As Nigeria grapples with the terror activities of the fundamentalist Boko Haram sect, another terror group, Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, has emerged.Culled from Punch
One of Nigeria's leading newspapers, Punch reports that the new sect also has a strong presence in Niger Republic.
Currently, two terrorist groups exist in Nigeria — Boko Haram and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan.
There are fears in security circles that the new terror group, MOJAO may infiltrate the country due to the porous nature of Nigeria’s borders.
Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, had last week said there were 1,497 illegal routes into the country.
MOJAO, a splinter group of the international terror group, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, is after military operatives and facilities of countries that are complementing France’s efforts in quelling terrorists’ insurgency in Mali.
Besides Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Bukina Faso are involved in military operations in Mali.
On Thursday, the Jihadist group claimed responsibility for a twin suicide bombing attack at the Nigerian/Nigerien border.
No fewer than 26, mostly Nigerien soldiers, were killed and about 30 injured, in the multiple attacks.
MOJAO spokesman, Abu Walid Sahraoui, said the attacks were targeted at “the enemies of Islam.”
“We attacked Niger Republic because of its co-operation with France in the war against Sharia,” he added.
A highly placed security official told a Punch correspondent that the group had been in existence since 2011.
According to the official, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the subject, MOJAO poses a threat to Nigeria’s security.
He said, “We now have to prevent them from infiltrating Nigeria; we have enough Boko Haram challenges. Don’t forget that members of Boko Haram, who were dislodged from Sambisa Games Reserve and other camps in Borno State fled to neigbouring states and the Niger Republic. So many of them from Abadan, Malam Fatori and other villages, are now refugees in Difa, Niger Republic. They can decide to pitch tents with MOJAO.
“MOJAO has attacked barracks in Niger, which is similar to what Boko Haram does in Nigeria. This new group may want to do the same in here majorly because we are also involved in the Malian operation — which is one of their grievances.
“They are also likely to target our soldiers at the border.”
When contacted by a Punch correspondent, the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen Chris Olukolade, said efforts were on to sensitize all military formations across the country to exhibit a high level of alertness.
Olukolade said the Nigerian troops were at the border with Niger in line with the military’s decision.