At least over 15,000 local hunters from the North-east gathered in Adamawa state for their annual oath-taking festival, known as Salala, to fortify selves and vowed to crush Boko Haram, cattle rustlers as well as kidnappers plaguing the society.
The hunters, all dressed in warfare attires, with their guns dangling over their shoulders, vowed to rid the society of criminals, hence prevailed on the government to make use of their members in the fight against terrorism and other social vices.
Leader of the hunters in North-east states, Muhammad Usman Tola, said: “Hunters had so far played significant roles in the fight against Boko Haram, and it’s not hidden that we (hunters) are familiar with the terrain in dreaded forests, like the Sambisa forest. “So, we are ready to pursue the terrorists and other bush hidden criminals who include cattle rustlers and kidnappers as well as armed bandits, because we know the terrain very well.
” Continuing, he said: “We are appealing to the Nigerian government to allow us join the fight against Boko Haram at the Sambisa forest.
We have thousands that were ever ready to join and assist.
“This year’s event is special and different, over 15,000 hunters from Northeast and other nieghbouring countries of Cameroon and Nigeria are in attendance today to observe the annual Salala rites.
” Tola, however, said the hunters needed the government to assist them with ammunition, transportation and logistics.
“And very interesting, we remain one big family devoid of religious or tribal sentiments; that is why today we have over 15,000 hunters from Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Borno, Yoba and Adamawa and other neighbouring countries who converged for the event.
” Another top official, Moibbo Usman, said the ritual was to also fortify genuine members and expose fake ones.
The highlights of the occasion were the drinking of concoction by the hunters for protection and the conduction of rituals on the hunters’ Dane guns to function properly against the enemy.