Abdulkadir Abubakar is his name and taking human life is his game. Or was his game, if you believe him. In 2017 — three years after the Buni Yadi massacre of secondary school students — he was arrested by the military. He was accused of being a Boko Haram spy and cell leader in Buni Yadi.
Now in detention at a military facility, Abubakar says he is a changed man and is full of regrets. Most importantly, he has sought the forgiveness of Allah and he is sure his sins have been wiped off.
Abubakar was arrested by the military at Buni Yadi when he allegedly went on an espionage mission ahead of the insurgents’ plot to attack the commander of the Special Force Training School. The insurgents blamed the military officer for killing one of their field commanders, Abu Fatima.
Abubakar (left) with another Boko Haram suspect, Ismail Buni at a military detention camp in Bornu
In a brief chat with TheCable, Abubakar confesses to taking part in the Buni Yadi massacre and the kidnap of Chibok girls two months later.
“Myself and two other Boko Haram commanders, Abu Fatima and Paper, led most of the attacks on schools in Yobe between 2013 and 2014,” he tells TheCable.
According to him, the horrific attacks on schools and students were coordinated and executed through intelligence gathering and strategies mapped out under his supervision.
So changed is he now — or appears to be — that he does not have any kind words for Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group which forbids Western education and wants to set up Islamic rule over Nigeria.
He claims Shekau “unilaterally” ordered attacks on schools, mosques, churches, and markets, and also ordered abduction and rape.
“We were also the ones behind the abduction of students at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. We also carried out attacks on schools in Potiskum, Mamudo, Damagun, Wagir, and Ngarzarma, all in Yobe state,” he recalls.
“I wholeheartedly regret my actions and hope the Almighty Allah will forgive me. Allah said he will forgive whoever repents and asks him for forgiveness. I have repented and seek forgiveness.”
He might have been forgiven — who knows? — but will the grieving parents and the entire Buni Yadi community forgive him?
Abubakar and his terrorist gangs not only snuffed the life out of 58 teenage students, they made sure to destroy the school — once the pride of the society.
FGC Buni Yadi left in ruins by the insurgents
The school, established in 1994, represented Nigeria in Geo-Challenges at Florida, USA, in 2002; was state runner-up in the 4th Annual National Essay Competition for secondary schools organised by the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2003; came first in the 3rd National Quiz Competition on Capital Market for secondary schools organised by Security Exchange Commission (SEC); was state winner of the 6th and 10th NSE Annual National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools in 2005 and 2011 respectively; and was first at the zonal chess competition held in Jalingo, Taraba state, in 2012.
Today, the college still stands grim amid rubbles and ashes, making it appear as though a cremation has just occurred.
The aftermath has so erased its records of academic excellence that nothing seems to be known of its prior achievement.
Four years after its total ruin by Boko Haram, the residue is yet to be completely cleared, students who survived are going about with ambitions strangulated by lack of money, the bereaved parents are still agonizing over government’s neglect, and Buni Yadi, a town 55 kilometres from Damaturu, Yobe state’s capital, now has about 7,000 out-of-school children.
“The way I see it, it may take another two to three years before educational activity can return to this school,” Usman Ali-Grema, the college’s administrative officer, tells TheCable.
“But that also depends on if the money for capital project in the budget is released or not.”
He says the school was abandoned until renovation works started in 2016. This was after the Nigerian army had liberated the community from Boko Haram.
“Before then, nobody dared come to this community,” he adds.
First published by TheCable