Residents and witnesses have disclosed that Volunteer Vigilance Youths Group (VVYG) in Borno State popularly called ‘Civilian JTF’ on Thursday arrested and set ablaze a purportedly notorious Boko Haram sect member at Gwange ward in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The latest incident makes it the second time in less than a week that the youths would burn alive a suspected terrorist.
Some of the vigilante members, who took part in the burning alleged that the suspect had once killed and set ablaze a soldier in the area sometime last year, a claim that could not be immediately verified from the spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Lt. Col Sagir Musa.
However, a security source confirmed that the youths had burnt the suspect.
“This (the action of the vigilantes) is a serious source of concern to us…jungle justice is a crime in itself and we want parents to caution their wards against it,” the source said.
According to the report by Weekly Trust, the suspected Boko Haram member had led insurgents in the killing of many people and perpetrated “many atrocities” at Gwange Sabon Layi.
“The actions of the suspect who fled to the forest last December prompted soldiers to sack residents from the area,” a resident of Gwange said.
This claim was corroborated by one of the vigilantes, who said, “Only Allah knows how eager we were to catch that guy (burnt suspect) alive. As a result of his bad deeds, soldiers sacked and closed our area completely. But we were then told that the guy had escaped into the forest. Some even believed that he has been killed since. We were on operations when we saw him.
According to the vigilante, upon sighting the suspect, the youths immediately identified him and erupted in jubilation that their ‘wanted guy’ was alive afterall.
“So, we instantly reminded him of what he did last year, but to our surprise, he started begging us to pardon him. As he was crying, we tied him up, poured fuel on his body and set him on fire. No pity for Boko Haram sect members at all now. Thousands have been displaced and hundreds were killed because of his bad deeds,” the vigilante said.