THE IGBO DEMONIZATION NARRATIVE AND THE NEED TO BE VIGILANT.
Only a few days ago, we saw the massively circulated video in which University Lecturer in Northern Nigeria, at a Public Lecture posited forcefully that Igbo Drug Merchants were responsible for the widespread Drug Abuse and Addiction amongst the Northern Youth.
Now we see another theory gradually developing around the Igbo involvement in the birthing of Boko Haram by an Igbo Mother called Aisha Wakil.
I take particular note of the fact of the involvement of the BBC Igbo Service.
In this era of raging Ethnic Cleansing, Igbo Thought-Leaders must keep a close watch on these developments.
It is in this regard that one would raise a query whether this Narrative of Igbo-Mother-of-Boko-Haram does not obviously fit into the genre of the recent Igbo-Drug-Merchants-Responsible-For-Drug-Addiction-Of-Northern-Youth?.
The Aisha fellow is Igbo quite alright but she is just like tens of thousands of the other Igbo men and women completely assimilated by the North, and who at the peak of the Igbo Quit Notice saga last year, declared themselves *Igbo of the North* (meaning that North is now all the home they have or know).
I listened to her live Interview earlier this week on AIT’s Focus Nigeria by Gbenga Aruleba and it came out very clearly from the interview (the video is also circulating in social media), that her involvement with the Group predated the metamorphosis of the group into Boko Haram, following a dispute that led to the murder of Yusuf the Leader of the Group that morphed Boko Haram.
Going by that Interview, the genesis of Aisha Wakil’s involvement began with her efforts at providing some kind of philanthropic care to hordes of the roaming children of North known as almajiris in her area.
She was involved in some kind of social work and had a farm and so tried to feed and even house some of the children.
It turned out that in that same period, those children were also followers of an Islamic Teacher called Yusuf and so in course of time, she had cause to meet that Islamic Teacher, Yusuf through one the children, at a time some difficulty that soon degenerated to a bloody clash, arose between the then Governor Modu Sheriff of Borno State and the Yusuf Group, then known as Yusifiya (followers of Yusuf).
She offered to mediate between Yusuf and the Governor. Yusuf accepted but she could not access the Governor, being blocked by the Governor’s Staff and she asked Yusuf for more time so that she could take advantage of the next hajj that was already very close, to try to hook up with the Governor in Saudi Arabia
It was in the midst of these that an Operation was launched against the Yusufiya Group by the Government, in which the Military Arrested, handcuffed and handed Yusuf over to the Police, but Yusuf got killed by the Police which claimed he tried to escape.
All hell was let loose and the ensuing commotion and War became the start of the Boko Haram.
There were aspects of the story that had to do with some pre-election liaisons, understandings between the Governor and the Yusufiya Group as well as an unexplained betrayal by the Governor, bitterly alleged by Yusuf, according to Aisha.
In probing what this “betrayal ” all about, (which Aisha said she did not know) Gbenga Aruleba brought some versions of details of the betrayal as his findings so far disclosed, including one that alleged US$800m funding from Saudi Arabia for the Yusufiya Group which the Governor had acted as guarantor and cornered a huge chunk, giving the Group what they considered a very little fraction of the sum received on their behalf.
Aisha Wakil’s subsequent involvement came amidst the heavy fighting that followed by which time the ranks and operations of Boko Haram had been swelled by sundry criminal bands including robbery gangs, assassins, ritualists, political marauders and sundry conflict merchants. They also broke into factions controlling various fronts of the War Theatre.
It is not difficult to deduce that in all, Aisha Wakil was well known enough by the Leaders of the factions controlled by her erstwhile wards, years back, and so she could always find some handle to approaching them.
I had to share these details from what I watched live on AIT so that we can get some perspective to this whole developing story around “Igbo Mother of Boko Haram” so that we can meaningfully engage the brewing Narrative Battle in which the Igbo Accusers seem to be gearing up to credit the Igbo with the floating of Boko Haram, just as the we now hear that the Igbo are responsible for the widespread Drug Addiction by the Northern Youth.
Lower Niger Congress (LNC).
April 6, 2018.