Troops of the Nigerian Army currently prosecuting the counterinsurgency operations in the country’s Northeast on Thursday announced the killing of 19 Boko Haram fighters.
Among those killed, according to a statement by the spokesperson for the army, Sani Usman, was a notorious Ameer (leader), Abubakar Gana, in whose hands hundreds were reported to have been slaughtered.
Those who understand Boko Haram’s internal workings say it is customary in Boko Haram circle that a member only achieves Ameership position after killing at least 50 persons and or after personally slaughtering his parents or a member of his family.
Mr. Gana is said to have achieved that rank many years ago, before assuming his position as chief of the sect’s killer squad.
It was in line with his attribute as a fearless and “merciless” killer that he led a group of fighters, despite the continuing defeat his group suffered in the hands of Nigerian troops, to stage an ambush on advancing troops of the Nigeria Army on Friday, near Chukungudu village of Borno State, officials said.
Mr. Usman, a colonel, said, “A carefully planned and deliberate attack comprising troops of 22 Brigade Garrison, and 153 Task Force Battalion of 7 Division and 8 Task Force Division as well as Nigeria Air Force Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) and some Civilian JTF, was carried out on Boko Haram terrorists stronghold and camp at Chukungudu on Friday 3rd May 2016.
“While advancing to the location, the troops encountered Boko Haram terrorists ambush positions at Muskari, Gilam and Hausari before descending on their main objective at Chukungudu.
“During the encounter at the camp, the troops killed 19 Boko Haram Terrorists including their notorious leader in the area called Ameer Abubakar Gana. They also discovered and destroyed the terrorists Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) making factory, discovered and successfully detonated 4 primed IEDs. The troops also recovered 2 Anti-Aircraft Guns, 1 AK-47 Rifle, a Pistol, 1 Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG) Bomb, 1 AK-47 Magazine, 267 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) metal links ammunition and 23 rounds of 12.7mm belt ammunition. Other recovered items include a Canter truck, 1 Gun truck, 1 Land Rover vehicle and a Toyota Hilux vehicle.
“Unfortunately, 2 soldiers suffered gun shot wounds as a result of enemy action. However, it is gratifying to state that both of them are very stable and responding to treatment at the Field Ambulance”.
Sources from within the Civillian-JTF, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said the death of Ameer Gana was a major setback to the deadly sect “because he was among the few lieutenants that have direct communication link with the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”