People surround a burning car after Boko Haram attacked a police station in Kano
People surround a burning car after Boko Haram attacked a police station in Kano

Boko Haram, the Islamist radical sect operating in Nigeria, claims to have financial agreements with governors in the northern states.

A high-ranked but anonymous source from the armed radical group has told that Boko Haram concluded financial agreements with some of the country's northern governor in return for not attacking their provinces.

The source said Malam Shekarau, the former Kano state governor, agreed in 2004 to pay the group 5m Nigerian naira (£20,000) a month in return for stability and security within the state.

Kano's new governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who took the position in April 2011, refused to continue with the agreement, sparking retaliation from Boko Haram.

"We warned the governor of the consequences", the source told

Kano was the recent scene of a massacre by the group in which 185 people were killed.

According to the source several other agreements with other northern governors were still in place.

Boko Haram has stepped up operations with attacks and suicide bombings on churches military facilities, banks and schools, threatening to destabilise the country's government.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report saying that in the first three weeks of 2012 the armed group has killed more than 253 people.

It estimated that more than 935 people have been killed in 164 suspected attacks since Boko Haram started its violent operations in 2009.

"Boko Haram's attacks show a complete and utter disregard for human life," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

"The Nigerian authorities need to call a halt to this campaign of terror and bring to justice those responsible for planning and carrying out these crimes."

"Boko Haram is targeting and killing people in northern Nigeria based on their religion and ethnicity," Dufka said.