Boko Haram Kidnaps Wife of Cameroon’s Vice Prime Minister to Send Message
Three people were killed during the attack on Ali’s home in the town of Kolofata in the Far North Region, according to Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary, who said Boko Haram also kidnapped a local religious leader, or lamido.
The attacks in Cameroon are clearly meant to send a message to the Cameroonian government to stay out of Boko Haram’s campaign in Nigeria, where most of its carnage has occurred as the group tries to establish an Islamic state there.
Cameroon has deployed troops to Nigeria — despite warnings from Boko Haram to stay away from the group’s fight with the Nigerian military or risk further attacks in Cameroon. Nigeria believes Boko Haram is trying to establish a foothold in Cameroon.
“I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants,” Bakary told Reuters, adding that at least three people were killed in the attack. “They unfortunately took away his wife. They also attacked the lamido’s residence, and he was also kidnapped.”
Further details were provided to the media by Col. Felix Nji Formekong, second commander of Cameroon’s third interarmy military region, based in Maroua. He said Ali, Cameroon’s former justice minister, was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr with his family. After his wife was taken, along with her maid, Ali was brought to a neighboring town by his bodyguards.
“The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you, the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” Formekong said.
Boko Haram unleashed three separate attacks over the weekend. On Sunday, an attacker threw a bomb at worshippers as they left a Catholic church in northern Nigeria’s main city of Kano, killing five people and wounding eight. In a separate attack, a female suicide bomber tried to attack police officers on the streets, but she killed herself and wounded two officers.
These attacks are occurring as 22 suspected Boko Haram militants, who have been held in Cameroon since March in Maroua, were sentenced Friday to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years.