|Abdul Qaqa – Boko Haram spokesman
Over a decade ago, my “place of origin”, Sagamu, was going through a difficult period with armed gangs running wild and free. Sagamu was a no-go area for visitors, and business activities were at an all time low. The Security agencies and the government of the day were also at their wits end. The last straw was when the son of a high chief, The Lisa of Remo, was killed. The indigenes of Sagamu, led by the elders, held a series of meetings and a vigilante movement was born. These guys swung into action, gave a one-week ultimatum for all known robbers to leave the town. On the expiration of this window, they carried out a series of raids and extra judicial killings. Sometimes criminal sons were brought out in front f their mothers and summarily killed, etc. Families and neighborhoods, on their own, started house cleaning, banishing their kinfolk from Sagamu and reporting those recalcitrant ones to the vigilante group. Eventually, Sagamu’s peace was slowly restored and the vigilante remained to this day. Though in recent times, they have been used as political tools, the people of Sagamu still prefer the current situation to what we had years ago.
Now back to Boko Haram and the North. You all know their story and the trail of destruction and blood they have left on indigenes and non-indigenes of the North, Churches, government apparatuses and not too long ago – the Emir of Kano! If the attack of the Emir did not signal the watershed for Boko Haram, I don’t know what else can. The North has never been known to be docile, especially in areas of using force and exercising militia related power. Recall the counter coups, the pogroms, Zangon Kataf, etc.? Organized mass outrage has never been lacking in this region. That the person of the Emir of Kano was attacked and all the Northern leaders and opinion makers remained un-moved tells a very grave story of mass complicity. This is what Boko Haram feeds on. And I think those silent onlookers also know what their end goal is…and it is shared.
While the intent of this is not to preach violence or reprisal attacks, the key stakeholders, the citizens and elders have to get up and do something before this consumes their way of life as they know it.