A security expert, Kabiru Adamu, has raised the alarm that a terrorist group, Ansaru, is currently recruiting en mass in Kaduna and Niger states.
The security, risk management and intelligence solution consultant disclosed this while speaking on the Channels Tv’s Daily Sunrise programme on Friday.
He said terrorist enclaves were being established between the boundary communities of Kaduna and Niger states, lamenting that the situation was getting worrisome and needed urgent attention from the government.
The Kaduna State Government had said over 300 people have been killed already this year and over a thousand kidnapped while the Niger State Government said over 200 were killed in the state in the first 17 days of January 2022 by terrorists.
The security expert said, “The worrisome aspect is that they are recruiting actively within those locations.
“In several communities there, what they do is that they use little influence sometimes offering residents little money or protection and residents out of fear or perhaps because they don’t have any choice, embrace that olive branch they are offering to them.
“Before you know, the various participation of a person in a terrorist group starts exhibiting itself. It could be either silent membership or active support, it could be in form of informants.
“This is well established. As far back as November last year, we started documenting this.”
According to the security expert, Ansaru broke out of Boko Haram in 2012 because of ideological differences.
He said a lot of its membership and leaders are from the Northwest of Nigeria, adding that they started their operation in Kano and parts of Katsina.
“You will recall in 2014 when a French engineer was abducted in Katsina, then another engineer was abducted in Kano and in Birni-Kebbi, a Briton and an Italian were abducted. All of these were related to the activities of the group,” Adamu said.
He said the major ideological difference at that time between Ansaru and Boko Haram was in terms of the methodology with which the parent group was trying to achieve its objectives which is through suicide bombing.
“They felt that suicide bombing was not the way they want to embrace because people were killed at random.
“What they did was abductions, specifically targeting internationals and then they will now make political demands.
“When they abducted the French engineer in Katsina, one of the demands was that France should repeal the law on the use of veils by Muslims in France,” he said.
The security expert added that some of their leaders were arrested in 2014 which forced them to go underground until 2018, 2019 when Nigerians started seeing videos and postings on social media suggesting that they were returning.
Adamu lamented that Nigeria has a national counter-terrorism strategy which is not being effectively implemented.
He lamented that the military, which is just one element out of the 27 ministries, departments and agencies responsible for its implementation, was the only government body implementing the strategy.
Adamu, therefore, called for a review of the counter-terrorism strategy to find the gaps and rectify them.
First published in Daily Trust