HOW SHEKAU DESPERATELY BEGGED BANDITS NOT TO RELEASE THE KIDS TO GOVERNMENT, MIGHT LAUNCH MAJOR ATTACKS ON VULNERABLE TARGETS TO SAVE FACE
The distraught factional leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau desperately begged bandits not to release the abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School, Eons Intelligence has gathered.
Recall that Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau had earlier released a propaganda video claiming responsibility for the abduction of over 300 Kankara school students.
Eons Intelligence gathered that Shekau obtained the video of the abducted kids from the bandits following an initial agreement to trade the kids to the jihadist leader.
Rescued students at the Katsina Government State House.
However, it was impossible to transfer the children to Boko Haram members as the military in collaboration with the local vigilantes had surrounded the perimeter where the children were kept and continued keeping 24-hour surveillance over the children.
Hence, when Shekau sent trucks to convey the kids, with options of doubling the pay he earlier agreed on with the bandits, the criminals had little choice but to release the kids to the State Government.
SHEKAU’S FAILED ATTEMPT AT PROPAGANDA
Shekau, whose influence and strength has been dwindling over the years, desperately wanted to use the abduction of the Kankara schoolboys to regain relevance and put fear in the people.
Hence, when he got wind that the bandits had opted to return the schoolchildren to the government, the Jihadist leader desperately begged and offered to double the pay he earlier offered, as he had told the world that the children were in his custody.
Eons Intelligence also gathered that Shekau sent trucks to convey the kids, but government security forces made the transfer impossible.
WHAT BECOMES OF SHEKAU?
The decision of the bandits to rescind on their agreement to auction off the boys to Shekau was a big blow to the jihadist fighter who had already told the world that he masterminded the school children’s abduction.
This incident would most likely crack the relationship between the bandits and the Abubakar Shekau, who experts believe would most likely take back his pound of flesh.
Eons Intelligence security expert projects that Shekau would launch major attacks at vulnerable targets in the coming days to save face and reclaim dominance.
Schools, hospitals, markets, and motor parks must be well guarded as Shekau might want to launch attacks at locations where he can abduct a large number of vulnerable people and mount pressure on the government.
KIDNAP FOR RANSOM, A NEW GOLD FOR BANDITS
Eons Intelligence earlier report indicates that Kankara school abduction was an afterthought following the failed attempt to loot the village.
Hence, there was no provision of vehicles to convey the abducted students and they were made to walk for hours into the bush.
This gave the military ample time to close upon them.
Eons Intelligence security experts warn that the Kankara school abduction incident would spur more bandits to carry out similar attacks on schools and shop for the highest bidders.
Already, there are pieces of evidence that bandits in the northeast do not only kidnap for ransom but also sell high profile victims to terrorists- and the bandits evidently tried to do same with the Kankara school students.
The Kankara schoolboy captured in the propaganda video released by Shekau told journalists at the Katsina State Government House that the bandits forced him to say that they were captured by Shekau’s Boko Haram faction.
Thankfully, the 24-hour surveillance of the Nigeria military in collaboration with the local vigilante made it impossible for bandits to handover the schoolboys.
Recall Philip Walton, the American who was kidnapped by a group of Nigerian and Niger bandits on October 30 was on the verge of being sold to terrorists when the US elite troops in collaboration with Nigerian security operatives rescued him.
"We had to rescue him before any potential trade or sale," a US official told newsmen while explaining the reason the US forces quickly swept on the bandits.
So far, schools in Katsina and Zamfara have been closed schools due to insecurity while the State governors have also ordered the closure of all boarding schools in the state. But schools cannot be closed forever.
It is imperative for the government to root out banditry in the north to avoid a repeat of the Kankara school abduction before criminal elements make it another means of acquiring revenue.