News / Africa

Conflicting Claims Circulate About Boko Haram Spokesperson's Condition

Confiscated weapons are displayed after a military raid on a hideout of suspected Islamist Boko Haram members in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, August 11, 2012.Confiscated weapons are displayed after a military raid on a hideout of suspected Islamist Boko Haram members in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, August 11, 2012.
x
Confiscated weapons are displayed after a military raid on a hideout of suspected Islamist Boko Haram members in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, August 11, 2012.
Confiscated weapons are displayed after a military raid on a hideout of suspected Islamist Boko Haram members in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, August 11, 2012.
Heather Murdock
After recent reports that security forces killed the spokesperson for the group, Abu Qaqa, and arrested two other militants, the government is wary to claim a victory. The stories in the news are conflicting, with most of the information coming from anonymous sources. Many former government 'victories' against the militant group have later turned out to be falsely reported.
 
At the beginning of February, Abu Qaqa reportedly was arrested. A few days later a man calling himself Abu Qaqa called journalists and said they got the wrong guy. Officials said Abu Qaqa is actually a pseudonym, making the identity of the man even harder to ascertain.   
 
One official told the Reuters News Agency he did not want to say it was the Boko Haram spokesperson. "You might say the man killed is Qaqa, then the next moment you hear another Qaqa on air,” he said.

Groups proves to be deadly, disruptive

Boko Haram calls itself "The People Dedicated to the Teachings of the Prophet and Jihad," and has been blamed for about 1,400 deaths since it began operations in 2009. The group has claimed responsibility for attacks on markets, government buildings, security forces and media houses, and says its goal is to establish Islamic law and free imprisoned members.
 
Meanwhile, the attacks continue in the Muslim-majority north of Nigeria.

From his hospital bed in the northern Bauchi State, a man named Bala said he was playing cards when gunmen pulled up on motorcycles and opened fire.

He said he was lucky to get out alive, later telling a VOA reporter he saw gunmen spray bullets at the bodies to make sure they were dead.  
 
No one has claimed responsibility for this attack, which killed at least six people, but locals say it similar to other attacks blamed on Boko Haram.  
 
Rampant insecurity exacerbates other problems

Security analyst Wilson Esangbedo agrees with many saying that instability in Nigeria’s north is partially a product of widespread poverty and joblessness. But, he said, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was correct to assume that it also is partly caused by political players who want to see the administration fail.
 
“All the things that are happening is geared to make sure that he’s not getting an opportunity to make a difference. Even the ‘transformation agenda’ of the present administration will come to naught if there is insecurity in the land," said Esangbedo.

And if the goal is to cause havoc in the north, Esangbedo said it is working.  
 
The state justice department in neighboring Borno State reports that it suspects Boko Haram of killing its top lawyer, State Attorney General Zanna Malam Gana.
 
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s largest mobile phone provider also reporting new security problems. It says its service is compromised after an attack on their towers in the northeast. This comes less than two weeks after Boko Haram issued a press release from an untraceable email taking responsibility for other cell phone tower attacks.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid