By Makua Ubanagu
An inter-ethnic clash among Boko Haram fighters occurred in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, according to local and security sources living in Baga and areas along Lake Chad fringes.
In a report by Daily Trust, the clash was triggered by the killing of seven Boko Haram fighters from the Buduma tribe. The fighters were executed by their commander on Bukkwaram Island after their failed surrender to the Nigerian military on Tuesday.
According to the source, “Their colleagues, whom they confided in, betrayed them and informed their commander of their plan to surrender. They were later intercepted and taken to Bukkwaram Island where the commander sentenced them to death by firing.
“So after killing them, an ethnic crisis broke out among the four tribes of the fighters—Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri and Buduma.
“Some of the fighters of the Buduma ethnic group accused the commander of high handedness, considering how they are losing fighters in the area recently,” the source added.
According to the source, a meeting was called where all commanders, regardless of their tribes, agreed that fighters could depart to their desired locations.
“However, one of the commanders, Baduma Bakura, a Buduma by tribe, who arrived at the meeting from Ali Mandula base in Niger Republic, yesterday resisted.
“He said he came to investigate the killing of his brethren and threatened to shoot whoever attempted to leave the venue but in the heat of argument, one of the Fulani fighters shot Buduma dead.
“The fire exchanges raged and 82 fighters were killed. Nobody could tell who Boko Haram or ISWAP fighters among them are. It was purely an ethnic war,” he said.
A security source in the region informed Daily Trust that the majority of the deceased fighters were well-known members of Boko Haram who had previously fled from Baga, Doron Baga, and Kukawa to Niger Republic and other areas in the Sahel.
“They escaped from the other side of Lake Chad in Niger and returned home, then ethnic conflict erupted.
“It’s still not clear the number of commanders lost in the hostility but it was a great damage on their side, and some of the Buduma fighters that survived the war had even fled to Chad,” he added.