Mallam Baba Modu, an 80-year-old father of a Boko Haram commander, knowns as ‘Ba-Ana,’ has narrated his failed attempt to convince his son to denounce Boko Haram.
He spoke to NAN on Wednesday, detailing his ordeal travelling to the Lake Chad camp of the Al Barnawi faction of the sect to plead with his son to dump the insurgents but his Ba-Ana refused his counsel.
He said he was unable to persuade his son to abandon the cause and surrender himself to the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor. He said his son was conscripted by the insurgents in 2012 at a farm in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
“I lost hope of meeting my son after his abduction in the past seven years. One day, I met someone who told me that my son was alive and mentioned where I could find him. I was also told he is one of the commanders of the Al Barnawi faction of the Boko Haram sect.
I travelled to the shores of the Lake Chad to plead with Ba-Ana to surrender and embrace peace. It took me about one week to get to where I met him. When I arrived at the camp, I told them that I am the father of Ba-Ana and after a series of interrogations, they asked me to wait for him to return from a mission.
Ba-Ana returned at night. He was surprised to see me, and when he heard my voice, he told his men that I am his father. I pleaded with him for about 30 days in a bid to convince him to lay down his arms and embrace peace. Regrettably, he did not heed my counsel.
Ba-Ana confessed that he killed many people and believed that the authorities would not forgive his crimes. He also believed that he had committed his life to the cause of God. I have not lost hope; I will continue to pray to God to heal his soul and bring him back to me.”
Meanwhile, the military said on Wednesday that it was clearing the remnants of Boko Haram on the major road leading to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. A statement signed by the spokesman for the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, noted that there was no truth in media reports that the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road had been closed to motorists.