– Mama Boko Haram explains how she averted a bomb blast on Christmas eve
– Says the sect is tired of fighting
In an interview with Kayode Idowu, Punch records Hajiya Aisha Wakil, known as Mama Boko Haram because of her closeness to the sect as saying that the insurgents are tired of fighting. She further gave the illustration of how she averted the bombing of St. Augustine’s Church on December 24 last year.
When asked if she thinks the sect has been defeated by the military, she said:
“They do not have that energy anymore. If you look very well, that energy is no longer there. They are gasping for breath and looking for a way out. They are always asking for the road. They are looking for the road to come out. They want trusted roads and not betrayal. If you sit with them and talk, they will tell you. They hardly trust anyone and they say they do not want further betrayal and are willing to remain where they are until they get Allah’s help. They have, however, told me that they trusted me because I meant well. I have taken some of those that were declared wanted to certain quarters to negotiate and the outcome of the negotiation was good.”
About the averted bombing, she said:
“They planned to bomb St. Augustine’s Church on December 24 last year. One of them called me on that day to find out whether I had travelled. There was a pickup van loaded with explosives in front of the church. I told the caller that I had not travelled and I immediately rushed out and saw the boy that was to carry out the suicide mission. They had already prepared him for the exercise. He had already been given the injection and prepared him for burial. The boy was just moving and murmuring. I quickly called the (Boko Haram) boys and told them that I can see a vehicle parked and that a boy was moving towards it. They told me that the boy was the suicide bomber. They asked why I did not travel again and I told them that my brother, a reverend father, visited Maiduguri and that we would be travelling together after Christmas.
“I instantly told him that I was right inside the church (targeted for bombing) with my brother because I brought food for him. I told them that I was not ready to leave the church, daring them to do their worse. They were then confused and asked what I wanted to become of the boy they had prepared for the suicide mission, and I asked them to send the boy away to the nearby bush; after all, he had taken the oath to die, so he should go and die alone. They asked me to leave the church premises but I told them that I wouldn’t go until they had diverted the boy away. After some time, they told me the boy had left and one of them said, ‘I can see your car driving out’ but I didn’t go with my car. This is to show how God works. God planned this. I do not know where a black car came out from that made them to believe I was around the place. So they drove the pickup van away. When I did a follow-up, I learnt that the boy had died because he had taken an oath and they had given him an injection preparing him for death. If you take the injection, you can never be yourself again. I then warned them that on no account should they target places of worship for bombing again.”
Mama Boko Haram, who said her relationship with the sect started way before the insurgency, said people started calling her “Mama Boko Haram” because she referred to them as sons at children at a women’s conference where the participants pleaded with the terrorists to stop the bombings.
She explained that her closeness to the group started because of her relationship with Mohammed Yusuf (a. k. a Shekau), the founder of the Boko Haram sect.
“My husband is from Shehuri North in Maiduguri, which is very close to the house of Mohammed Yusuf (a. k. a Shekau), the founder of the Boko Haram sect. I also had an Islamic teacher who was also my spiritual father known as Baba Fugu. His daughter, Amina, a friend of mine, married Yusuf. So, I was very close to Yusuf because of my friend, Amina, his wife. Yusuf was a young man who was just preaching and encouraging Muslims and non-Muslims to be closer to Allah and live peacefully together.”