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B’Haram/ISWAP rubbish claims by Nigerian govt, appoints commanders, imposes taxes on Borno residents

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The Interim Council of the ISWAP-Boko Haram terrorists’ group, headed by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawiy, has appointed new commanders for its operations in parts of Borno State, and gone ahead to impose taxes on farmers and fishermen in the Lake Chad area.

The affront comes against claims by the Nigerian authorities who have continually denied that the terrorist grills are in control of any part of the country.

The development is also coming following the killings of some of its top leaders by the Nigerian military.

To this end, the terrorist group appointed new commanders as well as imposing levies and taxes on communities under their control.

The leadership restructuring, according to a special investigative report by PRNigeria on Monday, is in line with a directive from ISIS Headquarters in Iraq necessitated by the recent losses of some of ISWAP-Boko Haram commanders to military offensives, and the realignment of forces by the hitherto rival insurgent groups.

The reshufflement and new structures were reportedly set up after an emergency meeting of the Interim Council attended by the Walis (Leaders), Qa’ids (Chiefs), Commanders and all other leaders of both ISWAP and Boko Haram.

The newly appointed commanders include Abbah Gana, aka Ba-Lawan, who was reappointed as the new Leader of ISWAP six months after his removal by the ISWAP Shura Council for losing the confidence of most of his loyalists and top commanders.

However, with the death of Abubakar Shekau and the realignment of various factions of the groups, the Al-Barnawiy-led Committee reinstated Ba-Lawan to lead what they termed as ISIS Islamic Caliphate of Africa (Wilaya of Africa) covering parts of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Malam Bako was appointed the Deputy Na’ib to Command the ISIS Caliphate Command of Nigeria, (Wilaya of Nigeria), recently established at Tumbuktu Triangle in Southern Borno.

Other new appointments include that of Abba-Kaka as Governor of Tumbumma, Commanding Marte, Abadam, Kukawa, Magumeri and other parts of the Lake Chad, and Abubakar Dan-Buduma as the Operation Commander, Timbuktu Triangle.

Baba Isa who was in charge of Taxation and Revenue on Fishing activities was posted to Kangar in Abadam to relieve Abu Abdallah.

Ibn Umar is now Chief Prosecutor, Abu Umama becomes Amir of Tudun Wulgo, while Muhammed Maina is the Commander of Sabon Tumbu, among others.

The Interim Council also introduced Mobile Courts and some policies to harmonise all insurgents activities and groups under the leadership of the ISIS, as well as to establish two other Wilaya’s (Caliphates) at Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest to sustain its war against countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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The Council also lifted the ban imposed on fishing and farming activities in the Lake Chad area, three years after chasing out the people of Marte, Abadam, Kukawa and Guzamala, over alleged spying for Nigerian troops.

New levies and taxes were also imposed in the areas controlled by ISWAP-Boko Haram, to regulate trades and agricultural activities.

The new tax regime will see members of the terrorist sect collecting N5,000 monthly from traders and farmers, while the fishermen will pay N2,000 per bag of fish among other levies.

Several fishermen, farmers and merchants have returned to the Lake-Chad area to engage in socio-economic activities, under the arrangement of the new ISWAP-Boko Haram Leadership, PRNigeria also gathered.

An intelligence officer with ‘Operation Hadin Kai’ of the Nigerian Army who spoke on the condition of anonymity, however, insisted that the appointment of new leadership and structures by the terrorists could not change the ongoing military operation that has seen their ranks seriously depleted.

“As you are aware, despite the alleged reunion of Boko Haram and ISWAP factions, coordinated multiple airstrikes by NAF aircraft have been sustained in the destruction of their strongholds.

“The intelligence inspired operations were targeted at various terrorists’ camps in Sabon Tumbu, Jibularam, Kwalaram, Timbuktu Triangle and Parisu and other targets in the Lake Chad.

“Similarly, the ground troops also engaged terrorists after air bombardments at Lamboa forest, Bula Yobe, Jabullam, Yauma Wango, Mainok and Dikwa axes where ISWAP fighters and commanders were eliminated including Umar Tela, Modu Sulum and One-Eyed ISWAP Commander, Modu Kennami, among others.

“Don’t also forget several escapees from terrorists’ camps have surrendered to own troops just as we have captured some notorious Informants who leaked information on security movements and formations,” the top officer said.

By Isaac Dachen

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