© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Life Is Hell, Arrested Boko Haram Member Confesses
A peep into the hellish and meaningless life lived members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect has been provided by one of them who confessed that that they live perpetually in fear.
The 22-year-old member, whose name is being withheld for security reasons, who was arrested by the army said he was forced into the sect by his brother who always came home with guns to hide.
According to him, his brother, who has since been killed in one of the deadly attacks launched by the sect, presented him with two choices – to join the sect or get killed by members or the soldiers that may come home looking for him.
“We launched an attack in Damboa and I was shot and my colleagues who thought that I was killed left me behind but later when I regained consciousness I crawled to the road,” he said.
Speaking further, he said: “I was picked up by the police later and I told them I was willing to volunteer information. I was asked by a senior police officer how I got recruited into the group which I told him, he later handed me over to the Army where I was kept since.”
He said once initiated into the group, it is difficult to denounce membership, as a census is conducted every week or two to determine whether any member had fled, and “any of us found missing will be looked for and if he is found would be slaughtered”.
The arrested member advised youths in the state to stay far away from the group because it is a life of hardship all the way.
Meanwhile, the 21 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army has said that the outlawed Boko Haram sect kill innocent citizens in the country’s North-east region as a way of venting out their anger and frustration.
The acting commander of the brigade, Ibrahim Yusuf, a colonel, who said this on Sunday at a news conference in Maiduguri, Borno State, assured that the army had introduced new measures to counter the insurgent’s attacks on civilians in the state.
“I want to assure you that the army is doing everything possible to ensure that no civilian is attacked by Boko Haram in the state because we are here to ensure the safety of all Nigerians,” he said.
Most times, the Boko Haram members go to remote villages to kill innocent civilians in cold blood because they have been frustrated by the army. They cannot operate in the open, so they vent their anger on innocent civilians,” he stated.
The acting commander who boasted about the prowess of his team said further: “we cannot be taken by surprise by the Boko Haram, the recent attacks are nothing but signs of weakness. We are also evolving strategies to make sure that we prevent future attacks, no matter how small.”
He also said that the army was willing to give safe passage to members of the sect who want to quit and urged those who want to embrace the offer to either surrender themselves at any military post or go to their ward or district head.
“Let me say again that all those who surrendered will not be killed but will be given safe passage,” he said.