A Borno State-based cleric and Director General, Centre for Justice on Religion and Ethnicity in Nigeria, Rev. Kallamu Musa-Dikwa, has said three governors from the North started Boko Haram in Nigeria shortly after return of democracy to the country in 1999.
Musa-Dikwa claimed to have sent messages to personalities and media organisations in Nigeria, informing them of a clandestine plan going on in the region to build and unleash the militants on the country.
“The creation of Boko Haram started in 2000. I sent some messages and statements to some people and media organisations then. When Olusegun Obasanjo became the President of Nigeria in 1999, he appointed service chiefs – all from the North Central zone – Benue, Plateau, Kogi and Kwara states. Incidentally, all of them were Christians. The development prompted three northern governors to come up with the idea of creating and raising Islamic militants to fight for Islam because they felt Obasanjo did not appoint their own (what they described as pure Hausa/Fulani northerners as service chiefs). From there, they created Islamic militants. Those governors contributed N100m each to buy working equipment, uniforms and so on for the militants. Immediately, Nigeria started experiencing religious crisis.
“After they contributed the money, those organised Islamic militants started religious crisis in Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, saying they wanted Sharia. The aim was to intimidate and oppress the Christians. They started attacking churches and killing people. Any time elections took place and they did not favour them, they would burn churches and attack their members. They never went to offices of political parties or the Independent National Electoral Commission office to carry out their attacks.
“On February 18, 2006, in Maiduguri, those boys came out and said they wanted Sharia law and that a governor in the state then did not cooperate with them. And because of a cartoon that was designed in Denmark in 2006, they protested and burnt down 66 churches in the state and killed many Christian men, women and children. After that, they started moving from house to house, church to church, yet nobody talked – we were the only ones talking or raising the alarm about what was happening”, the clergyman is quoted by the PUNCH on Sunday.
He added that in July 2009, the insurgents “burnt down 27 churches and killed many Christians. At that time, they did not touch any Muslim man or woman. They only killed security agents and Christians.
“From 2009 till 2014, they were attacking churches – going from house to house, slaughtering Christians. They started attacking people, including Muslims in 2014 when they felt their leaders had deceived them by not backing them to fight ‘infidels’ in the North. Four of our reverends were slaughtered in 2009.”
When the newspaper asked him if he had evidence to back up his claims, the man responded: “We have over 20 VCDs recorded by Islamic scholars and they said if a northerner did not get to power, they were going to fight Christians in Nigeria. A scholar once preached and incited Muslim youths not to be civil if the President of Nigeria was not a Muslim. We have the videos – he preached in Hausa. He alleged that all the former Muslim Heads of State that died, including Umaru Yar’Adua, were killed by the infidels and therefore, they would not allow a non-Muslim to lead Nigeria.”
I am involved in Leah Sharibu’s issue (one of the schoolchildren kidnapped by Boko Haram from Dapchi, Yobe State in 2018, who is still in captivity), I asked an agent to go and secure her release. The agent came back with three or four abducted innocent people from Boko Haram. Anytime people need to rescue their loved ones, it is the security people that will go and negotiate and bring the people out. This is what is happening.
When I went to Maiduguri for a meeting with an NGO regarding the case of an abducted pastor of Living Faith Church, I went to the DSS Command in the state (Borno) and met with the state director of the agency. I asked about the NGO and he said he knew them and their competence and so on. He invited them to come and meet me.
We sat down in his office and discussed with them. I asked the NGO about Leah Sharibu because they had the contact. We nearly got Leah Sharibu out of the place but I didn’t have the kind of money they were asking me to pay to get proof that she was alive. They asked for N6.5m but we didn’t have any support and I didn’t have the money to give them. That was why we couldn’t get the proof. If Leah had given birth to a baby boy, Boko Haram insurgents would be the ones to announce it and not the other way round. It is not true that she has given birth.
We are negotiating for the release of Leah Sharibu through Kalphum Foundation for Peace. I engaged them to work towards the release of Leah Sharibu. I was the one who engaged them to also work towards the release of the Living Faith Church pastor, who was kidnapped.
Let me clarify one thing: Leah is not in the hands of Boko Haram. She is in the hands of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province and ISWAP has disagreements with the government. Boko Haram was created to protect the interest of the Muslims and politicians from the North but ISWAP is no longer meant for Nigerian politicians.
We were asked to bring N6.5m for us to get Leah Sharibu’s release and proof of life. The meaning of proof of life is to provide an avenue (for us) to see and talk with her. She will also use the opportunity to talk to Nigerians to help her regain freedom. Government did not talk with ISWAP, they are just deceiving Nigerians.
As for CAN, let us keep the organisation aside. When I started pushing for this, CAN was the body that contacted the government and the government came and crippled everything. They collect money from the government in the name of transport fare.
There is hope for Sharibu’s release if we get the N6.5m, Nigerians will see that the story of Leah Sharibu will change totally. That is the plain truth.
The group has been reaching out and talking to ISWAP. In my presence, they (Kalphum Foundation for Peace) called one of their (ISWAP’s) representatives and they said they were talking with one of the persons working towards securing Leah’s freedom, that is, me. And they said they would like him (me) to hear what they were saying. They put the phone on speaker for me to hear. I heard all the things they said.
I am facing trouble already, even from some so-called Christians in the North. I have been attacked more than four times with guns but the God I am serving is a very powerful God. They have even tried to bribe me not to expose some things. I have a lot of facts. They have invited me to the DSS office. They told me the government was supposed to work with me. I said even if they give me an appointment, I won’t accept it because the lives of Nigerians are better than any position in Nigeria or the world. I will continue to fight until they stop the insecurity in the land.