As 2013 draws to a close, SR took a survey of men who deserved to be our man of the year. The list looked at Governors, Entrepreneurs, Activists and Journalists, yet found none befitting. From the distant land of Borno State, Maiduguri comes our Man of the year, the CIVILIAN JTF.
Perhaps, the declaration of state of emergency by the president was all the youths in Borno State had all the while been waiting for to take the heat back to their erstwhile hunters and their masterminds. With the formation of Civilian JTF (CJTF), the group was set to roll off a new form of revolution targeted at their common enemies, the insurgents and their collaborators.
Leader of the group, a young man in his early 20s who identified himself as Abubakar Maulum, said: “We are tired of them and we want to put an end to it. Since soldiers don’t really know who the Boko Haram members are, we who live with them and know them very well, resolved we have no option than to help fish them out,” he said.
The emergence of the CJTF is seen as a great relief and a major contributor to the relative peace being enjoyed in Maiduguri at the moment by both the people of the state and the military joint task force. A number of suspected Boko Haram members have been smoked out from their hiding places by the youths and handed over to the military, while exhibiting this sheer display of bravery, they have also squared up with the insurgents in some cases.
Earlier this week, in its desire to extend its fight to clean up the state of members of Boko Haram and their perceived sympathisers, the CJTF went after top politicians in the state: namely the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif and the chairman of All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in the state, Alhaji Mala Othman.
Although Othman escaped the youths’ rage, his mansion was razed. The CJTF who were said to have numbered about 200, then took out their fury on everyone found at the residence before setting the house ablaze.
The youths were reported to have held up traffic for over an hour in parts of the town as they moved from Othman’s house to the Sheriff’s multi-million mansion to register their protest. The former governor is seen largely as Othman’s benefactor having installed him as chairman of ANPP at the twilight of his administration in 2011. The CJTF marched to Sheriff’s house chanting: “Saura Mai Gidan shi” meaning (it remains the house of his boss).
However, Sheriff’s mansion was impenetrable to the youths as they were prevented or denied access by the security on ground that shot sporadically into the air to disperse the rampaging invaders.
The message here is that for those who still think that it is business as usual by using the largely unemployable youths within their neighbourhood ignoble political ends had better realize that the Borno kind of revolution has taken off and sooner than they can imagine, will knock at their doors. Yet, the youths should be careful not to become a bigger monster than they sick to uproot.
Additional Information from This Day Newspaper