Zanna Bukar Mustapha, a legal practitioner who runs a school for orphans of members of the radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram on Sunday, said the only way to stop the Islamist from launching more mayhem in the country is to involve clerics from Saudi Arabia.
Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.
Mustapha, who owns a Maiduguri-based foundation called “The Future Prowess” made the revelation to Sunday Trust. He revealed that the sect’s leaders belonged to the Salafi movement which has its headquarters in the Islamic holy land.
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The lawyer who expressed doubt about the involvement of the United States and other Western countries towards putting an end to insurgency insisted that the best way was to to bring clerics from outside the country who are of the same faith, who may have a better understanding of the faith which Boko Haram believe in, so that they can sit with them and dialogue.
He expressed optimism that these Saudi Arabian clerics would definitely come up with ways of engaging the sect, noting that not with arms but rather academically as they poses more superior arguments in judgment, in knowledge and in what the doctrine truly stands for.
“Muhammed Yusuf, (Abubakar) Shekau and all the rest are of the Salafi movement. And when you talk of Salafi, you have to go to Saudi Arabia to get them. When you get them, you can find an international organization to organize advanced contact that will bring the Salafis in Saudi Arabia to go to the prisons and meet the insurgents that are in the hands of the Federal Government of Nigeria. By the time the insurgents get a clear knowledge of what the Salafis stand for, you release one, two or three of them to go down to the leadership of the group. They can talk to the leadership and they would also see the girls that are now in captivity. They would therefore sit and discuss with their own people because they are not afraid of other sect members. Thereafter, they would come back to the government. From there, you go to the second stage of swapping the girls with the prisoners. They would tell you who and who they want government to release, and government can decide those to be released. That would also open another window of opportunity for the peace process. But where you are carrying guns, sending people to fight where they cannot even fight, you are even creating a sort of a mutiny within the military because there are fifth columnists within the military who don’t want the crisis to end. There is misunderstanding being imported into the insurgency that we don’t even know. But by the time you engage in these measures, and put the processes in order, all shall be well” Mustapha said.
TheCable reports that, when Mustapha was asked why his school has remained operational as well as the only school that has not been attacked by the Islamist who have been busy burning schools and killing students in Maiduguri, which has led to the closing of most schools in the area, the lawyer revealed that, his school was not picketed because he is trusted by the sect due to his open mindedness.
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“I have an Islamic foundation that caters for the well-being of orphans which cuts across various divides and that does not in any way exclude the insurgents’ family members, widowed and orphaned in the crises. Having them is a leverage. As you know, we have the Future Prowess widows who are part of the Parent Teachers Association, which often guides the making of the school curriculum. We had problems in the curriculum at the early stage of the school when insurgents’ wives complained of the inclusion of western education in the curriculum. We changed it to be ‘conventional education’ instead of ‘western education’ because when you say western in Arabic, it means pagan (garbi)”.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram onslaughts which have claimed more than 10,000 innocent lives in the past five years, attracted the attention of foreign powers when it kidnapped over 234 female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State nearly three months ago.
Sources: Naij.com news, thecable