MAIDUGURI – A senior Muslim monarch in the northeastern state of Borno has been killed after gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram opened fire on his convoy while travelling by road to attend the funeral of another senior scholar.
“The gunmen... specifically targeted the vehicle conveying the three emirs and opened fire,” a statement from Borno’s state secretary, Baba Ahmed Jidda was cited by Reuters on Saturday, May 31.
Idrissa Timta “was killed around 9:00am (0800 GMT) today (Friday) following a bloody attack by some gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram”, the statement added.
According to the statement, the Emir was in company of the Emir of Askira, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibn Muhammadu Askirama and Emir of Uba, Alhaji Ali Ibn Ismaila Mamza.
The three were on the way to Biu town, headquarters of Biu Local Government Area in Southern Borno State.
“Unfortunately as they were driving in convoy to Biu, they were ambushed by gun men around Tashan Alade, soon after passing Garkida. The gunmen came after the convoy, specifically targeted the vehicle conveying the three Emirs and opened fire,” the statement said.
“The Emir of Gwoza was unfortunately killed by the attackers while the Emirs of Askira and Uba escaped unhurt,” it added.
A policeman in the convoy was shot by the attackers but he survived the attack.
Scores of Nigeria Muslim scholars have been killed over the past years after facing accusations from Boko Haram that they have betrayed the faith by submitting to the authority of the secular government.
A suicide bomber tried to kill Nigeria’s third most powerful emir, the Shehu of Borno, Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, as he left Friday prayers in July 2012.
The monarch survived the attack that left five people dead.
The convoy of the Emir of Kano, Nigeria’s number two Islamic leader, was targeted in an attack last year.
Earlier in February, Nigeria’s leading Salafist scholar and prominent anti-Boko Haram preacher Sheikh Mohamed Awwal Adam Albani was assassinated with his wife and son, though it was not identified who killed him.
The leader of Nigeria’s Muslims, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, called for unity in the battle against Boko Haram in a public address at the National Mosque last weekend, urging his followers to support the government.
Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modeled on Afghanistan's Taliban.
The militant group says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.
It has been blamed for a campaign of shootings and bombings against security forces and authorities in the north since 2009.
But recently, the sect has carried out attacks against Christians and Muslims alike.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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