By Mustaph Buhari, Maiduguri
A 17-year-old Boko Haram fighter, Ali Mustapha, on Tuesday confessed to killing 18 civilians in various deadly attacks the terrorist group carried out in Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno state.
Mustapha, who admitted being a member of the dreaded sect, told journalists that he participated in a series of onslaughts waged by the group against villagers.
The Borno State commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Ibrahim Abdullahi, paraded the teenager at a press briefing, saying he was arrested while on his way to Maiduguri to spy for the group.
The suspect said he belonged to the Mamman‐Nur-led faction of the group and was forced to join the deadly group three years ago when the terrorists attacked his village in Monguno and abducted many boys.
“I received extensive training and skills on handling of assault weapons, especially AK 47 rifles, GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun), AA (Anti-Aircraft Gun), RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade), among others, which I operated during attacks on villagers,” he said.
“I was forced to join Boko Haram about three years ago when the insurgents came to our village and forcefully took many of us away.
“We were kept in the bush camp near Kala Balge and from there we carried out various operations, during which I personally killed 18 people.”
Mustapha revealed that his last assignment was to sneak into Maiduguri to spy for his group, as he normally did on the eve of past attacks.
“I resolved to quit the group on my way to Maiduguri where I was directed to gather intelligence on when troops and civilian JTF, guarding the entrance of the city are normally relaxing the intense security surveillance.
“I am tired of killing people against my wish, so I told my two other colleagues with whom we were asked to go on the spying mission that we should abandon the mission and run.
“Luck however ran out on me when I entered into an IDP camp to look for my parents.
“Unfortunately, some of the people in the camp were able to recognise me as member of the sect and quickly alerted the security operatives guarding the camp. So that was how I was arrested,” he added.