There is a raging controversy within the rank and file of the ‘Islamic’ State affiliate known as Boko Haram over its continued attacks on internally displaced camps and other indiscriminate attacks on poor communities in the Lake Chad area over the past months. While many grumbled silently, some have openly voiced their opposition to the elusive Abubakar Shekau over these ‘unexplained attacks on the innocent’ says a high profile source within the group.
According to the source, the only reason given for these attacks is, these people have ran to the government held territories. That the refugees are seen by a segment within the group’s leadership as supportive of government’s war against the group and therefore deserving the group’s attacks. To some of the terror members, an attack on IDP camps shows “nowhere is safe for these people and continues to pile pressure and embarrassment on the government. But a leading member within the leadership rank dismisses this line of argument by his colleagues. He warns that “we cannot be subjecting more hardship and grief to the people more than the army of the Kufr (unbelievers) subjects them to.”
This is a major turn in the affairs of the violent sect. A growing number of the insurgents are unhappy with the way the original design of the group is fading out and it is increasingly being replaced by individual vengeful ploys instead of a campaign driven by doctrine, “what we now have is people are left to choose between the army of Kufr and us, and lately, the people are increasingly choosing the Kufr,” the source groaned. In the past no prominent leader of the group has had to rend a public voice of opposition to what path their leader has taken.
When asked why their affiliate headquarters of the ‘Islamic’ State in Syria and the Levent have not urged the leadership of the West African Provence against these indiscriminate attacks on women, children, the poor and those taking refuge in IDP camps and focus their attacks on combatants, the disgruntled leader of the group claimed that the headquarters does not depend on news stories to make their assessment, “they depend on liaison officers that seem to be okay with such attacks, which they attribute to high level of ‘Kufr’ in these areas or activities that support it.”
Investigations reveal that other than the fact that the group is now walking on a tight rope, there has been a raging disquiet in their ranks on the way things are being run, leading to break away and desertion, leaving those that can’t leave to grumble quietly. Multiple sources reveal that many members have moved to Libya, Syria and other battlegrounds to fight there, promising the comrades they left behind to come back when “things have changed.” Others are reported to have rejoined the growing Al Qaeda cells in the region.
According to a Boko Haram deserter, now at large, “I am convinced that the innocent that we killed in cold blood will change places with us on the day of judgment, they may find solace in the Lord and those of us that have not changed our ways, may burn in hell.”
However, a source who seems to be in support of the group’s actions, when confronted with the allegations of some of his colleagues in arms, said, “our group remains strong in our resolve to continue this violent campaign against constituted authorities all over West African, and there is a plan to reconcile the various disagreements” which, according to him is “inevitable whenever several people come together for a common cause.” He however added that those that say they will burn in hell don’t understand the complicating issues, “our wives and children have also been killed, maimed, abused and displaced as well.”