Vigilantes take control against Boko Haram in Nigeria - KCTV5

Vigilantes take control against Boko Haram in Nigeria

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Vigilante groups have formed in Nigeria to protect their homeland against Boko Haram because the government can’t. (Source: CNN) Vigilante groups have formed in Nigeria to protect their homeland against Boko Haram because the government can’t. (Source: CNN)
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MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA (CNN) – In Nigeria, increasingly violent attacks linked to the terrorist group Boko Haram appears to be on the rise.

Last month, the group abducted more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls whose whereabouts are still unknown. Many Nigerians feel the government isn't doing enough to rescue the girls or comeback Boko Haram.

Some ordinary Nigerians are taking on an extraordinary task; they're former vigilante groups to provide the security they say is lacking.

It's after a curfew in Maiduguri, a city under state of emergency, anyone is a suspect.

Armed with no more than rusty machetes and swords, they stare down the approaching headlights.

Bukar Ibrahim and his team are not police or military, they are vigilantes, and even the local government admits, they have been more effective than the authorities.

"Boko Haram was among us, killing us," he said. "We armed to get rid of this plague and chase them out of town."

The birthplace of Boko Haram is no longer its home. Vigilante groups, emerging in full force around a year ago, succeeded where others fell short, even the military says they need the support.

They are not armed with much but these volunteers have something that the Nigerian security forces largely lack and that is motivation - it's their relatives, it's their family members and neighbors whose lives are in jeopardy and that's why they will risk everything to protect their streets.

Abba Ajikalli leads one of the sector vigilante groups.

"We have suffered a lot, we have lost innocent people too much," Ajikalli said.

Hardened by loss, they show no mercy, not even to family. His nephew, who was 16 years old, was in Boko Haram.

"I hand over my senior brother's son; I caught him with my hand and hand him over to the authorities," Ajikalli said. "He has been executed. Even if it was my older brother's son, it is my son, I have no regret."

With the town relatively secured, they say they now want to take and hunt down Boko Haram in the forest. In this type of war, the best fighters aren't always the best equipped.

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