As the military assault against the Boko Haram sect continues in some Northern states, members of the sect might have concluded plans to infiltrate the South-West to seek traditional medicine protection from gunshots.
News men gathered that the last few weeks have seen large-scale efforts being made by people believed to be members of the sect to contact native doctors in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State, especially Saki, for bulletproof charms.
Incidentally, Saki and some other Oke-Ogun towns have a very strong Islamic orientation with a large population of northerners, especially cattlemen, already making the area a home.
According to a source who claimed to be in the know about the recent attempt to seek Yoruba traditional protection by the Boko Haram members, a huge amount of money ranging from N5 million to N10 million was said to be on offer “if the amulet is made and tested okay.”
“Recently, some strange people have been coming to Oke-Ogun for traditional bulletproof and most of these people are Northerners, though their contact persons are Yoruba. What we learnt was that anyone that facilitates the Boko Haram’s contacts’ meeting with a herbalist, who could make a potent charm would also get a commission of 40 per cent, with the remaining 60 per cent going to the herbalist,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
He noted that the state of emergency in some states of the North and the strict surveillance on the sect coupled with the widely known efficacy of Yoruba bulletproof charms could have been responsible for the sect’s search in Oke-Ogun, warning traditionalists to be discerning “so as not to empower destroyers who will return to haunt them and their communities in the distant future.”
When contacted on the development, the Oyo State Director of State Security Services (SSS), Mr Charles Ugwu, told reporters that he was not aware of it.
He added that he believed the native doctors knew what had been going on in the nation, and if approached by suspected Boko Haram members, they should give information to their community leaders or approach the security agencies in their zone.
Ugwu pointed out the presence of security agencies in Oke-Ogun axis which included an army battalion, police division, Directorate of State Services and Operation Burst, among others, which could be reached by members of the public to give valuable information that would aid security.
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, said that it was good that the police command was receiving the information, while she called on members of the public generally and residents of Oke-Ogun area in particular to avail the police the vital information on the presence of the people in their localities.
“If they don’t, it is like a time bomb which would affect many if not detonated quickly, so they should not hide such information. We assure them that their identities will be well protected.
They can also send letters stating the information they wish to give,” she added.
The PPRO stated further that the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabawa had already instructed police officers all over the state to look into the piece of information and act on it immediately.