From Iheanacho Nwosu and Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The female lawyer, who was last week declared wanted by the Army, Aisha Wakil, has said that members of Boko Haram sect started bearing arms when they felt betrayed by the government.
In her first major interview after she was declared wanted and granted administrative bail, Wakili told Daily Sun that the late Muhammed Yusuf, leader of Boko Haram, told her the group had been betrayed.
According to her, when she discovered that Boko Haram members were undergoing military training, she sent for Yusuf and inquired if what she heard about declaring war with government was true and the group’s leader confirmed.
Wakili said: “I sent for him (Yusuf) and he came. He moved like a governor because he was loved by the group. I asked him: ‘my son, I have been hearing some rumours. Are they true?’ And he asked me what I had heard. I asked him if he was planning on starting a war and he said yes. They do not lie to me.”
On why Boko Haram wanted to start a war, Wakili said Yusuf stated that some of their members had had been killed, buried and that the government betrayed them. “And I asked him why so. He said I was there when some of them were killed and buried. He said they would fight the government. I said it was not going to happen. I asked him if I could come in and he agreed. He said the government had betrayed the group, but he refused to tell me what the betrayal was all about. He said that they would call me and some elders and I will know how they were betrayed.”
The lawyer said that after that she could not meet Yusuf again, as Boko Haram started a war.
“On July 28, 2009, they started a war. I called Muhammed to know if it was part of their plan and he said yes. My intention was to meet him on Sunday evening, July 29, 2009. July 28, 2009 was the last time I spoke with him.
On Monday, someone told me that he saw him with a boy. Then, I was carrying my three-month child. I wore some clothes and told my family that I was going out to find Muhammed Yusuf. When I got there, I was told that he had gone to Galadima area. I went there, but the bombings were too much and my driver made a U-turn. We drove back to West-end and parked. The children were clapping their hands. They had never seen a thing like that before. I was still contemplating what to do when I saw a convoy of motorcycles. The riders had turbans on their heads and there was Shekau. They drove to Tashan Baga and I chased them with the little energy I had. That was the last time I saw him,” she said.
Wakili said the Federal Government’s peace committee set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan failed in its mission because of the insincerity of some members.
“Some people involved in the peace deal were not sincere. There were people they brought as Boko Haram members. I do not know all the people that were brought. The ones I know are the Shehuri-North boys and they are truly members of the sect. There is a difference between the Yusfians, Ja’amantalis Sunnah and Boko Haram. The Yusfians were with the Boko Haram members, but they did not fight wars,” she said.