that Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad killed Gen. Shuwa to stop it because we are not the one that did it.”
Abdulaziz also exonerated Boko Haram from the killing of a Maiduguri-based businessman, Alhaji Mohammed Flawama, an associate of the former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, saying: “We don’t know anything about it.”
Abdulaziz, who said he was the commander-in-charge of southern and northern Borno of the sect, also spoke of the resolve of the sect to embrace dialogue and peace with General Muhammadu Buhari, Shettima Ali Monguno, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Gatimari and other prominent northern leaders “as witnesses.”
He, however, asked the Federal Government to call the JTF to order and “stop killing our members.”
Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram yesterday morning launched a co-ordinated attack at Fika, a small community in Yobe State, leaving four persons, including two police inspectors and civilians, dead.
The gunmen attacked the Divisional Police Station in the town in the early hours of Sunday with bombs and other ammunitions, killing the two inspectors and two other civilians.
The police station was also burnt.
Police Commissioner in Yobe State, Mr. Patrick Egbuniwe, confirmed the incident though he did not give further details.
Egbuniwe, however, said: “Security has since been beefed up in and around the state.”
He appealed to the people “to avail the police with useful information about the hideout of the perpetrators.”
Unconfirmed report also claimed four people were killed by gunmen at Bolori in Maiduguri yesterday morning, prompting sporadic shooting by security forces.
Many Christian worshippers around the area could not go for service, as all major roads around the area, including the popular Baga Road, were cordoned off while they were forced to return to their houses midway.
JTF spokesman, Lt- Col Sagir Musa, could not be reached on his mobile phone for confirmation as at press time.