The Islamists Boko Haram based in northern Nigeria have killed a Cameroonian mayor, raising fears about how far the sect members could stretch their wrath.
Mr. Abba Djidda Alahdji, third deputy mayor of Makary in Cameroon’s Far North Region, was killed because of his suspected ties with a Nigerian police commissioner, local tabloid, La Nouvelle Expression reported.
The mayor’s slaying on Nigerian soil followed a string of warnings from the sect, according to reports.
The sect, which wants to radically alter the current education system and impose Sharia law across Nigeria, had been keeping an eye on his friendship and constant visits to the police commissioner of a town in northern Nigeria.
An ongoing crackdown by Nigerian security forces on the group poses a major hindrance to its activities. Boko Haram related violence has claimed over 2,800 lives in Nigeria since 2009, according to a recent Human Rights Watch report.
Across the border, Cameroon political and religious authorities have also been taking steps to guard against letting the country slip into chaos akin to Nigeria’s due to the sect’s activities.
The mayor, according to La Nouvelle Expression, was gunned down after prayers on October 5 by two men who trailed him to where he lived with one of his wives.
Nigerian intelligence officials believe Boko Haram planned some of its attacks from northern Cameroon, which it uses as a safe haven and a source of arms.
In February 2011, security forces in Nigeria’s Borno State uncovered a cache of weapons they said was smuggled into the territory from Cameroon.
Nigeria also shut its porous border with Cameroon after last year’s Christmas Day Bombings which killed over 35 people.
Muslim cleric and head of the Union of Cameroonian Imams, Sheik Ibrahim Mbombo Mubarak, said in August 2011 that Boko Haram had a growing Cameroonian following.