A former member of the Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Hajia Aisha Alkali Wakil (a.ka. Mama Boko Haram), yesterday asked the Abu Musab Al-Barnawi-led faction of Boko Haram to release the kidnapped 110 Dapchi girls.
Her plea followed a lead that the Al-Barnawi faction had been operating around Yobe State and might have abducted the Government Girls Science College, Dapchi, students.
Al-Barnawi (named as Habib at birth) is said to be the son of the late founder of Jamâ’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihâd (Boko Haram), Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed in police detention on July 30, 2009.
Following irreconcilable differences on modus operandi of the sect, Al-Barnawi parted ways with Abubakar Shekau.
Speaking with PRNigeria, Hajiya Wakil, a Northeast human rights activist with strong links with Boko Haram, said: “This thing that is happening; is really breaking my heart. These children don’t even know what they are doing. Some of them were not even born at the time this thing started.
“Wallahi, I will go after them, even if it will take my life to save these girls. They call me Mummy, but they don’t listen to me.
“I keep on talking to them, begging them to lay down their arms and embrace peace but they will say ‘Insha-Allah mummy we are going to stop.’ Sometimes they will say they are scared that they are going to be killed but I will tell them nobody is going to kill you.
“I heard you are now being called ‘Abu Mussad Albarnawi’ but I know you as Habib and I am begging you to stop the killings and abductions.
“ I have sent many messages to you. I don’t know if you are getting these messages or you just chose to continue to hurt your mother and make her cry.
“Dear Habib, Nuru and others, I was told you may be the ones responsible for the kidnap of these girls. Whereever you may be, if you are listening to me, I beg you in the name of Allah to release the girls back to their families.
“What type of children will continue letting their mother to continue crying. Dear Habib, I pray Allah touches your heart and that of your colleagues to stop what you are doing. “
She pleaded with Al-Barnawi to lay down his arms alongside his members.
Hajiya Wakil added: “Please, come out. I will never deny you even if the whole world did. Those who know you know your heart. They know you are no longer interested in the fight anymore.
“Respected by many in her community, Aisha Wakil has been actively involved in efforts to end Boko Haram through her NGO “Complete Care and Aid Foundation” aimed at restoring peace to the Northeast by rehabilitating the youth against warped ideologies that mislead them to join the terror group.
A security source said: “Intelligence report indicated that the girls might have been abducted by Al-Barnawi faction and not the Shekau group which would have made political capital of the situation.
“The same Al-Barnawi faction, which is against killing of abducted hostages, recently released the three University of Maiduguri lecturers and 10 women from Lassa.
“The girls are suspected to have been moved to a desert camp of the Boko Haram faction in Niger Republic. Air surveillance has not picked the site.”