The seething feud between the toppled leader of the terror cell, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, and the newly -appointed leader of the group, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, took a new dimension as the two went into a war of words barely two days after the decision of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, to dethrone Shekau and appoint al-Barnawi.
Shekau, who responded last Thursday after the announcement of Al-Barnawi as Boko Haram leader, blasted that his said removal was a handiwork of detractors, further insisting he is still in charge of the group.
But in a swift reaction, the newly ordained Boko Haram leader, Al-Barnawi, came out yesterday to list Shekau’s litany of misconducts stating that Shekau deviated from the original cause of the group, and further turned their jihad into a personal warfare.
In an audio tape said to be released by the new leadership of Boko Haram, Al-Barnawi, reiterated that Shekau derailed when he engineered the secret and systematic killings of Boko Haram fighters. He also accused Shekau of living a life of luxury, while women and children continue to die of starvation. Shekau’s leadership was further accused of starving insurgent fighters of food and ammunition which led to their defeat by the Nigerian armed forces.
The transcribed version of al-Barnawi’s taped message, threw light on the existing crack within the Boko Haram camp, and how Shekau was dumped as leader of the group. Al-Barnawi also blasted Shekau for introducing strange doctrines and adulterated Islamic teaching. They also criticized how Shekau’s reign of terror has displaced millions of Muslims from their homelands.
While calling for an outright rejection of Shekau, Al-Barnawi warned of an onslaught should the former leadership dare to attempt planning to hit them.
His words: “[Shekau] was boasting that if we attempt to escape from his empire his men will kill us. He is a liar. I am not the only one that left, but eight of us left, all kitchen cabinet members. And right now two other top members are on the way to join us. We are all here. The issue of Islam is not personal, there is no sentiment in Islam, and that is why we are here. Nobody can dare us or stop us from it, no matter how he brags. Here we are on our own. Can’t you see how we left your empire? We left women and everything and just left with guns on our shoulders. We would have crushed anyone that stood on our way.
“We fled from him with our religion for good. It is there in the books, when you are not allowed to do Islam you have the liberty to flee and follow what you know is right. Shekau, we did not touch you, don’t touch us. If you touch us we will touch you and we are many against you. We have people in your house and even your present hideout.
“In our Shura meetings, there was a complaint that jihadists’ wives were taken away while they were fighting for Allah. What did you do? You did nothing, and fighters saw how you don’t bother about their welfare. You just go home and sleep with your wives and slaves while we are suffering. We are not with you.”