- Christians in Northern Nigeria are on red alert to avert attacks following threats by new Boko Haram leader, Al-barnawi
- Some Christians in the northhave begun leaving in droves to avoid falling prey to attacks by Boko Haram
- Security experts warn that the emergence of a new leader for Boko Haram is a serious and dangerous development in the ongoing war against terrorism and insurgency
The proclamation by new Boko Haram leader, Musab Al-barnawi that the group’s new strategy will be to intensify attacks on Christians has sent fear among Christians living in the northern part of Nigeria.
According to Daily Post, churches and Christians in the north, particularly in Borno state, have been placed on alert, to avert attacks following Al-barnawi’s threats.
Some Christians in the north are already leaving in droves to avoid falling prey to attacks by the terrorists.
Jacob Olotu, a civil servant told the Daily Post that the threats by the new Boko Haram leader have made things go back to the former time, when people ran here and there seeking refuge.
He said: “I know a family who has already left town as we speak. I also have been having series of phone calls from my parents and family members asking me to leave the north since yesterday.”
These fears were also expressed by security operatives in the front-line in Borno state who said the threat by the new Boko Haram leader cannot be treated lightly.
Though military authorities claim, Al-barnawi was only bluffing because Boko Haram has already been degraded and has no capacity to wreak havoc in any party of the country, security operatives battling the insurgents chose to differ.
“We accept anything the government wants us to accept as far as this crisis is concerned, but we believe what we believe and would not be deceived by our loved ones in a matter like this. Boko Haram have not been degraded completely as we are made to believe.
“They are still out there. I can only say they are hibernating. We transport our comrades wounded in the fight and only people who are close to us know what the war is like. The rest of the people will only continue to accept what they are being told,” a soldier told one of the church leaders in Maiduguri, Friday, August 5.
Onah Ekhomu, who is the president of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSSON) called on the federal government to consider the strategic leadership appointment in Boko Haram as a direct threat from ISIS.
He said the making of a leadership change for Boko Haram signaled a much closer relationship between BH and ISIS than was previously believed to exist.