While speaking in an exclusive report with PUNCH Newspaper, Hajiya Aisha Wakil, known as Mama Boko Haram because of her closeness to the members of the terrorist sect, has revealed how she stopped the insurgents from bombing a Church on Christmas Eve.
When asked of her relationship with the Boko Haram members, she said; “People started calling me Mama Boko Haram when insurgency was at its peak in Borno State and the insurgents were bulldozing Maiduguri, killing and maiming everybody in the process. It was during that period that I was invited to a women’s conference where the participants pleaded with the terrorists to stop the bombings. Somewhere along the line, I referred to them as my children, and my sons. I also asked them to see me as their mother. That was how people started calling me Mama Boko Haram.
“My relationship with the group started before the insurgency. My husband is from Shehuri North in Maiduguri, which is very close to the house of Mohammed Yusuf (a. k. a Shekau), the founder of the Boko Haram sect. I also had an Islamic teacher who was also my spiritual father known as Baba Fugu. His daughter, Amina, a friend of mine, married Yusuf. So, I was very close to Yusuf because of my friend, Amina, his wife. Yusuf was a young man who was just preaching and encouraging Muslims and non-Muslims to be closer to Allah and live peacefully together.”
Speaking extensively on how the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram almost bombed a church on the Christmas eve of December 2017, she said;
“They planned to bomb St. Augustine’s Church on December 24 last year. One of them called me on that day to find out whether I had travelled. There was a pickup van loaded with explosives in front of the church. I told the caller that I had not travelled and I immediately rushed out and saw the boy that was to carry out the suicide mission. They had already prepared him for the exercise. He had already been given the injection and prepared him for burial.
“The boy was just moving and murmuring. I quickly called the (Boko Haram) boys and told them that I can see a vehicle parked and that a boy was moving towards it. They told me that the boy was the suicide bomber. They asked why I did not travel again and I told them that my brother, a reverend father, visited Maiduguri and that we would be travelling together after Christmas.
“I instantly told him that I was right inside the church (targeted for bombing) with my brother because I brought food for him. I told them that I was not ready to leave the church, daring them to do their worse. They were then confused and asked what I wanted to become of the boy they had prepared for the suicide mission, and I asked them to send the boy away to the nearby bush; after all, he had taken the oath to die, so he should go and die alone. They asked me to leave the church premises but I told them that I wouldn’t go until they had diverted the boy away.
“After some time, they told me the boy had left and one of them said, ‘I can see your car driving out’ but I didn’t go with my car. This is to show how God works. God planned this. I do not know where a black car came out from that made them to believe I was around the place. So they drove the pickup van away. When I did a follow-up, I learnt that the boy had died because he had taken an oath and they had given him an injection preparing him for death. If you take the injection, you can never be yourself again. I then warned them that on no account should they target places of worship for bombing again.”