...Adamu Rugu Rugu's claim of forceful conscription into Boko Haram is most likely a lie
...He was in 2019 reported killed by the Nigerian Army, which elicited jubilation
...He has killed many, now claiming to have repented
...He had many other controversies in the past
ABDULHAMID AL-GAZALI, SEPTEMBER 18, 2021
Adamu Rugu Rugu's claim of being conscripted into Boko Haram against his will is most likely false, YERWA EXPRESS NEWS' past investigation suggests.
The terrorist commander, who has now turned himself over to the Nigerian military, and now claiming to have repented, was heard in a video circulating on the internet saying that he was forcefully recruited by the group.
The false claim
The video appears to be recorded at a camp in Borno, where the surrendered and 'repentant' Boko Haram terrorists -- at least 6, 000 of them according to numbers out in the media -- are hosted.
Among other things, Adamu Rugu Rugu was heard saying in the video that they were 'suffering while in the wastelands but our overloads are enjoying our expense,' a claim possibly made to whitewash his neck deep involvement in terrorism in the North East.
What we know
A 2019 report by our paper shows everything he has said in relation to how he joined the group is false, and that he had, withal, killed many innocent people.
Nigerian Army issued a statement, now believed to be entirely also false, claiming to have killed him in February of 2019. The (false) report of his death, the Army also added, elicited wild jubilation in Gwoza, the southern Borno local government where he operated and which he and the rest of the group declared a caliphate in 2014. The jubilation is indicative of how he must have terrorized the people.
In filing the report, our paper investigated further to find out how the people of the town truly feel of the terrorist commander's purported death and other things about him.
We got a glimpse of how he joined the group, which a second check recently similarly confirmed.
Rugu Rugu was not forced to join Boko Haram, he most likely did willingly -- and more for self-enrichment -- first as the group's informant and secret agent before full time involvement.
Our source in 2019, Usman Musa Tada, a denizen of Gwoza, said the Boko Haram topnotch kept his membership of the group secret until 2014, when most of the town was deserted, and temporarily entered the 'control' of, now death, Abubakar Shekau, the group's former leader.
Mr. Tada told us in 2019 that the man 'used to disguise as an innocent person until the complete takeover of parts of the town by the group.'
He also explained that before people knew his membership of the group, he had also clandestinely been involved in killing of many people.
Other past controversies of Rugu Rugu and how he joined Boko Haram
Even before he joined Boko Haram, Rugu-Rugu's trademark is controversy.
YERWA EXPRESS NEWS learnt that he was popularly known as a 'fundamentalist preacher' in the town, as well as Maiduguri, where he used to frequent for 'preaching' in the early 2000s.
Our investigation reveals that he got the name 'rugu rugu', which means 'shredded to pieces' in Hausa, from his caustic 'preachings'.
But many spoken to by this medium dismiss the claim that he was a preacher, noting, by Adamu Muhammad for instance, 'that he is everything but one'.
His 'preachings', it was gathered, were a ploy to cajole unsuspecting people into giving him money.
Preached despite being ignorant
A cross section of people familiar with the story in Mairi Ward and Tashan Bama, parts of Maiduguri / Jere Local Government of Borno, confirm to this medium that his 'preachings' were bereft of any scholarly knowledge.
'He was not learned, he was a noisemaker with caustic mouth, a typical case of empty vessel, I wonder why he is called a preacher,' a source we spoke to in 2019, who did not grant permission to publish his name, said.
Ibrahim Tijjani, a resident of Mairi, also familiar with the escapades of the man, said 'virtually everyone above 20 years in this area knows about the 'preaching' of Rugu Rugu and he is remembered more as a comedian who used religion to beg for his survival.'
He had variously mobilized young children to rampage bars and gambling clubs/joints in the town, indicating his predilection to fundamentalism even then.
Ibrahim also said 'I remember when he led young people then to ransack a gambling joint at Uniguest,' a guest-inn in Mairi Ward, one of the places he used to 'preach'.
Disdain for truly learned scholars
Tada also explained that he had no respect for learned scholars.
'He disdained the clerics in Gwoza because of his fundamentalism even though he is not knowledgeable.
'He abused them, especially Mallam Muhammad Algushawi.'
But that was not all about Rugu Rugu.
He was in politics
He joined local politics in his town around 2011 where he contested the office of a councilor.
'He did his campaign by himself, he puts his campaign posters on his car while he still preached,' Tada explained.
Then his journey into Boko Haram
When he failed in the election, he opened a commercial restroom at Damboa car station in Gwoza where his journey to joining Boko Haram also (possibly) started.
'He joined Boko Haram even before they invaded Gwoza town, because he opened a commercial restroom in Damboa station (Tashan Damboa).
'And what used to transpire there were unusual: and even before that, he was a selfish, caustic so-called preacher.
'He used to beg with no shame when he preaches,' he added.
Tada similarly explained that Rugu Rugu was lured into Boko Haram because of his 'love' for money.
'The group were going after clerics in the town when they first begin to infiltrate but in the case of Rugu Rugu, because they know his love for money, they lured him.
'And before people knew he was in the group, he waited until Gwoza was completely under their control in 2014, otherwise before then, he kept it to himself,' he added.
Mr. Adamu, our source, who we spoke to again recently, recalled that even before the takeover of the town, Rugu Rugu behaved suspiciously.
He used to warn people close to him to stop badmouthing the terrorist group as they were living amid them.
'Very close to the time they would invade Gwoza, he was telling people that the terrorists were much stronger than people think of them and many other things the people could only understand in hindsight,' Mr. Adamu said.
When troops recaptured the town, the terrorist commander fled, as did most of them, to the Gwoza Hills and mountaintops to continue his reign of terror.
He took advantage of his knowledge of the town and people to go after many, killing them clandestinely, multiple sources confirm.
'Because he knew many people, he would come and kill his targets and then flee, instilling fear in many. This made him among the leading Boko Haram members in the twon,' Tada explained.
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