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Zulum lied, extra-judicial killing reason for B/Haram, not protests ~ Rights group

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Media Advocacy West Africa, MAWA has refuted the claim by the executive governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum that Boko Haram started through protests.

MAWA in a press statement sent to ElombahNews and signed by it’s National coordinator, Audu Oseni said Zulum lied.

Oseni said Bokoharam started in Nigeria when their leader, Mohammed Yusu was killed extrajudicially by the Nigerian police force.

Oseni in the statement further said, as soon as Yusuf was killed, his followers became angry against the state, attacking the police and army whom they see as the representatives of the state.

The statement read in parts:

“As convincing as this sounds, Zululm lied, lest he has forgotten, Bokoharam started as a result of extra – judicial killing when police killed their leader Mr. Mohammed Yusuf who was arrested by the military and handed over to police that executed him in the open at Maiduguri, Borno state capital on July 2009.

“The military captured Yusuf at his parents-in-law’s house. They transferred him to the custody of the Nigerian Police. The police summarily executed Yusuf in public view outside the police headquarters in Maiduguri. Police officials claimed Yusuf was shot while trying to escape. Abubakar Shekau took over Boko Haram following Yusuf’s death.

“As soon as Yusuf was killed, his followers became angry against the state, attacking the police and army whom they see as the representatives of the state leading to more daring attacks that saw many lives and homes destroyed and deserted.

“Again, it is important to draw Zulum’s attention that the state counter-insurgency strategy that is characterized by huge extra-judicial killings and grave human rights abuses triggered Boko Haram and not protest as he claims.

“Maiduguri residents continue to recount how the military at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency stormed different homes killing all male children seen around. They say the cruel method the state adopted as a counter-insurgency strategy forced some youth to join Boko Haram.

“Many of them considered joining Boko Haram safer because of extra-judicial killings carried out by the army. Some of the Maiduguri residents told MAWA Foundation that in many instances, any time a bomb explodes on streets of the town, the military storm the scene, shot and kill youth in the area while arresting some.

“Some of the residents, however, said the military approach to combating insurgency pushed many to join Boko Haram with the sole aim of retaliating the state injustice against them in the fight against the insurgency.

“And, because they see police and army officers as representatives of the state they vowed to attack and kill them at every slightest opportunity.

“Given the above, we call on Zulum to launch research into the cause of Boko Haram and stop the faulty narratives.”

 

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