by Azubuike Azikiwe
Herbalists have given the Federal government an ultimatum to probe the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram, else they would personally deal with them.
The Northern Nigeria arm of the Council of Babalawos (native doctors) has urged the federal government to promptly probe the alleged involvement of General Azubuike Ihejerika and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff in the activities of Islamic terrorist sect, Boko Haram.
The pair were accused of funding the Boko Haram sect by Dr. Stephen Davis, an Australian negotiator, who worked with the federal government to get the abducted Chibok girls released.
The herbalists released a statement in Bauchi State at the weekend, through the chairman of the council, Fabunmi Aiyesoro, who stated that if no probe was conducted after 40 days, the group would pursue legal action against Sheriff and Ihejerika for the destruction of their shrines in three states and claim monetary compensation for the destruction of forests which serve as a source of livelihood for their members.
The statement read, “The Council of Babalawos in Northern Nigeria has suffered unquantifiable human and material loss as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency like other Nigerians and feel deeply pained that Boko Haram is gradually forming another country within the Nigerian state. Our members source herbs from forests like Sambisa, Biu, Gwoza and Hong and the taking over of these areas by this retrogressive group has denied us the opportunity of treating our clients.”
The herbalists also called on the Federal government to chase the insurgents out of the forests they currently operate from, while also stressing that they deserve to be awarded compensation for their shrines that were destroyed by the members of the sect.
“We call on the Federal Government to dislodge Boko Haram members from all towns and forests in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. This will restore our member’s right to freedom of worship as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. Babalawos are Nigerians and deserve the same recognition accorded imams and pastors by the government. Many churches and mosque have received compensation from state governments for the destruction of their place of worship, but not one Babalawo has received a condolence message or any form of monetary compensation since the Boko Haram problem started three years ago.”
Aiyesoro also added that if the federal government does not investigate the duo, the group will embark on special prayers for 21 days for God to deal with Sheriff, Ihejerika and other collaborators.