by Fulan Nasrullah
Good question. Most people find it hard to navigate through the confusing myriad of stories about Boko Haram. Especially .the lies and half-truths and outright ignorance propagated by contemporary Main Stream Media (MSM) as ‘facts’.
To understand what these people are one needs access to them. Apart from Shekau, the rest of the Boko Haram are publicity wary, viewing it as a distraction to their ’cause’ so knowing them tends to get a bit difficult
And then there is the government. You know too much about the Boko Haram, you are a Boko Haram operative or a sympathizer, and its off with your head a la Alice in Wonderland style. So one tends to be cautious albeit a little bit paranoid about what in can say or even hear.
However what is clear that I can pass along is this.
There are four groups, three of whom are allied to each other. They are namely:
1. Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnah Lid-Da’wati Wal-Jihaad of Abubakar Shekau
2. Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnah Ahlis-Sunnah Lid-Da’wati Wal-Jihaad of Sheikh Bukar Al-Barnawi
…. Group of the People of The Sunnah(Traditions) For the Call/Propagation (Evangelism) and The Struggling/Striving
3. Ansorul-Muslimiina Fii Bilaadis-Sudan led by Abu Usamah Al-Ansori
….. Helpers Of The Muslims In The Lands of The Sudan (Sudan is a classical Arabic term referring to the entire part of Muslim Africa that runs from Senegal and the Atlantic to the Ethiopia-Sudan border. Some historians also include Ethiopia and Somalia up to the Juba and Shabelle regions in it
4. Haraktul-Muhajiriina wal-Mujahidiin led by Khalid Al-Barnawi.
Movement of Those Who Have Migrated and Those Who Are Striving……..
These four groups all originated from the students of Muhammad Yusuf who survived the 2009 Conflict in Maiduguri which was badly mismanaged by the government. They first called to seek revenge for the massacre of several thousand of innocent residents of Maiduguri and the extra-Judicial murder of Sheikh Yusuf.
Their call has metamorphosed into a whole different reason for fighting
They are Yusufiyya. They follow strictly the teachings of Muhammad Yusuf. However the group of Shekau is becoming more Takfiri and leaving the Yusufiyyah Ideology and this is causing estrangement between it and the other three groups.
They are Yusufiyyah Sunnis I.e Sunnis on the Aqeedah (Creed) of Muhammad Yusuf and the Manhaj(Methodology) of Thaurah fil-Jihad (Revolution In Striving) to the core. They can stand Ikhwanis since they revere Qutb and Al-Banna.
However, the three other groups I.e Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnah of Sheikh Bukar Al-Barnawi, Harakatul-Muhajiriin of Khalid Al-Barnawi and Ansorul-Muslimiin of Abu Usamah Al-Ansori despise Ikhwanul-Muslimiin (Muslim Brotherhood) because the Ikhwan participate in democracy and protest which the Yusufiyyah reject.
Their Views Of Al-Baghdadi…..
Shekau and his group have links with Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his group that date back to May/June 2014 when a delegation from Shekau arrived in Ar-Raqqoh in Syria to seek an agreement of cooperation with Al-Baghdadi and his then Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. The agreement was reached and half a dozen technical advisors from the ISIS are said to have come to Nigeria via Chad and Cameroon to train Shekau’s forces. Apart from those technical no substantial support from Al-Baghdadi flowed to Shekau.
While Shekau obviously admires Baghdad, it I unclear so far if he has pledged loyalty to Al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State yet or if he is even willing to go that far.
The other three groups take a radically different view of Al-Baghdadi, deriding him as an ‘adventurer’ and a ‘bloodthirsty descendant of Al-Hajjaj Bin Yusuf’ and as ‘one who calls to misguidance’.
Shekau’s association with Al-Baghdadi and his adopting of the Takfiri code of Al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State has caused the other three groups to be wary of him and to band together in case they may need to fight him in the future.
What Are They Fighting For….
I must confess a lack of complete knowledge of what they are fighting for.
Shekau’s objective is totally indiscernible to me. If he wants to conquer the whole Nigeria or just a part, I simply cannot tell.
The others wanted revenge for 2009(Sheikh Bukar Al-Barnawi), defence of Muslims against the alleged plots of Christian Association of Nigeria and the fanatic neo-Zionist churches that are found in Northern Nigeria e.g ECWA (Evangelical Communion Of West Africa and COCIN (Church of Christ In Nigeria) with islamophobic ideologies and known consorts of Israel’s Mossad (Sheikh Abu Usamah Al-Ansori), and joining the global Jihad against the enemies of Islam (America and pro- American Muslim regimes) and waging Jihad to protect Muslim lands (Khalid Al-Barnawi), respectively.
Now buoyed on by their fast growing strength, their increasing numbers, their easy victories and their increasing arsenal, they are no longer fighting fr the mundane causes of the past. They (especially Khalid Al-Barnawi and Abu Usamah Al-Ansori) believe they can defeat the Nigerian Army and overthrow the current system of government and establish an Islamic Union/State/Emirate of Nigeria or something like that based on their rule and their ideas. They see this war as a long struggle that they will fight one village at a time until the whole of Nigeria is under their heel willingly or unwillingly.
Before they took Gwoza, negotiations were possible in fact they were calling for negotiations. But after the ease of defending Damboa, retaking Gamboru-Ngala, seizing Madagali and chasing Nigerian troops into Cameroon, they are confident that in the long run they can and will win.