Hajiya Aisha Wakil, known as Mama Boko Haram because of her closeness to the members of the sect, tells KAYODE IDOWU of PUNCH that she stopped the insurgents from bombing a Church on Christmas day.Originally from Enugu,she is married to a Muslim .
On her relationship with Boko Haram members…
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.
On those doubting her relationship with Boko Haram
If those people know the real Boko Haram, they should tell us who they are. Did they ask Shekau and he told them that he did not know me or that he had never heard about me? Or did they ask members of Shekau’s faction and they denied me? Shekau is a kind person, if he does not know me, he would have come out to say it. If he does not have a good relationship with someone, he will come out to deny the person publicly.
On being declared wanted by DAS
They said I knew where Shekau was and that they wanted to get the Chibok girls out and resolve the whole issue and that I was not releasing the information at my disposal. I was not arrested; I went on my own to meet them. They heard me, I told them that I was not hiding and that I wasn’t hoarding information in my quest for peace. I also told them that even when I went to the bush to meet with those guys and someone asked me about the trip, I always revealed the details of our interaction. But if you ask me where they were, I will not tell you that; I will tell you I do not know. Actually, I do not know because they usually take me there in a blindfold inside a car with strict instructions that I should bow down my head throughout the trip.
On how she stopped them from bombing a church last year
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.