MAIDUGURI—Islamist sect, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s suicide attack in Bauchi State where a Church was bombed, killing about 21 worshipers with 45 others sustaining various degrees of injuries, even as it also re-emphasised its earlier warning to the media to desist from under-reporting its activities or face devastating attacks.
These were contained in a statement by its spokesman, Abu Qaqa in Hausa language and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri.
Qaga further expressed surprise with the way security agencies were misleading President Goodluck Jonathan by giving him false information on their confrontation with them, pointing out that the security agencies usually concealed the truth about the damages inflicted on them by Boko Haram.
He said: “Take for example, the attack they launched on our brethren in Ja’in area in Kano State weeks back. The fact is that only three men were inside the house together with their wives and then their weapons.
“Unfortunately, the soldiers stormed the area with over 40 vehicles, including armoured tanks and surrounded the house in the dead of the night.
“There was endless gun duel between our men and the soldiers but none of our men was killed or arrested. They only succeeded in arresting women because our warriors had escaped after killing many security operatives. But the media, which we believed connived with the security agencies and the government, went ahead to publish the opposite which ended up misleading the public.”
‘We have eyewitnesses’
He noted that residents of the area can attest to the fact that what JTF and the media are saying in that regard was nothing but gimmicks, even as he stated that the people in the area are also aware of the fact that the soldiers killed a resident of the area, and not a single member of the sect.
The sect’s spokesman said: “However, the military later turned around and said they succeeded in killing one of our members. The fact is if troops would surround our people at night but could not succeed in subduing them even while asleep, how possible is it that they killed four members of our Supreme Council (Shura) in their latest attack as they claimed?
“Is it really true that our leaders were holding meeting? Is it possible for just four members of the high command to sit and take decision? Can members of the high command watch over a foreign hostage whose corpse was found in the area?
‘JTF killed civilians’
“One thing that is obvious is that the soldiers had only succeeded in killing over 10 innocent people in the neighborhood. We challenge journalists to go to the area and verify our claims whether our warriors have killed soldiers during the confrontation or not. Why are they (soldiers) hiding away their victims from the press?
“The media should also verify whether the military had extra-judicially killed civilians or not. We are carefully watching what everybody is saying about us. Let everybody, including individuals and groups continue to say whatever they want to say. The obvious fact is that as soon as we complete our preparations and start launching attacks, nobody should persuade us to stop.
Warning for media houses
“This is a special warning to media houses and journalists who are now fond of exaggerating and giving prominence to stories given to them by our enemies even when such press releases and stories given to them are not true.
“It is so unfortunate that the media carries such report word by word without removing or altering anything. But when we issue statements and press releases, the media always look the other way, pretending as if they didn’t get the message.
“More worrisome, perhaps, is that even when the media carries the report, they distort what we said just because they want to massage the ego of our enemies.
Demands fair representation
“Henceforth, nobody should talk to us when we attack any media organisation. The least we expect is that if any media organisation is not willing to give us true and fair representation, it is better not to report at all no matter what is said or who said it on the side of the government.
Any media that refuses to adhere to this wise counsel should have itself to blame.
“Finally, as it pleases Allah, we have successfully launched attack at a Church in Yelwa area of Bauchi metropolis in Bauchi State,” the statement added.