By Adeyemi Olalemi
The fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom – Victims
In the face of threatening insurgency in the northeast, with deadly incessant Boko Haram attacks and the deaths of thousands, victims scampered for safety. They ran from terrorists who delight in killing people and had no regard for human life. People in the region looked for solace wherever it might be. Having lost confidence in authorities they thought would save them, they resorted to using black magic to protect themselves from the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists.
During the immediate past of administration, the war against Boko Haram was arguably handled with kid gloves until few weeks before the March 22nd general elections. Specifically, between April 2014 and October 2014, security situation worsened in the northeast; barbaric attacks and unimaginable act of terrorism were carried out by ragtag Boko Haram sect.
During the period, Boko Haram abducted over 219 Schoolgirls in Chibok community, Borno state; it was the biggest abduction in the history of terrorism in Africa. Boko Haram took control of Nigerian territories in Sambisa, Gwoza, Bama, Mubi, Michika and other neigbouring towns. The Islamic sect further renamed some of the towns, hoisting its flag and declaring Islamic caliphate in the towns. It was a tragedy of nation, as residents in the region lived in fear of possible Boko Haram attack.
Puzzling, was a statement credited to the Immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 that Boko Haram had infiltrated the government; a statement many found to be reckless, while it also raised fear among people on the power Boko Haram terrorist must have wielded. The government was no longer trusted to fight the war against terror.
The former president further goofed when he said he handed Boko Haram over to God, saying terrorism was a global phenomenon, “who knows maybe this is our turn” he said. At this juncture, even the international communities lost confidence in the ability of his administration to fight terrorism.
October 29, 2014, Nigerian troops in Mubi ran helter sketer in their thousands along with fleeing civilians as Boko Haram invaded towns and villages in Adamawa state. Soldiers who should protect the citizens ran for their lives, lamenting lack of weapons to fight the terrorists.
Having lost faith in the government of the day in protecting their lives and properties, residents could not run to religious houses as Churches were targeted by terrorists. Government and religion could not save the victims but then some among them found supernatural solutions to securing themselves from the Boko Haram terrorists.
Residents, especially youths resorted to using black magic (Juju or charms) to protect themselves. According to residents, some youths from both Christian and Muslims faith, fearing boko Haram attack, returned to using black magic and traditional means.
It was gathered that the vigilantes were first to commence the use of black magic in the fight against terrorist. Residents noted that youth were amazed that despite Boko Haram attacks, the vigilantes were most unaffected due to the black magic they used. This led to youths arming themselves with black magic for safety against Boko Haram.
Many of the youths were said to have abandoned their religion, as they sought other means of protecting themselves from the dreaded sect.
A Cleric confirmed that some youths engaged in diabolic means after their traumatic experience in the hand of Boko Haram terrorists. He said some renounced their faith to avoid being killed. The Cleric noted that these set of people who were Christians were not condemned by the church but counselled towards conviction of what was good for them.
It was further gathered that some of them who used black magic stopped while others continued with the use, claiming that they were not saved by their religion in times of trouble. This was the extent to which Boko Haram insurgency and the arising circumstances affected the belief system of the people.