Security agents unmask killer of Obasanjo’s host
ABUJA, – Security agencies have unmasked the killer of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s host in Maiduguri, The Nation learnt yesterday.
The head of Fugu family, Babakana Fugu, hosted Obasanjo last Thursday in the Borno State capital. He was killed on Saturday.
The killer is believed to be Ustaz Mote, a close associate of the wanted al-Qaeda-trained Boko Haram element, Mamman Nur.
Nur, who has been declared wanted by the State Security Service (SSS), is believed by security agents to have conspired with two others to mastermind the August 26 bombing of the UN House in Abuja in which 23 people died.
Fugu’s killing has left members of the Boko Haram (Western education is a sin) divided.
The Federal Government has ordered more security build-up in Abuja, Borno and most parts of the North where members of the Boko Haram are believed to be hiding.
A source, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “Preliminary report on how Babakura Fugu was killed has indicated that it was perpetrated by one Ustaz Mote, who grew up in Fugu Family House and an ardent foot-soldier of Nur.
“The assassination of Babakura Fugu on Saturday afternoon is said to have been masterminded by the Mamman Nur group (faction), which felt that the recent arrest of some key members of the group who are very close associates of Nur were facilitated by the late Babakura Fugu.
“Nur, who is wanted in connection with the recent bombing of the UN House in Abuja, believed that Babakura Fugu had entered into undue alliance with the government and benefiting financially.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “Security agencies are on the trail of the suspected killer (Mote).”
There are indications of a split within the Boko Haram. The spiritual leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, is alleged to have condemned Fugu’s elimination.
The source added: “An enraged Shekau described the killing as immoral and further injustice on Fugu’s family, which has every right to seek redress on perceived persecution without recourse to the group”.
A security source said even as the search for Fugu’s killers continues, “we have been directed to beef up security in Abuja, Borno, Bauchi and all Northern states, in the light Saturday’s development”.
The source said: “It is apparent that the Boko Haram members are really poised for a long-drawn confrontation with security agencies. The government has mandated these agencies to protect the sovereignty of this country.
“The Joint Task Force will be reinforced in Maiduguri, until the Boko Haram sect is checked. Prior to Obasanjo’s visit, the JTF had succeeded in restoring peace to Maiduguri and most parts of Borno.”
Hours after a splinter group of the Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Lidawati wal Jihad (J.A.S.L.J), aka Boko Haram was quoted on BBC radio as claiming responsibility for Fugu’s murder, another faction of the sect has denied responsibility for the action.
The faction described Fugu’s death as “painful and unfortunate”.
The group spoke to reporters in Maiduguri through one of its top members, Abu Kaka.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has appealed to people of goodwill to eschew violence and follow “the path of justice, peace, unity and stability for the progress of Nigeria”.
In a message of condolence to the family of the slain Babakura Fugu, in Maiduguri, Obasanjo said he received the news of Babakura’s killing while outside the country.
In the message, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Obasanjo said: “Babakura, who joined others to receive me in the demolished compound of his late father, was genuinely working for justice and peace.
“He should not be hated for that, let alone being killed.
“My condolence goes to his family.”
Obasanjo last week visited Maiduguri and Jos in a bid to find a lasting solution to the spate of violence in parts of the country.
“I appeal to all people of goodwill to eschew violence and follow the path of justice, peace, unity and stability for the progress of Nigeria. This is our commitment,” the former President said.
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