NGOs, DSS, politicians benefit from North East kidnapping, centre alleges

Boko Haram is now big business for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), security agencies and even politicians in the North East, particularly Borno State, says the Director-General, Centre for Justice on Religion and Ethnicity in Nigeria, Rev. Kallamu Dikwa.

In a chat with The Guardian in Jos, Plateau State, he lamented that most of the villages and districts in Borno were still under Boko Haram insurgents, citing Dikwa, Marte, Gomburu, Mafa and Kala-Balge.

He said while they were demanding the release of Rev. Polycarp Zongo, who was abducted on October 19, 2020 while he was travelling to Gombe from Jos, one Abubakar Sani from an NGO, on October 24, called him on the issue.

His words: “Abubakar Mohammed Sani, a board member of Kalthum Foundation, called me on my mobile phone informing me of a video clip on Rev. Zongo who was abducted by a terrorist group, operating under the name ‘Sojojin Khalifa’. He claimed that Ummuh Kalthum sent him to inform Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), through me, to rescue their pastor through the NGO.

“I advised them to report the case to the Department of State Services (DSS), Plateau State Command.”

Dikwa added that leadership pleaded with him to lead them to the DSS office in Jos, adding that he and two representatives of the Church later met with the DSS.

After reporting the case, he said the DSS swung into action and called their counterparts in Maiduguri.

“Arriving the DSS office in Maiduguri, and to our utmost shock, the DSS director there did not invite the NGO, but advised us to see the leadership of Kalthum Foundation ourselves.”

“The Foundation was not comfortable talking to us, knowing that the COCIN team had discovered their nefarious activities relating to negotiating release of captors. It boycotted us (COCIN team) and began direct negotiation with the same church,” he revealed.

The NGO, The Guardian gathered, went to Abuja asking some prominent Christian politicians and businessmen to raise N7 million for the release of Leah Sharibu.

Dikwa added: “This NGO is going about with a purported recent video of the young Leah trying to convince those that care to watch or listen for proof that the girl is still alive.”

Another accomplice, Dikwa pointed out, is called John Pofi Foundation based in Jos, which has reportedly joined Kalthum Foundation for Peace in the call for the release of Zongo.

He urged Nigerians to question the two groups and hold them responsible should anything happen to Zongo and other captives they were negotiating their release.

Dikwa appealed to government to investigate and prosecute the NGOs.