Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Why we killed NTA journalist –BokoHaram

The Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnati Lidda’awati
Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram
said that they were responsible for the killing
of Zakariyya Isa, a reporter with the Nigerian
Television Authority’s (NTA) Maiduguri
Network Centre.
The group has also claimed responsibility for
Saturday night’s multiple attacks on a police
station and banks in Saminaka, Kaduna
State as well as last week’s attack on a Mopol
barracks in Kwami, Gombe State.
The group said Zakariyya was killed because
he was “an informant of security agencies.”
Spokesman of the group, Abul-Qaqa in a
telephone conversation with huhuonline.com,
said, “Zakariyya was not killed in error. We
killed him because he was spying on us.”
There were earlier speculations that Zakariyya
was a victim of “mistaken identity” because
this is the first time that a journalist was
killed since the beginning of the violence in
Maiduguri, but Abul-Qaqa said the killing was
“carefully planned and executed.”
According to him, “We have ample evidence
beyond reasonable doubt that he was giving
vital information to security agencies on our
modus-operandi…We investigated thoroughly
before we killed him.”
Asked to give more details on what the late
journalist did, Qaqa said, “He gave
information to security agents that led to the
arrest of many of our members.” He added,
“We sent him a text and told him that we
would visit him. We killed him not because he
was a journalist, but because of his personal
misconduct. His actions were against the
ethics of his profession.
“And I want to tell you that we have no
grudge against journalists that are working in
line with the professional provisions of their
work. Whenever they misquote or
misrepresent our position, we normally call
them and tell them to correct the error,” Qaqa
He said the group will not hesitate to kill
anybody that “steps on our toes.” According
to him, “Zakariyya was responsible for his
actions and the consequences that followed.
Nobody, no matter who can go free if he or
she spies on us.”
On the issue of dialogue, Qaqa said, “We
cannot talk on that because it makes no sense
to us. How can you talk of dialogue when
government and security agencies are busy
arresting and persecuting our members?” He
said the group will continue to attack
government and security formations in
When contacted on phone, Borno State
Police Commissioner, Simeon Midenda said he
was in Abuja. Efforts to speak to officials of
the Joint Task Force (JTF) were not
successful. Also Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, the
Head of Field Operations of the JTF did not
answer a call to his line.
The killing of Zakariyya had sent jitters
into the nerves of journalists in Maiduguri,
with many thinking on how to strike a
balance in covering the crisis in the state.
Late Zakariyya, who worked as a cameraman
and Hausa translator at the NTA, was shot
at close range on Saturday night in front of
his house at Bulunkutu area of Maiduguri.
Witnesses said two gunmen trekked to the
house and shot him in the head and chest
before they fled.
A native of Potiskum Local Government area
of Yobe State, Zakariyya had worked at the
Maiduguri network centre of the NTA for
many years. He was married with children.

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