Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), and the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS) have been named by the Federal Government of Nigeria as organisations financing Boko Haram, ISWAP and other terrorists in the sub-region.
Major General Babagana Monguno, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser named these three groups at a meeting of the League of Ulamas, Preachers, and Imams of Sahel countries on Tuesday in Abuja.
The NSA accused the groups of posing an imminent threat to the stability of the Sahel region which has a direct effect on Nigeria.
He stated that the ISGS group which mainly operates in Mali, has been responsible for the rapid rise in the activities of terrorists in the Sahel since 2016.
Monguno added that the group had since extended to Niger Republic, Burkina Faso and other parts of the Sahel region.
The government of Burkina Faso resigned last week citing its inability to check the weekly attacks by the Islamic terrorists on their nation which constantly left the nation bleeding.
The NSA urged Islamic preachers and Imams to use their exalted positions to canvas support for the ongoing fight against terrorism.
He said: “Terrorism and the rapid escalation of violent activities by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel since 2016 have been primarily driven by the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), which mainly operates in Mali and extends to Niger Republic and Burkina Faso.
“It is bolstered by activities of groups such as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM) and ISGS, which have continued to pose an imminent threat to the stability of the region.
“In Nigeria, Boko-Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) dominate terrorist activities, especially in the North-Eastern part of the country.
“The situation in the Sahel has never been grimmer, extremist violence continues to spread; the number of internally displaced persons (IDPS) is growing; and food insecurity is affecting more people than ever before.
“There are several not entirely congruent working hypothesis underpinning foreign and regional government strategies”.
Monguno stated that activities of Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters have been curtailed by countries in the Lake Chad region.
He added: “Nonetheless, the possibility of Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) creating an established caliphate to rival Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) countries has been checkmated by series of concerted and reinvigorated efforts of the countries of the Region.
“The adoption of both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches by LCBC countries to stem the conflict has yielded tremendous success.
“The adoption of propaganda videos by Terrorist groups to project themselves as contending powers in the region, is a mere attempt to garner support from sympathisers, as they struggle to maintain relevance.
“Thus, it is assessed that while the groups maintain the long term strategic goal of creating a caliphate, the efforts of LCBC countries will continue to frustrate that goal.”