A former governor of Yobe State now senator representing Yobe-East Senatorial District, Dr. Bukar Abba Ibrahim, on Saturday traced the origins of Boko Haram to Egypt, contrary to the belief that it started in Nigeria around 2009.
Ibrahim told journalists in Abuja that the ideological movement, which is strictly anti-Western education, had also been in existence in the northern part of the country since the 1970s after the killing of the sect’s spiritual leader in Egypt by then Egyptian President, Gammal Abdel Naseer.
According to the ex-governor, members of the sect first landed in Minna, the Niger State capital from Egypt, before moving to Kano, Yobe and finally settled in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, between 2001 and 2002.
He, however, said the group did not start out as a full blown militant c*m terrorist sect against the country at that time.
He said, “The History of Boko Haram dates back to 10, 15, and even 20 years or more ago. This thing didn’t start six years ago as largely claimed. It started earlier.
“Boko Haram is a philosophy driven by warped religious ideology. It is strictly an ideology on ground in some parts of the world for quite sometimes now.
“It all started during the reign of Gammal Abdel Naseer in Egypt who died in 1970. Naseer beheaded the leader of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in Egypt in 1970.
“It was this action of Naseer that made the followers spread to other parts of Africa, especially northern and western parts of Africa, including Nigeria.
“It has nothing to do with being employed by politicians or being used as political thugs. The issue of youths’ unemployment worsened it, with unemployed youths serving as large army of recruitment for the insurgents”.
Senator Ibrahim decried the wanton destructions caused by the insurgents, which he said would take the people and places affected up to 20 years to recover from the aftermath.
He said 6, 600 children, whose parents were killed by the insurgents, were camped in one location alone in Yobe State, while over 200 primary schools had been burnt by the insurgents in the North-East state.
“At least, 217 displaced persons are presently staying in my house in Damaturu, among whom are 40 primary and 50 secondary school pupils that are now schooling in the town”, he added.