Borno Government recruits hunters to join fight against Boko Haram
The Borno State government has begun a new round of recruitment of local hunters to join the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency that entered its eleventh year in July.
Governor Babagana Zulum said he was seeking alternative approaches to ending the long-running conflict.
Sources in the state government said that the government plans to recruit 10,000 men with voodoo powers and hunting skills for the campaign. About 2,000 of them have already been enlisted from across northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries, the sources said.
“The hunters are the “Yan-Tauri (die-hards) who have spiritual protection against gunshots and other kinds of firepower,” said one of the sources who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to journalists on the development.
“It is supposed to be a secret exercise but it cannot remain underground for long because the governor targets at least 10,000 potent hunters and the influx of such a number into the state will attract public attention.”
Armed with hunting rifles, knives and amulets, the hunters rode into the city in many vehicles, leaving residents wondering about their mission.
A state government source said the governor “is tired of the conventional means of prosecuting the Boko Haram war that seemed not to have provided the needed solution in the last 10 years.
“Even the military has been calling for civil-military cooperation to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
We all have appreciated the role the Government and Civilian-JTF is playing in assisting the military to fight Boko Haram.”
Another source explained why the hunters were being drawn from the northern states.
The spokesman to the Governor, Isa Gusau, would not speak on the matter because of its “security nature.”
But he said Governor Zulum has decided to “aggressively combine conventional and unconventional approaches to addressing the Boko haram crisis.”
Abdulkareem Umar, a 69-year-old hunter also known as Baba-Maigiwa, is the leader of the hunters’ group currently converging in Maiduguri.
Baba Maigiwa is reputed to have led the team of hunters who helped the government of former governor Isa Yuguda in Bauchi state to quell the uprising of Boko Haram in 2009..