In a three-minute video released on Wednesday, Abubakar Shekau, the factional leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the massacre of at least 76 farmworkers in northeast Nigeria over the weekend, and warned they will carry out similar atrocities if communities attempt to report the group to authorities.
The “message is on those who notoriously nab our brethren and hand them to the military or give them a clue on us, you should know that, unless you repent, what happened to your people is awaiting you,” he said, explaining that Boko Haram had carried out the massacre because “the farmers arrested and handed one of its brothers to the Nigerian army.”
According to Nigeria’s Daily Trust, most of the victims died after having their throats slit. “We have recovered 43 corpses. The attackers slaughtered all of them,” one worker said. “As we speak, there is great disquiet and mourning in our communities.”
On Monday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman blamed the farmers for their own deaths, claiming they were in the area without government permission. “Information from security agencies says that the Zabarmari marshlands are infested with land mines and movements in around those areas subject to military oversight. No one is delighted with the massacre in Zabarmari and there is nothing anybody will gain by playing blame games,” he said.
On the contrary, there is nothing to gain by pretending Boko Haram is not to blame. The terrorists have been laying waste to Nigeria for years. It’s long past time for the Nigerian government put all their efforts into eradicating them.