Being in Boko Haram “is lucrative”, says Presidential committee
Report by Hassan John
A member of Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), Sidi Ali Mohammed, has declared that the Boko Haram Islamic terrorism in Nigeria is so lucrative that ending the insurgency, “calls for thinking outside of the box.”
Speaking at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sub-Sahara Africa’s Economic Outlook Report, in Abuja on Monday, the member of the committee tasked with the responsibility of bringing initiatives to end the jihad, said “I will give you an example. The Nigerian military for example, gets N1, 000 per day for being in the North East, at the war front, as an allowance,” and pointed out that “in the same North-East, where if you are a member of Boko Haram you get $3,000 (N1,380,000) per day as allowance. So it is lucrative. Sometimes, they even give you money upfront. So we must do something about the youth from where they are recruiting,” Sidi Mohammed said.
While government and the UN point to poverty as one of the core reasons for radical Islamic insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, Sidi claims that “the reason why this problem has refused to go away is the abundant natural resources in the Lake Chad Region,” insisting that the country needs to “think outside the box. It is now more like a cartel. When you see the type of weapons they use, it is more sophisticated than the type of weapons that our military are using,” Sidi Mohammed added.
The idea of thinking out of the box, he stated at the conference, is to “grant amnesty to Boko Haram, if that will guarantee that peace,” he said.
Boko Haram had rejected any amnesty offered to it in the past and had insisted that unless the country abandons democracy and embraces sharia as a system of government, it will continue its insurgency against the government and will continue to attack and kill Christian unless they all convert to Islam.
Mohammed, who is the Head of the Humanitarian Assistance and Rehabilitation arm of the PCNI, shied away from addressing the radical Islamic ideology driving the Jihad and rather suggested that, there is an important need “to deplete the army of youth on the streets and take them away from the streets so that Boko Haram does not recruit them. Don’t forget, they (Boko Haram) are being killed on daily basis but they are also recruiting on daily basis.” He however did not explain how this task can be achieved.
“As we are here discussing, if somebody here is a member of Boko Haram, he will not say anything,” he said. “He goes out there to strategize and comes back. It, therefore, means the conventional ways of fighting warfare cannot work here,” Mohammed simply stressed.
Meanwhile Boko Haram Jihadists have killed About 26 in Kudakaya Village, Madagali Local Government Area in a Monday evening attack. The Adamawa State Police command, in a statement said, “We heard of the attack, but we are yet to ascertain fatality figures,” Othman Abubakar, Public Relations Officer of the Police in Adamawa State, added that “many innocent people lost their lives.”
A local vigilante told Sahara Reporters that he counted 26 corpses, and several injured persons were taken to the hospital. “The Boko Haram terrorists stormed our village in their droves at about 7:30 pm Monday and started shooting randomly.”
Kudakaya has suffered multiple attacks by Boko Haram with growing casualties. The former Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, Abawu Maina Ularamu, said Boko Haram “burnt several shops and many homes; they also stole food stuff. We are living in an atmosphere of despair and agony for this attack; over 20 were killed while many were injured.