Abdulwahab Usman, a 32-year-old is a repentant member of the Boko Haram sect who hails from Bama local government in Borno state. He has just graduated from the De-radicalization Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) camp in Malam Sidi, Gombe State, under the programme of Operation Safe Corridor of the Defence Headquarters. He explains how to bring an end to the decade-old Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Daily Trust: How did you become a member of Boko Haram?
Usman: I joined the Boko Haram sect in 2014 when I was under detention at the Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, Borno state.Boko Harram attacked and invaded the barrack, rescued their members who were also on detention there.
We that were detained for a different offence, the insurgents captured us and took us to the bush and we were initiated in to the group. That was how I joined the group and stay with them for good seven years.
Daily Trust: What was the offence that led to your detention at the Giwa Barracks where the insurgents captured you?
Usman: Two of my childhood friends, whom we attended the same secondary school, were earlier initiated in to the group, their names was among the wanted list of Boko Harram members and the military were not able to arrest them, therefore because of relationship with them I was arrested and detained at the barracks.
Daily Trust: When you were in the group, what was your area of operation?
Usman: I am actively involved in attacks to towns and military formations, but have not try suicide bombing even once.
Daily Trust: Among the attacks that you carried out, which was the most difficult that cannot be forgotten?
Usman: There was an attack we launched at Konduga village in Borno on soldiers. Out of the 74 of us that went for that operation, 34 were killed, leaving 40 of us that narrowly escaped.
Unfortunately for us on our way back to the bush we saw a helicopter hoovering searching for us and we knew that is going to be difficult for us to escape, that was why we decided to surrender.
Daily Trust: As an ex-combatant what do you think the government should do to quickly end the insurgency?
Usman: Government should reassure the insurgents that nothing will happen to them if they voluntarily drop their weapons and surrender. I am sure they will answer the call.
Daily Trust: During your time as Boko Haram fighter, how many people did you kill?
Usman: I cannot recall the exact number but I have killed so many people.
Daily Trust: What massage do you have for the combatants who are still in bush fighting the Nigerian Army?
Usman: I am calling on them to surrender and summit themselves to the Nigerian soldiers, they would be rehabilitated and reintegrated in to the society.
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