The radical Islamic group, Boko Haram, which has been terrorizing Northern Nigeria, has split into two factions. One faction that calls itself Yusufiyya Islamic Movement, YIM, has vowed to expose the other faceless group, which it described as evil. This sect condemns the attacks and bombings of residences and places of worship by the other faction of the sect that claimed to be fighting a Jihad in the North. YIM is made up of followers of their slain founder, Mallam Mohammed Yusuf.
YIM distributed a two-page unsigned leaflets on Tuesday to various neighborhoods, Post Office Area, and media houses in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
It reads: “The Yusufiyya Movement has come to mean different things to different people in the last few months. This confusion and misinterpretation have made it necessary for us to come out publicly with the clear truth regarding our concept, struggle, aim and ultimate objective, as our declaration would guide in distinguishing the Yusufiyya Movement from the various labels ascribed to us as the Boko Haram.
“This is necessary in the light of genuine concern by individuals and groups to the mass suffering of innocent citizens caught in the cross fire between our members and the Nigerian troops. This concern has again brought to the fore, the daunting issue of reconciliation, through dialogue, with the Nigerian authorities and individual leaders involved in the naked abuse of our birthright to the peaceful propagation and practice of our religion as we understand it.”
The sect argued that it was in the process of exercising their right to propagate their religion as they understood it, that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf was killed before the confiscation of his land and properties in Maiduguri.
The statement, however, noted that the public must know that the Yusufiyya Islamic sect is far from the image of the heartless terrorists, arsonists or sadistic robbers painted by other people with a distinct agenda, “It is therefore unbecoming to attribute attacks on the civilian population or places of worship to our group, the Yusufiyya Islamic Movement.
“Ours is a clear fight for the blood of our founder, Mohammed Yusuf and other leaders who were slain in cold blood by former Governor of Borno State, the former Borno State Commissioner of Police and the late President.
“We therefore distance our group from all the bombings targeted at civilians and other establishments and equally condemn them and pray that Allah expose those who perpetrated them and attributed them to us.”
Distancing itself, the Yusufiyya sect declared, “We are concerned that some people with evil motives have infiltrated our genuine struggle with a false holy war that is outright un-Islamic. We call on this evil group to desist, failing which we shall have no option than to expose and hunt them.
“Finally, we have resolved to temporarily halt our fight for the assassination of our leaders in compliance with the prohibition of fighting in the holy month of Ramadan.”
The Joint Security Task Force spokesman, Lt.Col. Hassan Mohammed confirmed the statement and distribution of the leaflets, “The JTF is on top of the security situation in Borno State. The factions being created in the Boko Haram sect and the temporary ceasefire from the Yusuffiyya Islamic sect could bring peace and the restoration of law and order by nipping all acts of terrorism by the other factions of Boko Haram sect.”
This development came as President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, held talks with elders from Borno, over growing insecurity in the state, which is believed to be the abode of the sect. At the end of the meeting, they resolved that it would be premature to withdraw the military.