Traditional healers in Northern Nigeria are smarting under the opportunity cost of the Boko Haram insurgency and are not taking it lying down.
They have rushed out of their corner throwing upper cuts and have given the Federal Government a 40-day ultimatum to investigate two high ranking officials otherwise they will drag former Borno governor Ali Modu Sheriff and Lt-General Azubuike Ihejirika to court.
The traditional healers, known popularly as Babalawos, accuse the two men of “financing terrorism” allegedly and want state security agencies to investigate their activities in connection with Boko Harm atrocities or they would move to safeguard their self-interest.
In a statement the Council of Babalawos in Northern Nigeria said regretted that 48 of its members had died at the hands of the Boko Haram since 2011.
“If the Federal Government refuses to do this, our members shall resort to special prayers for 21 days for God’s wrath to befall Sheriff, Ihejirika, their fellow collaborators and Boko Haram members.’’
Another effect of Boko Haram on traditional healers is that it has blocked access to the forests where they harvest the herbs for their concoctions, and have called on government to dislodge Boko Haram rebels from all the forests and villages in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe without delay.
“Our members source herbs from forests like Sambisa, Biu, Gwoza and Hong and the taking over these areas by this retrogressive group has denied us the opportunity of contributing to the health and well-being of the peo
“Babalawos are Nigerians and deserve the same recognition accorded Imams and Pastors by government. Many churches and mosques have received compensation from state governments for the destruction of their places of worship but not a single Babalawo has received a condolence message or any form of monetary compensation since the Boko Haram problem started three years ago’, they regretted.