Kaduna State governor Nasir El Rufai has revealed terrorists have set up their own government structures and are exercising control over some areas of the state.
This was revealed in the governor’s leaked memo to the president which warns of the terrorists’ advanced plans to create a permanent operational base for the North-west region.
El-Rufai told President Muhammadu Buhari that terrorists were consolidating their grip on communities in Kaduna with a “parallel” government and “permanent operational base” in the North-western state near Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
El-Rufai warned the president of the terrorists’ consolidation in a late July memo sighted by the online media outfit, Premium Times.
The terrorists belonging to Ansaru al-Musulmina fi Bilad al-Sudan, or Ansaru for short, are believed to have moved to Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State in 2012 when they broke away from Boko Haram.
According to intelligence reports and human sources consulted in further reporting for this story, the terrorists that formed Ansaru were responsible for some of the high-profile attacks claimed by Boko Haram before the split.
Such attacks included the UN building bombing of August 2011 and the kidnap of some foreigners. According to the sources, Ansaru pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, in 2020, and is responsible for many of the high-profile abductions as well as armed attacks on the police in Kaduna State.
But it was learned that a collaboration of the terror groups, including the original Boko Haram – also called JAS -, ISWAP, Ansaru, and bandits was evolving.
In 2021, 1,192 people lost their lives in Kaduna State due to banditry, terrorism, communal clashes, violent attacks, and reprisals. In the first six months of 2022, 645 people lost their lives in such circumstances across the state, the government said.
In El-Rufai’s late July memo, he lay bare how the terrorists had infiltrated and dominated communities and formed “a parallel governing authority,” exercising control over social and economic activities and dispensation of justice in the area.
He said the terrorists had advanced in their plans to make Kaduna Forest areas their “permanent operational base” for the North-west region.”
“Observed movement patterns and intercepted communications of migrating terrorists have shown a clear interest in setting up a base, with the stretches of forest area between Kaduna and Niger states strongly considered,” he wrote.