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How I met with late Yusuf, Shekau in Borno, Dr Charles shares his experience with Elombah TV

The Team Leader for the Nigerian-based Tattaaunawa Roundtable Initiative (TRICentre), Dr. Prince Charlse has narrated how he met with the late leader of Boko Haram, late Mohammed Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau in Borno state to investigate the genesis of the dreaded Islamic group (Boko Haram).

Prince Charlse who is a certified negotiator said the investigation he carried out on Boko-Haram which somewhat put his life on the line was bankrolled by Ford Foundation.

He disclosed this during a zoom interactive session streamed on Facebook and YouTube and anchored by Mr Daniel Elombah, a UK-based Anambra-born journalist and publisher of Elombah News and Elombah TV.

Narrating how he met with Late Mohammed Yusuf, he said that Boko Haram was founded upon the principles of Salafiam which advocates strict adherence to Sharia Law.

Prince Charlse said that his meeting with late Mohammed Yusuf was purely a professional relationship adding that the group (Boko-Haram) had a relationship with Borno Government as at that time when it started. He said several Yusuf followers were political class in Borno state.

He added that when he met with Yusuf he took him to his large farm where he rendered both social and Economic relief to their members and which warranted the group to have many followers.

Prince said, “Yusuf had taken me to a large farm which they run themselves, they have their own system within the system. They were providing both Social and Economic relief to their followers and this was helping them to get many followers”

He said Late Yusuf was able to get many followers because of failed state in the country. “My impression about Late Yusuf when I met him was that the situation was as a result of failed state, what Boko haram had done is to exploit system full of poverty and worm.

“Boko Haram is a function of a failed system if government was available we wouldn’t have needed Boko haram”, the Investigative Journalist stated.

He said, “They (Boko-haram) have been allowed to fester, they have been allowed to institutionalize, to become what they have became.

Lamenting the killing of Late Boko Haram leader, he said the killing of Late Yusuf brought the country where it is today, adding that government failed to handle the issue with caution.

He said, “killing of Mohammed brought us to where we are today. He was not just killed but extra-Judicially murdered in Police custody, this is what happened when you take the wrong step, there is room for escalation

“There were several reasons that made the group adopt violent approach. Sometimes in 2001, there was a crisis over fishing right in particular village near Gboza which made Yusuf to come to the place and resolve the dispute.”

He added, “The primary aim of the group is to create fear because we have ill-prepared security force , between 2009-2016, Boko Haram has carried out 1,677 attacks and as at last count over 700 soldiers have been killed”.

He said late Abubakar Shekau took over from late Mohamed Yusu and also confirmed that Abubakar Shekau has been killed truly.

He said “Shekau” has become a brand name.

When asked whether, he has met with Abubakar Shekau before his death, he said, “Yes” and “No” and laughed.

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