by ‘Jola Sotubo

A man arrested on suspicion of being a member of terrorist sect Boko Haram has said that the group has nothing to do with Islamic teachings.

He said the group’s motives were not to appear noble or pious but that they were interested solely in looting and murder.

The alleged terrorist, identified as Bukar Modu, also said that the group comprised of foreign nationals from neighbouring Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroun.

Nigerian Eye reports:

Modu, 22, according to security agents, was arrested on October 6 in the heat of the sect’s early morning attack on Muslim worshippers in Damboa, Borno state.

He said religion has little to do with the Boko Haram insurgency and his leaders “had never once preached Islam to us.”

He said the name of Allah was invoked only when “we are running out of food supply in the bush. Our leaders will assemble us and declare that we would be embarking on a mission for God and Islam.

“I did not see any act of religion in there. We are just killing people, stealing and suffering in the bush,” he added.

The sect has been blamed for the killings of hundreds of civilians, mainly Muslims, in recent months.

He said of the operation that led to his capture: “We went on a mission to attack people in Damboa on Oct. 6, a few days to the last Sallah celebration.

“We shot many people but I was also shot in the leg during the operation; I later became unconscious.

`My people took me away at the end of the operation but they decided to dump me in a nearby bush because they thought I was dead.

“I regained consciousness in the morning before I was apprehended by security agents, who provided food for me and took care of my bullet wounds,” he said.

Modu said that he was recruited into the sect about a year ago by his cousin who “used to keep his gun in our compound in Maiduguri.”

He added: “One day, he said that he was not comfortable with me being outside the sect because I knew all his secrets.

“He gave me two options: to either join the sect or be killed. So, I had no other option than to join the sect.”

Modu said that he was given an “express training” on the handling of AK 47 rifle as soon as he joined the sect and “We were always given orders to attack individuals without questioning until we finally relocated to Marte in Marte Local Government Area of Borno during the middle of this year.

Modu said that his group comprised about 150 militants, who took refuge in a nearby bush after the military invasion of Marte camp.

“We were kept in the bush by our commanders; sometimes, we survived on filthy water because we did not have access to safe water and we barely had something to eat.”

Modu said that many of the “foot soldiers” of the Boko Haram sect who wanted to abscond could not do so because of the fear of being caught and executed.

Modu said that many “foot soldiers”, who tried to escape at the camp, were summarily executed.

“Any time we carry out an attack in a place, we steal food, drugs, money and everything we need.

“It is a terrible thing to be a member of the sect but many foot soldiers like me cannot leave for fear of being killed.”

His statement on the involvement of Chadian, Nigerien and Camerounian extremists in the Boko Haram uprising tallies with reports from politicians and survivors of attacks, underlining threat to the country’s unity.

 

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