New Islamic religious sect emerges in Nigeria
A new Islamic religious sect that goes by the name Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa), Ansaru for short, has emerged in Nigeria. In a statement signed by its supposed leader, Abu Usamata Al’Ansari, and circulated in the Northern parts of Nigeria, the group questioned Boko Haram’s style of operation which it stated was inhuman to the Muslim Ummah.
The sect’s motto is “Jihad Fi Sabilillah” which means “To fight and sacrifice for Allah’s cause.” The group’s insignia is a Qur’an sandwiched between two guns bearing flags with the inscriptions “There is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger”.
The group’s statement reads in part “For the first time, we are glad to announce to the public the formation of this group that has genuine basis. We will have dispassionate look into everything, to encourage what is good and see to its spread and to discourage evil and try to eliminate it.” It has also vowed to restore “the lost dignity of Muslims in black Africa” and bring back the dignity of Islam in Nigeria and to the Sokoto Caliphate, as founded by Usman Dan Fodio in 1804.
Some have speculated this group may be a splinter faction from the dreaded Boko Haram sect that is presently tormenting the Northern parts of Nigeria. This would seem unlikely considering there appears to be an allegiance, as contained in their statement, to the seat of Islamic authority in Nigeria and beyond; the Sokoto Caliphate. This seat of authority is headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, a descendant of the late Usman Dan Fodio and a much respected Islamic leader in Nigeria and throughout the Arab world.
It is also worth noting, that the dreaded Boko Haram sect had promised to attack Sokoto and Kano states if its cult members detained in those states were not released immediately. Without a doubt, the issuance of such threats, especially in respect of Sokoto state, will be viewed as an affront to the Sultan of Sokoto and may have spurred his loyalists to take up arms against Boko Haram. Kano state is also the seat of another local Islamic authority that is headed by the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero. Both Sultan Sokoto and Emir Kano had denounced Boko Haram and its bloody rampages as un-Islamic.