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Contrary to the claims of Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau that terror group masterminded the kidnap of over 500 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State On Friday – a former operative of the Department of State Security, DSS, Seyi Adetayo has countered and said it was bandits and not Boko Haram that abducted the children.
He revealed this on Wednesday in an interview with Channels Television programme, Sunday Daily.
Adetayo explained that the bandits had on Friday attacked in Katsina state but they were repelled. It was when they came for a retaliatory attack at night that they abducted the boys.
“It is important that we situate this particular incident,” Adetayo said. “There was an attack by bandits in a community and some of the bandits were killed. They came back for a retaliatory attack that night and they were repelled.
“Because I heard somewhere that some people were saying they were taken in broad daylight, no, they were actually repelled. It was in the process of exiting the Kankara community, that was when they went to the school and marched those children out.
“And contrary to what Shekau is trying to portray yesterday, this is not a Boko Haram led operation, it was entirely a bandit operation.”
Adetayo explained that there is a relationship between bandits and Boko Haram because these bandits are sometimes past members of Boko Haram who fell off because of in- fighting.
Citing the example of a kidnapped American, Philip Walton, he explained that bandits sometimes trade high-profile captives with Boko Haram.
“There is this relationship between Bandits and Boko Haram that we have seen where they carry out kidnapping and they try to trade off their captives to Boko Haram.
“We have seen that happen in Maiduguri, Yobe on several occasions where after kidnapping people for ransom and discover there are some high-profile people there, they transfer them to Boko Haram. That is some sort of agreement that they have.
“Look at the American that was kidnapped, America had to rescue him because they discovered there was a tradeoff about to happen between Bandits and Boko Haram and they knew that if they should allow that the moment these captives get into the hands of ISWAP or Boko Haram then it becomes difficult for them to rescue
“These are soldiers of fortune, they have been in this business for long. If you look at most of the commanders fighting for both Shakau’s faction and the ISWAP, they are largely soldiers of fortune. They were recruited because of their background and they are given positions of commands. Some of them fell apart, some of them decided to go on their own, we have seen a lot of in-fighting within the Boko Haram command falling out and creating their camp or move into banditry.
“For this particular situation, from what we gathered, at a point they were talking with the family of the kids, and at the same time, they were also talking to Shekau’s faction, also ISWAP. So apparently, one particular group succeeded in outbidding the other in the process of this and that is why you saw Shekau coming out yesterday with that audio to say that our brothers are the one behind it. So if you read between the lines, he is associating with the people that did it because there has been agreement.
“And that is what makes this incident a precarious one right now.”
Gunmen on Friday invaded Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina and abducted over 500 students.
On Tuesday, Boko Haram Factional leader, Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the attack. Through a released audio, Shekau said the school was attacked because it was teaching its students things that could “destroy Islam”.
“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet,” he had said in the four-minute long video.
“They are also not teaching what Allah and his Holy Prophet commanded. They are rather destroying Islam. It may be subtle, but Allah the Lord of the skies and earths knows whatever is hidden. May Allah promote Islam. May we die as Muslims.”