Written by Hamza Idris
The Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram Sunday night issued a fresh warning of imminent attack on media organizations because of what they described as the media’s attitude of distortion of facts.
The group has also claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack at the Harvest Field Church of Christ in Bauchi which killed about 15 people and injured more than 30 others.
Similarly, the sect has raised a lot of questions in respect of Thursday’s alleged killing of four members of its Supreme Council (Shura) and a German national, Edgar Fritz who was working for a construction company in Kano.
In an emailed message to journalists in Maiduguri, spokesman of the group, Abul Qaqa said: “Today (Sunday) we thank God for giving us victory as we successfully carried out a suicide bombing on a church at Yalwa in Bauchi State.
“We are again warning media houses to either stay clear of our reports or quote us word for word,” Qaqa said.
Qaqa also berated the Nigerian security agencies for misleading President Goodluck Jonathan and other Nigerians. According to Qaqa, “we are really surprised with the way and manner security agencies are misleading President Goodluck Jonathan by giving him false information on our confrontation with them. They always conceal the truth about the damages we are inflicting on them and on how they fail to tame us.
“Take for example, the attack they (JTF) 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. Unfortunately, the soldiers stormed the area with over 40 vehicles, including armored 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 the women because our warriors have escaped after killing many security operatives. Residents of the area can attest to this fact. The people in the area are also aware of the fact that the soldiers killed a resident of the area.
“However, the military later turned out and said they succeeded in killing one of our members. What they said is misleading and outright lie.
“The fact is if troops would surround our people at night while asleep, but could not succeed in subduing them, 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 Supreme 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 have time to be watching over a foreign hostage whose corpse was found in the area?” Kaka asked, rhetorically.
“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 is being said about us…let everybody, including individuals and groups continue saying whatever they want to say. The obvious fact is that as soon as we complete our preparations and start launching attacks, nobody should mollify us.
“This is a special warning to the media because they are now fond of exaggeration and giving prominence to stories given to them by our enemies even when such press releases and stories are not true.
“On the other hand, it is so unfortunate that 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 they (media) carry the report, they distort what we said just because they want to please the ego of our enemies.”
“What we had expected of any media organization that knows it can’t carry our statements accurately and dispassionately is for it to stop reporting any story that concerns us, no matt™™er who is the government official that makes the statement otherwise. Any media that refused to adhere to this wise counsel should have itself to blame,” the statement said.