September 17, 2011
By NDAHI MARAMA,
Family of the killed leader of the Boko-haram sect, Sheikh Muhammed Yusuf, has yesterday revealed the details of their meeting with the former Nigerian President, General Olusegun Obasnajo even as they stated that sustainable peace can only be realized if federal government hearkens to the demands of the sect members.
Obasanjo who arrived Maiduguri, the Borno state capital alongside Comrade Shehu Musa, of the Civil Liberty
Organization (CLO) on Thursday afternoon had a closed door meeting with members of the deceased Boko-haram leader. Our correspondent gathered that the former president and his entourage were received by the eldest son of the killed father-in-law of late Muhammed Yusuf, at their demolished household behind railway quarters, Maiduguri.
It was also learnt that the retired army general who was accompanied to the rendezvous by a thick retinue of security officials insisted that all should wait outside the building as he intended to hold the meeting privately.
Spokesman of the family, Babakura Alhaji Fugu, told our reporter that, “Indeed we received president Obasanjo in our house yesterday (Thursday); his mission was very clear. He said he came to condole with our family over what happened during the 2009 Boko haram insurgence, especially the extra-judicial killing of our father and the wanton destruction of our family house.
He promised that he would convey our plight to Mr. President within a week or two and thereafter will get back to us directly or through an emissary. Although he said categorically that he was not sent by the federal government; he said he came to us on his own. We were made to be aware of his coming through the National Human Rights Commission which intimated us of his intentions.”
On the kind of discussion they had with the former President, Babakura, whose junior sister was the wife of the late Boko haram leader, said. “we have told him our predicament, especially the destruction of our family house, and also the need for the state government to abide by the court order which ruled that a compensation of N100 million be paid for the extrajudicial killing of our father; and also to tell the security agencies to stop harassing and intimidating our family members over issues related to Boko Haram”.
He added that although the agitation of the Boko Haram is quite distinct from theirs, “there is still need for government to honour the demands of the sect members especially on the withdrawal of the Joint Task Force”.
Bakura also revealed that the mother of the former Commissioner for Religious Affairs, who later became top member and financier of Bokoharam, Alhaji Buji Fai, was also at the meeting and she was said to have lamented before the former Nigerian president that government should come to her aid in providing financial assistance to the bereaved children of the former Commissioner who was killed extra-judicially in the 2009 Boko Haram face- off.