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HomeNigerian Terrorists Attack Villages in Yobe State Over Extortion Levies

Nigerian Terrorists Attack Villages in Yobe State Over Extortion Levies

Boko Haram Terrorists Tax Yobe Ranchers Monthly

By Mike Odeh James & Segun Onibiyo

(Kaduna) [TruthNigeria Exclusive] The Boko Haram terrorist group thought to have been defeated and sidelined by the Islamic State of West Africa two years ago has rebounded in  Northeast Nigeria to carry out high-casualty attacks in Yobe State.   At least 40 people lost their lives in Nigeria’s Yobe state on October 30 and 31. Suspected Boko Haram terrorists launched punitive attacks approximately 59 miles northeast of the state capital, Damaturu, raising questions about the country’s handling of terrorism in the troubled northeast region.

The attacks were a punishment for the villagers’ failure to pay levies imposed by the terrorists, residents told TruthNigeria.

Police say gunmen opened fire in Gurokayeya village in Gaidam county, killing at least 17 people on October 30. The following day, a land mine exploded, claiming the lives of at least 20 villagers who were returning from burying victims of the prior attack, said State police spokesman Abdulkarim Dungus in an official statement.

Dozens of armed terrorists, armed with assault rifles and machine guns, swarmed over Gurokayeya at around 8:30 PM local time on October 30. The terrorists, riding in pickup trucks and on motorcycles, set fire to houses and opened fire on residents as they attempted to escape.

Gremah Bukar, a member of a local civilian guard group who witnessed the attack, said many residents were still outside when the terrorists struck.

“They came burning houses and shooting at residents as they sought safety,” said Bukar whose group tried to slow down the attack with their homemade single-shot pipe guns before the military arrived.

According to Bukar, 17 people were killed, and at least five others were injured in the attack. At least 20 more people were killed the following morning when a landmine exploded on the outskirts of Gurokayeya. The victims were returning from the burial of the victims from the previous attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for this attack, which is the second in the region in 40 days and the first major invasion by terrorists in 18 months.

But experts have suggested that the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’adati wal-Jihad (JAS), also known as the “Boko Haram” terrorist group, is likely responsible. The group recently captured Gaidam, the county seat in an attack that claimed several lives before the military regained control.

“From all indications and reliable reports, Geidam is an outpost of Boko Haram, and they are the ones carrying out attacks on residents of the community” said Kyle Abts, the Executive Director of the International Committee On Nigeria (ICON).

Mr. Umar Bakori, a retired Major in the Nigerian army who served in the northeast, concurs, saying, “Definitely, it is Boko Haram.”

“The Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) does not kill people indiscriminately” Bakori said.  

 “ISWAP broke away from Boko Haram because Abubakar Shekau had a penchant for killing indiscriminately,” according to Bakori.

Residents told TruthNigeria that the attack was a form of punishment for the villagers’ refusal to pay a levy imposed on them by the terrorists.

“The jihadists had imposed taxes on cattle herds owned by residents,” said Abubakar Adamu, another civilian guard member.

“One of the injured victims said that the insurgents targeted the village because they refused to pay the cattle levy imposed on the village,” according to Babagana Kyari, a resident of Gaidam.

The attack has raised questions by international observers about the Abuja administration’s handling of insurgency in the Northeast during the past 13 years. TruthNigeria’s feature of Oct 25 surveyed the views of defense analysts who weighed in on why after 12 years of intense warfare, the ISIS insurgencies near Lake Chad remain resilient.  One of them, London-based David Otto said, “Apart from corruption, the  strategy adopted by the Army overall is not effective.” He explained that over the years, after retaking territories from the insurgents, the Army would simply abandon the territory without any base and after a while, the insurgents would return and occupy it.

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Mike Odeh James and Segun Onibiyo are conflict reporters working from TruthNigeria from Kaduna State.

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