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Civilian JTF commander speaks on Boko Haram war

08 April 2014, 12:31 Kikiowo Ileowo

Meet Adamu Buba, the commandant in charge of the brave Civilian JTF, Sector 5 in Maiduguri. Adamu, a father of five has been involved in and coordinated many pursuits and arrests of members of the dreadful Boko Haram terrorist sect.

In a chat with Kikiowo Ileowo, of The Paradigm, he discussed the recent Boko Haram attack on Giwa Barracks, the group’s modus operandi, why they started the group and other sundry issues.

You can see his censored images and Civilian JTF ID card but for safety reasons, we won’t be revealing his face. He spoke to us through the aide of an interpreter as he only understands Hausa fluently. The transcript of the recorded interview follows:

Kikiowo Ileowo: Can we meet you?

Adamu Buba: My name is Adamu Buba

Kikiowo Ileowo: We hear that you are the head of the Civilian Joint Task Force, can you tell us how it started and when it started?

Adamu Buba: Civilian JTF started 9 months ago.

Kikiowo Ileowo: What inspired you to start the Civilian JTF?

Adamu Buba: We started the Civilian JTF because the security agencies were killing innocent people in Maiduguri. If we hadn’t started, the killing would have gotten out of hand, so our aim is to help the Military JTF to find the real Boko Haram.

Kikiowo Ileowo: I watched a video recently. In the video, Boko Haram members attacked Giwa Barracks in Borno and when the army was repelling them, the civilian JTF joined. Now, how does the army differentiate between Boko Haram Members and Civilian JFT so they don’t kill them or become victims of the crossfire between the army and Boko Haram?

Adamu Buba: When Boko Haram attacked Giwa Barracks, my wife alerted me. Actually my house is not far from the Barracks. Interestingly, the Nigerian Army had information about the attack for the past 5 months, so they were at alert, we had all prepared for it. I was dressed just like this. So we quickly organised ourselves and drove to the front of the barracks with four hilux truck donated to us by the state government, but we were told the attack was occurring from the back of the barracks, one area called Gori.

The army advised us when we got to the war front to lie and roll on the ground rather than walking straight up. When we were about getting there, we met people running away from the attackers and scampering for safety but we faced the Boko Haram members head on. They were scared when they saw us, they were running from us, in fact, we hear they usually fear us because they think we use charms hence the effrontery to confront them. We kept running in their direction and that was when three of our members were gunned down. I called my team to retreat, that they shouldn’t just go out like that or they will kill all of us.

Kikiowo Ileowo: Excuse me, what weapon do you use? Do you have guns and sophisticated weapons?

Adamu Buba: No we don’t, we only use daggers, swords, knives, machetes and sticks, and even all that we bought with our money.

Kikiowo Ileowo: From all that you have said, I still don’t know how the army differentiate Civilian JTF and Boko Haram members at the war front?

Adamu Buba: What we do is, we don’t have guns, so the machetes, daggers and sticks is what the army more often than not use to identify us, but mostly, we tie a white nylon on our left hand.

Kikiowo Ileowo: Do you mind if we share that detail with the public?

Adamu Buba: Of course you can, it won’t make them infiltrate us.

Kikiowo Ileowo: You are getting some donations from [ENDS], are there any other organisations that support the Civilian JTF?

Adamu Buba: The contributions we get are from the residents of Maiduguri metropolis. They buy us daggers, sticks and machetes. Sometimes, they also donate money like N5 000 or N10 000 for our upkeep.

Kikiowo Ileowo: Dr. Peregrino Brimah of ENDS, Every Nigerian Do Something, is donating 50 stun guns/tasers, 25 pepper spray cans and 16 Walkie-talkies, what do you have to say about this?

Adamu Buba: We don’t know how to thank him, because sincerely speaking, nobody has donated anything like this to us before, so we really appreciate the assistance, we thank him. I will collect Dr. Peregrino’s number and give it to the JTF Military commander of sector 5 which we are under.

I also call on people to emulate him, he has never seen us before, yet he donated all these to us, we truly appreciate him.

Kikiowo Ileowo: Lastly, what is the formation of the Civilian JTF, how organised are you? Do you have other commands in states like Yobe and Adamawa where the scourge of Boko Haram is also prevalent?

Adamu Buba: We are only in Maiduguri for now. But we have gone to Adamawa and Yobe for several operations before.

Kikiowo Ileowo: We thank you for your time

Adamu Buba: Thank you. The pleasure is mine.

End of recording.

Since the Civilian JTF evolved and became part of the war against Boko Haram, the dynamics of the war changed dramatically, with the Boko Haram terrorists expelled to operate from outside the fringes of society. In the recent Giwa barracks attack, the Civlian JTF performed heroically, capturing and killing dozens of fleeing terrorists as images from the attack portrayed. Boko Haram was so angered that they released an urgent video just to tell Adamu Buba and the brave Civilian JTF youth of the northeast that they had become the terrorist’s primary enemy. Our prayers are with them and organised contributions and support for these valiant youth is essential.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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