• Group wants MURIC leaders prosecuted for alleged link with terrorists
• Islamic body denies receiving $250,000 from ISWAP
Over a dozen farmers and herders have been feared killed by Boko Haram terrorists at Puciwa and Koleram communities in Magumeri council area of Borno State.
Confirming the Monday evening onslaught, yesterday, in Maiduguri, the acting council secretary, Mallam Wali, added that the assailants injured 16 other villagers and rustled cattle, sheep and goats.
He recollected that the local council also witnessed the abduction of five employees of an oil exploration firm and the Department of Geology, University of Maiduguri last year.
The scribe said the neighbouring councils of Gubio and Gajiram had been under the control of the sect.
“The insurgents stormed the twin farming communities in the evening (Monday). They also rustled cattle, sheep and goats. Sixteen villagers were injured besides the over 13 deaths.
He said: “Barely an hour after the attacks, our people had to flee to Magumeri, 40 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital. Some of the villagers could only take along with them a few of their personal effects.”
Wali continued: “We are much terrified by the latest and deadly attacks by insurgents.
“The whole communities in Gubio/Gajiram axis bordering Nganzai Local Government Area are daily being terrorised by insurgents.”
He noted that the livelihoods of the fleeing villagers had equally been destroyed by the invaders.
“But we are doing our best to ensure that the displaced persons are properly taken care of,” the official stated, adding that the council was working with security agencies to restore normalcy in the affected communities.
In a related development, the Christian Rights Agenda (CRA), yesterday, urged the Federal Government to immediately arrest and prosecute leaders of the Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) for their alleged link with the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).
In a statement, it recalled that a member of the Sahara Strategy Group (SSG), last Friday, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to investigate reports that some organisations in Nigeria were receiving funds from ISWAP.
San Lous Keita, a member of the SSG from Mali and former intelligence chief, had quoted reports that listed MURIC as one of the groups that had received funds from the terrorist group in the last two years.
“Keita had told the conference that MURIC was said to have received some $250,000 from ISWAP in the past months,” the statement noted.
The CRA said it was not surprised by the revelation, “given MURIC’s history of extremist and Islamic fundamentalism.”
But denying the claim in a statement, MURIC director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, described the reports as illogical.
He said his organisation had always condemned every act of terror within and outside Nigeria, reiterating that the establishment’s motto remained “Dialogue, not violence.”
Akintola said: “Our attention has been drawn to a speculation making the rounds in mainstream and social media circles that MURIC received $200,000 from ISWAP. It is a wicked concoction and a lie from the pit of Jahannam. We declare clearly, categorically and unequivocally that we have never had any contact with ISWAP or any other terrorist group.”
He went on: “So, how can we descend so low as to collect money from terrorists? Such lies will not fly. The terrorists themselves know that we can never support them. So how can they give us money? The allegation is dead on arrival.
“We are a disciplined group. We have never been known to engage in any violent protest or attack since we established MURIC in 1994. It is most diabolical to accuse a group that has pursued peaceful advocacy for 26 years of having any connection with terrorists.”