The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in a 50-minute audio tape obtained by AFP, has admitted killing the sect’s spokesman.
Shekau claimed to kill Tasiu, who is also called Abu Zinnira, over an apparent plot to oust him.
In the tape, Shekau told some members of his inner circle that he killed Tasiu, the sect’s spokesman. In Shekau’s voice:
You should hear me: I killed Tasiu, hear me well,” he told the gathering in Hausa.
There have been reports of inhouse fighting within Boko Haram and Shekau’s claim appears to confirmed these reports.
Abubakar Shekau, has been the most visible face of Boko Haram over the years, claiming attacks and releasing videos where he threatened and lambasted Nigerian authorities, Naij reported.
But Abu Zinnira, who is always shown in military camouflage wearing a turban and with his face covered, also appears in video recordings, including those about the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the town of Chibok in April 2014.
In an audio recording in December, Shekau accused Abu Zinnira of plotting with another senior commander of the sect called Baba Ammar to take over leadership of the group.
He accused them of sending fighters to carry out raids without his consent, spreading rumours among his lieutenants that he intended to kill them and portraying him as unfit to lead.
Tell me, what is the punishment for the people that plot against their leader? he asked.
By our code of allegiance we don’t hesitate to pass appropriate sanction on any one of us that commit an offence,” he added.
Below is report from Naij News:
Last August, the Islamic State group, to which Shekau pledged allegiance in March 2015, announced that Abu Musab Al-Barnawi was now Boko Haram’s leader.
Barnawi’s father, Mohammed Yusuf, founded Boko Haram in 2002. He was killed in police custody in 2009, after which Shekau his deputy took over.
Shekau had rejected the change in leadership and maintained he was still in charge, a position he reiterated at the December meeting.
Followers of the two factions have reportedly clashed while Barnawi has blamed Shekau’s high-handed leadership style and his indiscriminate killings of his lieutenants for the split.
Ideologically, Barnawi’s faction has opposed Shekau’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians, vowing instead to hit “hard” targets such as the military and police.
Shekau in the recording denounced his detractors as divisive influences.
“Devil’s advocates are at work, trying to instill doubt in the minds of our fighters after realising we are gathering momentum for real jihad.
“They try to confuse whoever they see getting close to me and distance him from me, they are going about dampening the spirit of our fighters,” he said.
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