Prof. Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno state. The government of Borno State has embarked on massive recruitment of hunters to assist the military in the fight against Boko Haram ‘‘as a response to the unconventional methods of the insurgents’’, Slumhype Blog gathered yesterday. It was learnt that the hunters, who are believed to poses supernatural powers are better equipped to complement the efforts of the Civilian Joint Task Force and the military.
Slumhype Blog recalls that in 2013, some hunters mostly from the north-east were deployed in the counter-insurgency fight that assisted in the reduction of the capacity of the Boko Haram insurgents.
The example of the successes recorded at that time also informed the decision to engage more hunters, this time even from outside the state and region to assist the military in the fight against the insurgents.
A source close to the Borno State government confirmed to Slumhype Blog yesterday that the move to deploy the hunters has the endorsement of the government.
The government is willing to provide the hunters with Dane guns, swords and any other working tool as they may need them. It was also learnt that the outfit would be under the hierarchy of command and control in the counter insurgency theatre of war as established in the north-east.
Slumhype Blog further gathered that the traditional hunters are required to swear an oath of allegiance using the Qur’an or Bible according to individual religion. The recruitment of the hunters is said to have continued to increase in the past two weeks, mostly brought in from outside Borno State at night.
The hunters, it was learnt would be deployed to northern Borno, where the insurgents arguably control swaths of territory along the Lake Chad Basin. When contacted, spokesman to the Borno State Governor, Malam Isa Gusau, said although he could not speak on the matter, given its security nature, what he could confirm was that Governor Babagana Zulum ‘‘decided to aggressively combine both conventional and unconventional approaches to address the Boko Haram crisis. “As you know, Borno has for ten years been faced with a desperate situation and with the consent of key stakeholders that include elders and traditional rulers, Governor Zulum decided to aggressively explore every lawful means necessary to put an end to the insurgency.
The governor will continue to support our armed forces. He has, as you are aware, increased the monthly allowances of civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes involved in fighting the insurgents. The governor has also acquired and deployed close to 200 surveillance vehicles to fight the insurgency and he is doing more. He is combining the coercive means with massive investment in education, jobs creation and social protection’’.