Thursday, June 17, 2021

BREAKING: In audio message, Boko Haram claims responsibility for abduction of Kankara schoolboys

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Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Boko Haram terrorists have claimed responsibility for the abduction of hundreds of schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State on Friday night.

In the wake of the attack, at least 600 out of over 800 schoolboys were declared missing.

Although the state governor, Aminu Masari, claimed only 333 are missing, a school register register seen by Daily Trust reporter showed 668 students missing.

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In a 4:30 audio message sent to DAILY NIGERIAN on Tuesday morning, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, said his group abducted the schoolboys because Western education is against the tenets of Islam.

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“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet.

“They are also not teaching what Allah and his Holy Prophet commanded. They are rather destructing the Islam. It may be subtly, but Allah the Lord of the Skies and Earths knows whatever is hidden. May Allah promote Islam, may we die as Muslims.”

“In a nutshell, we are behind what happened in Katsina,” he said.

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The terrorists’ leader ended the message by saying: “The speaker is Abubakar Shekau, leader of Jama’atu Ahlussunna Lid-Da’awati wal Jihad.”

Mr Shekau neither gave detail of the attack nor number of the abducted schoolboys nor mentioned issue of negotiation with government.

Even before Mr Shekau released the audio, Bulama Bukarti, an analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change told London Telegraph that there were Boko Haram footprints in the abduction.

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According to Mr Bulama, the Boko Haram leader has been trying to establish operations in the region west of Katsina State.

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He said several hundred fighters in Zamfara State recently claimed to be operating a Boko Haram cell that is loyal to Mr Shekau.

He added that a similar number of fighters were also recorded claiming allegiance to Mr Shekau in Niger State.

“It is also possible the fighters moved through the large forest from a neighbouring state to stage the attack. Men can be heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in the background during one eyewitness video of the raid,” Mr Bulama said.

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