Five reasons why hunters should be recruited in the fight against Boko Haram
Yesterday, while speaking to journalists, hunters in Borno State, Maiduguri appealed to the Nigerian military to allow them join the battle against terrorism. Mallam Mai Gana Mai-Durma, Emir of the hunters, said that they should be given permission to align with members of the vigilante group, the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), for effective results. Though there are debates surrounding their lack of training, here are a few reasons why recruiting local hunters should be considered:
- The hunters are quite familiar with the terrain; the forests that serve as a hideout and operational base for Boko Haram and can, therefore, provide intelligence for the military in that regard. As Mai-Durma said, “This will…complement the effort of military in the anti-terrorism operation.”
- This is not the first time hunters are seeking an allegiance with the military to combat terrorism. Two years ago, about 12,000 volunteers, hunters inclusive, assembled at the palace of the Shehu of Borno in Maiduguri and pleaded with the government to accept their services in the war against the insurgency.
- Hunters once played a significant role in the fight against Boko Haram. In November 2014, 30,000 local hunters reportedly mobilised by the Emir of Mubi in Adamawa State, together with the Civilian JTF liberated the town of Mubi from the clutches of Boko Haram, killing several members of the terrorist group in the process.
- It is an easy way to tackle unemployment and idleness. According to Mai-Durma, the attack by Boko Haram has rendered hunters from all 27 local government areas of the state, idle. Part of the effects of the insurgence is the fact that a number of businesses have been displaced; farmers and hunters have been forced to abandon their source of livelihood as they unable to leave their homes for fear of being attacked by the radical sect. “Rather than idling away, we will want to assist the military in crushing Boko Haram terrorists,” Mai-Durma said.
- On the 27th of December, barely 48 hours after President Buhari declared, “technically, we have won the war,” there were terrorist attacks in Maiduguri and Madagali that left more than 50 people dead and over 100 injured. The Nigerian military clearly needs all the help that it can get, hence the solidarity shown by the hunters should be encouraged.
Malam Mai Gana Mai-Durma has also appealed to Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, the Shehu of Borno, to assist in forwarding the request to the military authorities for consideration.
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