Members of the Ansaru terrorists group are operating a parallel government, openly preaching insurrection in many villages of Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State as part of their activities to mark the Eid-el-Kabir festival, people in the affected communities told Daily Trust yesterday.
They are trying to convince the locals to accept their kind of religion which detests democracy, formal education and respect for constituted authorities.
Unlike what they did during the Eid-el-Fitr festival, a little over two months ago, when they simply went round communities and shared candies and other edibles as Sallah gift s, the terrorists this time around took time to
interact with the locals and urged them to acquire arms and launch a rebellion against the government.
They also reassured them of protection against bandits.
In a two-page pamphlet sighted by Daily Trust, the terror group lambasted the President Muhammadu
Buhari administration, saying it failed to protect the lives and property of the people and urged them not to fall for
the call to effect change through any electoral process.
Witnesses told the Daily Trust that the terrorists had been preaching their anti-government and anti-democracy
stance since the Eid el-Kabir Sallah day (Saturday) without caution from anywhere.
The villages they visited in Birnin Gwari LGA on Monday included Damari, Unguwar Gajere, Kakini, Kuyello and Kwasa Kwasa.
“During their propagation, the terrorists, who are mostly young men, moved on dozens of motorcycles decked with flags with Arabic inscriptions,” one of our sources said.
“They tongue-lashed the federal, state and local authorities, arguing that democracy is against the teaching of Islam. They also called out Muslim clerics who call for prayers for democratic leaders.
“But the most dangerous trend this time around is the call by the terrorists for people to source for arms and fi ght
the government. They back their claims by wrongly interpreting some verses of the Holy Qur’an and prophetic sayings. They say people would continue to suffer until they forcefully changed their leaders,” the source said.
Daily Trust had, two months ago, reported that the Ansaru terrorists had infested many villages in many LGAs of Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara states.
They have continued to wax stronger by fighting sundry bandits and, in some cases, using persuasion to bring them to their fold.
Formally known as Jamā’atu An’āril Muslimīna fī Bilādis Sūdān (The Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa), Ansaru broke away from the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram in 2012.
It was learnt that during their visits to many communities in the last three days, they had shared hundreds of leaflets to people who gathered to listen to their preaching.
“They talk to people openly and without any fear. They don’t even cover their faces. Th ey wore military gear
and carried high-calibre weapons like AK47 and anti-aircraft missiles. They are so confident of themselves that they move in broad daylight,” another source said.
“You will not be wrong if you say they are the landlords here because of fear of the unknown, our people are
willing to listen to them any time. However, the implication of what is happening is that they are gradually
convincing our people and this is dangerous,” he said.
Led by one Abubakar Adam Kambar (deceased), the group following its rebellion against Shekau gradually shifted its base from the North East and established several active and passive cells in parts of the North West and North Central.
Settled marital disputes, others
Our correspondent reports that, besides preaching, the terrorists now settle marital disputes among the
“If a husband and wife are having issues, they go to the terrorists’ leaders to settle the matter. The terrorists also
adjudicate on matters relating to farms, trade among others. The claim that they don’t control territories is unfounded. They control our lives; they jail offenders,” another source said.
No symbol of authority
It was learnt that the Ansaru terrorists and other sundry criminals are having a field day in the communities. They are moving around freely, indoctrinating people because there is no symbol of authority.
“They have sacked all the police posts in the areas where they operate and you don’t even see civil defence, customs or immigration officials; our communities are no man’s land now,” a man from one of the villages said.
“We only see soldiers patrolling the area from time to time and this does not scare the terrorists from doing
what they like. Th e situation is worse in Birnin Gwari LGA,” he said.
A security expert, Salihu Bakhari, said what is happening in the North West and parts of the North Central
is a replica of what happened in the North East 13 years ago.
“There is no difference at all. The terrorists are on a territorial conquest, and they are quietly attracting the
sympathy of the people. We have many ungovernable spaces and these miscreants are mischievously taking advantage of civil authority to do what they like. We should checkmate them.
“We can only rescue the people and avert humanitarian crises in the future by taking the war to their fortresses
and then massively deploying police, forest guards, immigration and then also involving traditional rulers in
what we do,” he said.
Military and police authorities did not respond to requests for comments on this story Tuesday night while the
phone number of the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, was switched off.
Originally published in Daily Trust