Strong indications have emerged on a growing internal dissent within the top echelons of the Boko Haram sect following the recent attacks on the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Salkida Ahmad, the Nigerian journalist known to have access to Boko Haram commanders quoted a source within the group as saying that “many [have been] grumbling silently, some have openly voiced their opposition to the elusive Abubakar Shekau over these ‘unexplained attacks on the innocent.’”
According to Mr. Salkida on his news site, “there is a raging controversy within the rank and file” of 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.”
According to Salkida, the source said the only explanation given for these attacks was that the civilians in these camps have fled to the protection and support of the Federal Government, which is in opposition to Boko Haram’s doctrine.
The source said: “These refugees are seen by a segment within the group’s leadership as supportive of the government’s war against the group and therefore deserving of the group’s attacks.”
However a leading member within the leadership rank dismissed this line of argument and warned against attacking displaced persons.
“We cannot be subjecting more hardship and grief to the people more than the army of the Kufr (unbelievers) subjects them to,” the source said.
Mr. Salkida hinted that “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 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 was quoted as saying.
It will be recalled that in the past month there have been several Boko Haram attacks targeting civilians, especially residing in IDP camps, killing more than one hundred.