Ansaru militant group, a faction of Boko Haram, has reportedly started a “massive recruitment” of residents in communities in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna state.
According to Daily Trust, the group on Wednesday visited Damari, Farin Ruwa, Kwasa Kwasa, Kuyello, Gobirawa, Tabanni, Kutemeshi and Kazage villages in a bid to recruit the villagers into their sect under the guise of celebrating Sallah with them.
The newspaper quoted residents as saying the insurgents distributed Sallah gifts –biscuits — to them and also performed motorcycle stunts to entertain the villagers.
The group was said to have also distributed a five-page pamphlet titled; ‘We are not Boko Haram but Ansaru’, flash disks and other items on its activities in an attempt to entice residents to join them.
“Whoever believes in Shahada and faces Qibla to pray is considered a Muslim to us and so deserves to be protected just as we would protect ourselves and our family members,” the group reportedly said in the pamphlet.
”We will celebrate with him in times of happiness and mourn with him in terms of sorrow. He is free from our harm and we are not going to hand him over to his enemies.
“Planting bombs in markets, mosques and motor parks among other places is not what we believe in because, in these places, the majority of the casualties are the poor people. We are not out for materialism because if this is what we wanted, we would have remained in our parents’ houses to enjoy the world. We are also not out to seek for positions or support any political party or tribe or any worldly thing.”
A resident was quoted as saying the presence of the militant group would deter bandits from attacking their communities.
“They visited the Kuyello area, Tabanni, Kutemeshi and also my village, which is Kazage to join the people in the Sallah celebration,” the resident was quoted as saying.
“They participated in motorcycle stunts within the communities; nobody was harmed and they warned against indulging in any dangerous play. They equally preached and shared biscuits to the people.
“With their presence, bandits will dare not attack our communities.”
Muhammadu Isa, a resident of Kuyello, reportedly said many youths have expressed interest in joining the group.
“There are some communities where members of Ansaru provide access to residents to go to their farms and guard the residents while at farms,” Isa was quoted as saying.
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