Barrister Aisha Wakil, the Nigerian lawyer and negotiator for the Boko Haram group recently invited by the Nigerian Army for questioning is reportedly Igbo
The woman activist, who was born into an Igbo Christian family converted to Islam during her time at the University of Maiduguri where she studied law.
She is reportedly referred to as ‘Mummy’ by Boko Haram members A report by Vanguard states that Barrister Aisha Wakil, the Nigerian lawyer and negotiator for the Boko Haram group recently invited by the Nigerian Army for questioning is of the Igbo stock.
Wakil was reportedly born into an Igbo Christian family, but converted to Islam during her time at the University of Maiduguri where she studied law.
The report stated that Wakil’s closest revelation about her linkage to being Igbo was when she was quoted to have disclosed in an interview with a national newspaper her peace-making efforts.
According to her, she started the dialogue process since 2009, even before the major crisis erupted because I knew their slain spiritual leader, Muhammad Yusuf.
Her words: “His father-in-law, late Alhaji Baba Fugu Mohammed, was my spiritual father in Islam, and I used to visit his home.
“In fact, Mohammed Yusuf almost married my younger sister Amina, but Almighty Allah did not make it possible. So that was how I got closer to the duo. “It went even to the extent that I was cooking food and taking it to the house of late Alhaji Fugu, to the pupils of the Qur’anic school, (almajari).
“And because I am from the southern part of the country, I normally prepared southern dishes, which Yusuf had always come to eat. In fact, he liked my egusi soup very much, and we became very close when his father-in-law told him that I was the one who cooked the food.
“So anytime we met, he expressed delight and prayed that Almighty Allah would reward me, for he was eating from my pot and that was how I established a strong relationship with him.
” Wakil who is always totally veiled is married to another lawyer, Wakil Gana who is presently a judge with the Borno state High Court.
The couple was named by the Boko Haram sect to negotiate on their behalf during the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Aisha’s name also featured prominently on the list of government negotiators at the time. Those in the know say, she had almost always carried out her conduct and liaisons with Boko Haram with the knowledge of the authorities.
In fact, she is said to be a staff of the National Human Rights Commission. She is famed for calling the Boko Haram insurgents at one point as her children.
She was quoted as saying: said: “Then they were not Boko Haram and Jama’atu ah-lil Sunnah members. It is surprising how these children turned out to be what they are now. I keep on saying there is certainly no smoke without fire.
“Something must have triggered those innocent-looking children to grow up behaving the way they are behaving now.
“You needed to see them growing up. Sometimes when I start talking about them, I shed tears. Those children prayed, and still pray a lot. I have a mosque in the house, and they would always go in and pray.
” During the height of the insurgency, Aisha was able to mobilise some Borno women to come out to protest against the attacks by the Islamist group. At that time she was quoted to have referred to the Boko Haram insurgents as her children.
“My sons, I have been begging you since in silence to come out and state your grievances and stop destroying your homeland. Please come out and state your grievances and stop these killings.”
Recall that Mrs Wakil turned herself in to the Defence Headquarters after being declared wanted by the Nigerian army. Several media sources assumed the woman was in trouble for aiding the terrorist group.
However, army sources claim the woman along with two other wanted (Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known for his access to the Boko Haram leadership, and Ahmed Bolori, Maiduguri-based negotiator) were invited to discuss new strategies in war against Boko Haram. Mrs Wakil was reportedly treated with respect by the Nigerian security operatives while she was in their facility.
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