Meet Aisha, a former antelope hunter who now tracks Boko Haram


    As seven snatched ladies and four kids were being taken further into Sambisa woodland, Aisha Bakari Gombi got a call.

    The voice was natural: an armed force leader soliciting her to collect a gathering from seekers to track them down.

    The 11 had vanished before that day after a gathering of Boko Haram activists assaulted their town, Daggu. Three nearby individuals were shot dead and autos, houses and sustenance stores set burning.

    Daggu is a half-hour drive from Chibok where more than 200 schoolgirls were snatched in April 2014. Both towns are in the district of Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria, which has turned into very acquainted with such assaults by the world’s deadliest fear based oppressor assemble.

    Boko Haram know me and dread me

    Aisha Bakari Gombi

    Bakari Gombi grew up close to the Sambisa woodland, where the radicals still work in spite of a military hostile a year ago that decimated a large number of their significant camps. She used to chase pronghorns, primates and guinea fowl with her granddad. Presently she chases Boko Haram.

    There are a huge number of seekers in the area who have been enrolled by the military on a specially appointed premise. In any case, Bakari Gombi is one of just a modest bunch of ladies included and she has turned into a courageous woman for seekers and nearby individuals alike. Her heroism has won her the title “ruler seeker”.

    The primary protect mission in Daggu fizzled “on the grounds that Boko Haram was intensely furnished. Be that as it may, we saw where [the girls] are being held,” Bakari Gombi clarifies the following morning. “We could free them if the military would give us better weapons,” she includes, looking at the twofold barrel shotgun on her lap.

    Seekers are soaked with a mystery mixture to allow them resistance to slugs.

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    Seekers are soaked with a mystery mixture to allow them resistance to slugs. Photo: Rosie Collyer

    In the same way as other in the country areas of north-east Nigeria, Bakari Gombi is Muslim additionally has faith in conventional spirits. One of her ceremonies is to drench kindred seekers with a mystery elixir to shield them from projectiles.


    The 38-year-old leads a summon of men matured 15-30 who convey utilizing communication via gestures, creature sounds and even birdsong.

    “Boko Haram know me and dread me,” says Bakari Gombi whose band of seekers has saved several men, ladies and kids.

    The Nigerian armed force started enlisting ladies in 2011 and, while the numbers stay low across the country, in this locale a few ladies have extremely individual purposes behind joining the counterinsurgency. One of those is Hamsat Hassan, whose sister was abducted by Boko Haram two years prior. She has not been seen since.

    “I couldn’t shoot a firearm when I made a request to join the Hunters’ Association in a town likewise called Gombi, yet all I knew was that I needed to vindicate the general population who kidnapped my sister,” she says.

    Hassan’s grandparents care for her seven kids so she is accessible to chase at whatever point her administrations are approached.

    While the vast majority of the gathering are volunteers who juggle their duties with different occupations, Bakari Gombi and Hassan are among the 228 male and female seekers who were enlisted on a more formal premise a year ago by a neighborhood government official.

    Seeker Hamsat Hassan and her associates

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    Seeker Hamsat Hassan and her associates. Photo: Rosie Collyer

    In any case, by October the 10,000 naira (£25) stipends paid to the seekers had halted. After two months the majority of the group had hauled out of the program, however a few, including Bakari Gombi and Hassan, stayed focused on the battle.


    Bukar Jimeta, the leader of the Gombi Hunters’ Association, says however Boko Haram is regrouping in the encompassing zones, the crumple of the program and absence of assets have abandoned them not able to handle the developing risk.

    The seekers are not by any means the only ones encountering money related trouble. In December a gathering of Nigerian troopers transferred a video to YouTube in which they advanced for gear, sustenance and water.

    The armed force likewise confronts a debasement outrage at the most abnormal amount. The previous national security consultant, Sambo Dasuki, is because of stand trial for purportedly taking £1.8bn apportioned for weapons to battle Boko Haram.

    The seekers trust their following aptitudes are crucial to the armed force’s counterinsurgency endeavors, regardless of how under-resourced they might be.4

    “I’m sitting tight for a get back to approving me to go to safeguard those ladies and kids from Daggu, yet I don’t know whether they will give us more arms,” says Bakari Gombi. Regardless of whether she gets the weapons she requires, she promises that her main goal to find Boko Haram from the backwoods in which she grew up will proceed.

    A couple of Boko Haram seekers

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    The seekers are for the most part men matured in the vicinity of 15 and 30. Photo: Rosie Collyer

    This piece was revised on 9 February 2016 to elucidate the way that 11 villagers had been kidnapped