Cubing Cultism And Cult Killings In Lokoja ; Adopting The Biu Experience.

Cubing Cultism And Cult Killings In Lokoja ; Adopting The Biu Experience.

By Tijjani Isah

Time could significantly change the miserable fate of a people radically for good. Some few years ago, Biu LGA in Southern Borno was under the attack of Boko Haram insurgents. The people were frustrated everyday as they came under the excessively unbearable heat of insurgents. The street urchins who control areas such as Jigwal, Bayan Tasha, Bayan Kasuwa and Galtimari were easily recruited into the group and helped the insurgents in inflicting pains to their own people.

In contrast, Biu is now the face and signpost of peace and security . The town have put behind it ,the ugly face of Boko Haram and embraced life fully.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it “. The people of Biu worked in unison by rising in warrior-like fashion to support the Armed Forces to rout out the Boko Haram insurgents.

It was a wise decision and actions by the people of Biu town. Insurgents whose ultimate target was to get Biu now dread the town.

The following steps were taken:

  1. Street Vigilante groups were formed
  2. The youths, men and women irrespective of age were mobilized and armed with sticks, cutlass and knives. The hunters came out with their local guns.
  3. Traditional, Religious, opinion leaders, traders and business leaders were approached for their support, which they gave morally, in materials and financially.
  4. The people sought the support of the State and Local Government and were obliged.
  5. The parents and guardians whose children enlisted into Boko Haram were directed to caution their children.
  6. When the warnings were not adhered to, house to house search for the members of Boko Haram were carried out. They were either killed or expelled and others ran away from the town, never to come back.
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The peace in Biu have brought development through the efforts of their well-endowed individuals and quality representation from the national and state levels.

If the Biu model cannot be totally adopted as circumstances and location differs, I suggest below some short and long term options which assisted them greatly:

  1. The Local Government should engage trusted individuals as security informants and their identities must be keep secret. The informants would be on monthly stipend, with weekly recharging of their phones.
    This strategy assisted the Police and the Army seriously in Biu town.
  2. The Local Government should propose to the state government to build community/neighborhood security posts for the vigilante team, in each ward and other flashpoints. Areas such as Old market, Kasuwan Ruwa, Kpata, Angwan Kura, Kabawa , Adankolo, Lokongoma, Felele, Sarkin Noma should be considered first. Presently the Police post in Adankolo is not functioning.
  3. The security post should consist of vigilantes, NSCDC and the police.
  4. The Ward Heads, traditional, religious and opinion leaders in the community would play a great role in this arrangement. They should be encouraged and supported and equally held responsible for any breach of peace in their domains.
  5. Parents and Guardians should allow Security agencies to do their work. They should not treat culprits with leniency- should be dealt with in accordance with the law. This is to serve as deterrence to anyone thinking of jeopardizing the peace of the community.

In addition, the Local Government should liaise and support organizations such as the Lokoja Academic & Professionals Association, DANKO Association and Lokoja Advocacy Group to set up a committee that would be responsible for:

  1. Follow-up on employment of able and qualified graduates of various qualifications into State Agencies, Federal MDAs & Private companies located in the state and other parts of the country.
  2. Lobbying private organization to Sponsor skills acquisition programmes for our youths as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  3. Soliciting well-endowed individuals from Lokoja at home and abroad to provide educational scholarship to these youths.
  4. Discussing with those contesting for election now and strong commitment should be gotten from them that they would use their positions to contribute to the efforts geared towards curbing cultism and cult killings in Lokoja.
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These suggestions, in addition to the contribution of others if adopted would assist immensely in curbing cultism and cult killings in Lokoja. Praying that Almighty Allah will continue to guide and protect us and our family.

TIJJANI D. ISAH is a staff of
Nigerian Army University, he writes from Biu, Borno state.

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Musa Tanimu Nasidi
the authorMusa Tanimu Nasidi